During the Super Bowl XLVII power outage, Ravens coach John Harbaugh spent a couple minutes shouting at a stadium official on the sideline, and he also yelled at the on-field officials. At his press conference on Monday morning, Harbaugh said he went too far.
“The whole blackout thing, I way overreacted,” Harbaugh said. “I was just concerned about some things that had to do with the headsets and coaches in the press box and if you have to bring guys down. It was really stuff that was never going to be an issue because they handled it so well. A total overreaction on my part and I feel bad about it. It was the one thing I look back on the game and I am disappointed in myself about, because I didn’t have very much poise in that moment.”
Although Harbaugh didn’t get into specifics about what he was angry about, it appeared that he thought the 49ers were getting an unfair advantage because the power on their sideline wasn’t out, so they were still able to use their sideline-to-booth communications, while the Ravens’ communications system wasn’t working. Under NFL rules, if one team’s communications go out, the other team isn’t supposed to be able to use theirs.
The Ravens dominated the game before the blackout and were leading 28-6 when the lights went out. But the 49ers outscored the Ravens 17-0 for the rest of the third quarter. Harbaugh, however, said he wouldn’t blame the blackout for the fact that his team began to struggle.
“It wasn’t anything to do with the blackout,” he said. “The blackout had nothing to do with the game. The 49ers just outplayed us for a stretch. They played great. We did not, for a stretch of the game, but I was proud that our guys bounced back and finished.”
Harbaugh credited his brother, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, for doing a good job of keeping his team focused during the blackout.
“It probably gave them an opportunity to get their balance,” John Harbaugh said of the 49ers. “I’m not surprised. I don’t know that it would have taken that. I know the guy coaching them. I know how he competes. I know what he’s made of and therefore what their team is made of. There was really no doubt in my mind that they were going to do that at some point, and they were going to start throwing counter punches. They’ve got talent. They’ve got a great scheme and that’s what they did. It was really on us to stem the tide, which obviously we were eventually able to do, but man, they were throwing some haymakers at us, and they did a great job of that.”
Harbaugh did a great job, too. Even if chewing out the officials during the power outage was not his finest moment.