By TED SILLANPAA
Results-based criticism made it pointless to offer any thoughts immediately after the Ravens won the Super Bowl on Sunday night.
Yes, the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII with an exceptional first half effort and big plays on defense with the game was on the line in the fourth quarter.
A team that falls that far behind before halftime didn’t make a bad play or two or three to lose the Super Bowl. Fans, and apparently Jim Harbaugh, just chose to forget that the 49ers got manhandled for 30 minutes to focus on club’s final shots at taking the lead as time ran out.
It’s unclear how anyone who cared enough to spent the last 15 hours complaining about the non-call on the final pass to Michael Crabtree could’ve missed that the 49ers’ receiver also pushed the Ravens defender to the ground on the play and that Colin Kaepernick’s pass landed well out of bounds.
That’s the type selective perception people use when they refuse to ignore that there are two teams on the field and that one team wins, just plays better. They choose to scream about Crabtree being held and that leads to the conclusion that the 49ers lost the game, as if the Ravens had no role in how the game unfolded.
The Ravens knew they weren’t going to let Kaepernick beat them himself late in the game. So, the blitzed off the edge on the 2-point conversion attempt. Frank Gore let the blitzer go and blocked a defender further away from the passer. Kaepernick had no time to do anything but throw wildly over Randy Moss’s head. On the fourth down play at the end, the Ravens blitzed a safety between the right end and right tackle and a linebacker straight up the middle. They gambled that they’d take away Kaepernick’s ability to make a play running and that he’d have no time to find an open receiver. The Ravens gambled and won.
It’s unlikely that Jim Harbaugh would ever respond well to getting his tail, or his team’s tail, kicked like the 49ers’ got their tails kicked in the first half. His reaction through most of the second half was not unlike that of a man who has rarely experienced bitter defeat in his life in athletics. One wonders if he’ll give any thought to how his players respond to seeing their coach’s reactions in the heat of the moment crying out, “Panic! Panic! We’re in trouble! Help! Panic, boys! We’re desperate here!!!”
We saw a marked difference in John Harbaugh, the unflappable older brother. As things appeared to unravel on the Ravens, John Harbaugh didn’t flinch. Didn’t throw his headset and looked for all the world like a guy who never doubted that his Ravens would win.
The Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII.