Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sports Q&A: Super Bowl XLVII Edition

By Jeffrey Boswell

How will Super Bowl XLVII go down in history?

Well, they can't call it "Black Sunday," because there's already been a Super Bowl movie made under that title.

It was a great game between two equally-matched teams. Fittingly, it was a "power" struggle.

This Super Bowl had everything, except lead changes, and consistent electricity. But that doesn't diminish its ability to match other Super Bowls for excitement. There were enormous swings in momentum, long touchdown plays, big hits, questionable calls, even more questionable no-calls, and a blackout. Plus, it was Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh, and Ray Lewis' final game.

Had the 49ers scored and completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history (or, if one of the Harbaugh's had wedgied the other after the game), then the game could have been classified as the best ever.

Did Jimmy Smith interfere with Michael Crabtree on the 49ers' fourth down play?

Let's just say there was more contact between Crabtree and Smith than there was at the post-game handshake between the Harbaugh brothers.

Smith and the Ravens benefitted from an officiating crew that called few penalties, and allowed much of the physical play to go unchecked. Smith definitely held Crabtree, but Crabtree had a hand on Smith, as well. But Smith fell down, and although he probably tripped, the officials probably assumed that he was pushed down. Had Crabtree fallen as well, Smith likely would have been flagged.

In any case, an interference call would have been equally as controversial as the no call.

How would you rate Joe Flacco's performance?

I give Flacco an "F," for "F'n awesome." Flacco is obviously more aware of cornerbacks and safeties that he is of microphones. Expect an endorsement deal with Orbit chewing gum to follow, because he's got a dirty mouth.

How did the third quarter blackout affect both teams?

Obviously, the 49ers benefitted from the long delay, probably because they weren't on the field.

As for the Ravens, the blackout served as the catalyst for a huge momentum swing. Apparently, Ray Lewis' post-blackout speech wasn't nearly as effective as his pre-game speech.

Reportedly, Lewis suffered a disturbing flashback when he heard the words "time to kill" when it looked like the blackout would last for awhile.

What was the best thing about the blackout? The worst?

The best thing? More analysis from the CBS's Shannon Sharpe.

The worst thing? Sharpe's comments weren't subtitled.

And another thing about Sharpe: he obviously believes everything Ray Lewis tells him. Phil Simms commented that Lewis' legacy is "complex," to which Sharpe replied, "how so?" There's no argument that Lewis' legacy is complex. If it needs to be explained to Sharpe why a man (who is arguably the league's greatest linebacker and who may have killed someone and flaunts his religious conviction like Sharpe flaunts his Super Bowl rings) has a complex legacy, then Sharpe is just stupid.

Speaking of Ray Lewis, did he have any impact on the game?

Lewis himself has been a suspect; now, it's his ability that's suspect.

Lewis' impact was minimal. He had only four tackles, and seemed a step slow. Lewis was guilty, of being unable to cover Vernon Davis. Indeed, Lewis is slowing, and the weeks leading up to the big game verified that, because even Lewis' past is catching up to him.

How was the halftime show?

Beyonce's performance was a lot like a dose of deer antler spray — it made me horny.

Was John Harbaugh's decision to take a safety as opposed to punting from the end zone the right move to make?

Given the outcome of last year's AFC championship game, it was surprising to see Harbaugh place his faith in a kicker. Of course, this time, Harbaugh's faith in a kicker involved not kicking. Jacoby Jones had the most memorable moves of the night, but punter Sam Koch showed some nifty footwork himself, avoiding the 49ers while ten uncalled holding penalties unfolded around him.

Given that Koch had shanked a previous punt, it was wise not to have him kick from the end zone. With what would have been good field position, the 49ers would likely have been able to run two plays. That's assuming the punt wasn't returned for a touchdown. As we saw in Denver, Baltimore's kick coverage can be very shaky.

Interesting fact that may, in fact, not be a fact: the Ravens became the first team in history to run a failed fake field goal and surrender a safety and still win the Super Bowl.

What was the Super Bowl's most memorable commercial?

As for shock value, GoDaddy.com's ad with supermodel Bar Refaeli swapping spit with a young Jonah Hill took the prize. Oh, that wasn't Jonah Hill? That commercial gave aspiring nerds hope, and aspiring supermodels second thoughts.

Hyundai's commercial that featured their Turbo passing an RV transporting two slobbering dogs may have been considered gross by some (I hear it made notorious spittle-launcher Bill "Cowher"), but it was effective and witty.

The least memorable?

Budweiser Black Crown. I'm not sure whom Budweiser was targeting with this ad. Black Crown's slogan should be "This Bud's for who?"

On the awkwardness scale, how would you rate the post-game handshake between the Brothers Harbaugh?

It was awkward all right, so awkward that Bill Belichick had to look away. Luckily, John didn't slap Jim on the back. However, it was clear John wanted more affection. I'm sure he wanted to say "hold me" to his brother, but wisely thought better of it.

Will Ray Lewis make a good television analyst?

Of course. If you meld "television" with "analyst" and bad spelling, you can get "tel-evangelist." Ray still gets to preach on Sundays, and as far as I know, there's no rules regulating PEDs for television personalities.

Will either the 49ers or Ravens return to the Super Bowl next year?

Super Bowl XLVIII: 49ers vs. Broncos.

What will happen if San Francisco loses?

Jim Harbaugh will angrily remove his baseball cap and run his fingers through his hair until he has none left.

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