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Five Super Bowl Takeaways (From A Baltimore Ravens Fanatic)

Rachel Kohn |
February 5, 2013 | 12:55 a.m. PST

Staff Writer

Joe Flacco's MVP performance capped a spectacular postseason. (Nick Hall/Creative Commons)
Joe Flacco's MVP performance capped a spectacular postseason. (Nick Hall/Creative Commons)
With Super Bowl XLVII behind us, it is now time to reflect on what America watched. For various reasons, this Super Bowl will go down in history as one of the most exciting, entertaining, nerve-racking and unexpected ever witnessed. The magnitude of the events on Feb. 3 has prompted me to make a list: the five things that I will take away from Super Bowl Sunday 2013.

1. Who won?

We all saw the Ravens when the clock hit zero singing songs and celebrating like children, making confetti angels on the turf. The scoreboard clearly showed the Ravens as the victors, but really, who won?

According to Facebook, Beyonce and Destiny’s Child should be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Bey's halftime performance was so remarkable and eye-catching that she stole the show and brought down the house. Literally – the power went out shortly after resuming play in the second half. There were more Beyonce posts in my new sfeed than ones about the game – and being from Baltimore, that is saying a lot. Her praised is well deserved.

On the other hand, the NFL deserves none, the loser of the 2012 season. This year has been a train wreck for the NFL, and that train came full circle. It began with the horrible replacement referees and ended in what could easily be the biggest blunder of the 47 Super Bowls - the blackout. NFL, use this offseason to get priorities in order to make next year more enjoyable for the fans.

2. The Ravens are truly resilient

As a diehard fan who intensely watched every Ravens game this season, I have never seen a team overcome so much adversity to become the best in the world. I am the first to admit that I was skeptical earlier in the season and I thought that there was no shot in just making the Super Bowl. But, Ravens, you proved me wrong. And I couldn’t be happier.

You played this season for the late Art Modell, for Torrey Smith’s brother Tevon, and through the playoffs for Ray Lewis. You fought through injuries that could have made a team give up (only two defensive players, safety Ed Reed and cornerback Carey Williams, started every game of the regular season). You made the tough decisions when necessary, firing offensive coordinator Cam Cameron in Week 15. You fought through tough games in the cold and a 34-minute power outage. The season could be summed up in one word: resilience. Head coach John Harbaugh summed up the season and the win perfectly, "It’s never pretty. It’s never perfect. But it’s us."

3. Joe Flacco: Finally Elite

This will be criticized the second I say it, but Joe Flacco has finally proved that he is an elite quarterback in the NFL. Fans in Baltimore have known how great Flacco is since the beginning, especially since the Ravens have never had a “franchise quarterback” in their 12-year existence in Maryland. Well, Baltimore, it is clear you do now and it is time to pay Joe what he is asking for this offseason.

Flacco finished 22-for-33 for 287 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a quarterback rating of 124.2, and the Super Bowl MVP honors. That day caps off a flawless playoff run, as Flacco joins Joe Montana as the second player in NFL history to throw 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in one postseason. He is the only quarterback to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons in the league, and still, his play was criticized. Maybe he lacks the personality that the big name players have, but I wouldn’t trade Joe Cool for any other player, especially not during the playoffs.

4. Ray ends a Hall of Fame career in a Hall of Fame way

Love him or hate him, Ray Lewis is one of the best defensive players to ever play the game, and he ended his career on the highest of notes: a second ring. With the announcement that he would retire after this season, Lewis gave the team an emotional boost and added drive throughout the playoffs. But he also brought out the critics.

The stories of the murder in 2000 resurfaced and new, unsubstantiated stories emerged that tied Lewis to the use of deer antler spray, an illegal substance, to overcome a triceps injury suffered earlier this season. No matter your theory on Ray Lewis as a person, his effort and energy on the field and in the locker room are absolutely incredible and something we may never see again. Lewis led his team to a Lombardi Trophy (his second – he was MVP of Super Bowl XXXV) and brought pride to his city. Thank you, Ray Lewis, for an unforgettable 17 years.

5. Never lose your roots

The last takeaway is a personal one. There are not many things in life that could make me break down and sob in front of a room filled with 20 some people, but this Super Bowl accomplished that. I knew I was a football fanatic, but I didn’t realize how much football and the Ravens meant to me until I left my city. I learned this week that being a fan 3,000 miles away is hard (especially in California. It’s “hella” hard to go up against a Bay Area team).

This game, to me, was about more than winning and losing: it was about the fact that I have pride in my roots. I made native Californians into Ravens fans this season because of my dedication to Baltimore, and this Super Bowl helped me realize how lucky I am to have such great family and friends.

On that note, time to mark our calendars and count down the days to kickoff: 214.

Reach Staff Writer Rachel Kohn by email.



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