Power Outages, Pass Interference Non-Calls and Other Major Super Bowl Controversies

The Baltimore Ravens bested the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 en route to a Super Bowl victory on Sunday, but the game was not without controversy. What will go down as the most bizarre and eventful Super Bowl thus far included several questionable incidents, which will undoubtedly be talked about for much of the offseason. Let’s look at three of the disputable plays that impacted, or could have affected the outcome of the game.

  1. Power Outage

When the CBS broadcast went south in a matter of seconds, Roger Goodell’s cringe could be felt around the country. Games stopping due to technical difficulties are a rarity—and that pertains to the regular season. Stopping a Super Bowl for 34-minutes due to power issues has never happened, and as controversial as the lights going out was, it could have been much worse. If San Francisco had not inexplicably stalled at the Baltimore 7-yard line, we could be faced with the most uncertain outcome in American sports championship game history. The power outage has been generally attributed as a positive for San Francisco, but we’ll never know what would have happened if the game had proceeded as planned.

  1. Pass Interference

Colin Kaepernick may have been tossing up a prayer to Michael Crabtree on the 49ers’ last-chance play on 4th down, but it’s hard to disagree with Jim Harbaugh about the legality of cornerback Jimmy Smith’s defense on the play. The Ravens defender seemed to bear-hug Crabtree after the 5-yard contact limit, but no call was made. San Francisco fans will have a hard time reconciling this, but it is worth mentioning that the 49ers survived the conference championship game with the help of a no-call on 4th down when Roddy White appeared to be held. We’ll call it even.

  1. Cary Williams’ ref-push

Ravens defensive back Cary Williams was at the center of a fight that ensued in the second quarter following an ugly Colin Kaepernick interception. Williams appeared to shove the referee, but was not punished. It’s hard to believe that a player pushing a referee in the regular season would go unpenalized, so the 49ers have a legitimate bone to pick here. Of course, had Cary Williams been ejected and the Ravens suffered a defeat, Baltimore fans would likely be livid with the call. Like the possible pass interference, there just isn’t a way to make everyone happy.


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