If the 49ers would have finished off their comeback, from a 22-point “pre-black out” deficit to win the game, it would have been the largest rally in Super Bowl history, and all the credit would go to the power outage. However, we all know now that didn’t happen, but the 49ers did turn the game from being a “yawner” to a real “barn burner” in about four minutes.
In the end, the Baltimore Ravens deserved the win, ring and Lombardi trophy.
The Freak believes local die-hard 49ers fans such as Dave D., Jimmy M., Todd L. and Ken C. must have been pulling their hair out with the play calling late in the game (2:39 left), when San Fran had the ball on the seven-yard line with first and goal and down five points.
San Fran has one of the best running teams, and one of the best run-blocking lines in football. With the Ravens’ biggest run-stopper Haloti Ngata out with an injury, what does Coach Harbaugh call?
Run, pass, pass, pass, which is easy to criticize after the fact, but even The Freak’s kids saw Baltimore’s defence was showing an all-out blitz on that fourth-down play.
San Fran quarterback Colin Kaepernick should have recognized this as it was man coverage across the board, with no safeties in the middle of the end zone. So did the young Kaepernick choke on the final play by not calling an audible to a quick slant or skinny post?
These are higher percentage plays than rolling out and trying to hit Michael Crabtree on a crossing route (second and third down), or that back shoulder fade on the fourth-down play.
At the end of the day Coach Harbaugh must have liked those plays, but they just were not executed. Don’t you think Kaepernick should have been running one of the plays out on the edge behind a full-house backfield?
Harbaugh will have to live with those calls for the rest of his life.
Joe Flacco, on the other hand, made the plays throughout the playoffs and in the Super Bowl. He was named the MVP, but the award could have arguably gone to wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who might have been the Ravens’ MVP in the playoffs. He caught the miracle catch against Denver, and then scored on a long pass and returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown in the Super Bowl.
Nonetheless, Jones was the best free-agent signing this season, and Flacco is in for a big payday in the off-season.
Now, this is the final time you will see The Freak write about Ray Lewis, and we are all probably thankful for this. But you have to admire his leadership, the energy he brings to his team, how they feed off him and how he can back it all up with his play.
However, he has that shady past that may all come back to the surface once again when a book about the double homicide comes out in the next month, which may or may not change what you think about him.
Also, The Freak never thought the subject of deer antler spray (suppose to improve healing for injuries) would ever be written in this column. However, Ray Lewis put this banned substance in the news with his possible use for his torn tricep this season.
Being a father of three boys, The Freak knows they are all different characters, emotionally different and express their emotions in different ways. After watching the Harbaugh brothers, Jim and John, go head-to-head in football’s biggest game, it’s safe to say the older John outcoached the younger Jim.
However, Jim definitely is the more emotional of the two, and wears this emotion on his sleeve. From his demeanor, he would also probably take the loss much very hard, more so than John.
It really must have been difficult for their parents to see one son on top of the world, and the other son down in the dumps. Regardless, both brothers are great coaches, will have long careers in the NFL and their parents must be so proud of them.
Popularity of the Super Bowl
The Super Bowls over the last six seasons have really lived up to all of the two weeks of hype. Five of the last six games were basically decided on the last drive of the game.
This is what all die-hard football fans want to see, and it’s exciting for the casual fan who might only watch this football game during the whole season. Looking at the ratings, the NFL and football in general continues to grow in popularity as 164 million people watched the game, and of that number 7.8 million were Canadians, which made it easily the highest-viewed television program in the last year.
Another season down
Finally, it’s sad another football season has come to an end, and what an exciting season it has been.
The NFL product on the field was superb with all these great young quarterbacks who had fans jumping out of their seats with their thrilling plays all season long.
The Freak had a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the United States, and was very lucky to see almost one third of the NFL season live in person with the family, which was a great thrill. The memories of those games will be with us forever.
A big thank you to all of you who read this column on a regular basis. The Freak will miss the emails and all those chats on the streets of Summerside. Have a great off-season everyone, and see you in August!
John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to email@example.com.