JOHN J. MILLER
The Baltimore Ravens are named after a poem that was first published in 1845. The San Francisco 49ers are named after the gold-rush pioneers of 1849. Four years separate the namesakes. On Sunday, four points will separate the teams: 49ers 28, Ravens 24.
— John J. Miller is national correspondent for National Review, director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College, and the author of The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football.ALEX MOONEY
I predict a 40-point victory for the Baltimore Ravens. They were vastly underestimated by the odds-makers in the past two games and that kind of disrespect gives them an edge. Ray Lewis is more than just a great middle linebacker, he is the type of man for whom every player on the Ravens will give 100 percent the entire game. The 49ers are a respectable team, and both teams have great coaches. Nonetheless, the momentum is all Ravens for this Super Bowl.
— Alex Mooney is chairman of the Maryland Republican party.
MSGR. CHRISTOPHER NALTY
The banner of this week’s Sports Illustrated asks the question “Does God Care About Who Wins The Super Bowl.” After Notre Dame’s loss in the BCS Championship, I am tempted to answer a resounding “NO” to God’s involvement in football. However, it’s highly possible that San Francisco de Asis might, indeed, care. Prediction: The 49ers by 6. Quoth: “Ray Lewis’s Ravens: nevermore.”
— Monsignor Christopher H. Nalty is pastor of Good Shepherd in New Orleans.
A prediction is easy compared to the gut wrenching decision of what team to root for. Let me explain.
I am a Steelers fan and we despise our chief rival, the Ravens. Steelers–Ravens games are more like steel-cage matches than games. Even though they are from our division, this is not college football where you cheer for teams in your conference in bowl games. Even if we did, Steeler fans would make an exception for the Ravens. Seems simple right? I will root for the Niners. Wrong.
The Steelers stand atop the NFL for the number of Super Bowls won with six, but right behind us are the Niners. We believe we are the best franchise in the NFL and we can back it up. It will require a few Iron City beers and I will not wear a stitch of purple or black, but every real Steeler fan will cheer for a Niners defeat.
I predict the game will be one where the Ravens are badly outplayed, but win because of numerous bad calls by the refs and fluke plays. Niners lose it on the last play of the game. With the ball on their own one-yard line Kaepernick takes a knee in a tie game, but trips and falls into the end zone for a safety. Niners 3 Ravens 5.
— Rick Santorum is former senator from Pennsylvania and author of American Patriots.