Super Bowl predictions reveal NFL players’ sentimental favorite

Ask a representative sampling of NFL players who’s going to win Super Bowl XLVII, and you’ll get some interesting insight into these guys. Most players will simply pick the team from their conference. (Although Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake has his own idea of loyalty: He just wants whichever defense plays better to win.) It doesn’t take long, though, before an obvious variable appears this season: The Ray Lewis Factor.

Why else would veteran Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher go against the grain and pick the Ravens? And though Seattle Seahawks kick returner Leon Washington used to be an AFC guy with the New York Jets, it’s clearly Lewis’ popularity that has so many NFC players willing to switch sides for a day — a point rookie Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin readily admits.

Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin are both picking the 49ers to win, but even those two lifelong NFC warriors admit they’ll be rooting for Baltimore.

We suspect that sums it up for a good many football fans this year: Head says Niners, heart says Ravens.

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