The Baltimore Ravens have won 34-31 in the strangest Super Bowl in a long time.
What will it be remembered for?
- The power outage that stopped play for more than half an hour and led to an incredible San Francisco 49er comeback to within two points?
- The goal-line stand by the Ravens when the 49ers bizarrely ran the same play three times in a row and could have won the game if they’d succeeded?
- The missed holding call on the 49ers’ final down on offense that should have given them a fourth attempt to run the same play?
- The Ravens’ fake punt that wore down the clock but seemed rather, um, undignified?
- Or a victorious Joe Flacco, the Ravens’ quarterback, smacking the shoulder of a teammate on live television and yelling something that sort of sounds like his name followed by “awesome”?
Given all that, plus the fact that Flacco was named MVP, the correct answer is that it will be remembered as Ray Lewis’s final football game, with the attention-getting linebaker retiring with a win.
- A Super Bowl record-tying 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Jacoby Jones to open the second half.
- San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter is the longest for a quarterback in a Super Bowl
- At 4 hours, 14 minutes, it was the longest Super Bowl ever. — Associated Press, Reuters
An (almost) stunning comback: The 49ers scored 17 straight points after a 35-minute power outage and nearly pulled off a stunning comeback. Trailing 34-29, the 49ers marched down to the Ravens’ seven but failed to score on four tries, surrendering the ball on downs at the five with less than two minutes remaining. Baltimore used up the clock and on fourth down, punter Sam Koch ran out of bounds in the end zone for a safety with four seconds left. — Associated Press, Reuters
Brother v. brother: The leadup to this game was all about the Harbaughs — the first time siblings had coached against each other in the championship game. In the end, it was older brother John who came out on top over Jim. After the game, John said it was hard to compete against his brother. The brothers met at midfield as the confetti rained down. “I told him I loved him,” John said. “He said, 'Congratulations.'" Jim Harbaugh took the loss hard, raised several questions about calls and non-calls made by the officials, but said “We want to handle this with class and grace. — Associated Press
Meanwhile in the Toronto area: Police in Markham, Ontario, raided a Super Bowl party at a banquet hall where they believed illegal gambling was occurring. There were thousands of people there when the cops showed up.
It could only have happened in New Orleans: New Orleans, the city of Katrina and lousy infrastructure and “You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie” would be the place most people would have put their money for a blown fuse to bring to a complete halt to weeks of hype and excitement. The most amazing thing about it was that it was taken totally in stride. Just another day in New Orleans. No one panicked; everyone remained completely calm. CBC reported that this has happened before at the SuperDome, twice during one game in 2011 alone.
The hardest part was watching the CBS commentators trying to fill the time, which stretched to over 30 minutes. They speculated which team the blackout would best serve, the consensus being that San Francisco would be able to use it to regain its poise after watching the Ravens run back the second-half kickoff for a touchdown.Meanwhile, the best line on Twitter was, “Is this the moment where Bane comes out?”
Call it the Blackout Bowl: The 47 Super Bowl now officially has a nickname: Blackout Bowl, after a power failure in the third quarter left the stadium darkened and the game delayed for more than 30 minutes. It’s piling up on Twitter faster than cars and trucks on the Trans-Canada during a whiteout. Twitterites are not wrong about this – the power outage is the story of this game. As more than one person has pointed out, it’s the stuff of Disney movies: A team is losing badly, a sudden power outage stops the game for 35 minutes, and the momentum inexplicably turns 180 degrees. The young quarterback on whose tattooed shoulders the hopes of a city rest suddenly starts firing darts, fumbles go his team’s way, the team that was running away with it can’t even score from two yards out, and by the fourth quarter the game has gone from a blowout to a squeaker. Some jokers are saying the stadium lights should be named the game’s MVP.