In one of the most electrifying Super Bowls on the field, the Baltimore Ravens overcame a 35-minute stadium power failure Sunday to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.
The Ravens went from blowout to shootout, leading 28-6 when the blackout hit only to see the 49ers score the next 17 points, but that was not enough to deny Baltimore their first Super Bowl crown in 12 years and second in team history.
"How could it be any other way?" said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. "We talk to our guys all the time. It is never pretty. It is never perfect. But it is us and that was us today."
Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin called the power outage merely a distraction for a team accustomed to a season filled with them.
"For us it felt like another half-time," Boldin said. "We looked at that like another distraction and we've dealt with those all year.
"We just wanted to stay loose and warm because we knew at some point the game was going to be played so we needed to stay focused."
The 49ers cut the Ravens lead to just two points, 31-29, in the fourth quarter, but was as close as they would come.
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said he tried to take his mind of the power outage by playing catch with a teammate.
"I just started catching passes to put my mind off the lights," Lewis said.
"For something that strange to happen, you just have to keep your focus. We were on a roll just then and things started to shift.
"But we finished it."
During the power outage delay, the players spent the time on the field and the sidelines trying to stay loose by doing warmup exercises, passing balls or working on their kicking technique.
Some players had fun, getting the crowd to start cheering or begin a chant.
Linebacker Patrick Willis of the 49ers remembered when the power went out at Candlestick Park in San Francisco twice during a game against Pittsburgh in December of 2011.
"It was just crazy," Willis said. "We were just sitting down like 'Wow, this is a new stadium and the power outage happens here after it happened at Candlestick one time on a Monday night game.'
"Candlestick is an old park that's why."
Reserve power kept the field from going dark but some scoreboards and escalators stopped working. Superdome officials said after the game that the failure was caused partially by an "abnormality in the system" which tripped a breaker switch.
"The sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue," said Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan. "Backup generators kicked in immediately."
San Francisco defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois jokingly blamed the power failure on half-time singer Beyonce.
"Beyonce hit the high note and she just took all the energy out of this side of New Orleans," he said. "We had to get it started without her hitting those high notes again."