Who turned the lights out? Lights bring crucial delay to game

BY THOMAS ROSS ’14
Contributing Writer

The 47th installment of America’s most prestigious game was dealt a “curveball” early in the second half when the lights went out.

Water cooler talk on the Monday following Super Bowl XLVII was more about the stadium than the Baltimore Raven’s thrilling 34-31 victory or the stellar comeback performance of the San Francisco 49ers.

The second half began with a tremendous 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones. At this point, the Ravens held a 28-6 lead and appeared to have complete control of the game. But the game was not over yet, and as quickly as Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown, the football gods gave the 49ers a second chance. A 34-minute power outage gave the 49ers a chance to regroup and settle down after Jones’ kickoff return more than a half hour earlier.

Rather than complain about the delay, most Baltimore players continued to stretch and stay warm on the field, but the delay undoubtedly had an effect on the game. Following the 34-minute delay, the 49ers went on to score 17 straight points, closing the gap to a 28-23 Ravens lead. Joe Flacco and company would have to put their Disney World reservations on hold because now we had a football game!

Although the 49ers made the game more entertaining for the fans, a triumphant comeback was cut short by the stingy Raven defense. For veteran defensive players like Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and Ed Reed, a four-play goal line stand was the perfect way to cap a 34-31 victory in Super Bowl XLVII.

Much of the post-game discussion was regarding the power outage early in the second half. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the delay, many Ravens players took the high road, making light of the unfortunate situation.

“It was the first time I had to stretch in the dark with my teammates,” said Bernard Pollard, veteran safety.

“Beyoncé [who performed at halftime] blew out the power,” Cary Williams, Ravens teammate, said with a smile on his face.

While the Baltimore Ravens could rejoice after a win on pro-football’s largest stage, someone had to take blame for one of the greatest Super Bowl mishaps ever. The Superdome’s electricity supplier, Entergy New Orleans, took the brunt of the blame. Entergy Corp (ETR), the parent of Entergy New Orleans, took a hit to its stock. ETR was off $1.14, or 1.75 percent, to $63.82 by midday Friday.

Entergy said the problem was caused by a faulty relay that was installed in its switching gear to prevent a failure of electric cables leading to the stadium. Essentially, equipment installed to prevent a power failure caused one.

New Orleans city officials’ biggest fear was that NFL executives would not want to hold another Super Bowl in New Orleans after what happened. However, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell quickly nixed that idea and said the NFL would keep New Orleans in mind when picking the site of future Super Bowls.

Questions? Email Thomas at tross@fandm.edu.

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