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Super Bowl XLVII: Matt Birk to be part of it

Written by Matt Stevens   
Sunday, 27 January 2013 08:08

Super Bowl XLVII Best BetThe only reason that Matt Birk decided to play a 15th season in the NFL, despite all her ailments, was to reach the Super Bowl.

The 36 year old center suffered neck injuries, elbow and knees in his three previous seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, and before this season had surgery to repair varicose veins in the legs.

However, Birk knew the 'Crows' had chance to play for the league title and wanted to be part of it.

"At this stage of my career, a lot snatches defeat one," said Birk. "I would not have returned if he had not thought there was a real chance that he could help the team."

Birk and safety Ed Reed leading a list of veterans who will play in his first Super Bowl when the Ravens face on February 3 to the San Francisco 49ers.

"That's the goal, that's the dream. That's what you play," Birk said when asked how it felt to finally reach the Super Bowl.

 

Reed played a decade in the NFL before the Super Bowl.

"It means a lot to all the boys have a chance to be part of that," said head coach John Harbaugh. "Being able to be involved with that as a leader is a huge thing. Makes you feel really good, and now you're trying to make the most of."

Birk spent 11 frustrating years in Minnesota, reaching the playoffs five times and can not win a conference title. Then, after joining the Ravens as a free agent in 2009, was part of three playoffs but fell short in the title search of the Super Bowl.

Perhaps Birk deserves it after everything he went through in his first 14 years. But Birk radiates no such feeling.

"No one deserves it more than anyone else. No matter how long you've played," he said about it.

Reed, 34, has been selected to the Pro Bowl nine times in 11 seasons with Baltimore and has been long recognized as one of the best safeties in the league but has never reached the Super Bowl so far, and to do even sweeter, his first appearance will be in his home state of Louisiana.

"It's been a long time coming, but it takes time," said Reed. "We had to work hard to be at this point."

Teammate Jacoby Jones, who grew up in New Orleans, will be debuting in the Super Bowl in his sixth season. After the Ravens beat New England by 28-13 in the championship game of the AFC, Reed was prepared to travel to familiar territory in the company of Jones.

 
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