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And what a super Super Bowl it was | Skager
Well, folks, another Super Bowl has come and gone.
Somehow last Sunday the National Football League once again wedged a game into breaks between commercials to settle the annual question of who the best team is.
And just in case you're one of those who use the breaks between million dollar commercials to refresh your drink or to pile another plate high with nachos, you missed quite a game, as the Baltimore Ravens fended off the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 to claim the Lombardi Trophy.
That's right. If you fell into a carbohydrate-induced coma aided by the comfort of that La-Z-Boy recliner during the more-than-30-minute power outage at the New Orleans Superdome and are just now waking up, the 49ers erased a 28-6 deficit and made it a game.
How about that?
After the game I was briefly hopeful that the competitive level of the contest would have been enough to erase a bit of the memory of the hype and hoopla that can overshadow the biggest football game in the world.
Now, however, mere days after the game, I realize that it is in part the hype and hoopla that make the game so memorable. In my earnest, pure football fan heart I wish this weren't so, but let's be real here — the circus that played out at this year's Super Bowl was just too juicy to deny.
So, to appease my pure football fan heart and satisfy my need for sensational human interest stories, I'm going to list a few of the things that I'll remember about this year's game, on and off the field.
Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh. From a human interest angle, it doesn't get any better than head coaching brothers Jim (San Francisco) and John (Baltimore) squaring off in a Super Bowl. Here's a bonus question for you: which brother is the youngest? If you guessed Jim, based on the sheer amount of attention-seeking tantrums and headphone tossing on the sidelines, you got it right! Jim is 49, John, 50.
Joe Flacco. Before the game much of the tongue wagging about the fifth-year starting quarterback for the Ravens touched on whether he was an elite quarterback. In four games during Baltimore's playoff run this season, Flacco earned a 117.2 quarterback rating, throwing 11 touchdowns with no interceptions. In New Orleans Flacco finished 22-of-33 in the air with three touchdowns, earning himself the Super Bowl XLVII Most Valuable Player award. Welcome to Club Elite, Mr. Flacco.
Out go the lights. Not exactly sure what happened here, but during the opening minutes of the third quarter half of the power at the Superdome went out. And stayed out for an agonizing 34 minutes, delaying the game. Although the cause of the outage is still under investigation, reports are that an abnormality was detected in the power system, triggering an automatic shutdown. Personally, I'm thinking that the whereabouts of all employees of CBS TV – the network that aired the game – should be verified. With 30 seconds of commercial air time ringing up an average of $4 million, the extra commercial time must have been a boon for the network. Just saying.
Jacoby Jones' return. The Baltimore speedster and kick returner made history with the longest return in the history of the Super Bowl. Jones took the opening kickoff of the second half on Bourbon Street and returned it 1.4 miles for a touchdown. Okay, 108 yards, but that's still a long, long way.
Ray Lewis. The final thing I think I'll remember about this year's game was the Saga of Ray Lewis. Always a controversial figure because of his troubled past – Lewis was indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges for his involvement in the stabbing deaths of two men at a club in Atlanta in 2000 and eventually pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice – Lewis did nothing to change the minds of detractors leading up to this year's game.
Lewis was accused of using deer antler velvet spray to speed his recovery from a torn tricep this season. Deer antler velvet spray is banned as a performance enhancing drug by the NFL. Deer antler velvet spray is also fun to type. Seriously, try it. Deer antler velvet spray. Anyway, Lewis responded by calling the allegations a "trick of the devil" designed to distract him from the task at hand. Next time Satan should probably try harder. Lewis finished the game, his last as an NFL player, with seven tackles, four solo and three assisted, and, more important, a Super Bowl ring.
Lewis was last seen riding off into the sunset astride a mighty 12-point buck, waving the Lombardi Trophy in the air, hollering, "Take that, Beelzeebub!"
How's that for hype and hoopla folks? I can't wait for next year. Go Hawks.
Reach reporter Shawn Skager at email@example.com or 253-833-0218, ext. 5054.