A Sports Fan Speaks  

A superb Super Bowl...honestly

Yes, the Baltimore Ravens are World Champions again after an entertaining, drama packed, over-analyzed, under-lit Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. It was a game that had just about everything one has come to know and love about the sporting spectacular – 7 hours of pre-game coverage to rehash the previous 2 weeks of hype over deer antler spray, an over-abundance of commercials which had all the humour of a Judd Apatow script submission for Schindler’s List, a half-time show which henceforth will be used as the official NFL concussion test and a power outage which caused a momentum shift which would have made Frank Reich cringe. Hell, it would have made the Third Reich cringe. And then… it was over and Joe Flacco was the MVP – which meant about 12 more people other than himself think he is an ‘elite QB’ and worth $20M per year – and Phil Simms finally stopped speaking and Jim Nantz could go back to golf where he belongs and yes, finally Ray Lewis could retire and join ESPN and spend the quiet years considering when he will publicly tell Oprah the truth about a missing blood-stained white suit.

Listen, I come not to bury Ray Lewis, I come to praise him – sort of. Perhaps no icon of the sport has reaped greater rewards from his 2nd chance to make a good 1st impression or from a public’s convenient memory loss than Ray Lewis and while I applaud his transformation, I am always a tad wary of the newborn religious warrior whose eyes have a tendency to glaze over at every mention of the Almighty. In truth, I haven’t seen someone glorify the unseen this much since Mante’i Teo dropped his confused derriere onto Dr. Phil’s couch. While the Ravens may have ridden the wave of Lewis retirement emotion all the way to the finish line, Ray himself spent much of The Last Ride looking like he was trying to tackle ghosts… or fend them off. I see it now – a remake of A Christmas Carol with Ray Lewis as Ebenezer Scrooge fending off apparitions from his past and defending his present failure to donate nary a penny to his own charitable foundation. Quick, get me Tyler Perry on the phone, he’ll be perfect for this…

What will stand out most for many about this Super Bowl will, of course be, the 34 minute power outage which according to some sources may or may not have had something to do with Beyonce’s Half-Time Show… a lighting spectacular which had engineers at the Beaver Dam wondering what they could do to perk up Las Vegas a bit. There was the briefest of nanoseconds during the performance where the world-wide audience actually thought about caring about who the other 2 members of Destiny’s Child were and then they re-focused on the headliner’s legs – well, all except of course The Real Housewives of FOX News who will regale us all with refried stories of how she lip-synched at the Obama Inauguration Part 2. In the meantime, Roger Goodell, in an effort to decrease his already sagging ratings in the city of New Orleans has issued an extensive Bounty Program aimed at tracking down and bringing to justice those responsible for the electrical malfunction at the Superdome. They will tried, sent to death row and then subsequently forgiven by Justice Paul Tagliabue while Reba McIntyre sings The Night The Lights Went Out In Louisiana for background effect.

And when the lights did come back on? That 28-6 lead that the Ravens had built up on the strength of Flacco’s arm and Jacoby Jones’ legs disappeared faster than a plate of beignets in Haloti Ngata’s locker or Lennay Kekua or a Ray Lewis limo… you pick. Fact is, Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers grabbed both Mo and Mentum by the antlers and turned the game around. Trailing 34-29 inside the 2-Minute Warning and facing 4th and Goal after 2 absolutely inexplicable designed roll-out passes, Niners QB Colin Kaepernick, under an all out blitz throws a prayer towards the corner of the end-zone and WR Michael Crabtree is unquestionably held by DB Jimmy Smith...no call, Jim Harbaugh has a surprisingly mild volcanic episode and Niners Fans claim to anyone that will listen that they were robbed.

Let’s review that play shall we? No question Crabtree gets mugged – Jimmy Smith may even now still have his wallet but the referees have been letting them play all game including some particularly interesting hand-checking that had been going on between WR Anquon Boldin and that San Francisco homophobic icon DB Chris Culliver. Yes, Coach has a right to be a little peeved in the post-game presser but no more so than Falcons coach Mike Smith was when WR Roddy White got absolutely pancaked by LB Navorro Bowman at the end of the NFC Championship Game. These 2 teams, maybe more so than any other 2 in the NFL, pride themselves on their ability to physically punish and bully their opponents so no crocodile tears now when you don’t get a ticky-tack foul on a ball that landed well out-of-bounds. In reality, Crabtree had a better chance of catching bird flu than reeling in that pass and if you call Smith for the holding, then you have to call the Niner wide-out for the illegal hands to the face that sent Smith to the canvas and the very best Jim The Volcano gets is a do-over on 4th down… which in the overall context of the game just isn’t warranted. Ravens 34 – Niners 31 and we’re done here…

Until next time Kelowna…

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About the Author

Sean McEachern is above all else a Sports Fan. Originally from Ottawa, Sean was educated at Strathallan School in Scotland. A former golf professional and graduate of the San Diego Golf Academy, Sean and his fiancee settled in Kelowna in 2010. A hospitality industry 'lifer', Sean is a sports trivia enthusiast and discussionist and is currently a staff writer at www.freethesportsman.com and at Okanagan Collection magazine. Sean recently welcomed his daughter Keira to the world on July 27th. 

Follow Sean on Twitter @sportsfanspeaks and feel free to comment on any stories at www.asportsfanspeaks.com.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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