Since its inception in 1967, the Super Bowl has become a staple of American life. When Super Bowl Sunday rolls around every February, Americans are united from coast to coast for hours to watch the most important game of the NFL season. Whether you enjoy the catches or the commercials, chances are that you tuned in Sunday night to watch the San Fransisco 49ers battle the Baltimore Ravens.
Lots of hype surrounded this matchup in the weeks leading up to this Super Bowl. Of the many things that made this game interesting to watch, Ray Lewis was definitely one of them. The Baltimore middle linebacker announced that he would be retiring at the end of this season, and the 13 time Pro Bowler has left everything on the field during his team’s playoff run. The Raven’s 2012 season was also dedicated to former owner Art Modell, who passed away this past September. Modell brought the franchise to Baltimore from Cleveland and oversaw a Super Bowl victory in 2000. The Raven’s have worn decals on their helmets and patches on their jersey’s in memory of Modell.
The 49ers are not without their own inspiring stories. Rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was a backup on the roster for the first half of the year, took the helm of his team and successfully led them to their 6th Superbowl appearance. The brother versus brother match up of Ravens coach John Harbaugh and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh made the game even more intriguing.
Of course, no Superbowl would be complete without the 4 million dollar commercials seen in between the action. Along with the usual ads from Budweiser, Coca Cola and Doritos, new brands like Axe and Mio
added humor to this year’s big game. Commercials receiving notable attention include the Volkswagen “Get Happy” advertisement, depicting a man speaking in a Jamaican accent trying to cheer up his co-workers, and the Wonderful Pistachios ad featuring music sensation PSY performing a parody of his hit song “Gangnam Style” called “Crackin’ Gangnam Style.” This year’s ads generated a total of 75 million dollars for CBS, a record high for the 58 spots of advertising.
Last but certainly not least, was the game itself. The game started out with a bang, as Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco completed a 13 yard pass to Anquan Boldin to give Baltimore a 7-0 lead. San Francisco kicker David Akers responded later on in the first quarter with a 36 yard field goal. With the score 7-3 Ravens heading into the 2nd quarter, many thought that the game would go down to the wire.
These thoughts were dispelled when the Ravens scored two touchdowns on passes to tight end Dennis Pitta and Jacoby Jones, making the score 21-3. David Akers hit a 27 yard field goal in the final seconds of the half, and closed the gap to 21-6. An incredible halftime performance by singer Beyonce broke up the football action. After performing “Crazy in Love,” Beyonce was joined on stage with Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.
The game started up again, and Jacoby Jones was ready to play. Jacoby Jones increased the Ravens lead to 28-6 via a Superbowl record 108 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. On the 49ers next drive, the power went out in half of the lights in the stadium. The game was delayed for 34 minutes following the power surge, and the 49ers seemed to surge back after the lights came back on. A touchdown catch by Michael Crabtree and a 6 yard touchdown run by Frank Gore were followed by another David Akers field goal that made the score 28-23 Ravens, heading into the final quarter.
An early fourth quarter field goal by the Ravens did nothing to quell the 49ers spirits as Colin Kaepernick, known for his dangerous running ability, scored a 15 yard touchdown diminishing the Ravens lead to 31-29. A failed two point conversion would have tied the game for the 49ers. However, the Ravens refused to let their Cinderella story end in defeat, and the Ravens produced a solid drive that ended in another Justin Tucker field goal to make their lead 34-29. With 4:19 left in the game, Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers decided to put up one more fight in an attempt to win the Lombardi Trophy. After taking the ball within 6 yards of the end zone, the Niners’ offense was brought to a halt by the Ravens defense, who left it all on the field, ending all chances of a possible comeback for the 49ers. After taking a safety to avoid a punt return, the final score was Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31, and Joe Flacco was heading to Disney World.
In the end, upwards of 100 million Americans were treated with a fierce game of football, showcasing some of the greatest offensive and defensive talents that the NFL has to offer. It’s uncertain whether this year’s Super Bowl will be remembered as one of the greatest, but, for the time being, John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis, and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens can celebrate.