The Oakland Raiders were one of the worst teams in the NFL (again) last year and the 49ers just jettisoned their best coach in a decade after one sub-par season. Now we are forced to watch two of the least-liked teams by locals vie for the big prize. How do we begin to care? It’s time to root for your favorite local guys to make the big play. Here’s a recap of who used to play ball in the Bay that could decide the Super Bowl come Sunday.
Tom Brady, QB – Patriots
You’ve heard of him, yes? The former Serra High School graduate can match his boyhood hero, Joe Montana, with a 4th Super Bowl victory. You can bet folks in his former hometown of San Mateo will be rooting for him to get it done.
Marshawn Lynch, RB – Seahawks
He may have been at media day just to avoid a fine, but you can bet the former Cal running back Marshawn Lynch will be doing everything he can to kick into ‘Beast Mode’ during the Super Bowl. He has a history of coming up huge in big games for the Hawks. Will we see a “beast quake” in the Super Bowl?
Shane Vereen, RB – Patriots
The Patriots have a Cal running back of their own. Vereen isn’t the workhorse Lynch is for Seattle (he only had four touches in the AFC Championship Game) but he’s been brilliant at times in New England, and his coach has been known change up who gets the ball from his backfield on a week-to-week basis.
Richard Sherman, CB – Seahawks
Now a villain in the Bay Area for his infamous calling out of Michael Crabtree, Sherman quietly built a respectable career at Stanford as both a receiver and a defensive back during the Harbaugh era. There’s nothing quiet about Sherman now. If he makes the big play, you’ll notice. He’ll be the one jumping up and down pointing at himself.
Julian Edelman, WR – Patriots
Brady’s most frequent target on the road to the Super Bowl also grew up on the Peninsula. Edelman was a quarterback himself at College of San Mateo after graduating from Woodside high. No matter how the Patriots get him the ball, number 11 moves the chains.
Doug Baldwin, WR – Seahawks
The Seahawks aren’t a passing team, but when they do chuck it, like they were forced to at the end of the NFC Title game, they like to go to this Stanford alum. Baldwin somehow put up 100 yard receiving in a game where his QB struggled to connect on a single pass. He could well lock horns with former teammate Sherman in this one though. Tough matchup.
Robert Turbin, FB – Seahawks
Turbin, a fullback, is the least likely name on the list to be holding the MVP trophy at the end of the game, but he could be a big factor if he can open up holes with his blocking for fellow Oakland native Lynch. Turbin played for Irvington High School in Fremont and has a couple of touchdowns on the season already.