The Super Bowl was halted for 34 minutes because of a power outage Sunday night, plunging parts of the Superdome into darkness and briefly leaving TV viewers of the biggest game of the year with no football and no explanation why.
Auxiliary power kept the playing field from going totally dark, but escalators stopped working and the concourses were only illuminated by small banks of lights tied in to emergency service.
The NFL said stadium officials were investigating the cause, but there was no immediate word of why the power went out.
Once the game resumed, CBS said all commercial commitments for the broadcast were being honored. The network sold out its allotment of advertising at $3.8 million per 30-second spot.
Early in the first quarter, everything was going Baltimore’s way. The Ravens benefited from an illegal formation penalty, and the 49ers were forced into long situations during their first drive.
Inspired by their power-packed quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens survived a ferocious comeback from the 49ers and a bizarre power outage that stopped the game for more than half an hour to win their second Super Bowl.
Flacco made a great start, orchestrating a six-play, 51-yard drive on his team’s first possession that culminated with a 13-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
In the second quarter, he threw a one-yard scoring pass to tight end Dennis Pitta, then a spectacular 56-yard scoring strike to Jones.
The failure occurred shortly after Jacoby Jones returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a 108-yard touchdown, the longest play in Super Bowl history and pushing the Ravens to a commanding lead.
The lights came back on, and there was a change in the pace of the game. With half an hour to think about their need to score quickly, the 49ers had a new-found sense of urgency.
Colin Kaepernick played a sensational game and orchestrated a pass-heavy drive that saw the second-year quarterback find Michael Crabtree on a crossing route that put the ball between two defenders and resulted in a touchdown.
Following that, a stalled Baltimore drive and a short punt gave San Francisco the perfect opportunity, and one the 49ers didn’t squander. With a touchdown on the ground from Frank Gore, it was now an eight-point game, and the Ravens had lost all their early momentum, reports the SB Nation.
Much like San Francisco in the first half, the Baltimore Ravens had a long drive, only to stall short and settle for a short field goal. The lead was back at eight points, with just under 13 minutes to play.
When Kaepernick rushed for a touchdown himself with just 10 minutes to go in the final quarter, the margin was down to just two points and momentum was on their side.
But Justin Tucker kicked a 38-yard field goal to give his team a five-point lead and the 49ers failed to score the touchdown they needed to win, getting only a two-point safety, as the Ravens defended their line for dear life.
The Ravens still had to sweat out those final seconds, though, when Kaepernick brought the 49ers all the way to the Baltimore 5-yard line. Then on fourth-and-goal, he tried a fade pass to Michael Crabtree, who got tied up with Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith at the goal line.
Ravens punter Sam Koch took a safety for the final score with 4 seconds left. His free kick was returned by Ginn to midfield as time ran out.
It was a bitter loss for Jim Harbaugh, the coach who turned around the Niners in the last two years and brought them to their first Super Bowl in 18 years.
His team made a similarly stunning comeback in the NFC championship at Atlanta, but couldn’t finish it off against Baltimore, says the Huff Post.