Commentary: Super Bowl XLVII: Ravens hold off 49ers


By Anthony L Hall

The Game

The media can be forgiven for devoting more post-game coverage to the “electrical abnormality” that caused a 34-minute blackout than to the plays that resulted in the Ravens defeating the 49ers 34-31.

Anthony L. Hall is a Bahamian who descends from the Turks and Caicos Islands. He is an international lawyer and political consultant – headquartered in Washington DC – who also publishes a current events weblog, The iPINIONS Journal, at

Especially since this blackout had all the hallmarks of a New Orleans voodoo curse. For after it occurred — just two minutes into the second half — momentum shifted from the Ravens who were cruising towards a veritable blowout (leading 28-6) to the 49ers who scored two unanswered touchdowns, and then traded field goals with the Ravens to end up 34-29 with first and goal and just two minutes to play.

The consensus among sports analysts is that the Ravens’ defense, led by their compromised veteran Ray Lewis (suspected as he is of taking steroids and, worse, involvement in two murders), vindicated its reputation with a goal-line defensive stand. But I think it was more the case that the 49ers’ offense, led by their sensational young (2nd-year) quarterback Colin Kaepernick, simply choked at this point – failing on four tries to move the ball just 7 yards for the Super Bowl winning TD.

Which makes the 49ers whining about pass interference in the end zone on their last play of the game seem like nothing more than sour grapes.

To be fair, there were some genuinely exciting plays, none more so than Ravens Jacoby Jones’s 108-yard kickoff return to begin the second half. Come to think of it, perhaps this is what inspired the voodoo priests to work their magic, no?

The Commercials

If the best commercial was the one everybody’s talking about the next day, the hands-down winner is that disgusting and disturbing GoDaddy “Perfect Match” ad. It featured Leo DiCaprio’s supermodel has been of a girlfriend, Bar Rafaeli, canoodling with some fat, dumpy geek who looked like he could be her teenage brother.

Frankly, the smacking of lips and slurping of tongues reminded me of the description that assistant football coach at Penn State gave of the sounds he heard when he caught Jerry Sandusky raping that little boy in the shower…. But I assure you, far from having regrets about outraging viewers, GoDaddy is laughing all the way to the bank.

Ironically, I think the best commercial by far was Audi’s “Prom,” ad. It featured another loser kid building up the courage to kiss the prom queen only to end up with a black eye from her king. You need the willing suspension of disbelief to appreciate that driving an Audi can imbue you with the daring confidence to do anything….

Apropos of car commercials, I have no idea what the hell Jeep was trying to accomplish with its Oprah voice over reading of some Americana story that seemed more suited for a 9/11 remembrance show than the Super Bowl; ditto Paul Harvey’s voice over rendition of his “So God Made a Farmer” story for Dodge Ram.

And leave it to Calvin Klein to show that men can be exploited as sexual objects to sell products just like women have been since time immemorial. It just seemed odd, perhaps intentionally antagonistic, to run such a shamelessly homoerotic ad during this defiantly heterosexual event.

Incidentally, it would appear I was right about previewing Super Bowl ads ad nauseam resulting in fewer viewers for the actual game. Because, despite unprecedented hype, the Huffington Post reported that Sunday night’s viewership of 108 million was down three million from the 111 million who tuned in to watch last year’s Super Bowl.

I suppose advertisers are waiting for market research to show the obvious, namely that, when it comes to seducing (twittering) Americans commercially, the beat-a-dead-horse approach does not work.

The National Anthem

Is Alicia Keys still singing…? WTF! Maybe that red corset she was wearing as a dress meant that she could only take three breaths per minute. She sounded like she was on Prozac.

The Halftime show

Beyoncé was hot!

She always exudes boundless sexual energy (something Sasha Fierce) during her performances. And she was on top of her game tonight. But here’s a tip for all of you wannabe Beyoncés out there: I’m sure the reason I found her so particularly hot tonight is that I saw for the first time – during an extended interview on a pre-Grammy broadcast of 60 Minutes — how poised, articulate and disarmingly intelligent she is.

We men are often accused of being dick heads. But, with some of us, the one below will show no interest unless you can appeal to the one above. (“52nd Annual Grammy Awards," The iPINIONS Journal, February 1, 2010)

Enough said?

Except that having her two sidekicks from Destiny’s Child make a cameo appearance turned out to be more of a distraction than an attraction.

Which is why the only reason Beyoncé should have for going out on a reunion tour is to provide the kind of charity for them that Michael provided for his brothers on their final reunion tour.

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