When the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers meet in Super Bowl 47, there will be no shortage of Iowa story lines, including 49ers star linebacker Aldon Smith, who used to live in Cedar Rapids, and stud offensive lineman Marshal Yanda of the Ravens, who has a home in Marion.
Super Bowl for Iowans
1. The coaches
The coaches of both teams used to live in Iowa. It's not as random as it might seem. Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers, and John Harbaugh, coach of the Ravens, are brothers. It will be the first time brothers have faced off in the Super Bowl.
The Harbaughs lived in Iowa City for three years from 1971-1973, when dad Jack Harbaugh was an assistant football coach at University of Iowa. The Harbaughs lived in a home on the west side of town and the boys attended Iowa City Catholic Grade School, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports.
2. Ravens offensive line
Two of the staples on the offensive line, which some say is a key reason for the Ravens' success, went to college in Iowa. The starting guards played for rival schools in Iowa.
Marshal Yanda, on the right side, attended University of Iowa. He's a Pro Bowl player and considered one of the best at his position. On the left side is rookie Kelechi Osemele, who played at Iowa State University.
They are somewhat less known but just as valuable as fellow line mate, Michael Oher, who was the focus of the movie "The Blind Side."
3. 49ers defensive star
Aldon Smith, the star outside linebacker for San Francisco, lived in Cedar Rapids and attended school at Cedar Rapids Washington.
Smith had the NFL record for quarterback sacks when he hit a late season dry spell. Analysts say Aldon Smith's output on Super Bowl Sunday could be a key to victory for the 49ers.
Here's a few other connections to Iowa:
4. Role player
Sean Considine, a special teams player and a backup defensive back on the Ravens, played for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Neither of the kickers are from Iowa, but there is an interesting Iowa connection to the kicking game. Billy Cundiff, who is from Harlan and played college at Drake University, was Baltimore's kicker last year. He missed a chip shot in the AFC Championship Game that would have sent the Ravens to Super Bowl XLVI. Cundiff subsequently was cut from the team, and mid-season this year, the 49ers signed him to compete for the kicking job with David Akers. They ultimately stuck with Akers, who has struggled all season and into the playoffs. So, Cundiff should come up on game day, particularly during key kicking moments.
Who: San Francisco 49ers v. Baltimore Ravens.
Where: Superdome in New Orleans.
TV Schedule: Super Bowl coverage on CBS begins at 5 p.m. central time, and kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. central on CBS.
Betting Lines: San Francisco is favored by 3.5 points. The over/under on total points is 47.5.
Tickets: Good luck.
Where to Watch in Marion
1899 7th Avenue
648 8th Street
620 Lindale Drive
4755 1st Avenue Southeast