Arguably the biggest stage in the world on Feb. 3 was the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers played each other for the 2012 NFL title. The game itself was another instant classic, as the Ravens prevailed 34-31. There were so many underlying or secondary storylines, however, that the game may have been an afterthought.
As soon as the 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons and the Ravens defeated the New England Patriots, I realized that it would be a brother versus brother Super Bowl. I thought it would be a nice story, until most media outlets reported on the childhood stories and the possible parental divide for two straight weeks. I understand that media outlets have to find a way to keep the hype up, but there were so many other things to talk about.
For example, there was no “elite” QB leading the way, because Joe Flacco was not considered “elite” by some and Colin Kaepernick had only a small sample size of games to be judged on. Most people would call you insane if you said there would be no Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers in the Super Bowl.
Another interesting story was that the city of New Orleans was hosting its tenth Super Bowl, tied for the most with Miami. The city had been angry at Roger Goodell this past season for inflicting penalties on the New Orleans Saints resulting from a bounty scandal, including the season long suspension of head coach Sean Peyton.
Another story that was reported before the playoffs was coming to a climax: the retirement of Ray Lewis. He had said that this would be his last season playing professional football before the playoffs and now it was Super Bowl or bust. Lewis has been subjected to criticism since he was a suspect of a murder investigation in 2000. Ever since, he has been a polarizing figure in the NFL; a model player on the field, but a loudmouth and negative influence off the field. Interestingly enough, tight end Tony Gonzalez was also retiring after the season. If the Falcons won, could you imagine the extreme differences in the media coverage of the two? The humble tight end going up against the outspoken defender would have been a matchup for the ages . . . but I digress. While the Ravens received most of the spotlight, the 49ers still had to answer questions about how Colin Kaepernick would run the offense.
As the first half was a complete blowout, with the Ravens were up 21-6 and as the third quarter was getting underway, the unexpected happened: a power outage. As soon as America saw it, the world of memes, Facebook and Twitter nearly exploded at the seams. Many creative tweets were sent but the one I liked the most was by an (obviously fake) Helen Keller account: “The whole game’s been a blackout for me… #SuperBowlBlackout.” Was it crude? Maybe. Is it more funny than crude? I got a good laugh out of it with some friends.
All in all, it was a great Sunday night for those who watched and I know people are already thinking “I miss football.”