Sports Illustrated’s Peter King spoke with Mut & Merloni Friday about HGH testing in the NFL, commissioner Roger Goodell’s State of the League address, the 49ers  offense and the Ravens defense.
King said he thinks the idea of the Ravens as a “team of destiny” that will be driven to victory by intangibles isn’t the Super Bowl’s best storyline.
“I think the emotion’s a silly angle. Maybe the emotion helps you for five minutes, but you’ve got to play football,” King said. “I think we get these comfortable storylines – great defense versus an old defense – that’s the storyline down here, and I just say, have you watched the games? I don’t see, when I watch the San Francisco, a peerless defense. They’ve got eight sacks in the last five games. That’s a great pressure defense?
“Aldon Smith, Justin Smith – no sacks in the last five games. Aldon Smith had a good game in the championship game, but I don’t know, I think we lapse into storylines too easy, and I pick the Ravens, too. I just fear Colin Kaepernick a lot more than I would fear the San Francisco defense.”
Following are some highlights from the conversation. To hear the entire interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page .
On whether Ray Lewis ‘ legacy will be affected by the SI story: “Not making any accusations, just stating a fact, but there is not currently a test in the NFL for HGH. So if there’s not a test, how do we know that 800 players don’t use HGH? So I’m not charging anybody with anything, but there’s a lot of things right now the NFL can’t test for, and so there are people who are going to believe what they want to believe and that’s it.”
On Goodell’s State of the League and how much pressure is on the league to implement testing: “Well, the league has been cooperating with Congress to try to force the NFLPA to adopt a testing procedure. The NFLPA keeps saying that there are holes in all of these testing plans. They basically say that the NFL has said, we have done everything that we could to convince the players of the efficacy o the program that we would propose, the WADA is behind it, the US Anti-Doping Association approves of it, and they can’t get hte players to agree to it. So at this point I think it’s probably, as silly as this sounds, I think it’s probably going to take either some bargaining chip to go to the players side, or for the players’ association to appear before Congress to explain why they think the NFL’s proposal is no good.”
On the 49ers CEO saying they’ll keep Alex Smith : “I think they could certainly afford to keep him if they wanted to, but that strikes me as saying, we’re not going to release Alex Smith, and that if you want him, you’re going to have to pay a pretty high price to get him. And that’s really what I think is at play here.”
On the Ravens’ “magic”: “I really think that they enjoy that role a lot, and they feel like they wish they could be this role every game. Every team loves that. You love saying, ‘nobody believes in us.’ And looking at that team and watching them practice, they were on the hard Astroturf the other day and they didn’t complain outwardly but obviously they didn’t like it, so they asked to move to the grass of the same practice facility. And they don’t go about their business publicly ripping things – at least this is my impression – but they feel strongly about things and go about trying to change them.”
“As far as how they’ll approach Sunday, first of all, if Joe Flacco  and and these guys have played so many playoff games so far, I can’t imagine them being nervous for a game like this. You play two championship games in New England and you hold your own one year and beat them the next year, you’re not going to get intimidated in a game like this. But then again, neither is Colin Kaepernick. The one takeaway from this is that Colin Kaepernick, he looks like he’s taking Nevada in to play Fresno State or something. He’s so unflappable and so unaware of the magnitude of this, and I think that’s a good thing.”
On 49ers kicker David Akers: “I think he’s the biggest player to watch in this game. He’s the anti-Vinatieri. And so I think that’s a huge, huge concern.”
On the Hall of Fame voting tomorrow: “I spend time during the fall, basically, when I have somebody on the phone, I might ask him his opinion on some guys, and that’s what I do. As the year goes on I always try to have it int he back of my mind, and when the day comes I just try to have an open mind and listen to everybody. I have not supported Art Modell , I’ve not voted for him in the past, but every time I go in the room I think I owe it to every candidate to have an open mind, to listen to the arguments, and I think it’s unrealistic to go in that room and think you can’t have your mind changed.”