When you dont care much about the Super Bowl turns out and a lot of folks in the Carolinas Ive talked to in the past two weeks really didnt about all you can ask for is a game like the one we just saw, which ended with Baltimore edging San Francisco, 34-31, and older brother John Harbaugh edging younger brother Jim.
The game wasnt decided until 49ers kick returner Ted Ginn Jr. was tackled on the final play, returning a free kick to about midfield as the clock ran out after the Ravens had taken an intentional safety.
What a terrific Super Bowl this was. Outside of that annoying half hour stadium power outage in New Orleans, it was great theater. There were no lead changes, but San Francisco nearly came all the way back from a 22-point deficit (at 28-6 in the third quarter). Both quarterbacks were fantastic. It made you realize once again why the NFL, despite its various problems, is Americas No.1 spectator sport.
Four quick points Id like to make fresh off of turning off the remote control:
1) On that fourth-and-goal play on San Franciscos last drive, that was defensive holding, even though it wasnt called. A frantic Jim Harbaugh was right. The hold on San Franciscos Michael Crabtree occurred outside the legal five yards. But a lot of times NFL officials let that much contact go at the end of a game.
2) CBS announcer Jim Nantz was right on top of it in the final seconds, correctly bringing up the intentional-safety scenario. His partner Phil Simms? Not so much. First, on the 49ers fourth-and-goal play, Simms said it was a good no-call, then saw more replays and said he was confused. Then he said the Ravens shouldnt take a safety once they got the ball back and were trying to run out the clock inside their own 10, even though it clearly was the right call given the field position.
3) I thought the Super Bowl commercials were down a notch overall from some of the past years. Didnt you think so? The one with Deion Sanders "re-entering" the NFL I liked, and the one about farmers, too, but I cant remember what either one advertised.
4) It is indeed time for Ray Lewis to retire. After all the hype, he looked old and slow to me. I know hes the Ravens emotional leader and all of that, but he wasnt nearly as big a factor in this game as, say, Jacoby Jones.
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