“THAT WAS [expletive] AWESOME!” – Joe “Elite” Flacco
Seriously, wow. Like many of my fellow football fans, I felt pretty ambivalent about the Super Bowl. On the American civic duty fun spectrum, it felt closer to “jury duty” than “Fourth of July barbeque.” (Yes, I tweeted that joke earlier. Sue me.)
It’s not that it lacked for storylines. There’s the Harbaugh brothers facing off on the game’s biggest stage. Ray Lewis’ last game. Kaepernick vs. Smith.
It’s just that I didn’t particularly care about any of these storylines. I have no unconditional love nor unrelenting hatred for either team, and the personalities involved weren’t interesting enough to draw me in on either side.
Then the game started.
The 34-31 Ravens victory was unbelievably entertaining even when it was a blowout (read: the first half), and it only got better with time. Let’s recap the best parts of the insanity that was Super Bowl XLVII.
1. The Blackout Has anything like this ever happened in a Super Bowl? From the hilarious awkwardness of the CBS TV crew to the hundreds of snark angles Twitter took to the situation (Bane, alcohol consumption, FEMA), the Great Blackout of 2013 was an all-around win for everyone except the Baltimore Ravens and the Superdome facilities staff.
2. Beyonce I’m going to split from the general narrative right now and say that Queen B didn’t put on the best halftime show of all time. She didn’t actually “sing” enough for my taste, and I still find “Single Ladies” quite annoying. That said, tonight’s performance cements Beyonce’s status as the greatest entertainer and most beautiful woman on the planet.
3. Joe Flacco I’ve been a Flacco hater for as long as he’s had the Ravens’ top job. Nothing personal, I just didn’t think he’s anything near an “elite” quarterback. I’m still not ready for a verdict, but his antics tonight definitely made the game a hell of a lot more interesting. At least twice, Flacco pulled off long-shot completions on ridiculous scrambles that would put Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning to shame. As a Cowboys fan, I generally enjoy when that happens.
4. Stunt Plays Everyone loves unconventional play calling — I know the Saints’ hijinks in 2010 made my day — and the Harbaugh brothers did not disappoint. The Ravens’ fake field goal attempt, while ultimately unsuccessful, was awesomely ballsy, and any team starting Colin Kaepernick is going to run at least a few fun reverses.
5. The Comeback I’d probably feel differently about this if I had watched with 49ers fans, but San Francisco’s furious comeback was great TV, even if it was ultimately futile. Kaepernick is a joy to watch when he’s on, and Frank Gore is as shifty a runner as you’re going to find in the league.
Honorable mentions: The mini-fight, Joe Theismann’s Twitter typo, Deion “Leon Sandcastle” Sanders, baby animals, Jim Harbaugh tantrums, Ray Lewis not stabbing anyone during the blackout.