You thought the Manti Te'o supernatural story of last week-his online girlfriend who never existed--had died down. But I'm here to perpetuate it some more in the context of this must-read, first-of-its-kind-out-of-the-gate Super Bowl Preview.
Yesterday I went combing through the entire rosters of both teams to find some guys who have Manti Te'o like/ish names. For the Niners, you've got Isaac Sopoaga and Will Tukuafu. The Ravens feature Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Kelechi Osemele, and Brendon Ayanbadejo.
Fifty cents to anyone who can pronounce Brendan's name while playing the violin and rubbing your stomach.
I was going to say something about Colin Kaepernick's name, the fact that it sounds like Capernicus, the 14th Century math whiz. But there's no real connection between how he plays quarterback and the 14th Century, nor math for that matter. Plus who really cares who Capernicus was. And his name begins with a C unlike the K leading the Kaepernick charge.
In another arena, I found several players qualify for this Super Bowl's All-Horticulture/Outdoors team: Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree from the Niners and Ray Rice, Ed Reed and David Reed from the Ravens.
Making the All-Literary-Sounding team are Clark Haggans (Mary Higgins Clark) and Darcel McBath (McBeth) from the Niners. Joining them is Scott Tolzier (J.R.R. Tolkien) from the Ravens.
Winning the All-Fat Contest is Leonard Davis of the Niners who tips the scales at 350 pounds. Chubba-ing right behind Davis is Ma'ake Kemoeatu of the Ravens, who is a svelt 345.
And now for my Super Bowl prediction, which is based on two key factors: which team has more players who attended University of Alabama. Like any smart football guy, I regard this as a net positive because The Tide has been the best college football program the past five years. The second factor is which team has more players from the Ivy League. This is a negative because most of the players aren't very good by NFL standards. The Ravens win the Alabama contest with two: Terrence Cody and Courtney Upshaw. The Niners have none. Score one for the Ravens. Conversely, the Ravens have the Super Bowl's only Ivy Leaguer: Matt Birk. Advantage Niners.
So it's a split. What to do.
I'll go to my usual yardstick to break this tie: which team has the player with the name sounding the most like Manti T'eo. That would be Ma'ake Kemoeatu of the Ravens. And he exists.
Ravens 64, Niners 54. Kelechi Osemele will block a field goal and run it 62 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the title.