The 49ers are now 5/6 in Super Bowl appearances, but based on the past two seasons, look to at least be contenders for years to come. Coach Jim Harbaugh turned the team around when he took over the head coaching job in 2011, leading the team to the NFC Championship last year, and the Super Bowl this year.
Both teams underwent major changes part way through their seasons, with the head coaches making bold modifications that appeared to pay off when they made it so far into the playoffs.
John Harbaugh replaced the Ravens offense coordinator in December, and Jim Harbaugh switched quarterbacks in week 11.
Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who started for the 49ers, is one of the greenest players ever to start a Super Bowl. At 25-years-old, the Super Bowl was just his tenth professional start.
His counterpart on the Ravens, Joe Flacco, had already made history this year, with his 62 wins in the regular and postseasons the most ever by a quarterback in his first 5 seasons.
The moment everybody was watching for came at the end of the game, when the Harbaugh brothers met in the middle of the field for the tradition handshake. In a postgame interview, John said he told his brother he loved him, and Jim congratulated John on the victory. Their parents, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh, were at the game, and called the experience "bittersweet." They told reporters before the game they would visit the losing brother first after the game.
Ravens fans celebrated in the streets of Baltimore after their victory, and 49ers fans will long lament the wasted opportunities and controversial calls in their first ever Super Bowl loss.
So Super Bowl XLVII is in the books, and it proved to be an unusual, entertaining, and intense instant-classic.