NEW ORLEANS — A city and stage known for its pomp and circumstance went dark at one of the worst times possible.
The Superdome experienced a power outage that caused a 34-minute delay in the third quarter of Sunday’s Super Bowl, putting pause on the nation’s biggest sporting event. It also knocked the CBS broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms off the air temporarily.
The majority of the lights in the cavernous 70,000-plus-seat stadium went out at 13:22 of the third quarter before play resumed.
“We sincerely apologize for the incident,” Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan said.
During the delay, fans started the wave, chanted back and forth and cheered every sign of the power coming back to life.
The NFL didn’t immediately have an explanation for what caused the outage, but it’s not a first for the league.
Candlestick Park lost power during a “Monday Night Football” game when the 49ers hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 19, 2011.
Fake a first: The Baltimore Ravens attempted the first fake field goal in Super Bowl history when kicker Justin Tucker took the snap on what would have been a 32-yard try and bolted around the left end. Tucker couldn’t quite get around the corner, and thanks to a nice play from the Niners’ Darcel McBath, wound up a yard shy of the first down on the fourth-and-9 play.
Davis at his best again: After disappearing over the final six games of the regular season, Vernon Davis showed once again he is at his best on the biggest stages. The gifted 49ers tight end caught six passes for 104 yards against the Ravens. In five career postseason games, Davis has four 100-yard performances.
Using your head: For the fifth straight year, the pregame coin toss turned up heads. Five consecutive years of the same coin-toss result is a first for the Super Bowl, with the previous record being four, which had been done several times previously. Baltimore called heads and elected to defer until the second half.
Briefly: The 31 points the 49ers scored matches the highest total by a losing team in Super Bowl history, also done by the Steelers who lost Super Bowl XIII to the Dallas Cowboys 35-31. ... Sunday was only the second time in the Jim Harbaugh era the Niners scored 20 or more points and lost. ... The Ravens’ Joe Flacco became the only quarterback ever to throw for 1,000 yards, 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions in a single postseason. ... San Francisco was trying to become the first market since Boston to win the World Series and Super Bowl in the same season. The Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots accomplished the feat in 2004-05.