Debating William & Mary, sports and culture since 2011. Updated every Wednesday.

Super Bowl Smack-Talk: Part 1

In Football on January 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Like modern day Biggies and Tupacs, CDH’s Jack Lambert and Sam Sutton love their football teams — and for the next two weeks or so, hate each other.

Jack Lambert: Favorite team, Baltimore Ravens. Power Move, Laycock leg kick. Weakness, two-man bobsled.

I know what Sam is going to do. He is probably sitting in his hip New York apartment thinking up ways to call Baltimore dirty and drug strewn. He’s probably laughing at a joke he just made comparing Joe Flacco to Nick Sobatka, the basement-dwelling drug runner in HBO’s The Wire. Hell, he even may have dusted off a thesaurus. Good for him. He’s going to need it.

It is not hard to make fun of Baltimore, especially in comparison to San Francisco. Girlfriends don’t propose weekend getaways to Baltimore. The city does not offer wine tours. Housewives don’t fondly remember getting lucky on a hill in Baltimore during the Summer of Love.

Our football team is also not easy to love. Sam will likely try to make the one murder joke not made about Ray Lewis in the last 13 years. He might mention Terrell Suggs’s bleach throwing incident and small cadre of assault weapons. He might talk about Art Modell screwing over Cleveland to get Maryland to build a taxpayer-funded stadium. He will likely bring up Joe Flacco’s never-ending quest to be ELITE, John Harbaugh’s Napoleon complex or Ray Rice’s height. And he should. All those things are true. I deny not a one.

Sam will do this because it’s harder to make fun of the 49ers. Oh, everyone knows Jim Harbaugh is a psychopathic frat-douche who acts like a small child in a toy aisle after a bad call. It’s easy to make fun of Jim Harbaugh. Everyone knows he took an insanely loaded 49ers roster mismanaged by two former Ravens’ coaches (sorry about that) and road their coattails to immediate success in the NFL. Rooting against Jim Harbuagh is like rooting against that rich kid with a C average in college who landed a job on Wall Street directly afterwards. Yes they are pulling down $80k a year and have the best coke. But we’re mostly waiting for the inevitable meltdown.

The rest of the 49ers are, honestly, very fun to watch. Colin Kaepernick looks like an angry ostrich but he has made quarterback a supersonic position. Vernon Davis (Maryland!) is an angry pile of granite launched out of a bazooka. Michael Crabtree is the same, but in a smaller package. And the 49ers defense, when not giving up 150 points to the Patriots, is the fastest and most physical defense in the NFL.

Sam will mention all this amid painfully out of place rap lyrics because that’s what Sam does. I can’t blame him. It’s been a good year for the Bay Area. The Giants won the World Series. Stephen Curry’s career-ending ankle injury has been delayed a couple months. My guess is Sam thinks this is San Francisco’s time.

But there was once another man who thought it was his time. A devious individual, this man proclaimed himself the new king after accomplishing relatively little. He thought he had figured the game out. History and loyalty mattered little to him.

“There ain’t no ‘back in the day’ … There ain’t no nostalgia to this shit here,” he boasted.

And then he was shot in the head. By a dude from Baltimore.

So Sam, this one’s for Joe or for Ray and whoever else we feel like. Because it’s not your time. Not yet.

Sam Sutton: Favorite team, San Francisco 49ers. Power Move, The Bernie. Weakness, bad cabernet.

Wow, Jack. That was really mean.

But I took your advice and dusted off a thesaurus. “Baltimore” is actually listed under “creepy” along with Edgar Allan Poe, John Waters and a few selfies I took while under the influence of Peppermint Schnapps and Bud Light (incidentally, “Peppermint Schnapps” is synonymous with San Francisco. So whatever, thesauruses suck).

As someone who has no non-Wire opinions on Baltimore — but who has watched the stroking of Ray Lewis’s ego on countless ESPN, CBS, Fox and NBC broadcasts — I can say, without bias, that the whole “our football team is also not easy to love” angle you push is bullshit.

Let’s look at Lewis, because viewers haven’t been given the choice not to. Let’s look at the prolonged post-game farewells to fellow NFL mainstays. The fawning disbelief at his mental fortitude and ambition. That #$%*ing dance. Or the Tom Hooper Les Mis-esque close-up on his tear-drenched face as he sings along to the National Anthem before the AFC Championship — an image forever burned into my retinas, burned like a bleach white suit outside a fast food restaurant.

Jackie, Jackie, I understand emotions flutter across your synapses like delicate wood nymphs, so I’m sorry if that hurt you, but it’s not your fault. Lord knows the people of Baltimore are not known to take hits on the chin. You, your city of manic pixie dream girls and bespectacled eunuchs, dallying away their days with limp wristed poems about the FroYo shops that line inner harbor. No, you people are nothing like the hardscrabble starving, hysterical, naked of modern day Brooklyn or San Francisco, cities renowned the world over for their grit and grind. Grit, grind, and wonderful, wonderful bookstores.

But I digress.

You all will be crushed. Yes, Jim Harbaugh is a frat-bastard psychopath. Yes, Colin Kaepernick is exciting. Yes, Frank Gore is relentlessly consistent. And finally, yes, our defense is better (and younger) than yours.

Joe Flacco has been impressive, but I don’t expect him to pull off another win on the road. Ray Rice will be, hands down, the best running back on the field. But he’ll be running into a buzz saw of Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, NaVorro Bowman and Justin Smith, and that should terrify you.

Last year, as I’m sure you remember, Baltimore beat San Francisco in a brutal Thanksgiving Day game that showed off the strength of both teams’ defenses, as well as their offensive deficiencies. The biggest offensive upgrade on either team is Kaepernick — and if Baltimore’s defensive line surrenders anything resembling the amount of space they gave a lead-footed Brady to run, you’re $%#@ed.

Look that up in a thesaurus.


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