QUESTION 1: Did Jesus bless the Ravens and Preacher Ray with this win or did they win it on the football field?
MICHAEL TILLERY: The Ravens took away Gore (yes, despite his 110 yards on 19 carries), and once they adjusted and disguised coverage around Vernon Davis with safety help, the game was going to be won or loss in Colin Kaepernick’s hands or legs. Big brother, toyed with little brother. Bold move on the fake punt. I didn’t think Baltimore would recover after the blackout because of their age, but they pulled it out. Turnovers and the special team score masked the stat differential.
BOADU: Look. I’m born and raised in the Bible Belt. Naw...eff that...the Bible Belt Buckle, bruh. As a Christian, God/Jesus/The Holy Trinity doesn’t care about who wins. The Lord knows what’s going to happen, but He ain't got nothing to do with it. Don’t believe me? Check out this transcript from earlier in the week.
Ray Lewis: Dear Lord Jesus I need this win.
Jesus: Can’t help you bruh...talk to my old man.
*Ray Lewis calls God and gets the answering machine*
God’s Voicemail: God can’t answer the phone right now and is unavailable during the Super Bowl, March Madness, NBA Finals and the World Series.
J.R. GAMBLE: A little of both. Flacco didn’t best Kaepernick by much. The Super Bowl is not the time to make mistakes and the 49ers made way too many. If anything, the 49ers had the celestial assistance with the power outage that allowed them to get back in the groove. I’m a true believer in destiny and Preacher Ray’s last sermon was Hollywood scripted to be a winning one. Michael Crabtree and the sleep-at-the-wheel 49ers D made sure of that.
BRANDON SCOTT: Couldn’t take away from what the Ravens did, even if I was inclined to believe in such. If God is out here tipping the scale and playing favorites in the Super Bowl, then we’ve got way more important and uncomfortable questions to ask. Having said that, Jimmy Smith got away with an egregious hold at the end of the game. The devil is a liar.
NUBYJAS: I’m a Christian and very active in my faith, but I don’t believe God alters sporting events. Both teams have plenty of believers of all faiths and to assume God “favored” one team is sacrilegious. That being said, the Ravens capitalized on big 49ers mistakes and won a great game.
QUESTION 2: Joe Flacco MVP?? Ed Reed had the INT and the extremely pivotal blitz that kept the game from being tied. Jacoby Jones had that incredible touchdown run after the catch and the kickoff return. Who was the MVP of the game.?
TILLERY: I thought Anquan Boldin was the MVP. He had great catches where he stole balls and gave Baltimore extra possessions. On one reception in particular, it appeared Flacco was throwing the ball away to avoid the rush and Quan snatched the rock from the defender for a huge first down. Chains moved. He caught 6 for 104 yards and a TD we’ve all seen before that was the sheer definition of his talent. Flacco will get his money after 11 TDs and no picks this postseason -- tying Joe Montana’s record. Jacoby Jones was also deserving. All three could have won it.
NUBYJAS: Flacco was not only the MVP of the Super Bowl, but the entire postseason. He tied a record held by Joe Montana for most TDs in a postseason run. He had so many clutch throws in the game and controlled a crucial drive that stopped the 49ers’ comeback momentum.
BOADU: Jacoby Jones was clearly the MVP of the game. Super Bowl MVP isn’t about the most valuable player or the popular pick. It’s about who was the X-Factor of the game and that was definitely Jacoby Jones.
J.R. GAMBLE: Jacoby Jones was the one keeping it thorough, but winning QBs always get it. Most media members are sheep, lacking strong individual opinions, so I knew the tall, white QB would get the MVP. That fits the NFL’s marketing needs. I’ve never seen a 56-yard grab and a 108-yard scamper before. And god forbid they had to give the MVP to grandpa Antler ears or any of that dude's defensive associates.
B.SCOTT : It was clearly Jacoby Jones. Where are the Ravens without Jones’ athleticism and presence of mind to hop up, shake his defender and march into the end zone on that 56-yard grab? Who the hell runs it back from eight yards deep into their own end zone in the age of the kneel down ? How are voters not seeing these two plays as game-changing? The oversight is tomfoolery at its worst and I say that with respect to Flacco being an elite quarterback .
QUESTION 3: Put Preacher Ray’s career into 50-word perspective.
BOADU: A great player makes people around him better. It’s very hard to do make people around you better as a middle linebacker, but Lewis did just that. He made people better on the field with his words, passion, emotion, and then with his play which is remarkable.
TILLERY: The best teammates aren’t usually also the best leaders. Baltimore didn’t need a defensive coordinator because coaches were all over the field. Ray Lewis was a head coach tank with a hardcore hemi for most of his career. I thought he was done five years ago when he injured his back. Yes, he had a combined 1,336 tackles, but how many football collisions translate into his 17 years, exclusive of tackles? Crazy huh? If he could breathe, he played and that he and also OJ Brigance willed Baltimore to a SB win is incredible literature for football time. He will go down as one of the GOAT mike-linebackers and greatest football players ever period.
