Beyonce may have sucked the power out of the Mercedes Benz Superdome with her electric performance Sunday night, but what almost turned into a laugher of game instead turned into an instant classic.
Friends who, like me, are avid New England Patriots fans kept milling over who they wanted to win the game. Let's face it, it does matter who is playing in the game. This year, I more often found myself in the kitchen raiding the snack table than last year, when the Patriots were in it. But Super Bowl XLVII definitely had drama, hard hits and controversy. As a football fan, what more could you ask for?
Ray Lewis got absolutely manhandled by the offensive line of the San Francisco 49ers and the Ravens still managed to eke out the victory.
The room was split basically down the middle, with half wanting the Ravens and half, myself included, wanting to see the 49ers take care of business. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick impressed me in the second half with his resiliency following a blackout delay which lasted 35 minutes.
As the old Willie Nelson song goes "Turn out the lights the party's over." The party was in fact not over -- it had only just begun when power was lost in the dome. The NFL has yet to release an official cause for the outage, which left players fighting to keep the competitive juices flowing.
Jim Nantz's and Phil Sims' microphones fell silent without any warning, and you could see the bewildered look on both sidelines. Following the delay, San Francisco had time to digest their pride after Jacoby Jones housed the second-half opening kickoff for 108 yards to give the Ravens a 28-6 lead turning the Super Bowl into a sleeper, right? Wrong.
The power flickered and eventually went out, and with it the Ravens' momentum. Kaepernick was 16 of 28 for 302 yards with a touchdown and interception. Kaepernick and the 49ers scored 17 unanswered points and it looked like they were going to come roaring back and make NFL history after they were down by as much as 22 points.
Kaepernick's timeout early in the third quarter was a rookie mistake, and it came back to bite the 49ers in the end. If they would have had that timeout in the fourth quarter, they may have had another shot at the end zone.
Fans can get used to seeing Joe Flacco in the AFC with the Ravens a bit longer, as without question Baltimore General Manager Ozzie Newsome plans on working out a deal with his Super Bowl MVP free agent. Patriots fans, I know it still stings as much as salt in an open wound, but let's face it, Baltimore beat New England fair and square.
On the 49ers last try for the end zone at fourth and goal from the five, Michael Crabtree may have got interfered, and head coach Jim Harbaugh went absolutely ballistic, berating the officials all the way to the post-game press conference. Ravens' corner Jimmy Smith jammed Crabtree at the line, but the referees were letting the boys play last night, as they should.
Harbaugh had some beef, but the 49ers got away with a couple plays as well.
Flacco is now, in the eyes of many, at least a top-five quarterback. Flacco has forever secured a spot in the record books as just the second player in league history to throw for 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in NFL playoff history, ironically tying San Francisco great Joe Montana.
As the cameras were panning the field after the game, Lewis could be seen screaming all alone at midfield with confetti surrounding him. No surprise Lewis was hollering and overcome with emotion as his storied career came to an end. I personally am going to miss his pre-game dramatic entrances and antics, as it is something that I have grown up watching.
While Lewis may have had a troubled past, so have many athletes, and to get to the game's biggest stage and go out on top, that is plain magical. To the few Ravens fans in the area, enjoy it, but to Patriots fans, Belichick and Brady in my eyes, have at least another run in them.
Ed Reed's name was mentioned as a possibility to land in New England. Nantz and Sims spent a good 30 seconds to a minute discussing how the soon-to-be-free agent safety would fit in with the Patriots. It has been a long time since New England really had a veteran presence in the secondary. Reed hits hard and is not afraid to step up and make a big play.
The Patriots are in dire need of an enforcer on defense to flank the likes of Aqib Talib in the secondary. What the question now becomes is how much are they willing to shell out for Reed? According to rotoworld.com, Reed's contract expires in March and his worth this season was around $7.4 million.
Reed had made a comment earlier last week about his interest in playing in New England, but quickly laid that to rest a day prior to the Super Bowl, saying that the possibility is "unlikely" and that he would prefer to stay in Baltimore.
Quick countdown note: the NFL draft is on April 25, which leaves a little over 75 days left until the Patriots' preparations officially begin for next season. Here's to hoping the Patriots get over the hump and bring a fourth Vince Lombardi Trophy to Foxboro.