As the second half of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII got under way, the San Francisco 49ers trailed by 15 points. A 108-yard touchdown return from the Ravens’ Jacoby Jones to start the third quarter left them seemingly dead in the water down in New Orleans. In order to turn those tides, the Niners would need a serious power surge of their own, or at least a timely outage elsewhere.
Ask and you shall receive.
Beyonce’s halftime performance was one that brought the house down, but it also apparently burned the lights out.
Shortly after Jones’ return, everything inside the Mercedes Benz Superdome went pitch black. The power went out, and it took 33 minutes before things finally got back up and running. One of the most bizarre circumstances in sports history, never mind the Super Bowl, allowed the 49ers to regroup and severely alter the direction, and nearly the outcome, of the game.
After the outage — or “lights out,” as people on Twitter were calling it — the 49ers went on a 17-0 run, with Colin Kaepernick leading the way. With Kaepernick’s sudden renaissance and the Niners’ defensive revival, San Fran trimmed the lead all the way down to just 28-23 by the start of the fourth quarter.
The result didn’t quite land in the 49ers’ favor come confetti time, but an untimely — for the Ravens, at least — power outage nearly saw Jim Harbaugh‘s guys pull off the greatest comeback victory in Super Bowl history. A pair of Justin Tucker field goals helped pad the Ravens’ lead, and a somewhat controversial goal-line stand finally clinched it for the Ravens, but San Francisco’s comeback still stole the show.
What was a pretty dull and uncompetitive first half, and appeared to be headed for more of the same in an expected lopsided win, quickly became a barn burning spree of excitement with more points (65) in a Super Bowl than in more than a decade (Super Bowl XXXVII had 69 points). The 49ers mounted an epic comeback, and while they fell just short of the win, they did put on a show for the ages.
The Ravens ultimately were the ones hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and celebrating with reckless abandon in the locker room. But even beyond the 49ers’ stampede and the Ravens’ Super Bowl crown, the big winner in the entire fiasco was undoubtedly CBS. This year’s broadcast partner for the big game had to have drawn major ratings during the outage and created even bigger ones with a tight-knit contest once it was all settled.
All in all, the outage was annoying, and the delay became something of a nuisance as it wore on, but the game was far better for it in the end. History was likely made in the television ratings, and it nearly was on the field, too. Fans enjoyed the increased excitement as the game drew down to the wire and both teams fought until the very end. The game would have been fine without the technical troubles — and the 49ers nearly stole a Super Bowl title because of it — but it was a fun sight to see and maybe the most entertainment a delay has ever produced.