The Baltimore Ravens held on late Sunday to beat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, in Super Bowl 47, the championship game of the U.S. National Football League.
The Ravens appeared to be the way to an easy victory when Jacoby Jones tied a Super Bowl record with a 108-yard kickoff return, raising the Ravens’ lead to 28-6.
But a short time later, play came to a halt as half the lights abruptly went dark in the Superdome, a huge indoor arena in New Orleans. Play finally resumed after a 35-minute interruption. There was no immediate explanation for the partial blackout in the stadium.
Following the delay, the 49ers came roaring back from that 22-point deficit with two quick touchdowns and a field goal to close the gap to 28-23 after three quarters. San Francisco cut the lead to just two points in the fourth quarter, but could come no closer. The 49ers tried for the go-ahead touchdown in the closing minutes, only to see the pass fall incomplete.
More than 100 million people in the United States and around the world watched the game on Sunday.
The contest was a family affair. For the first time in the four major U.S. professional sports leagues brothers are opposing each other as head coaches in a championship game.
Baltimore’s John Harbaugh and his younger brother, San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh, are two of the best in the business.
Pop superstar Beyonce headlined the half-time entertainment, filled with music, dancing, fireworks and spectacular special effects.
Animal Planet, a cable television station, offered alternate programming and a different type of sports competition for Americans who don’t follow football. “The Puppy Bowl,” now an annual fixture opposite the Super Bowl, offered terrier touchdowns and puppy penalties, hedgehog cheerleaders on the sidelines and kittens headlining the halftime show. To the uninitiated, the canine style of play closely resembled a large group of puppies running aimlessly around on a football-field-style layout.