Super Bowl XLVII may not be kicking off “Once Upon a Midnight Dreary” but it might as well be.
There are plenty of connections between the two teams in this year’s game (the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens), Edgar Allen Poe and his most famous poem “The Raven”.
On this date in 1845 Edgar Allen Poe’s most famous work was published in New York for the first time, Source: accessible-archives.com.
Okay by now you’re probably thinking yeah, but what does that have to do with the 49ers or the Ravens?
Well rest assured that there are plenty of ties to Poe for both teams and it can get kind of confusing so stay with me… ready? Here I go and I’ll start with the 49ers connections to the famous Romanticism author.
San Francisco 49ers’ connections to Poe:
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article Poe’s most famous poem “The Raven” was first published on January 29, 1845 in New York.
The San Francisco 49ers won their fifth super bowl on Jan. 29, 1995. Beating the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX (for those of you who aren’t as adept at reading Roman Numerals, ironically that number is 29) Source: NFL.com
Also, Poe died in Baltimore MD on Oct. 7, 1849 Source: biography.com. 1849 as all Californians know was the year of the California Gold Rush.
The San Francisco 49ers were named for the miners who were seeking gold during the rush.
Baltimore Ravens’ connections to Poe:
While it may seem like the Forty Niners have more connections to Edgar Allen Poe in terms of numbers, it’s the Baltimore Ravens that have the stronger connection to the author and his most famous work.
Poe died in Baltimore in 1849 and the Ravens were named for Poe’s famous work. The Raven’s mascot is even named Poe.
Also the Baltimore Ravens are the only professional sports team to have a name tied to a piece of literature.
There is even a connection between Poe and the Super Bowl’s host city… well sort of.
The White House Correspondence Association (WHCA) awards the Edgar Allen Poe Memorial Award for journalistic excellence in honor of a former WHCA president and New Orleans Times-Picayune correspondent of the same name Source: http://whca.net/poe.htm.
So there you go, now you can watch the Super Bowl feeling a little more enlightened of how America’s most popular sport is connected to one of Americas most famous authors and his most famous work.
Judging by a this video on NFL.com at media day for the Super Bowl a lot of the 49ers could stand to read this article!