49ers have more to prove than the Ravens
It’s been a long time since the San Francisco 49ers were in a Super Bowl. The last time was January 29, 1995 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami as Steve Young was the quarterback and George Seifert was the coach. Some of the other key players on that team were Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, Dana Stubblefield, and Tim McDonald just to name a few. The franchise hungered badly for the Lombardi’s return to the Bay area and Steve Young needed to show that he could win the big games.
There are many differences between that team and this years 49ers, but there is one important similarity – an overwhelming desire to prove themselves. The need to not just get to, but to win the Super Bowl was and is paramount to a team with proud players and a proud history.
When looking at the hunger level of this year’s 49ers and that of the Ravens I see a marked difference. Sure, both teams want it bad, but San Francisco seeks vindication from the owner all the way down to the field goal kicker. They are famished. Let’s take a closer look at some of the hungriest.
Owner Jed York – he is the nephew of Eddie DeBartolo Jr. who, in case you didn’t know, was the owner in San Fran’s heyday when they raked in five Super Bowl wins. Jed has endured many a losing season. For him it’s not just about team pride. It’s about family pride as well.
Coach Jim Harbaugh – he was a quarterback in the NFL for 14 years and never won a ring. He’d probably cut off a limb if it guaranteed a Super Bowl victory.
Randy Moss – a future Hall of Famer who has also never won a ring. He’d love nothing more than to be able to retire with that golden halo on his finger.
Frank Gore – this guy wants it so bad he’d also cut off one of Coach Harbaugh’s limbs if it sealed the deal.
Colin Kaepernick – this kid is far beyond driven. Don’t let that quiet demeanor fool you. He desires nothing more than to lead his teammates and this franchise to its sixth title.
Then there’s Vernon Davis, Justin Smith, and Patrick Willis. I could go on and on. Here’s the bottom line -
All of these 49ers and more will not be playing just to prove their individual abilities, or for just one player or coach. They will be playing for their team. They will be playing to be part of a great legacy.
If the Ravens are playing for anything less it’s going to be a long flight back to Baltimore.
Taduz Lemke is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at TLemke@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.