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February 04, 2013

How a power outage saved the Super Bowl; plus grades for game, pregame, halftime and commercials; TV record, '14 SB odds, UM leaps 14-8 in polls & more

[1) It is MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4. Marlins' farm system ranked 16th of 30 in a new rating by ESPN.com. 2) Thanks to all who participated in today's live blog chat. We do it every Monday 1-2 p.m. See post directly below for transcript of today's palaver. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): All Super Bowl Sunday. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

UM hoops No. 8 in nation!: Miami Hurricanes climb 14 to 8 in latest AP ranking, matching UM's highest ranking ever. Canes last were No. 8 on March 1, 1960. 

HOW A POWER OUTAGE SAVED THE SUPER BOWL: The first reaction when the lights went out? Terrorism. Just for a second. That was partly because these are the times we live in now, and partly because the NFL so meticulously scripts everything about a Super Bowl it was impossible to fathom such 1aa1darka major glitch as stadium lights going out and delaying the game more than a half hour. A halftime wardrobe malfunction is an “oops.” This was not an oops. This was a monumental embarrassment. The second reaction was to smile, think parochially and picture members of the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee braying laughter. Competition to get this game and its riches is beyond fierce. Folks from other cities surely were high-fiving when Miami hosted the first SB soaked by steady rain in 2007, and in turn this power outage was heaven-sent ammo for any city bidding against New Orleans for a future game. Those reactions recede, though, and this one takes their place: The lights going out was the best thing that could have happened to the Super Bowl last night. Not if intended by design could it have worked any better. Thank you, power outage. The fates that darkened the Superdome rescued millions of Super Bowl parties and gave them new life. The lights going out breathed electricity into the game itself, transforming what was looking like an awful, anticlimactic rout and turning it into one of the most compelling Super Bowls ever. Baltimore had gone up 28-6 when the impossible happened very early in the second half. Party guests from coast to coast were fidgeting and looking at their watches. But the power outage – so bizarre – provided a conversation piece, and a reason to stay. What if the lights never came back on? Would they finish the game Monday morning at Tulane or what? When at last the lights shone, the seemingly powered-up 49ers began surging and made a game of it as the Ravens seemed sapped. The power outage could have been hugely more controversial. Imagine if it had occurred in the middle of Jacoby Jones’ kick-return touchdown or as a scoring pass was in midair and the Harbaugh brothers were then arguing whether the play should stand or be nullified. Imagine if the Ravens had ended up losing and there would have been debate for all-time whether the outage had robbed Baltimore. As it was, what happened turned a bad game great and contributed greatly to last night being what all Super Bowls aspire to be: Memorable.


1aa1cheerThe Game. Grade: A. What more could a fan (well, other than a Niners fan) hope for? Ravens up 28-6, it's looking like a boring, anticlimactic rout, your party guests are fidgeting, then lights go out and San Fran turns on. Baltimore ends up hanging on 34-31 when Ray Lewis has his storybook ending right to the last page -- denying the 49ers a 4th-and-goal play in the final two minutes. Perfect. It was only the seventh SB in 47 to be decided by three points or fewer, and only the second SB (1979) in which both teams topped 30 points. In a word: Electric.

1aa1jazzThe Pregame: Grade C+. The very idea of a pregame show lasting longer than the game is absurd. There were some nice spots, though, such as the warm-n-fuzzy on Patrick Willis' foster family, and the technology piece on helmets/concussions. Dan Marino's involvement, as if nothing had happened, was interesting. One negative for me was the relentless emphasis on all the New Orleans cliches (jazz, gumbo). Just like a Super Bowl here will find the network all over South Beach. C'mon, TV.

1aa1beyonceHalftime Show: Grade B+. Beyonce was sexy and great and filling that stage. What a contrast to a year earlier when we worried old Madonna might trip on those steps. I could have done without the Destiny's Child mini-reunion -- would have much preferred a duet with Jay-Z -- but I know plenty of women in their 20s who were totally into the reunion. Beyonce was terrific. (No lip-synching, either).

1aa1libraryThe Commercials: Grade C-. Sorry, but I think the SB commercial-as-art, as something special that controls the Monday conversation, is dead. The phenomenon is killing itself. This was the first year a vast majority of the ads were purposely leaked over the Internet early, robbing them of the surprise element when they aired Sunday. The two Chrysler ads (Jeep/military and Ram truck/farmers) successfully tugged at heartstrings, but the ads that meant to be funny usually failed. The Paul Rudd/Seth Rogan ad sucked despite a cameo by LeBron James. The only two funny ads that stood out to me were the Taco Bell/old people ad, and the Oreo/library ad win which even a cop with a bullhorn was whispering.

BRONCOS EARLY '14 FAVE, DOLPHINS 50-1: Denver Broncos are early 2014 SB pick at 7-1, according to Bovada, with Patriots/49ers both 15-2, Packers 10-1 and Ravens/Seahawks both 12-1. Dolphins are 50-1, tied for 22nd, below the Jets (40-1) but above the Bills (100-1).

