Stranger than fiction
It is 5:30 p.m. Sunday. I’m somehow still exceedingly hungover , and for the last five hours I have been switching channels back and forth between Super Bowl pregame drivel, the Hoos falling apart against Georgia Tech and the Puppy Bowl. For the sake of full disclosure, I’ll be fighting through my hangover with pizza, Sour Punch Straws, and a heavy dosage of deer antler extract.
Ray Lewis is currently crying, so you know kickoff is near. Just watching him has infused me with an added vigor to write this column.
The game has started, and Baltimore quickly goes up 7-0 on a nice pass from Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin. I’m still trying to grapple with the whole Joe Flacco being a good NFL quarterback thing. On the next drive, a rare Vernon Davis sighting sets up a Niners field goal. Interesting to think who would cry more if his team won this game, Vernon or Ray?
Commercials! GoDaddy is absolutely shameless with its advertising strategy these days. Are awkward teenage boys with unfulfilled sexual desires really the only people in the market to buy domain names? On another note, there is no way I’m not seeing “Fast Six.” I would be okay if both “Fast and the Furious” and “Die Hard” came out with new iterations every single year for the rest of my life.
Joe Flacco’s second touchdown throw, this one to Dennis Pitta, makes it 14-3 . In the ensuing drive, Colin Kaepernick promptly throws an interception, giving the 49ers their first Super Bowl interception and Alex Smith a fleeting reason to remove the sundry real estate listings that he has hidden inside his playbook.
Failed fake field goal by the Ravens on a fourth-and-nine reeks of an older brother trying to do too much because he really, really doesn’t want his little brother to beat him. I hope both teams go for two after every touchdown and only kick onside kicks. This could get good.
Jacoby Jones just caught a ridiculous 56-yard fall-down-get-back-up-and-spin touchdown to stake the Ravens out to a commanding 21-3 lead. The ball was markedly underthrown, but that’s how these playoffs have gone for Flacco. Kaepernick responds by leading the Niners down the field for a crucial field goal to make it 21-6 at the half.
Halftime. More like Beyoncé-time. I’m really hoping that Jay-Z comes out at some point during this to “My name is Hov, H to the O-V” before the cameras cut to a clearly uncomfortable Roger Goodell standing in the crowd, mouthing the words in a misguided attempt to fit in.
Jones returns the second-half kickoff 108 yards and may have just stolen the MVP award from Joe Flacco’s eyebrows. I’m not yet willing to rule the Niners out simply because we’ve seen Kaepernick do this comeback thing before, but it doesn’t look good.
Wait, the power in the stadium is out? This can’t be serious. Jim Harbaugh has to be behind this; it is the perfect way to screw with the Ravens’ momentum. I will accept no other possible explanation. This reminds me of how I used to always pause the Xbox in the middle of the field goal kick meter when I was losing to my older brother in Madden.
We’re approaching a 30-minute stoppage of play. Unreal scene. This could only happen in New Orleans. Goodell will probably blame it on the Saints and suspend a litany of people.
Play has resumed. Michael Crabtree’s catch-and-run touchdown caps off a nice 49ers drive to cut the Ravens’ lead to 15. Flacco then gets absolutely rocked on third down, the Ravens punter shanks the ensuing punt and a few plays later Frank Gore skips into the end zone to make it 28-20. This just got a whole lot more interesting really quickly.
Ray Rice follows this startling turn of events with a big fumble and John Harbaugh with a forlorn look on his face. If the Ravens end up losing this game, whoever gets blamed for the lights fiasco better avoid crossing paths with Ray Lewis for the rest of his life.
Fourth quarter is about to begin and it’s somehow a five-point game . Meanwhile, the Deion Sanders/Leon Sandcastle commercial may have just stolen the show.
Back up to an eight-point lead after the Ravens decide to actually kick their short field goal. We then get a vintage Kaepernick play — which is weird to say 10 games into his career — as the colorfully-decorated quarterback beats the Ravens defense to the sideline and outruns everyone to the end zone. The two-point conversion fails, which keeps it a two-point game and portends a classic ending. I’m excited.
Ravens get a field goal to bring the lead back up to five with four minutes and change left, and I am really hoping this ends with Kaepernick running head on into Ray Lewis at the goal line with no time left.
Frank Gore brings the Niners to a first and goal on the five-yard line. Michael Crabtree gets absolutely destroyed on a crucial third down, rendering that NFL Evolution commercial about the league’s progress in player safety even more ludicrous. On the climactic fourth down, a blatant holding on a fade to Crabtree goes uncalled, the pass is incomplete, and that sure looks like the game.
The punter’s walking around in the end zone, more uncalled holding, an intentional safety, and a last-second punt return without any laterals combine to end the 47th Super Bowl.
If nothing else, this has been weird.