The Baltimore Ravens are the new Super Bowl champions. They defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34 to 31 Sunday night in New Orleans. The game threatened to be overshadowed by a momentum changing 34 minute power outage.
Sourdough Sam, the mascot for the San Francisco 49ers, looks on in January 2012.
Credit Doug Pensinger / Getty Images
Headlines were circulating last week about how, as Slate put it, "almost everybody" is rooting for the San Francisco 49ers over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's Super Bowl. Of course, it turns out that what this actually meant was more like "substantially more than half of the area of the country is included within counties in which more people like the 49ers on Facebook than like the Ravens on Facebook."
This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan. And if it's anything like last year, tomorrow's Super Bowl will reach more than 111 million viewers, in this country alone. And while the game ends for the fans tomorrow night, for players, the effects will likely linger on.
Fans of the Baltimore Ravens are fired up for this tomorrow's Super Bowl, even if the team is the underdog - errragh(ph) against the San Francisco 49ers. But NPR's Allison Keyes tells us fans all around Baltimore are draping pretty much everything in a sea of purple and black.
ALLISON KEYES, BYLINE: Purple Christmas lights, a case of team memorabilia including signed helmets and a stuffed Raven? It's clear that fans at the Red Brick Station Pub in White Marsh, Maryland are serious about their football.
And the Superbowl, as Howard mentioned, is going to cap another enormously successful NFL season in terms of TV ratings and profits. But the league also faces some fundamental questions about player safety. President Obama and dozens of players are questioning whether sons should be encouraged to play football. Against this backdrop, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met the media yesterday for what's known as its annual State of the League press conference. NPR's Mike Pesca attended, and has this report.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.
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SIMON: There's a football game tomorrow. Have you heard? The 47th Superbowl starring the San Francisco 49ers, the Baltimore Ravens and a couple of guys named Harbaugh who say please, please, enough about us. Talk about our players. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine joins us now from the studios of member station WFCR in Amherst, Massachusetts. Morning, Howard.
The Superdome in New Orleans has hosted heavyweight fights, papal visits, and — after this weekend — seven Super Bowls, an NFL record. But no event looms larger in the dome's history than Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that turned the stadium into a teeming shelter of last resort.
During the storm, reporters spared no hyperbole when describing scenes of human suffering. The Superdome, in particular, was described as a "hellhole" and "apocalyptic," and it was sort of true.