I Like Cheese and Other Post Super Bowl Observations

Well, another Super Bowl has come and gone with the Baltimore Ravens defeating the San Fransisco 49ers  by a score of 34 to 31 yesterday.  While the game was exciting and included a nearly 40-minute power outage and a preemptive clock zapping safety it is nothing compared to the excitement that occurred as part of the massive amounts of TV-tray-gating that went on during the game.   Worldwide the Super Bowl has become a time to gather and to eat lots and lots of snacks, many of which only taste good during the viewing of the Super Bowl.  I am not sure if a scientific study has yet concluded that but it certainly appears to be the case in my experience.

I have always been the type to enjoy a big tray of meats and cheese during the big game but I must admit I went even further beyond my over the top standards this year.  When you are getting your party trays at Sam’s Club and they mention that the tray serves 8-10 people and you have no where near that many people at your party, you know you are going overboard.  When you have three of those trays, plus assorted chips, dips, King Cake, and little smokies; that takes things to a whole other level. That level is almost to the point of getting a knock on the door from a film crew from the A&E Network to either discuss food hoarding or to stage an intervention.  Thankfully no one from A&E stopped by during the game but if they did there would have been plenty of food to share.

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Part of the Super Spread as part of the Super Bowl festivities.
Photo R. Anderson

Part of the reason for going over the top this year was in honor of the Baltimore Ravens and the over the top manner in which they made the Super Bowl.  Against crazy odds the Ravens made the Super Bowl in bold fashion by defeating two of the game’s best quarterbacks on their own home turf.  While most teams would see a road to the Super Bowl that went through both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady a challenge, the Ravens seemed to laugh in the face of those odds.  In the end the Ravens defeated both Manning’s Denver Broncos and Brady’s New England Patriots to earn their way into the second Super Bowl in team history. Even a momentum zapping power outage in the Superdome did not seem to dampen the Ravens’ spirits for long.  I have heard it said that the Ravens were a team of destiny this year and that the Super Bowl win merely makes that point clear. While I am not sure about the whole team of destiny label, I do know that the Ravens were a team that played with heart and seemed prepared to handle all of the obstacles that were put in front of them.

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A closer look at some of the salty cheese and meat snacks that were part of the Super Bowl feast.
Photo R. Anderson

One reason for the Ravens’ resilience is Ray Lewis, the defensive leader and heart and soul of the team.   Lewis had announced that he would be retiring at the end of the year after spending 17 seasons with the Ravens.   Much like John Elway and Jerome Bettis before him, Ray Lewis was able to end his career with one last Super Bowl title before heading off into the sunset. Lewis already won a Super Bowl title in 2000 but with the win last night he became the record holder for the most seasons between Super Bowl victories.

Regarding that power outage that seemed to momentarily take the wind out of the Ravens and give the 49ers a chance to catch their breath there are bound to be conspiracy theorists who want to believe that the power outage was in direct response to the NFL commissioner suspending the Saints’ coach and assorted players during the season for the “Bountygate” scandal.   For weeks leading up to the game there was wide speculation regarding how the commissioner would be welcomed in New Orleans and cutting power to half of the stadium while billions of people were glued to their television sets very well would be a way to stick it to him.  But, I really find it hard to believe that such a feat would be accomplished since really all that would show would be an aging facility that has power issues. In no way would it really be indicative of sending a message to the commissioner.  Now if the lights had spelled out some sort of cyrptic pro Saints message when they came back up then maybe I could get behind the conspiracy theory.  Short of that smoking gun though I, and most rationale people, will chalk it up to just one of those random things that can happen during the game.

Once the lights returned the 49ers did stage one of those comebacks that they have been known for and erased much of the Ravens’ lead. Still, when push came to shove the Raven defense did what Ravens’ defenses have done for years and that is clamp down in the red zone and dare the other team to try to score.  While the on field action remained competitive, as is the case with the Super Bowl each year, there were commercials aplenty to watch when the action on the field was paused. Some of the commercials tugged at the heart strings (hello horse ad) and some made people laugh (beware the roving gangs of senior citizens at night).  There did not seem to be as many memorable commercials as in year’s past but those that were memorable certainly raised the bar.

There were many other stories of overcoming obstacles last night for both teams but their battles weren’t limited to the space between the lines.  I fought my own battles with the Super feast and trying to not eat more than my weight in salty snacks.  I accomplished that goal for the most part but I do not believe there is a trophy that gets hoisted for that.  Now if you’ll excuse me I think I hear the cheese tray calling me from my fridge.

Copyright 2013 R. Anderson

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