SB SETS RATINGS RECORD: CBS' final national rating for last night's Super Bowl was 46.3 with a 69 share. That is the highest rating isnce the 1986 SB, although last night's average of 108.4 million U.S. viewers was slightly below the two previous games, even excluding the time during the power outage. However, Nielsen says the total number of viewers, 164.1 million, set a record. Not surprisingly, Baltimore (59.6) and New Orleans (57.1) led the way, but San Francisco did not rank in the top 10. Jacksonville (53.3) had the highest rating of major Florida markets, placing 10th overall.  

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No surprise San Fran was not in the top 10 tv market. There must of been a parade in honor of harvey milk, and angela davis.


I thought the game was very entertaining, looked like a blow out and then it wasn't.

Kaepernick is going to be a star if he is not one already.

Flacco has arrived, what post season he had and now he is a champion.

Hey Kazaam, you said the reason you were a Ravens fan was because of Ray Lewis, well he is retiring so that means your no longer a fan of the Ravens?

How are the jets a higher favorite than the Dolphins for the Super Bowl? The QB situation in NY is dismal at best.

Kazaam was right Flacco is just good enough to win with great playoff run 11 tds no picks congrats he proved me wrong.

What happened to that great SF defense they looked bad.

shadow there is a good article on Herculez Gomez this week in SI.

Kaepernick is very good but still needs to learn how to put more air under his passes what a gun for an arm he could have played pro baseball (pitcher throws in the 90's) but wanted to play football.

I just wonder if guys like kaepernick,RG3, and Wilson will last long with the way they run a lot. Just a matter of time before some guys take them out. RG3 has been beat up already.

The Coke bus/cowboys/mad max ad was a little bit on the gay-ish side.


i agree, naples. i suppose the only conservative thing about me is still a deep skepticism with the "running QB". sooner or later, they're gonna get popped. the QB's that have stayed in the league the longest and made the biggest marks were always drop back pocket passers. quick footed, like marino and manning in the pocket, but DEFINITELY not running..

I did not the superbowl pregame, except for the countdown show at noon or 1 when they all gave there score predictions. Game was good. But that lead should not have been blown. Commercials were "whatever", and the half time show with Beyonce was pretty good.

I'm happy for Ray Lewis. Glad he gets to exit the game a champion. That is, assuming he doesn't change his mind thinking he'll get another trophy. That's probably the only reason I was a Raven fan that night.

I did not "watch" the superbowl pregame, to clarify :)

Yayyyyyyy the Florida Gators are #2 in Basketball!!!!!!

Canes are up to #8 :)

What a state we live in. :)

mike1, you're a douche bag. your anti-marino rants are boring and tired. did danny ignore you as a kid when asking for a jersey after a game?
in the history of the league, not ONE quarterback has ever "started good, then faded fast when defenses figured him out", while somehow managing to own every passing record upon retirement. maybe he was lucky..
there goes your stupid argument.
as for montana, he did have more skills than marino; ronnie lott, roger craig, jerry rice and a top defense and running game.
as jimbo said, no player OR coach has ever come out questioning his ability, drive, preparation or competetiveness. he was repected by everyone in the league, yet somehow YOUR genious football mind has him overrated. i'll stick with the opinions of those who actually KNOW the game..

Stupid Hoosiers!!!!! The only poeple I hate right now lol

Football is rigged. Networks pay too much $ to the NFL for entertainment that sets ad rates for the rest of the year. Follow the $ trail. A boring second half would cost CBS billions over the next year. There are no coincidences. 600+ international soccer games being investigated for fixing.

No Lou - You can't fix a game. Come back to earth, 49ers fan.

You CAN'T fix a game? Like in the NBA? FIFA? Black Sox? Your government starts wars under false pretenses and a little NFL game can't be FIXED? Wise up.

sources say New Orleans will have brought in $500,000,000 revenue for hosting Super Bowl. Mr Ross, get your stadium built!

Dude they didn't make a team win or lose. Not like they really can. All the refs can do is call or not call penalties on someone. And practically no penalties were called on anyone so nothing could have been fixed.

lol Jimbo

Mouning guys,

Looks like things were a bit slooooowwwww yesterday.

now that football is over I guess I'll start paying a little more attention to the Heat, they beat the mighty Bobcats last night..I guess that's a good start.

oh, before I forget, our great PG M Chalmers was 1-6 for 3 pts ( yeah, he's top ten all right)

Canes basketball play tonight..

Young Mr. Potter, I know the Lizards are a better team and have a better program (basketball) but this is new for us..hehe

now that football is over I'll try to get some information for you guys in the next few days on who the Dolphins are looking at (draft).

so this geek gets to kiss a super model like 60 times..WTF bro.


do you guys know when is "national cleavage" day?..I will like to know.


Big Baby,

one of the reasons that the good ole USA is not in my top trio of nations for whom i root is that the announcers-the american ones- make them seem like they are ready to win the WC any year now. the truth is that the supposed greatest american player- landon donavan- is perpetually on loan from one team to another, which says paragarphs about his status among the world's top players. i'd root for the USA if they had a few more clint dempsey types- a quiet, relatively humble and tremendously gifted scorer who works non-stop on the pitch. after dempsey time the goalminder chimes in, but until i see jozy a and michael b do really concrete work on the field, i won't be deluded that the americans are a world class power. hey, they have been booted from the last two WC by GHANA!!! i'll be able to watch the second half tomorrow, but fully expect to turn on the TV and find a 1=0 honduras lead or a goalless draw.

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