Anyone who knows me knows I love the city of San Francisco and all it has to offer, including their football 49ers, so watching yesterday’s game was painful in a few ways.
Cocktail of the game concocted courtesy of the bro-in-law consisted of Smirnoff Citrus, Arnold Palmer, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, but no amount of delicious liquor can make me forget what a classless, mean jerk Ray Lewis truly is. Greatest Middle Linebacker to ever play the game or not, his persona and off the field shenanigans are questionable at best. But let’s talk about the game on the field before I get carried away here.
The game started questionably for the San Francisco 49ers, gaining 20 yards on a well-executed 1st down pass play, only to have it called back on an illegal formation penalty. From there, the Baltimore Ravens seized momentum and held onto it until the end of the first half and into the first blackout in Super Bowl history.
Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco made huge first half plays, extending would-be sacks into offensive opportunity and eluding would-be tacklers to give his receivers chances beyond belief to come back to badly thrown balls to make plays. Seriously though, has Joe Flacco EVER hit a receiver in stride? Ever? Colin Kaepernick, on the other hand, showed little to no resemblance to the quarterback we’ve grown to love over the last few weeks. He even managed to throw the first interception in San Francisco Super Bowl history, a feat that is quite frankly, astounding. The 49ers have played in a lot of Super Bowls, and to think that Joe Cool/Steve Young never threw a single INT blows my mind, albeit only slightly.
The second half’s start just brought more of the same gridiron shock and hash mark horror for the 49er faithful. Jacoby Jones took the half’s opening kickoff to the house for a Super Bowl record-tying 108 yards, clearly just as inspired by the Destiny’s Child reunion as the rest of us.
Then, the lights went out. Literally. No, seriously. A power outage knocked out the lights at The Superdome, resulting in a delay of over half an hour. And everyone rooting for San Fran hoped for a Mulligan. This being the Harbaugh’s Bro Bowl and all, here’s a thought: you ever play Tecmo Bowl (or any sports game, for that matter) and start losing badly, so you “accidentally” reset the system? That’s what Jim did to big brother John when the power went out. There’s my conspiracy theory, but it turned out to be for naught.
They might as well have gotten the desired restart though. The game played out as A Tale of Two Fuses, with San Francisco making a hell of a game out of it after all. But Flacco did what he does: throw the back shoulder pass, throw the jumpball, and watch his receivers make plays for him in clutch situations, something San Francisco’s wideouts have done all year but failed to do last night. Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree usually haul in those on-the-money throws from Kaepernick, but they dropped balls and ended up strangely as non-factors. The Baltimore WRs have been coming up big for Flacco and the Ravens this entire postseason, and they’ve been the hottest team at the right time. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: the eventual champion in any sport is not always the best team in the league. Champions are crowned according to whose momentum swings favorably at the end of the season.
And of course, the Super Bowl wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without the commercials. And it wasn’t the greatest commercial crop in recent memory, but XLVII had some highlights:
The Volkswagen commercial with the dude from Minnesota who speaks with a Jamaican accent.
For the farmer in all of us: the Dodge commercial with Paul Harvey’s powerful testimonial from the 1978 FFA Convention. “God made a farmer.”
It felt as though the Ravens had XLVII wrapped up for the majority of the game. Then the clock ran out on the 49ers, and I was left with the weirdly unsettling feeling of accepting Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens as Super Bowl Champions.
The story of Ray Lewis ends with him on top of the NFL and atop the topic of conversation for years to come, for both his play and his foul play.
That’s so Raven…