NFL Monday Stew: Super Bowl XLVII, Joe Flacco, Harbaugh Brothers, Beyonce and Blackout
Welcome football fans to a super edition of NFL Soup’s Tuesday Stew (brought to you by Monday). Today, I cover anything and everything from Super Bowl XLVII, from the game itself, to the performances, commercials and rare Superdome blackout. So with a lot to cover, let’s just jump right into the action:
Ten Takes On Super Bowl XLVII
1. Ravens Reign Over NFL
Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens, who are world champions in football. They were able to dominate the first half, hold off a 49ers rally in the second half, and come away with a 34-31 victory. I’ll get into specifics as the article goes on, but I do want to say this right now: I’m happy to see Ray Lewis, one of the NFL’s all-time greats and a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, leave the game of football as a champion.
2. Joe Flacco Is Elite
It’s true. No one should be allowed to say Flacco is not elite. Like Eli Manning last year saying he was elite then proving it with a Super Bowl victory and MVP, Flacco did it this year. Before the season started, Flacco said he was elite. Everyone laughed. And all he did was have one of the greatest postseason runs for a quarterback ever, capped off with a Super Bowl win and MVP honors.
Flacco was near flawless, completing 22-of-33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, finishing with a 124.2 rating. Throughout the entire postseason, Flacco threw 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. If that’s not elite, then I don’t know what is.
Let him tell you just how awesome it is to win it all.
3. Should Flacco Have Won MVP?
I absolutely think so, but the case could’ve easily been made for wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Jacoby Jones.
Boldin caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown, all while being a constant security blanket for Flacco all night. Early in the game, Flacco was scrambling to the right and threw the ball deep and Boldin bailed him out with a great catch on the sidelines. Then, in the fourth quarter, Boldin made a beautiful catch on a back-shoulder throw from Flacco that kept a drive alive.
Jones was just as impressive as Flacco and Boldin, and Jones only needed two plays to make his case. Late in the second quarter, Jones came back to an underthrown ball, caught it as he fell, then juked out two 49ers defenders as he ran past the goal line to cap off a 56-yard touchdown. Then, to start the second half, Jones returns the kickoff a Super Bowl record 108 yards for a touchdown, extending the Ravens lead to 28-6.
Now, I have no problem with Flacco being the game’s MVP, he definitely deserves it. He carried that team on the strength of his right arm, made no mistakes and was the biggest reason the Ravens won the game. I’m just saying that the case could be made for Boldin and Jones because they were huge contributors as well. Too bad three players can’t share the MVP award and trip to Disneyworld.
4. Melee In 2nd Quarter
Sadly, this is the best video I can find right now for the fight that ensued in the second quarter. But, shame on these players for not having their emotions in check. Don’t fight, don’t retaliate, play in between the whistles. Someone should’ve been ejected (the guy that pushed the ref) and it was a total cop out to call penalties on both teams.
5. Blackout In 3rd Quarter
We’re going to hear about this for months. The blackout that occurred early in the third quarter halted play for over a half hour and actually helped the 49ers because it sucked away the incredible amount of momentum that the Ravens held before the lights went out. Now, if the 49ers would have pulled off the comeback, then good for them because no excuses from the Ravens, right? Well, honestly, the Ravens did kind of get screwed by the blackout.
6. Good No-Call In 4th Quarter
The fourth-and-goal that the 49ers failed to convert has some controversy surrounding it. On a fade route, 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree was held a bit by Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith into the end zone and head coach Jim Harbaugh—as well as 49ers fans everywhere—thought a holding should be called.
But it was a good no-call and here’s why:
-Throwing a flag for a little contact, which actually occurred between both parties, would have been gift-wrapping the game for the 49ers and it wasn’t deserved at that moment.
-They let the men play the game and a flag, again, was not warranted.
-Cris Carter of ESPN said it right, saying that Crabtree actually ran into Smith rather than run a good fade route.
-The ball was non-catchable.
-Harbaugh shouldn’t have called for a fade because that’s Kaepernick’s weakness.
-Nobody blocked the blitzer right up the middle, giving Kaepernick no time to make a good throw anyway.
-If it weren’t for the blackout, the game wouldn’t have even been as close as it was at that time.
7. 49ers Doomed Themselves
Aside from the blackout and “holding” controversy, the 49ers doomed themselves from the start of the game and all throughout. For starters, how in the hell do you get an illegal formation penalty called on you on the very first play of the game? If you can’t line up correctly on the first play, you don’t deserve to win. If you allow a 108-yard kickoff return touchdown to start the second half, you don’t deserve to win. If you turn the ball over and get penalized more than your opponent, you don’t deserve to win.
8. Harbaugh Exchange
One of the biggest storylines leading up to the game was the Harbaugh brothers, John and Jim, going against each other as head coaches of the Ravens and 49ers, respectively. The post-game exchange was very brief, and during the trophy presentation, John said that he told Jim he loved him, and that Jim told John congratulations.
John says that he is “totally devastated” for Jim, which is understandable, since it had to be hard to go against your brother in your profession’s biggest game of the year. But, they are both professionals and know that someone had to win and someone had to lose. Both Harbaughs are great coaches with great teams, and will likely be back in a Super Bowl sometime in their career.
9. Super Bowl Performances
I’m going to keep this short because I honestly hate the halftime show. First off, it’s too long and screws over the coaches and players, as well as the fans who really appreciate the game, since we all just want to get back to the game. But, I understand why it’s done, since it brings in so much money and such a huge audience. Still, I believe the halftime show needs to be scrapped and shortened to a normal halftime.
Beyonce did put on an entertaining show, but again, I could’ve done without it. Oh, and she wasn’t to blame for the blackout. Also, that whole “Illuminati” thing about her halftime show is stupid.
The best performance was Jennifer Hudson and the schoolchildren of Sandy Hook singing “America the Beautiful” prior to the game and national anthem. Truly moving and if watching this doesn’t make you emotional, then you can’t be human.
Speaking of the national anthem, I hate when singers drag out the end—that’s not how Francis Scott Key wrote it. Oh, and here’s some little known facts that most people don’t know: “The Star-Spangled Banner” is actually the first verse of the real poem Key wrote, called “Defence of Fort McHenry” which is four verses, not one.
10. Commercial Quality Has Gone Down
Another part about the Super Bowl I think gets over-hyped and takes away from the game is the commercials. And once again, I was not impressed with the quality of the commercials in the big game. The commercials overall just haven’t been as funny or as entertaining in recent years as they have been in the past. There are a few really good ones, but again, from an overall perspective, they are lackluster.
The best commercial, which is the only one that made me laugh, was Deion Sanders’ “Leon Sandcastle” combine and draft commercial. I would’ve loved every commercial break to be about Leon Sandcastle.
If you agree or disagree with any of the strong stances I took from the game (or if you want to just call me an idiot for them) please feel free to comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @NFLSoupMichael where I mainly tweet about football, but do occasionally talk about other things in life. Thanks for reading!