Then the whole screen went dark. The players on my TV were suddenly harder to see than Manti Te'o's girlfriend.
I sat there squinting until I realized that the City of New Orleans' combination football stadium and hurricane shelter had just blown a fuse. A power blackout caused an interruption to the TV event everybody wanted to see, or at least everybody who didn't prefer watching Auburn vs. Florida women's gymnastics.
A lot of perplexed,mixed-up people began running around in that dome, some of them probably calling Louisiana Gas & Electric to make sure that the city had remembered to mail in the February payment. A number of lame jokes made the rounds -- yes, this is why the 49ers play their home games in a park called Candlestick -- and I was asked by more than one person what would happen if New Orleans failed to get the lights back on. I lied that the game would be moved to Baton Rouge and played on Super Bowl Tuesday.
Thirty-four long minutes later, lights, camera, action. It was OK to play. Somebody (maybe FEMA?) did a heck of a job.
Up to then, everything had been going Baltimore's way. Joe Flacco was having a Joe Montana kind of day at quarterback, Ray Rice ran hard and Ray Lewis apparently made a lot of tackles, because those TV guys kept talking and talking and talking about Ray Lewis, even though I didn't actually see him make tackles.
Ahhh, but as soon as Joe the Electrician (or whoever they called) screwed in all the new light bulbs, the Super Bowl looked entirely different. Colin Kaepernick began making great plays at quarterback for the 49ers, giving himself a great big kiss on the arm for a job well done. Colin's the kind of kid who would pour Gatorade over his own head after a win.
We had ourselves a football game all of a sudden, San Francisco coming within two points, 31-29. I should have seen it coming because the 49ers never choke in a big game. I can't recall the Niners ever playing poorly in a Super Bowl, just as I can't recall the Niners ever playing a good game before the NFL had a Super Bowl.
Could they actually win this game? Could they solve Baltimore's defense one more time -- as soon as CBS ran 20 or 30 more commercials? Elementary, as Sherlock Holmes almost never says to Lucy Liu.
Kaepernick looked great. He was fast. He was bootylicious. He got the 49ers within striking distance. The Ravens were trapped between a pit and a pendulum.
A pass was thrown, lobbed high above Niner receiver Michael Crabtree's head, but Jimmy Smith of the Ravens seemed to have Crabtree in his pincers. Would it be called pass interference? Would it be a first down for the 49ers, a yard or two away from a winning touchdown? Would Kaepernick run for a score and then kiss himself on the mouth?
Nope, no flag. No call by the ref on that pass.
Maybe he lost it in the lights.
It was a memorable ending. Certainly more memorable than most of the commercials, which didn't even star any funny chimps. Baltimore's post-game celebration was colorful and wild. Flacco apparently could be heard by TV viewers using some bad flaccin' language. He also accepted an award for being voted the Most Valuable Player of the game, but at least he didn't accidentally say that he was going to flaccin' Disneyland.
Another big game had come and gone. I am sure that many of you would agree that this was one of the best Super Bowls that you have ever seen.
You know, except for the dark part.
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