After an ugly pass from 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to receiver Randy Moss floated into the hands of Ravens safety Ed Reed for the first interception ever thrown by a 49ers quarterback in any Super Bowl, chippiness that had been building all game erupted into a melee.
Along the way, Ravens cornerback Cary Williams made contact with an official, via a two-handed shove.
After the officials sorted it out, Williams was neither flagged nor ejected. Instead, referee Jerome Boger called offsetting unnecessary roughness fouls on 49ers tackle Joe Staley and Ravens cornerback Corey Graham.
Coincidentally, it was Boger who failed to eject Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after Newton made contact with Boger during a regular-season game.
At the time, former NFL official and officiating supervisor Jim Daopoulos walked me through the relevant portions of the rule book and case book. There is no discretion; contact with an official should always result in an ejection.
So the Ravens got lucky.