The Baltimore Ravens emerged Super Bowl champions after one of the strangest and most incredible Super Bowl games in recent memory.
It's the second championship for the Ravens, who pulled out a 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers at the Superdome in New Orleans.
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The Super Bowl is the biggest spectacle in American sports, and each year becomes the most watched television event in history. This year, Jennifer Hudson kicked things off with a touching performance of "America the Beautiful" with a choir of students from Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Alicia Keys accompanied herself on the piano for a long, jazzy rendition of the national anthem, before the coin toss which resulted in San Francisco receiving to start the first half.
Although the game looked at one point like it was going to be a completely unexpected blow-out, with the Ravens leading 28-6 at the beginning of the 3rd quarter, the 49ers got some unusual help that turned the showdown into a much more exciting battle.
About a third of the way into the 3rd quarter, right after a record-tying Ravens rushing touchdown, the power went out at the Superdome, knocking the lights and air conditioning out in the indoor stadium. The crowd of more than 71,000 strong, along with a lot of antsy players, coaches, and staff waited for 34 minutes for the power to fully come back on and the game to resume.
In a statement, the NFL said authorities were "investigating the cause of the power outage," and law enforcement sources told ABC News it was just an issue with the building.
That didn't stop many people on Twitter from jokingly blaming Beyonce, the energetic halftime performer who surprisingly reunited shortly with her former band Destiny's Child, for shutting down the power. After her performance, even her husband Jay-Z got in on it, tweeting "Lights out!!! Any questions??"
The 49ers quickly followed the long delay with a touchdown, getting themselves right back into the game. Then just a few minutes later, they found themselves in the end zone again, and it appeared the power outage had flipped the momentum towards the 49ers.
With a score of 31-29 with more than 7 minutes left in the game, San Francisco looked poised to make the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, but the team, trying for its 6th title, wasn't able to overcome the Ravens lead.
Baltimore was able to run out the clock, and the game ended with a final score of 34-31. Purple and gold confetti fell as the Ravens rushed onto the field and celebrated -- with some colorful language from quarterback Joe Flacco audible on the live broadcast, who was caught saying, "f***ing awesome" on CBS' cameras.
The game was already historic thanks to the match-up for John and Jim Harbaugh, the first head coach brothers to ever face each other on football's biggest stage. It was also the final game for the future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, who is, as of the conclusion of the game retired from football.
This is the fifth season in a row that the Ravens have made it to the playoffs, led by Coach John Harbaugh, and SB XLVII MVP Quarterback Joe Flacco. It's the team's first Lombardi trophy since 2000. Their victor tonight made them the only team left in the NFL to have never lost a Super Bowl in multiple appearances.
The 49ers are now 5/6 in Super Bowl appearances, but based on the past two seasons, look to at least be contenders for years to come. Coach Jim Harbaugh turned the team around when he took over the head coaching job in 2011, leading the team to the NFC Championship last year, and the Super Bowl this year.
Both teams underwent major changes part way through their seasons, with the head coaches making bold modifications that appeared to pay off when they made it so far into the playoffs.
John Harbaugh replaced the Ravens offense coordinator in December, and Jim Harbaugh switched quarterbacks in week 11.
Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who started for the 49ers, is one of the greenest players ever to start a Super Bowl. At 25-years-old, the Super Bowl was just his tenth professional start.
His counterpart on the Ravens, Joe Flacco, had already made history this year, with his 62 wins in the regular and postseasons the most ever by a quarterback in his first 5 seasons.
The moment everybody was watching for came at the end of the game, when the Harbaugh brothers met in the middle of the field for the tradition handshake. In a postgame interview, John said he told his brother he loved him, and Jim congratulated John on the victory. Their parents, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh, were at the game, and called the experience "bittersweet." They told reporters before the game they would visit the losing brother first after the game.
Ravens fans celebrated in the streets of Baltimore after their victory, and 49ers fans will long lament the wasted opportunities and controversial calls in their first ever Super Bowl loss.
So Super Bowl XLVII is in the books, and it proved to be an unusual, entertaining, and intense instant-classic.Also Read