Monday, February 4, 2013

Ravens Put a Ring On It

"If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it."

In her halftime show, complete with a reunion with former Destiny's Child mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, Beyonce Knowles generated so much power she shorted out the Superdome.

Maybe the Dome should've paid its electric bills, bills, bills.

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The Baltimore Ravens led the San Francisco 49ers 21-3 going into the last play of the first half, before the Niners kicked a field goal.  Jacoby Jones returned the 2nd half kickoff 108 yards -- going from 8 yards deep in a 10-yard end zone to the other end zone.  That made it 28-6 Ravens.

And the lights all went out in Massachusetts.  I mean, Louisiana.

The blackout lasted 34 minutes, and led to a lot of jokes.

Cue the ghost of Don Meredith: "Turn out the lights, the party's over!"

The Superdome's main lights are in a ring on the roof, so... "The roof! The roof! The roof is ill-wired!"

And quite a few people, remembering what happened after Hurricane Katrina, said, "Now that it's the rich people trapped in the Superdome, suddenly everyone cares."

There was even a new Twitter account: @SuperBowlLights.  It got over 26,000 followers before the NFL's legal team got involved.  At this writing, it's down to 390 and hasn't tweeted in 10 hours.

Gee, with all those powerful lawyers, you'd think the NFL would find a way to prevent devastating brain injuries.  And, you know, make the officials get every call right.  And properly punish the New England Patriots for their cheating -- simply not having won a Super Bowl since they got caught is not enough.

When power was restored, the 49ers suddenly remembered that they are the team of Joe Montana, and scored 17 unanswered points.  They turned what was looking like the first Super Bowl blowout in 10 years into a thriller.

But Colin Kaepernick, while clearly talented, is not Joe Montana.  The Ravens held the Niners on a 2-point conversion that would have tied the game, instead leaving a 31-29 lead.  Justin Tucker's 2nd field goal of the 4th quarter and a strategic safety with 4 seconds left gave the Ravens a 34-31 win, despite the Niners' last-play attempt to copy another Bay Area football team, the 1982 University of California squad with their rugby-style "The Play" against arch-rival Stanford.

I never thought I would ever see the 49ers lose a Super Bowl.  But now, they have.  They are 5-1.

As for the Ravens, they have won their 2nd Super Bowl, their city's 3rd, the 5th overall NFL Championship for Baltimore, and the 9th World Championship won by a Baltimore-based team:

1948 Baltimore Bullets, NBA
1958 Baltimore Colts, NFL
1959 Baltimore Colts, NFL
1966 Baltimore Orioles, MLB
1970 Baltimore Orioles, MLB
1970-71 Baltimore Colts, NFL
1983 Baltimore Orioles, MLB
2000-01 Baltimore Ravens, NFL
2012-13 Baltimore Ravens, NFL

If you want to count the 19th Century Orioles of the National League -- winning Pennants in 1894, 1895 and 1896 -- then it's 12 World Championships.

In addition, the '47 and '71 Bullets, the '64 and '68 Colts, and the '69, '71 and '79 Orioles all reached their sports' finals, but lost.

There were actually two sets of Baltimore Bullets in the NBA: The first one went out of business in 1954, the second one had been the Chicago Zephyrs and arrived in 1963, but moved to the Washington area in 1973, and the Washington Bullets changed their name to the Washington Wizards in 1997.  Baltimore has never had an NHL team, and very briefly had a team in the World Hockey Association in 1975, the Blades.

When there's no obvious pick for Most Valuable Player, it usually goes to the winning team's quarterback.  And it did, to Audubon, New Jersey native Joe Flacco, who said -- on live television -- that it was "Fucking awesome!"

Joe Flacco, you've just been named MVP of the Super Bowl! Now what are you gonna do? "I'm gonna get my mouth washed out with soap!"

Naturally, I put Rutgers alumnus Ray Rice in my photo.  His teammate Alex Silvestro also went to Rutgers, as did the 49ers' Anthony Davis.  So RU was guaranteed to have another Super Bowl winner.

Rice and Silvestro become the 6th and 7th Rutgers players to play on a Super Bowl winner, following Bill Pickel of the 1983-84 Los Angeles Raiders, James Jenkins of the 1991-92 Washington Redskins, Gary Brackett of the 2006-07 Indianapolis Colts, Shaun O'Hara of the 2007-08 New York Giants, and 3-time winner Harry Swayne: 1997-98 and 1998-99 Denver Broncos and 2000-01 Ravens.

They've all put a ring on it.  A Super Bowl ring.

But let's see if Flacco can get back to the Super Bowl next year, when it's outdoors at the Meadowlands.  We'll see how "retarded" it is then.

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