Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

Coach Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers talks with an NFL official during a power outage in the third quarter of the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Lights fail in Superdome embarrassment

Published: Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3X
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 - 3:37 pm

NEW ORLEANS – It was not New Orleans' brightest moment. About 90 seconds into the second half of Sunday's Super Bowl, the lights on one half of the Superdome's roof suddenly went out.

After the sudden break in the action, many fans in the announced crowd of 71,024 started murmuring. The public address announcer made several muffled statements about the power failure. Strangely, the cheerleaders for the 49ers and Baltimore Ravens continued to shake their pompoms.

The 35-minute power failure, which came just moments after the Ravens' Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown, was one of the oddest, most embarrassing moments in Super Bowl history.

"Stadium authorities are investigating the cause of the power outage," an NFL spokesman said a statement.

Michael Burns, a spokesman for Entergy Services, the local utility, said that his company's distribution and transmission feeders that serve the Superdome were never interrupted. Power did not go out elsewhere in the city.

Officials of the utility company supplying power to the Superdome later said the outage occurred when sensing equipment detected an "abnormality" in the system. A statement from the company said a piece of equipment monitoring electrical load sensed the abnormality and opened a breaker, partially cutting power.

The statement said backup generators kicked in before full power could be restored.

CBS, which broadcast the game, switched to backup power and stayed on the air.

Beyoncé brings it – Beyoncé wasn't messing around with her halftime performance. No obvious malfunctions, no weird cross-genre collaborations with rock stars or one-hit wonders. Just Beyoncé, then Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to bring back Destiny's Child.

Beyoncé sang a medley of hits, including "Crazy In Love," "Baby Boy" and "Single Ladies." She also danced in front of a screen using multiple images of herself as a backup dancer when she wasn't backed by her all-female band and nearly two dozen dancers. When Rowland and Williams sprang up from trap doors onstage, the world got the performance it was anticipating.

Final drive – San Francisco running back Frank Gore said he wouldn't second-guess the 49ers' play selection at the end of their final drive. Gore did not touch the ball after the 49ers reached first and goal from the Ravens' 7-yard line with 2:39 remaining.

"That's why we've got coaches," Gore said. "Every play I want the ball at that time. But our coaches made the decision, and we tried our best to make it happen."

Gore had carried twice on the drive for gains of eight and 33 yards, with the latter setting up the goal-line series. The 49ers ran on first down with LaMichael James, then called three consecutive passes on which quarterback Colin Kaepernick targeted wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Gore was on the field for all three passes.

Capt. Alex – Alex Smith, the 49ers quarterback benched in favor of Kaepernick, was one of five captains for San Francisco.

S.F. fans quiet – Fans in San Francisco seemed to be relatively calm in Super Bowl defeat. Not like when the Giants won the World Series in late October. Then, a city bus was set on fire, cars were overturned and bonfires lit up trash containers and streets. About three dozen people were arrested.

But despite a large number of people on sidewalks, most appeared to be well-behaved in the Mission District after the 49ers lost. Police declined to say how many arrests were made.

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