At last, a true Super Bowl — almost.
Super Bowl XLVII, that's 47 to those of us who aren't smarter than fifth graders, was a classic that will have a special place on NFL films. It wasn't perfectly played, and that bizarre power outage, while opportune for the 49ers, will both mark and mar one of the most exciting of these spectacles ever. The game falls short of classic on the field, where there were a multitude of mistakes and miscues. But no one can deny the effort or the unrelenting excitement and tension of the final frantic quarter. Like a fellow party-goer remarked, "I don't need to get on a treadmill, my heart is already racing."
I'm not about to analyze the game. That is best left to those more qualified than myself. For one thing, what I saw was filtered through television coverage. I didn't see everything and even the replays were subject to CBS interpretation. The other important thing to note is that I know little about football as played on the NFL level. I've followed the game so long I can't even remember when I first got hooked. But most of my attention has been on the high school game going back to the days of Mel Grey at Santa Rosa High School. I've watched it evolve, but today's NFL game has about as much in common with the high school game as a Piper Cub has with a 747 — same concept, different design and speed.
I really have just one on-the-field observation and one question.
The observation is that on that crucial fourth-down 49er incompletion the officials were absolutely right not to throw a flag. I can't speak for the third-down play. Remember what I saw and what most fans saw was filtered through the CBS cameras. We didn't see much of the third-down play. What we saw on the fourth-down play was Ravens' defensive back Jimmy Smith briefly, but clearly, grabbing Michael Crabtree's jersey. However, at the time, Crabtree and Smith were slapping and pushing at one another. It was impossible to say that one initiated more contact than the other. Besides, the pass was clearly overthrown. The Baltimore blitz rush on 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick had much more to do with the incompletion than anything either Smith or Crabtree did or did not do. It would have been a travesty to have that kind of game decided on the whim of an official.
The one question (actually in two parts) I need to ask is, "Where will Chris Culliver be working next year, and what will he be doing?
Leaving the game to others, I do have some observations about the whole stay-at-home-and-eat-hot-wings experience.
First, two weeks is too long. They should play the game the week after the conference championships. By Sunday morning, I was so bloated with hype I was considering a laxative.
Like Larry the Cable guy says, "I don't care who you are," that Taco Bell commercial showing the partying seniors was funny. The Budweiser Clydesdale trainer-horse reunion commercial lived up to its hype. It was a calm little story in a sea of glitz gone wild.
Talk about glitz gone wild: I have only one comment on Beyonce's halftime show — Wow!