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And Another Thing

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Associated Press
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis exchanges words with San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis.

A few thoughts on That Game

Had a few hours to digest, among other things, one of your weirder Super Bowls, and so here are a few random thoughts on the Night The Lights Went Out In N'awlins:

* No one will ever go out more script-perfect than Ray Lewis. Seriously? One of the best defensive players in NFL history ends his career with a goal-line stand to win the Super Bowl?

I can hear Hollywood moguls laughing from here.

* Speaking of the goal-line stand, yes, that was pass interference down there in the end zone on Michael Crabtree, unless wearing 49ers defensive back Jimmy Smith like a cape is the new fashion trend in Baltimore.

And please don't give me the "You can't make a call in that situation" horseradish the CBS talking heads/apologists were giving us. If you see a penalty, you call it, regardless of that situation. That's why they give you a whistle.

* Speaking a little more about the goal-line stand, brilliant call by Baltimore to come with an all-out blitz on fourth down. You keep Kaepernick from extending the play and force him to throw out of rhythm.

Conversely, don't understand why, with first-and-goal at the 5, the Niners don't ground-and-pound it out of the pistol. The top rushing team in the playoffs finished with 182 yards and a 6.3 per-carry average against the second-worst rushing D in the playoffs, but in crunch time they abandoned it in favor of the standard, throw-it-into-the-end-zone-and-hope route.

* I know we were all supposed to see the Harbaugh story as a heart-warming tale, but are there two more insufferable brats in the game than the brothers? John winds up screaming at some luckless functionary about the lights going out (as if the guy could do something about it), and Jim has a full-on sideline tantrum garnished with several smaller tantrums.

Somebody change those boys' diapers.

* Speaking of the power outage, you can sneer at conspiracy theories all you want, even if, after the power came back on, the Super Bowl went from all Ravens to all 49ers. But you can't tell me that, somewhere in the Great Beyond, Bill Walsh was holding an unplugged electrical cord and grinning.

* And because a Super Bowl isn't the Super Bowl without the Super Bowl ads, your top four:

1. The Dodge Ram Farmer ad

2. The Taco Bell old people ad.

3. The Deion Sanders/Leon Sandcastle ad.

4. The Budweiser Clydesdale ad.

* Last but not least ... yeah, I know Joe Flacco was the man last night, and if his performance in the playoffs this year doesn't finally brand him as the elite quarterback he told us he was, not enough of us are paying attention. But I wouldn't have made him the game MVP.

That could have gone to Anquan Boldin, who caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown, and made Flacco look good on more than one occasion. And it should have gone to Jacoby Jones, for not one but two game-busting plays: A 56-yard touchdown reception that made it 21-3, and of course the record 108-yard kickoff return to start the second half.

Without that, the Ravens' only touchdown of the second half, it's Jim Harbaugh who's celebrating and not his older brother.

Of course, then we wouldn't have been treated to Jim's postgame whining. So there is that.

Ben Smith's blog.

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