J.R. GAMBLE: Lawrence Taylor set the bar for NFL linebackers and there’s no space left to elevate, but Ray Lewis, playing a much more disciplined inside position, not only finessed the middle linebacker position as well as anyone, but his determination, longevity, leadership and two rings puts him in the “greatest ever" conversation. That’s an incredible accomplishment in itself.
B.SCOTT : Scary dude. Ray Lewis is one of the great players of my lifetime. Between Ray’s Old Spice intensity, and the murder case that led to him copping to obstruction of justice, he’s always had this maniacal persona that made you think his opponent was in for a rude ass awakening.
NUBYJAS: Ray Lewis has been a remarkable player. Only Cal Ripken and Johnny Unitas hold as much weight in Baltimore as Lewis. He’s on par with Lawrence Taylor when it comes to impact on the game for a defensive player. A hundred years from now people will still talk about Ray.
QUESTION 4: Did the power outage really effect the game? And was that not the weirdest thing ever?
TILLERY: All over Facebook and Twitter, fans found the blackout suspect...because the game was becoming ridiculous (28-6) and no longer interesting. Baltimore had San Francisco’s number. Sans blackout, the ‘Niners would have been blown out of the building. That Baltimore overcame the momentum shift at their advanced football age is pretty significant. Tells you more was at stake emotionally for Baltimore, because San Fran scored 17 points in a little over 4 minutes and the Ravens still won.
J.R. GAMBLE: It stunted B-More’s momentum for a minute. Why do you think John Harbaugh was cursing out the stadium worker with the walkie talkie, and dropping more F-bombs than Eazy E ? He was stressing. One minute he was sitting pretty, the next minute he was chess boxing fate and trying to hang on to the last piece of toast at the table. Too bad the 49ers receivers thought the Super Bowl was two weeks ago.
B.SCOTT : How about all of those theories on why the lights went out? I had one cousin say it had to have been Beyonce’s performance. Another was like, “blow out game, blown out lights, what does it matter?” Then there was the comeback. Y’all know the Superdome hadn’t been that wired up since the Essence Festival last year. Not sure if/how it affected the game but I was able to drive from one end of Houston to the other without missing a damn thing.
NUBYJAS: It helped both teams because they had more opportunity to make adjustments and heal. It was also one of the strangest things I’ve seen in sports. However it will not stop New Orleans from getting another Super Bowl. Why? Because NOLA is the perfect event city and the NFL loves being there.
BOADU: Yes, it did affect the game. The Ravens were one drive away from a blowout before the outage. The technical difficulties allowed the 49ers to regroup and calm their nerves and it caused the Ravens to take their foot off the pedal and relax.
QUESTION 5: Do you think America views Kaepernick as a “black quarterback”?
BOADU: No and that’s weird. Everywhere you go, you see black folk claiming RGIII, Cam Newton, and Michael Vick on their damn taxes, but no one pays any attention to Kaepernick. With Tiger Woods, black people were itching for a golfer to identify with and the fact that Tiger’s father was black and in his life made it easier to claim him. Kaepernick is biracial with white adoptive parents and therein lies the disconnect.
TILLERY: As long as his skin is not white, of course America will see him as black. Color isn’t transparent. His adoptive parents did a great job with his confidence and never raised him to think he was inferior because of his skin color. He breaks the stereotype like Cam Newton, RG3 and Russell Wilson, because of his arm strength. I see Kaep as a gunslinger. He seems to not tip his hand and force the ball in at times. Jeff Blake did that. Until a Super Bowl is won by a versatile quarterback, questions if they can win the big one will unfortunately persist and race will continue to be a factor.
J.R. GAMBLE: This game wasn’t a referendum on versatile QBs, but, if it was, Kaepernick proved they can win as long as the D doesn’t suck and the receivers catch passes high school kids would reel in. Kaepernick’s not black. He’s mixed, like Derek Jeter and Barack Obama, but regardless, America views him as one bad-ass QB.
B.SCOTT : The fact that we’re asking the question probably says enough. But yes, definitely. You’ve got a beige brother out there running around, kissing his tattoos when he reaches the end zone and taking the white man’s job who supposedly didn’t “deserve” to lose it. Your atypical sports fan would strip Kaepernick of his race and just tell you he’s a football player. Maybe his personal background makes him a race neutral figure, but you have to figure there’s a unique experience.
NUBYJAS: Kaepernick has white parents, but he doesn’t hide from his blackness at all. In fact he embraces it so much that he pledged a fraternity for black men in Kappa Alpha Psi. He loves his parents and his ethnicity. He’s grounded and America has to respect it.