• New England Patriots: This is the betting favorite to win what would be the fourth Super Bowl championship and sixth SB appearance for quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick (but the first since 2004). That, by almost anybodys definition, is a dynasty. Rooting for the Pats to win it all might feel a little like hoping Donald Trump hits the Lotto, but this is the team for fans of sustained excellence.
• San Francisco 49ers: The phenomenon that is Kaepernick might be the story of this team, but the larger story here is a once-dominant franchise trying to stake its claim to being back all the way. San Fran is 5 for 5 in Super Bowls, but the last championship was in 1994, a football eternity ago.
If I might be a bit parochial, the final four also offers the likelihood of local fans hearing The U a bit in pregame introductions Sunday. Ex-Canes are everywhere.
The Ravens, besides Lewis, include safety Ed Reed, of course, tackle Bryant McKinnie, and developing reserves in running back Damien Berry and wide receiver Tommy Streeter.
The Falcons punter is Matt Bosher, and Harland Gunn is a reserve guard.
The 49ers offensive hub is ageless runner Frank Gore, and Tavares Gooden is a reserve linebacker.
The only ex-Cane Patriot is a big one in every way: defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.
Bostons malapropism-tending mayor, Thomas Menino, this week referred to Wilfork as Wilcock. No matter.
His surname might be tricky, but his role is clear.
Hell be one of the guys with the most to say Sunday about whether Lewis gets his fairy-tale ending, and whether Jack and Jackie Harbaugh see what they hope to down in that basement in Wisconsin.
A previous version of this article misstated the age difference between John and Jim Harbaugh. They are one year apart.