Let it be said that Super Bowl XLVII was the epitome of the true meaning of the adjective Super.
It was a game that NFL fans hope and pray for every year, but seldom see their prayers come to fruition.
It was a Super Bowl for the ages, certainly one for the record books.
Even Beyonce had to take a back seat to this one. It belonged to Baltimore and San Francisco. The teams traded knockout blows before Baltimore walked away with a 34-31 victory. Who would have guessed that after Baltimore went up 28-6 on former Lane College star Jacoby Jones' NFL record 108-yard kickoff return to start the second half.
Jones grew up in New Orleans. Jones was also a track star and spent one year at SE Louisiana before transferring to Lane College in Jackson, Tenn., where he was a kick returner and wide receiver.
The Texans took him in the third round of the 2007 draft, but he has found a home in Baltimore.
Quicker than you could say pass the crabcakes, Jones stunned the 49ers with his end zone-to-end zone sprint. Pow. It was 28-6.
Ravens Coach Jim Harbaugh looked like he had eaten some bad gumbo.
At that point, former Monday Night Football color analyst Dandy Don Meredith would have broken out his folksy rendition of Turn Out the Lights, the Party's Over.
Shortly after that, the lights did go out, literally. Half the Superdome was dark and it required a 34-minute delay before power was restored. But the party wasn't over. No sir.
The delay seemed to light a fire under the 49ers, who have made a habit of pulling off incredible comeback victories on their way to pro football's largest stage.
The Super Bowl record for the largest comeback was 10 points on two occasions, but there was no hint this game would come down to the wire after the 49ers trailed, 28-6.
The 49ers discovered gold after Jones went the distance. With three minutes left in the third quarter, Baltimore's lead was cut to 28-23 and the game was up for grabs.
The game's Most Valuable Player, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, earned his unflappable reputation.
"We don't make it easy,'' Flacco said during his MVP presentation. "That's the way the city of Baltimore is. That's the way we are.''
He led the team on a drive that earned a 19-yard field goal, but counterpart Colin Kaepernick showed why he is one of the NFL's most dangerous dual threat quarterbacks. In just his second season and with only 10 prior NFL starts, Kaepernick stepped up his game. He skirted left end for 15 untouched yards and a touchdown. The 49ers opted for two points, failed, but it was still in reach at 31-29.
Baltimore tacked on another field goal, making it 34-29 with 4:19 remaining, but the 49ers refused to die. They had four plays from the Ravens' 7-yard line. But a two-yard gain and two incomplete passes left the 49ers with one last gasp. Baltimore blitzed, forcing Kaepernick to rush a fade route that wasn't close. Officials failed to call holding on the play as 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh argued until he was blue in the face, but to no avail.
They were out of ammunition.
It was a tale of two halves and there were multiple stars on both sides of the field. Kaepernick refused to let a first half interception get him down.
Flacco avoided turnovers, playing like the quarterback who threw 11 touchdown passes with no interceptions in the playoffs. He completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns.
Baltimore veteran receiver Anquan Bolden made clutch catches, allowing the Birds to move the chains. He led his team with six receptions, for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Once Kaepernick settled down from a shaky first half, he was magnificent in defeat. He was 16 of 28 for 302 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown, gaining 62 yards on seven carries.
The water cooler talk in the coming days will be all about the game. Forget the commercials. Forget the halftime show. While one or both often overshadow the game, this was not the case Sunday. Far from it.
Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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