The two Jones plays were the early Baltimore offensive highlights, particularly when he caught a long pass from Joe Flacco, fell down as Culliver flew above him, and then juked Culliver to run into the end zone. "That was backyard football, that was freeze tag," said Jones.
But after his kickoff return, it was freeze game, as the lights went out less than two minutes into the second half and the aging Ravens lost their momentum and their legs. "That was Jim Harbaugh pulling another trick out of his sleeve," said Suggs, joking, sort of. "He ran into a buzz saw and had to turn the lights out."
The strangest sight during the blackout was the Ravens' cheerleaders continuing to cheer in the dark. The strangest sight after the lights returned was the 49ers, led by the emerging Colin Kaepernick, outgaining the Ravens 114-20 for most of the rest of the third quarter.
"Sure it changed the momentum, our offense had not been on the field in a long time, I was really stiff," said Rice. "I was like, how could this happen at the Super Bowl? Aren't there some extra generators around here or something?"
John Harbaugh's anger was evident in how he berated NFL officials during the blackout, and his fears were realized when the 49ers ended up the ball on the Ravens' seven-yard line in the final two minutes with a chance to take the lead.
"How could it be any other way?" said Harbaugh of a Ravens team that lost four of its last five regular-season games. "It's never pretty, it's never easy, but it's us."
But somehow the Ravens held, taking advantage of strange play calling — LaMichael James runs it, but Frank Gore doesn't? — and one final grapple between cornerback Jimmy Smith and receiver Michael Crabtree that was properly not called pass interference.
"They had been letting us play the whole time, why would they call something there?" said cornerback Corey Graham.
No flag, fair fight, breathless finish, darkness gone.