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Live discussion: Who will win the Super Bowl?

February 01, 2013|By Houston Mitchell

Join us for a live "NFL Slam with Mark and Sam" today at noon when Times NFL columnist Sam Farmer and former radio personality Mark Thompson discuss Sunday's Super Bowl. You will be able to submit questions from them on screen during the discussion.

Sure to be a topic are the two quarterbacks, Colin Kaepernick of San Franciscio and Joe Flacco of Baltimore. As Farmer wrote earlier this week,

"A few months ago, Kaepernick was all but anonymous. Now, he can't walk through a hotel lobby without 49ers fans spotting him and making a beeline for him. It doesn't help matters this week that there's a movie-screen-sized photo of him throwing a pass directly opposite the front desk of the team's hotel on Canal Street.

"I've watched him go from us going to Wal-Mart or gas stations with no one noticing us, to we can't get out of the car, or we have to pull off at the red light because people are following us," said his roommate in the Bay Area, Ricardo Lockette, a practice-squad receiver for the 49ers.

"Here's one: We're walking down Bourbon Street as soon as we get here. And you know how the fans come out and they've got the helmets and stuff? This guy starts following us, walking and talking like 'Can you sign this? Can you sign this?' And — boom! — the guy runs right into a lamppost. Helmets are flying in the air. It was the funniest thing."

Like that hapless autograph hound, the emergence of Kaepernick was the equivalent of walking into a lamppost. He came out of nowhere, directing the 49ers to their first Super Bowl appearance in 18 years after a mere 10 career starts.

Conversely, it seems as if Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco has been around forever, and only now is reshaping his reputation — however unfair — from game manager to big-time, elite playmaker.

Flacco, for years overshadowed by the consistent excellence of the Ravens' defense, has eight touchdowns and no interceptions in this postseason.

"In the second half of that New England game, obviously something was said or done, because [the Ravens] decided to put it on Joe's shoulders," said K.C. Keeler, Flacco's coach at Delaware, referring to the AFC championship game in which Flacco threw three touchdown passes in the second half of a 28-13 victory."

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