One of the more surreal moments in Super Bowl history came in New Orleans last February when the lights went out in the Superdome in the second half of the game between the Ravens and 49ers.
The company responsible for supplying power to the stadium said after the game that faulty equipment was to blame for the blackout, but at least one player who was on the field during the game believes that there was another explanation. In this year’s installment of the America’s Game series by NFL Films, former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said that he doesn’t buy that the power went out accidentally in a game that the Ravens were winning handily before darkness fell.
“I’m not gonna accuse nobody of nothing — because I don’t know facts. But you’re a zillion-dollar company, and your lights go out? No. No way,” Lewis said, via Nate Davis of USA Today. “Now listen, if you grew up like I grew up — and you grew up in a household like I grew up — then sometimes your lights might go out, because times get hard. I understand that. But you cannot tell me somebody wasn’t sitting there and when they say, ‘The Ravens [are] about to blow them out. Man, we better do something.’ … That’s a huge shift in any game, in all seriousness. And as you see how huge it was because it let them right back in the game.”
The 49ers came back from 28-6 down to close within two points in the fourth quarter, but the Ravens held on for a 34-31 win that likely kept the timing of the blackout from becoming fodder for a lot more discussion than it ultimately wound up becoming in the aftermath of the game. There’s no doubt that more than 30 minutes of waiting around for the game to get going again takes wind out of one’s sails, but the Ravens had just spent even more time in the locker room during halftime and it didn’t keep them from extending their lead on a Jacoby Jones kickoff return to start the third quarter.
Whatever the reason for the blackout, in other words, the Ravens had plenty to do with letting the 49ers back into the game.