I don’t know if there’s ever been a more compelling story going into a Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLVII, aka the Harbaugh Bowl, HarBowl, SuperBaugh, or the Brother Bowl, is already historic, since it’s the first time that opposing head coaches are brothers. But, you already knew that.
While the media loves to dig up and make some sort of exciting and emotional storyline for a big sporting event, this year’s Super Bowl could beat them all for the simple fact that it’s Brother vs. Brother. But there’s plenty of additional plot-lines heading into New Orleans, like this being the last game of future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis.
With that in mind, here are 15 fun facts about the historic Super Bowl XLVII. You know, just to get you well-informed and hyped for one of the most intriguing Super Bowls ever.
- The San Francisco 49ers have participated in five Super Bowl games, winning all five. This is their first appearance since 1994. If they win, they could tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowl wins with six.
- The Baltimore Ravens were victorious over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV on January 28, 2001. Ray Lewis was named MVP, becoming only the second linebacker to do so.
- The San Francisco 49ers are named after the California Gold Rush. The Rush began after John Sutter first discovered gold in the river near his mill in 1848, which led to massive western migration. Thus the term “49ers” for 1849.
- After relocating from Cleveland in 1996, Baltimore’s nickname was given after a phone-in poll conducted by the Baltimore Sun. Of 33,288 voters, nearly two-thirds (21,108) picked Ravens, which was inspired by the poetry of former Baltimore resident, Edgar Allan Poe.
- The Harbaughs faced each other only one other time, on Thanksgiving Day, 2011. The Ravens won that game, 16-6.
- 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh played in 14 games, and started 12, with a 5-7 record as starter in a 6-10 season for the Ravens in 1998.
- Before taking over head coaching duties in Baltimore, John Harbaugh was the Philadelphia Eagles special-teams coach from 1999–2008. Since taking over in Baltimore in 2008, he has had three assistants leave to become head coaches of their own. They include: Rex Ryan (New York Jets, 2009–present), Hue Jackson (Oakland Raiders, 2011), and Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts, 2012–present).
- The Harbaughs father, Jack, played for the Titans of New York in the AFL—who are the Jets today. He went on to become a head coach for Western Michigan and Western Kentucky. Both sons helped their father revive the football program in Western Kentucky. In fact, Jim Harbaugh was an unpaid assistant at WKU while still in the NFL.
- Ray Lewis’ first sack was against 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh when Baltimore faced Indianapolis on October 14, 1996.
- Super Bowl XLVII will be quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s tenth NFL start. But, did you know that Andrew Luck brought Kaepernick to Jim Harbaugh’s attention? Both Luck and Kaepernick first met at the Manning Passing Academy in 2010. When Luck returned to Stanford, his then-coach Jim Harbaugh, asked if there were any quarterbacks worthy of mention. Luck mentioned Kap, and well, the rest is history. Interestingly, Andrew Luck now plays for head coach Chuck Pagano, who was an assistant under John Harbaugh in Baltimore.
- During six of the last eight seasons there has been a team seeded No. 4, 5 or 6 in the the Super Bowl. Those teams are 4-1 in beating a team seeded No. 1 or 2.
- Over the past decade, the favorite has gone 5-5 in the Super Bowl.
- Four of the past five Super Bowls were won by the NFC. The exception is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who won in 2008.
- The NFC leads the Super Bowl series, 23-20
- This will be the 10th Super Bowl held at the Louisiana SuperDome in New Orleans, tying it with Miami for the most Super Bowls hosted.