Midway through the third quarter of Sunday night's Super Bowl XLVII, a Superdome spokesman issued a statement to explain what happened during the surreal 34-minute delay when the lights went out.
"Power has been restored,'' Eric Eagan said. "We sincerely apologize for the incident.''
Forgive Ravens coach John Harbaugh and the city of Baltimore if they bristled at the apology. How does one say I'm sorry for almost costing you the Super Bowl anyway?
As NFL and local officials got to the bottom of the embarrassment, the Ravens' commanding 28-6 lead quickly became a one-possession toss-up when the 49ers scored two touchdowns in 2 minutes, 21 seconds after the outage. Indeed, electricity returned to the building in every way and suspense suddenly filled the air again in a 34-31 victory for the Ravens that was not decided until the final tick.
All the while, Joe Flacco shrugged.
"Hey, those things happen,'' the Super Bowl most valuable player said of the bizarre circumstances. "We just had to go out and do our job.''
Ho and hum. Flacco had waited five years to establish himself as an elite NFL quarterback. No snafu at the Superdome delaying the inevitable another half-hour was going to unnerve the coolest Joe since Montana. No fourth-quarter drama was going to faze the unflappable quarterback who showed his most emotion of Super Bowl week celebrating as confetti fell around him.
"Crazy. Unbelievable. It's tough to put into words,'' Flacco said.
Go ahead and believe that Ray Lewis willed a 10-6 Ravens team to this Super Bowl title if you wish. But the Ravens winning four straight postseason games had more to do with Flacco emerging as a $20 million quarterback than Lewis retiring as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Flacco always deserved more attention, but the Big Easy story revolved around whether Lewis took a banned substance made of deer-antler extract to help him go out in style. Excessive interest in Lewis overshadowed the importance of Flacco, until it mattered most.
On third-and-1 at the Ravens' 45 with 7:14 left, Flacco changed the play to a fade route after noticing 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers lined up in man coverage against Anquan Boldin. The back-shoulder throw Flacco made to Boldin for a 15-yard gain displayed his trademark smarts and savvy.
Flacco shows he's elite QB
Chicago Tribune | Feb 4