Super Bowl roundup: Baltimore joy, Flacco MVP and more
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Around the Super Bowl and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of everything surrounding the game:
FLACCO NO ORDINARY JOE
Joe Flacco won’t have to do much negotiating after this.
The Baltimore Ravens’ low-key quarterback put off talks on a new contract until after the season. Now when he and the Ravens sit down, all he’ll have to do is show off his Super Bowl MVP trophy.
“It’s cool,” Flacco said after Baltimore’s 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. “We just won a Super Bowl. That’s the last thing I’m concerned about. But (GM Ozzie Newsome) did let me know that if that day came, I could go beat on his desk and really put it to him.
“So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Flacco capped a perfect postseason, throwing three touchdown passes in the first half to stake the Ravens to a lead they would never relinquish. When the 49ers made a furious comeback after a power outage interrupted the third quarter for 34 minutes, Flacco was cool and controlled.
Let the Niners make their run, he almost seem to say, we’ll hold our own.
“You’ve seen these guys do it,” Flacco said. “They have the ability to score and to score quickly, and that’s what they did.”
But the Ravens defense made a spectacular stand late in the fourth quarter, stopping San Francisco not once, not twice, but three times on the Baltimore 5. A safety gave San Francisco one last chance, but the Ravens went hard after Colin Kaepernick again, and his last-gasp pass was way off the mark.
Flacco finished 22-of-33 for 287 yards. He didn’t throw an interception — didn’t throw one the entire postseason, to be precise. His 11 touchdowns in the postseason matched a record set by Joe Montana.
“That’s pretty cool,” Flacco said. “Joe Montana is my favorite quarterback so it’s pretty cool.”
So is being the Super Bowl MVP.
Truth is, the trophy could have gone to a number of the Ravens. But Flacco is happy to have it.
“They have to give it to one guy,” Flacco said, laughing. “I’m not going to complain that I got it.”
BALTIMORE PARADE TUESDAY
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake tells local TV station WBAL-TV that the city will hold a parade Tuesday to honor the NFL champion Ravens.
Rawlings-Blake said Sunday night in a live interview from New Orleans that the parade will start at City Hall and end at the Ravens’ stadium.
Right now, she’s celebrating — dancing and singing alongside fans.
“The Baltimore Ravens once again demonstrated strength, poise, and perseverance as they prevailed in Super Bowl XLVII,” she said in a statement.
SUPERDOME STAFF APOLOGIZES
Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan is apologizing for the power outage that disrupted the Super Bowl.
He says technical staff were working more than an hour after the outage to determine what caused it, but still didn’t know.
“We sincerely apologize for the incident,” Eagan said.
The outage was a big glitch for New Orleans in its first Super Bowl since the city has rebuilt from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The 38-year-old Superdome has undergone $336 million in renovations since Katrina ripped its roof in 2005. Billions have been spent sprucing up downtown, the airport, French Quarter and other areas of the city in the past seven years.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu called the power outage unfortunate in an otherwise smooth week.
“In the coming days, I expect a full after action report from all parties involved. For us, the Super Bowl isn’t over until the last visitor leaves town, so we’re focused on continuing to show our visitors a good time,” Landrieu said.
New Orleans is trying to get back to being a regular stop in the Super Bowl rotation, and has announced it will bid on the 2018 game.
That would coincide with the 300th anniversary of the city’s founding.
QUICKQUOTE: JIM HARBAUGH
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is taking his team’s 34-31 Super Bowl loss to the Baltimore Ravens hard.
He raised several questions about calls and non-calls made by the officials, but said “We want to handle this with class and grace.
“Had several opportunities in the game. Didn’t play our best game. Ravens made a lot of plays,” he said. “Our guys battled back to get back in it. We competed and battled to win.”
LEWIS CAPS CAREER
Ray Lewis has capped his career as a champion, leaning on teammates in the Super Bowl to but a lovely bow on his 17th NFL season.
As he clutched the Lombardi Trophy, Lewis said: “It’s simple: When God is for you, who can be against you?”
“It’s no greater way, as a champ, to go out on your last ride with the men that I went out with, with my teammates. And you looked around this stadium and … Baltimore! Baltimore! We coming home, baby! We did it!” he said.
Lewis, 37, had only two solo tackles through the first three quarters and struggled covering receivers. But he made two tackles during San Francisco’s final drive, and pressured Kaepernick on a blitz on the 49ers’ final offensive play.
PARTY STARTS IN CHARM CITY
The Super Bowl party has begun in the streets of Baltimore, with fans hugging and cheering to celebrate the Ravens’ 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
They’re wearing purple-feathered boas and team jerseys, and celebrating a win for team leader Ray Lewis, the linebacker who’s the only player who started with the team when it came to Baltimore in 1996.
Darren Love, 40, says the celebration is “90 percent for Ray, 10 percent for the city of Baltimore.”
The brothers’ greeting wasn’t emotional, and wasn’t long. Just a handshake and quick hug.
“He said, ‘Congratulations,’” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of his brother, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.
The exchange lasted less than 5 seconds, well under the line set by many offshore casinos taking action on the embrace, according to gambling expert R.J. Bell of Pregame.com.
Sports books — though not those in Las Vegas, which don’t allow these kinds of prop bets — originally pegged the greeting at 7½ seconds but the line was bet down to 5½ seconds.
RAVENS WIN 34-31
The Harbaughs need to host the Super Bowl every year.
John Harbaugh has bragging rights on little brother Jim after his Baltimore Ravens withstood a furious second-half comeback by the San Francisco 49ers in what has to be the wackiest Super Bowl ever. Trailing 28-6 when a power outage interrupted the second half for 34 minutes, the Niners reeled off 23 points in 12 minutes and 20 seconds to make a game of it.
