I like things organized by Roman numerals.
Growing up I memorized all the Super Bowl records, because it's such a manageable championship - there have only been 46 of them, and it's not a series - it's just one game.
Stats accumulate in single-game fashion - it's very relatable.
But I especially like new Super Bowl matchups.
And that's what we have on our hands this year.
Self-plug - back in early September I picked the Ravens to beat the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. I'm a little proud that I had the matchup right, but the way I got there and the way the season actually unfolded were way different. Embarrassingly different. So this isn't like when I picked the Giants over the Rangers in the 2010 World Series back in March of 2010, with careful analysis. This was more like a lucky guess.
And partly it's the result of me picking a matchup that has never happened before.
See, I love the new matchups. I kind of obsess over them. If it's a repeat matchup in a championship game or series (like last year's Patriots-Giants game), I feel like we wasted a season. (Interestingly enough, one of this year's Super Bowl entrants is one of the most frustrating Super Bowl teams. It's the sixth Super Bowl for the 49ers, but two of those came against the Bengals. The Bengals! Of all teams to have to end up with a Super Bowl repeat matchup...because they're so unlikely to get back 15 more times.)
Anyway, this year when the playoffs began, I was so convinced that Denver would be the AFC Champion that I wrote off a new matchup. They had played Green Bay, Atlanta, and San Francisco, and I didn't think Seattle was going to make the Super Bowl, so I thought this would be a lost year. Then the Ravens pulled the upset and the whole picture changed.
So here we are, Ravens-49ers, and a new matchup in the books. (Actually, crossed off on my chart. Yes. There's a chart.)
And for the record, I'm changing my pick from the pre-season:
San Francisco 24, Baltimore 17
I like the Baltimore Harbaugh more than the San Francisco Harbaugh...but I like the San Francisco team more than the Baltimore one. So I'm picking - and rooting for - the 49ers.