February 3, 2013

Super Bowl and beyond

The Associated Press
 

Here are a few highlights:

THE BROTHERS

The Harbaugh family sure knows how to throw a Super party.

In the end, it was older brother John Harbaugh and his Baltimore Ravens who came out on top, hanging on for a 34-31 win over Jim Harbaugh and his San Francisco 49ers in a Super Bowl that had everything.

After the game, John Harbaugh said it was hard to compete against his brother.

The brothers met at midfield and John said, “I told him I loved him. He said, ‘Congratulations.”

UTILITY BLAMES OUTAGE ON STADIUM

A spokesman for the utility that provides power to the Superdome says the outage began because equipment maintained by stadium staff failed.

Philip Allison, a spokesman for Entergy New Orleans, says power was flowing into the stadium before the lights failed.

“All of our distribution and transmission feeds going into the Superdome were operating as expected,” Allison said.

Several banks of arena lights went out and the CBS broadcast audio went silent as power went out in the telecasters’ booth.

Auxiliary power kept the playing field from going totally dark, but escalators stopped working and the concourses were only illuminated by small banks of lights tied in to emergency service.

ADS OVER FOOTBALL?

Even for a moment, is it possible Americans care more about commercials than football at the Super Bowl?

At the start of the fourth quarter, eight of nine unsponsored trending topics in the United States on Twitter have something to do with an ad — not football or a power outage. The other isn’t about football either, it’s (hash)WhileWatchingTheGame, with people talking about doing other things.

A BALLGAME AGAIN

Let the conspiracy theories begin!

After failing to score a touchdown in the first half and looking downright dismal offensively, the San Francisco 49ers have been unstoppable since the lights in the Superdome came back on and are now down by just five points. For those scoring at home, that’s 17 points in four minutes, 10 seconds.

Still think that fake field goal on fourth-and-9 was a good idea, John Harbaugh?

After Colin Kaepernick’s 14-yard pass to Vernon Davis put the Niners at the Baltimore 6 and Frank Gore ran it on the next play to make it 28-20. Baltimore had the ball for all of two plays when Ray Rice fumbled and San Francisco cornerback Tarell Brown recovered at the Baltimore 24.

The 49ers only managed three yards, and David Akers’ 39-yard field goal attempt was wide left. But hold on — San Francisco’s newfound luck continued, with the Ravens getting whistled for running into the kicker. That’s a 5-yard penalty, and Akers made this one to cut Baltimore’s lead to 28-23.

STAT OF THE DAY: 84 MINS REST

This stat of the day comes from CBS, which tracked how long Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense were off the field from halftime through a 109-yard kickoff return and a nearly 30-minute power outage.

That total: 84 minutes, about the equivalent of a children’s animated film.

When the Ravens did take the field again, they punted without getting a first down.

QUICKQUOTE: JEROME BOGER

The head referee officiating the Super Bowl simply wanted to get the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers back to business.

To get play started, Jerome Boger simply stated: “Let’s go.”

The clock began rolling and play resumed.

FIRST HALF AD HIGHLIGHTS

Here are some of the funnier highlights of the Super Bowl commercials during the first half:

— Best Buy’s 30-second ad in the first quarter starred Amy Poehler, of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” asking a Best Buy employee endless questions about electronics.

“Will this one read ‘50 shades of Grey’ to me in a sexy voice,” Poehler asks about an e-book reader. When the staffer says no she asks, “Will you?”

— M&M’s showed its red M singing Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love,” and wooing beautiful women, but stopping short when they try to eat him.

— Doritos went for humor with two user-created spots. Winners of the “Crash the Super Bowl” contest included one about a Doritos-crazy goat. Another showed a dad playing princess with his daughter to get Doritos. His buddies catch him, but instead of making fun of him they join in the fun. “Is that my wedding dress?” says his wife when she sees them playing.

— Budweiser showed rival 49ers and Ravens fans each creating a voodoo doll for the other team with the help of a mysterious figure in a bar. “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work,” reads the copy.

ALI WATCHING, DAUGHTER SAYS

One of Muhammad Ali’s daughters says the boxer is watching the Super Bowl at his home in Arizona.

May May Ali knocked down rumors of her father being near death on Sunday, telling The Associated Press she spoke with him by phone on Sunday morning.

“He’s fine, in fact he was talking well this morning,” she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “These rumors pop up every once in a while but there’s nothing to them.”

The rumors were started by a report in a British tabloid quoting Ali’s brother, Rahman, as saying the former heavyweight champion was near death. Rahman, though, said he hadn’t seen his brother since last summer and had no contact with the family.

The report was widely repeated on the Internet. Ali, 71, suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

BEYONCE BRINGS IT

Beyonce wasn’t messing around with her halftime performance.

No immediately obvious malfunctions, no weird cross-genre collaborations with rock stars or one-hit wonders.

Just Beyonce, then Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to bring back Destiny’s Child.

Beyonce sang a medley of hits, including “Crazy In Love,” ‘’Baby Boy” and “Single Ladies.” She also danced in front of a screen using multiple images of herself as a backup dancer when she wasn’t backed by her all-female band and nearly two dozen dancers.

But when Rowland and Williams sprang up from trap doors onstage, the world got the performance it was anticipating.

Not surprisingly, the show dominated worldwide Twitter trends as the second half began.

PAST HALFTIME SNAFUS

As Beyonce prepares for her halftime show, many across the country will be looking as much for snafus as for highlights.

Last year, it was British singer M.I.A. giving the finger to 114 million people watching the halftime show. NBC censors were less than a second away from catching it.

And in 2004, Janet Jackson defined Super Bowl performance snafus when her wardrobe malfunction left a nipple exposed briefly to the audience.

REP: KEYS DIDN’T LIP SYNC

In case you were wondering, a spokeswoman for Alicia Keys says the singer did not lip sync during her national anthem at the Super Bowl.

Whether she would or wouldn’t became a public debate after Beyonce admitted lip syncing the song at President Barack Obama’s recent inauguration.

Beyonce made up for it by belting out a live version at her Super Bowl press conference earlier this week. She’s the game’s halftime performer — and says she’ll sing fully live.

RAVENS SCORE FIRST

The Baltimore Ravens are on the board first, taking a 7-0 lead on the San Francisco 49ers.

Baltimore caught a break when the 49ers were called for a penalty on third down, extending the Ravens’ drive. On the next play, Joe Flacco found Anquan Boldin for a 13-yard touchdown.

Flacco has now thrown nine touchdowns in the postseason and no interceptions.

ANTHEM: PIANO AND KEYS

Alicia Keys’ national anthem before the Super Bowl was simple:

Just her in a red gown, singing and playing a white piano on the field.

Keys became a trending topic on Twitter after the anthem.

EMOTIONAL KICKOFF

The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers have a tough act to follow after an emotional performance by the chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The chorus, which featured 26 children from the Newtown, Conn., school where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed in a shooting rampage Dec. 14, were joined by Jennifer Hudson for “America the Beautiful” before the start of the Super Bowl. The kids came out first, dressed simply in khakis and white polo shirts, a green ribbon pinned to the right side of their shirts. Several were smiling as the Super Bowl crowd rose to give them a standing ovation. They sang the first chorus, their voices high and sweet with innocence, before Hudson joined them.

Hudson’s mother and nephew were shot to death five years ago by her former brother-in-law.

It was a powerful image, and Ravens nose tackle Terrence Cody appeared to be crying as he listened with his head tilted back, his eyes closed. Baltimore coach John Harbaugh stood with his left arm draped over the shoulder of his daughter, Allison.

The children were given another ovation as they left the field.

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