Will Western Tidewater root for Ravens, 49ers?

Published 12:28 pm Saturday, February 2, 2013


FRANKLIN—Christina Graham is glad her Baltimore Ravens found a new kicker during the recent NFL off-season.

“It still bugs me that (Billy Cundiff) missed that easy field goal,” said Graham, who won’t miss the Ravens taking on the San Francisco 49ers during the 6:30 p.m. Sunday Super Bowl XLVII.

Graham was referring to Cundiff’s missed 31-yard field goal with 11 seconds left during the 2012 AFC Championship game, allowing New England to advance to the Super Bowl.

“The new guy (Justin) Tucker has been great all season,” the 30-year-old Franklin Bowling Center employee said. “Just really glad we have a kicker that’s worthwhile.”

On the other side of the ball, Clay Hyatt, 24, thinks the biggest story for this year’s game is that his San Francisco 49ers are returning after an 18-year hiatus since their last championship.

It has been 12 years since the Ravens won their only Super Bowl.

Hyatt, interim athletic specialist

for the Franklin Department of Parks & Recreation, said has been a fan since childhood.

“I can still remember my Granddad telling me about how good Joe Montana was back when he was the quarterback,” he said.

Both are just glad to see their teams in the Super Bowl this year after suffering disappointing losses in their conference championships in 2012.

“Watching my team beat the Atlanta Falcons on the road was exciting,” Hyatt said. “Especially since we lost in NFC Championship last year, but this year there’s still another game to play.”

Four days before the Ravens’ opening playoff game against Indianapolis, middle linebacker Ray Lewis announced that he would retire after this season.

“It’s big that he put off retiring because he wants to help his team win that ring,” Graham said. “Sometimes you have to live your life. Ray was lucky to come back after tearing his triceps in the Cowboys/Ravens game.”

One thing is for certain after the game has ended is that a Harbaugh will hoist the hardware. Will it be John Harbaugh, coach of the Ravens, lifting the Lombardi Trophy, or will it be his younger brother, Jim, coach of the 49ers?

“All I know is you’re bound to see phenomenal offense and defense thanks to brothers being the head coaches,” Graham said. “It’s going to be a tight game, but the Ravens will come out on top!”

Hyatt is confident his 49ers will win.

“The biggest thing we need is for the defensive line to get a lot of pressure on (Quarterback Joe) Flacco,” he said.