NEW ORLEANS - This was as crazy a night as those of us journalists who have covered big events for decades can remember. Even before the 34-minute power outage - we initially were told that it was 33 minutes - an uneasiness lingered in the upper main press box when Beyonce's halftime show appeared to trigger piercing, persistent smoke alarms.
When the power went out in the third quarter, the good news was that the A/C also went out and the frigid press box warmed up. The bad news was that the escalators that were supposed to transport journalists to the lower level for player and coaching interviews never recovered from the initial outage.
Thus, a personal shoutout to Corry Rush, information manager for the AFC, who helped me lug my overflowing computer bag down several flights of (non-working) escalators, dozens of additional stairs, and calmly directed several of us media types to the downstairs media work room.
More thoughts from the Superdome: The NFL had plenty of other operational issues, including the fact that, during postgame interviews, Ravens and 49ers players and coaches were sent into adjoining rooms that were separated by mere curtains. While the 49ers were glumly discussing their defeat, Ravens players were hooting and hollering - Ray Lewis was singing - just a few yards and a dark curtain away.
While working conditions were far from ideal after the power outage, many of us in the press area looked at our surroundings and asked, "And how many people - an estimated 20,000 - lived here for how many weeks after Hurricane Katrina?" No, we have no complaints. Buy a sweatshirt and put on the walking shoes. And by the way: Even before the public address asked fans to stay calm and remain in their seats, the crowd was agreeable and cooperative. On the field, the players stretched and discussed strategy, though John Harbaugh chided an NFL official for the delay. His Ravens were cruising, and then they weren't.
Other thoughts: Former 49ers quarterback Trent Dilfer, who was a go-to guy in the days when he stood next to Alex Smith in the 49ers locker room, has become an exceptional ESPN analyst. His game breakdowns are concise, on topic, and provocative. He raises questions and elicits answers without publicly flogging his subjects.
• Good guy award: Ravens safety Bernard Pollard gets my good citizen award. He spent hours in the lobby of the team hotel several nights this past week signing autographs, speaking with children, and engaging the fans. In the wee hours after the Ravens' victory, he again lingered in the lobby, posing for photos and talking to anyone who approached.
• Jacoby Jones probably didn't receive the attention he deserved. His 56-yard touchdown gave the Ravens a 21-3 lead, and his 108-yard kickoff romp extended the advantage to 28-6 early in the third quarter ...
• Jim Harbaugh was fairly calm when he met with reporters after the game, but when he returned to his office in the locker room, he took a nasty kick at his desk. Or was he really kicking himself for his play calling during the 49ers final drive?
• Colin Kaepernick's sole interception was the first ever thrown by a 49ers quarterback in a Super Bowl, ending a streak of 169 throws passes without a pick ....
• Finally, still waiting to see one of those new "Pelican" jerseys around town. I keep hearing the reviews are mixed.