The Super Bowl, America's iconic sporting spectacle, resumed Sunday after being halted for 35 minutes by a power outage at the Louisiana Superdome, the first such mishap in its history.
The same stadium where survivors of Hurricane Katrina fled for refuge in 2005 only to find peril and heartache was once again plunged into darkness and momentary chaos when the lights went out.
US telecaster CBS reported that referees said an electrical feed into the Superdome went out, causing the power outage that shut down the power early in the third quarter of the gridiron classic.
The Baltimore Ravens were leading the San Francisco 49ers 28-6 after 98 seconds of the third quarter in Super Bowl 47. The game was halted with the 49ers facing a third-down play needing 14 yards to make a first down.
Play resumed with the 49ers unable to gain the needed yardage and forced to punt the ball back to Baltimore.
Baltimore's Jacoby Jones returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second half and the Ravens kicked the ball to San Francisco, setting the stage for the moment the lights went out.
After a brief time of pitch darkness, during which fans began chanting in rhythm, half the lights in the stadium flashed back on.
While the remainder of the lighting powered back into full brightness, players were left to try and find ways to stay warmed up and keep their concentration, throwing or kicking balls.
The unprecedented delay confounded the Ravens, who had momentum fully on their side. The 49ers struck back for two touchdowns later in the third quarter to trim Baltimore's advantage.
Some players on both teams spoke with spectators fortunate enough to be near the field.
Power went out in the media center as well, leaving journalists scrambling to find out what was happening.
The power outage came only a few minutes after a half-time show filled with electrical and lighting wizardry that starred pop diva Beyonce.
Strangely enough, the 49ers actually had some experience in dealing with have a game interrupted by the lights going out.
In a December 2011 home game against Pittsburgh, the 49ers had the lights go out twice in a night game at their home stadium, Candlestick Park.
The Super Bowl has become something of a national holiday in the United States, with viewing parties boosting snack food and alcohol sales and viewership of game telecasts among the most watched television programs in US history.
A week of lavish parties and celebrity outings has become commonplace at every Super Bowl venue.
Next year, the game is set to be played in suburban New York, the first time in the Super Bowl era the National Football League will play its title game in a cold-weather city without a domed stadium.