When the American Civil War began San Francisco had a population of under 60,000.


            Everyone likes a good old fashioned civil war.  We had a nice one here in America where brothers shot each other so certain folk who said things like "Why I do declare," didn’t have to work much.  We kind of like the stakes a little better for the Civil War that will be played out this weekend.  Cheddar Explosion Bowl XLVII will be our latest entrant in the civil war with the brothers Harbamazov going at each other.  The Bowl will be a colossal failure if Jim doesn’t yell something like “Your Momma sucks!” at John after the game resulting in a wrestling match on the 50 yard line.  Antietam will look like a skirmish if ol’ Jim gets the blood rushing to his head.

            In honor of our latest civil war, Obama gave a speech in Gettysburg this week.  It went something like, “Four score and seven years from now, football will be dead.  %*#!  you very much.  Good day.”  Well for at least one more weekend, football won’t be dead.  In fact, it will be quite a compelling match-up as an upstart tosser with only ten starts under his belt will be pitted against one of the winningest post-season passers.  A Cheddarbowl victory will put Flacco in the top-10 all-time in post-season victories after only five seasons.   Not too shabby.

           They say the final game isn’t like any other game, it’s an all out armegeddon.  Ulysses S. Lewis is coming to town and he will attempt to burn everything in his path.   Both defenses are great, but we are reverting to the old adage that the big uglies, even in this pass happy league, win games.  It is interesting to note that two physical teams who invested heavily in their offensive and defensive lines are the last two standing.  Those prolific passing attacks in Denver and New England and Atlanta are drinking fruit smoothies.  They will be in their Polo pajamas while the teams that wear big boy pants are throwing haymakers at each other. 

           We think the Ravens have the edge on the lines and that’s why we are picking them to win.  Both teams have great offensive lines, but we have to go with our prophetic statement made before the draft.  We raised some eyebrows when we had Keleche Osemele rated as a first round pick and the 3rd overall offensive lineman.  Our analysis read, “He’s the physical type that defensive linemen dread playing against and championship teams love drafting.”  A late second round pick, he has started every game for the Ravens and he will be starting this week at left guard. Wouldn’t that be Nostradamus-like if he turned out to be drafted by a championship team?  He will.  Osemele has already made a speed bump of half of the NFL’s top defensive lineman.  He will miss a block here or there or have a silly penalty, but the rest of the time he’s terrorizing men that don’t get terrorized.  In the AFC Championship he pancaked Vince Wilfork, the biggest player in the NFL.  If you are a true football aficionado, you might want to watch Osemele work.  

           Justin Smith is not 100% and Haloti Ngata is.   That could be the difference in the game.  Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin, Dennis Pitta and Jacoby Jones are better than Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and…I forget who else they have.   Ed Reed is a nightmare for experienced quarterbacks and we expect him to take away half of the field from a neophyte like Colin Kaepernick.   The other half is patrolled by a headhunter named Bernard Pollard, so neither option is particularly good.

           We expect the brothers to commit to the run and while we don’t expect it to be particularly effective, whoever wins in the trenches will win the war.  Ray Rice won’t be dominant, but we think he will be the MVP with over 100 combined yards.    Rice won’t be San Francisco’s treat.  And keep an eye on Rice’s understudy, rookie Bernard Pierce.  Pierce may only have a few carries but he has homerun potential.  Without a monster game from Kaepernick, and he is certainly capable, we like the Ravens 27-20.  Hopefully nobody gets hurt so that football of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from this earth.