When it comes to spectacle, there is little that tops the Super Bowl.
It’s an event like no other and annually attracts the attention of millions around the world. And Sunday’s XLVIIth edition was no different.
It had it all, multiple story lines, from the Brothers Harbaugh coaching the two teams to the last hurrah for Baltimore middle linebacker Ray Lewis, one the most dominant defensive players ever. It had big plays, eye-popping gyrations at half-time during Beyonce’s show, some really good and some really bad advertisements and even a power failure in the stadium. Oh, and there was also a game that featured what would have been a legendary comeback led by San Francisco’s young quarterback if he had not fallen just five yards short late in the fourth quarter.
For years the Super Bowl was more of a super bore, with blow out scores and hype that often turned out to be more exciting than the game itself.
Canadian football fans looked with derision as the “big game” down south rarely lived up to its billing, while the more down-to-earth Grey Cup game—the CFL’s equivalent— proved year after year to be an exciting finale to its league’s season.
Sure, the Super Bowl kept attracting viewers even during the dull years, but that had more to do with the fact football is more akin to religion in the United States.
In places like Texas and Oklahoma, some high school games attract more fans than professional football does in Canada.
It’s not uncommon for college stadiums to hold 80,000, 90,000 or even 100,000 fans and be packed on game day. We think we are rabid about hockey in Canada, try football in Dallas or Houston.
Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers had classic written all over it before the two teams even took to the field. The biggest surprise was Baltimore racing out to such a big lead in the first half and then added to it on the first play of the second half.
It took kick returner Jacoby Jones just 11 seconds to race 108 yards, slicing his way through 11 defenders to put the Raven up 28-6.
But then the lights went out. And for San Francisco, during that 34-minute partial blackout, a light seemed to go on.
After play resumed, it was all San Fran. We had a game.
But in the end, the 49ers came up just short. Or Baltimore hung on—it depends who you were rooting for. Either way, it was a great game.
As for the power outage, it just made my view of Super Bowl XLVII on my LI-inch television, all the more fun.
Alistair Waters is the assistant editor of the Capital News.