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The failure occurred shortly after Jacoby Jones returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a 108-yard touchdown, the longest play in Super Bowl history and pushing the Ravens to a commanding lead. But when play resumed, the momentum totally changed.

The Niners scored two straight touchdowns and nearly pulled off a game-winning drive in the closing minutes. They had first down inside the Ravens 10, but Baltimore kept them out of the end zone to preserve the victory.

The blackout, it turned out, became more of a footnote than a spark to what would have been the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

“It just took us longer to lose,” moaned San Francisco linebacker Ahmad Brooks.

No one could remember anything like this happening in the title game, but it wasn’t unprecedented.

Just last season, the Niners endured two power outages during a Monday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Candlestick Park.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” San Francisco safety Dashon Goldson said. “I just tried to keep my legs warmed up.”

The Ravens felt the delay turned what looked like a blowout into a close game.

“It really hurt us. We had lot of momentum,” fullback Vonta Leach said. “We were rolling. That 35- or 40-minute wait, whatever it was, hurt our momentum as far as what we were trying to do. But we came out on top and that’s all that matters.”

Safety Ed Reed said some of his teammates were worried that the game would turn when the lights came back on.

“The bad part is we started talking about it,” he said. “Some of the guys were saying, `They’re trying to kill our momentum.’ I was like, `There’s two teams on the field.’ But once we started talking about it, it happened. We talked it up.”

The public address announcer said the Superdome was experiencing an interruption of electrical service and encouraged fans to stay in their seats. Players milled around on the sidelines, some took a seat on the bench, others on the field. A few of the Ravens threw footballs around.

Officials gathered on the field and appeared to be talking to stadium personnel. Finally, the lights came back on throughout the dome and the game resumed.

“Let’s go!” referee Jerome Boger said to the teams.

The NFL said stadium officials were investigating the cause.

Story Continues →