But with the ball on the Baltimore 5 and a chance for the Niners to take their first lead of the night, the Baltimore defense got downright nasty. They blitzed Colin Kaepernick on fourth down, forcing him to throw a bad pass.
A Baltimore safety gave San Francisco one last chance. But Colin Kaepernick’s last-gasp pass sailed way over the head of any receiver, and the Ravens rushed the field as confetti began falling from the Superdome ceiling.
John Harbaugh pushed a photographer out of the way to get to his brother, and the two exchanged a quick hug before Jim Harbaugh headed off the field.
UTILITY BLAMES OUTAGE ON STADIUM
A spokesman for the utility that provides power to the Superdome says the outage began because equipment maintained by stadium staff failed.
Philip Allison, a spokesman for Entergy New Orleans, says power was flowing into the stadium before the lights failed.
“All of our distribution and transmission feeds going into the Superdome were operating as expected,” Allison said.
Several banks of arena lights went out and the CBS broadcast audio went silent as power went out in the telecasters’ booth.
Auxiliary power kept the playing field from going totally dark, but escalators stopped working and the concourses were only illuminated by small banks of lights tied in to emergency service.
ADS OVER FOOTBALL?
Even for a moment, is it possible Americans care more about commercials than football at the Super Bowl?
At the start of the fourth quarter, eight of nine unsponsored trending topics in the United States on Twitter have something to do with an ad — not football or a power outage. The other isn’t about football either, it’s (hash)WhileWatchingTheGame, with people talking about doing other things.
A BALLGAME AGAIN
Let the conspiracy theories begin!
After failing to score a touchdown in the first half and looking downright dismal offensively, the San Francisco 49ers have been unstoppable since the lights in the Superdome came back on and are now down by just five points. For those scoring at home, that’s 17 points in four minutes, 10 seconds.
Still think that fake field goal on fourth-and-9 was a good idea, John Harbaugh?
After Colin Kaepernick’s 14-yard pass to Vernon Davis put the Niners at the Baltimore 6 and Frank Gore ran it on the next play to make it 28-20. Baltimore had the ball for all of two plays when Ray Rice fumbled and San Francisco cornerback Tarell Brown recovered at the Baltimore 24.
The 49ers only managed three yards, and David Akers’ 39-yard field goal attempt was wide left. But hold on — San Francisco’s newfound luck continued, with the Ravens getting whistled for running into the kicker. That’s a 5-yard penalty, and Akers made this one to cut Baltimore’s lead to 28-23.
STAT OF THE DAY: 84 MINS REST
This stat of the day comes from CBS, which tracked how long Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense were off the field from halftime through a 109-yard kickoff return and a nearly 30-minute power outage.
That total: 84 minutes, about the equivalent of a children’s animated film.
When the Ravens did take the field again, they punted without getting a first down.
1H AD HIGHLIGHTS
Here are some of the funnier highlights of the Super Bowl commercials during the first half:
— Best Buy’s 30-second ad in the first quarter starred Amy Poehler, of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” asking a Best Buy employee endless questions about electronics.
“Will this one read ’50 shades of Grey’ to me in a sexy voice,” Poehler asks about an e-book reader. When the staffer says no she asks, “Will you?”
— M&M’s showed its red M singing Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love,” and wooing beautiful women, but stopping short when they try to eat him.
— Doritos went for humor with two user-created spots. Winners of the “Crash the Super Bowl” contest included one about a Doritos-crazy goat. Another showed a dad playing princess with his daughter to get Doritos. His buddies catch him, but instead of making fun of him they join in the fun. “Is that my wedding dress?” says his wife when she sees them playing.
— Budweiser showed rival 49ers and Ravens fans each creating a voodoo doll for the other team with the help of a mysterious figure in a bar. “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work,” reads the copy.
ALI WATCHING, DAUGHTER SAYS
One of Muhammad Ali’s daughters says the boxer is watching the Super Bowl at his home in Arizona.
May May Ali knocked down rumors of her father being near death on Sunday, telling The Associated Press she spoke with him by phone on Sunday morning.
“He’s fine, in fact he was talking well this morning,” she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “These rumors pop up every once in a while but there’s nothing to them.”
The rumors were started by a report in a British tabloid quoting Ali’s brother, Rahman, as saying the former heavyweight champion was near death. Rahman, though, said he hadn’t seen his brother since last summer and had no contact with the family.
The report was widely repeated on the Internet. Ali, 71, suffers from Parkinson’s disease.
The power has gone out at the Superdome during the third quarter of the Super Bowl.
Minutes after Baltimore scored on a 109-yard Jacoby Jones kickoff return to take a 28-6 lead, several banks of arena lights went out in the dome. Emergency lights went on but play was immediately halted.
Players are standing on the field but when it became clear it would not be a brief outage, they left the field and went to the sideline.
Several of the Ravens are sitting on the field, stretching to try to keep loose.
Lights are on outside the dome; the outage appears confined to the arena.
BEYONCE BRINGS IT
Beyonce wasn’t messing around with her halftime performance.
No immediately obvious malfunctions, no weird cross-genre collaborations with rock stars or one-hit wonders.
Just Beyonce, then Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to bring back Destiny’s Child.
Beyonce sang a medley of hits, including “Crazy In Love,” ”Baby Boy” and “Single Ladies.” She also danced in front of a screen using multiple images of herself as a backup dancer when she wasn’t backed by her all-female band and nearly two dozen dancers.
But when Rowland and Williams sprang up from trap doors onstage, the world got the performance it was anticipating.
Not surprisingly, the show dominated worldwide Twitter trends as the second half began.