Well that would have been cool, wouldn’t it?
Early in the third quarter in Super Bowl XLVII, the San Francisco 49ers were down 28-6 to the Baltimore Ravens. Then, out of nowhere and on the biggest stage in American sports, the lights in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome went dark. After a 34 minute delay, the 49ers came roaring back to score the next 17 points and got as close as 31-29 with 9:57 left in the game. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick failed to connect on the two-point conversion and the Ravens went on to win their second Super Bowl in franchise history, 34-31. The 49ers were within inches at times of having a shot to complete the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history at 22 points.
Let me say this: congratulations to the Ravens on a great victory over one of the NFL’s proudest franchises. If you missed the game, it was a doozy. A hard-fought win for the gritty, grind it out Ravens over the 49ers and their read option offense run by Kaepernick is not a small achievement and to do it in the Super Bowl? Well, that’s a tough task.
My hat goes off to my colleague at The Prairie, Tyler Anderson, and his correct pick of the Ravens. Well done, my friend.
But, picks and scores and odds don’t matter anymore. What matters is that the 47th version of the game that was started between the American and National Football Leagues is now history and all the storylines going into the game are also written into the history books. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, the former Delaware Blue Hen, is a Super Bowl MVP and has proven himself among the game’s best. John Harbaugh, the head coach of the Ravens, proved that older brother does know best in beating his younger brother, Jim, the head coach of the 49ers. Kaepernick’s long-legged, physical running style is taking the NFL by storm almost completed the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. And finally, there is Ray Lewis.
Lewis, the inspirational linebacker for the Ravens, announced in December that after 17 seasons as one of the most feared linebackers in the league, he was going to hang up his cleats. The team’s emotional leader got his team to rally around him one more time and Baltimore had improbable road wins against Denver and New England. With his second Super Bowl ring, Lewis cements his Hall of Fame status. His retirement signals that we won’t have to hear him babble for another five years when he has a bust in Canton, Ohio.
Finally, after all the hype, all the microscopic inspection of the two teams in the Super Bowl, the commercials and a super-charged halftime show by Beyoncé, it is time for the offseason. That’s the cruel reality of the Super Bowl: after all the excitement, we wake up on Monday and realize we have to wait until July to see football again. But, if all the Super Bowls were as good as this one, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.