04 February 2013
Yesterday's NFL Super Bowl XLVII is now history. It was a wild ride ~ the Baltimore Ravens dominating the first half, and the San Francisco 49ers regaining momentum in the second half, following a 34 minute power outage in the stadium. Brilliant plays and painful mistakes were made by both sides. Ultimately, in the final seconds of the game and just yards away from the winning touchdown, San Francisco just couldn't quite make it happen. The Ravens won, 34-31.
I've visited and like both cities, so it was a tossup whom to root for. Just before the game I decided on the Ravens ~ I like their team colors. (That's how seriously I take most team sports ~ mostly I just watch championship games.) Besides, the 49ers had won the Super Bowl a number of times, and the Ravens, only once. Both teams had fine coaches (the brothers Harbaugh) and great quarterbacks, so I knew the outcome was not predictable. I was right. It was a squeaker.
At one point during the game a brawl broke out among players on the field. Emotions were running high on both sides. I was reminded of how, when I was growing up, team coaches stressed the virtues of good sportsmanship, "an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one's competitors." Today's displays of chest-beating and macho posing after a touchdown (in football, or a score in other sports) turn me off. Braggadocio just cheapens the game. You make a touchdown, that's your job. Show some class.
On the flip side, I had to grin at the photo in today's Washington Post (see above, click to enlarge), showing a Ravens player making a confetti angel to celebrate the team's victory. His exuberance says it all.