The Baltimore Ravens were sitting pretty in the third quarter of their Super Bowl showdown against the San Francisco 49ers. Up by 22 points and seemingly possessing all the momentum in the world, it felt like there was nothing anyone could do to slow this group down. As it turns out, though, there was a way to slow them down.
Turn off the lights.
An unexplained ‘abnormality’ caused the Superdome’s power system to shut down right after halftime of yesterday's game. The end result was complete darkness and a lot of questions about why the 38-year-old stadium that was hosting the biggest event in sports couldn’t get its act together for a night when the whole world’s eyes would be on it.
Ultimately, the blackout lasted for 34 minutes.
After the fact, Mayor Mitch Landrieu referred to what transpired as “an unfortunate moment in what has been an otherwise shining Super Bowl week for the city of New Orleans." He’s not wrong there, but he is also sort of underselling how big of an embarrassment this would have been had Baltimore lost.
"We sincerely apologize for the incident," Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan said following the game.
The company that provides the Superdome with its power released this statement on Sunday night:
"A piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system," the statement said. "Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue. ... Entergy and SMG will continue to investigate the root cause of the abnormality.”
Did Beyonce use up all the power with her extravagant halftime performance? Was she secretly the power source that kept the Superdome going the entire time? All we can do is guess at this point, as referring to this incident as an 'abnormality' is about as close as anyone at the Superdome has gotten to citing a cause.
Stay tuned, the explanation for what happened promises to be very interesting.