Super Bowl 2013 Preview: The Packer Connection

Jared Wickerham

We take a look at a few connections between Wisconsin and the Packers to the participants in this year's big game

The dust from the conference championship buildup has settled and now the Super Bowl tickets have been punched. The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens will take the stage at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

With this game, there are storylines aplenty. Things like the "Harbaugh Bowl," Ray Lewis' final game and seeing if Colin Kaepernick will achieve Super Bowl glory in his first season as a starter are just a few of the many things that are impacted by the outcome of Super Bowl XLVII. While it is a great time to cover the Niners or the Ravens these days, Green Bay Packer fans and media are in that ugly, dark, depressing time of the NFL year where they sit, twiddling their thumbs, waiting to see what's next for the franchise.

While the world waits to see Super Bowl XLVII and the various outcomes of each storyline associated with the game itself, there lies some connections between the Packers and some of the players in this year's Super Bowl. Here are a few Packers connections to this year's big game.

Colin Kaepernick: This is something many NFL fans may know by now but San Francisco's new starting quarterback was born in Milwaukee then raised in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He resided in Fond du Lac until the age of four and grew up a fan of the Packers. Other than that, there isn't too much more of a Packers connection here, so let's move on.

Alex Smith: The first overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft. Alex Smith was a guy in San Francisco who lost his starting quarterback job, to get it back, only to lose it once more. He may never never played for the Packers but the reason he is mentioned here is because his career will forever be tethered to Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who went on to win a Super Bowl of his own. First.

If San Francisco does win XLVII, many would probably say that Smith went along for the ride. However, I feel instead that Smith would have earned that title as much as anyone else in San Francisco. He began the season as the starter and got them to the NFC Championship game the year before. If Smith does win a Super Bowl this would tie him with the man that San Francisco passed over for him.

Winning a Lombardi Trophy won't make Smith better than, or nearly as good as Rodgers by any means. Instead, it would mean that both Rodgers and Smith would have each legitimately won Super Bowl rings. Smith's coming not by being a starter in the Super Bowl but by being a team player and helping them get there.

Randy Moss: Randy Moss is a future Hall of Famer for sure. He has done it all, everything, except win a Super Bowl. He's even retired already. He has 982 receptions, 15,292 receiving yards and 156 touchdown catches under his belt to this point. Most of the aforementioned stats came during those eight years in Minnesota where Moss terrorized Packer fans and defenses alike.

Who could forget the now infamous "mooning" of the Lambeau crowd on January 8, 2005. That night, Moss and the Minnesota Vikings handed the Packers a 31-17 loss in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Over time, Moss grew to become that Viking that Packer fans loved to hate. At the same time however, there was no denying his talent which made him the ultimate "bad guy" in the eyes of Green Bay fans.

Even at 35, Moss gave the Packers a hard time once again in Week 1 when he caught four balls for 47 yards and a TD. Now he has a shot at completing his already impressive resume by adding "Super Bowl Champion" to it.

Honorable Mention

Jack Harbaugh: This isn't necessarily a Packers connection but it is a Wisconsin connection. Jack Harbaugh lives in Mequon, Wisconsin. Jack is the father of Jim and John Harbaugh, the coaches of the Niners and Ravens, respectively. Jack served as the Associate Athletic Director at Marquette University from 2003 to 2008.

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