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Super Bowl XLVII

Super Bowl XLVII, with a power outage and a surge from the San Francisco 49ers, scored more than a few charged moments as the Baltimore Ravens won, 34-31.superbowl632

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NEW ORLEANS (CNN) — The cause of Sunday’s power outage at the Super Bowl in New Orleans has been traced to a newly installed device that was meant to protect Superdome equipment, utility company Entergy New Orleans announced Friday morning.

superdome692An electrical relay device triggered when it shouldn’t have, causing the roughly 35-minute partial electrical outage that interrupted the third quarter of the NFL title game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, company representatives told city officials at a meeting.

The issue has been a huge concern for city officials, who’ve been anxious about the outage’s impact on the city’s potential to attract future big-ticket events.

Company CEO Charles Rice assured city council members that the faulty device has been removed.

Although Entergy is still trying to determine why the device triggered, the dome’s electrical system is ready to go, and steps will be taken to ensure a malfunction doesn’t happen again, he said.

“Rest assured, the Superdome is fully functional,” Rice told the New Orleans City Council’s utility committee Friday morning.

The company that manages the dome, SMG, said it concurred with the finding, which Rice said came through Entergy’s own testing.

But the explanation won’t end the issue for some officials, as Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson pressed Rice to allow an independent audit.

Rice didn’t commit, instead replying that a third-party inspector will be used if Entergy and SMG determine one is needed.

The device was part of Entergy’s 2011-2012 project to improve electrical reliability at the dome, Entergy official Dennis Dawsey told council members.

Entergy replaced transformers and put in a switch gear, which is designed to cut some power to prevent a larger outage in the event of a problem.

The faulty relay device had been installed to protect Superdome equipment in the event of a cable failure between the switch gear and the stadium, the company said.

The relay device wasn’t put online until December 21.

Between then and the Super Bowl, the device functioned properly during three major events — the New Orleans Bowl, a Saints-Panthers NFL game, and the Sugar Bowl — Entergy said.

Rice said the company would work closely with the device’s manufacturer to determine what caused the device to trigger when it shouldn’t have.

“We are going to do everything humanly possible (to ensure) we do not experience an event like this again,” Rice said.

An SMG official emphasized to the panel that the power failure had nothing to do with SMG’s recent efforts to replace the cables that feed electricity from Entergy’s connection points to the dome.

The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, a state agency that oversees the Superdome, had approved spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace the feeder cables.

The SMG official said Friday that the cables were replaced because they were 15 years old, and that SMG doesn’t “see any way (the cables) were involved in this.”

The electrical outage at the Superdome set off a storm of social media amusement among viewers and inspired advertising tweets with blackout twists.

Carmaker Audi took a swipe at its competitor, tweeting that it was sending “LED lights” over to the dome, which is officially named the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

But for the picturesque Super Bowl host city — perpetually concerned with its reputation, especially since Hurricane Katrina — the power failure broadcast to the world was a huge embarrassment.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu promised that night there would be answers soon.

Clarkson, pressing for a third-party examination of the cause, emphasized that the city intends to bid for the 2018 Super Bowl.

“We are in contention for 2018,” Clarkson said. “(An outside test) is clearly imperative … to defy the naysayers that could be arising around the country to say that we shouldn’t have this (Super Bowl).”

NEW ORLEANS (CNN) — It may not have been a great game until after the lights went out and came back up, but the Super Bowl showdown Sunday night created quite a few memorable moments on the field and off, even before kickoff.

There were powerful performances, including a much buzzed-about halftime show by superstar Beyonce.

super-bowlBut there was also a lack of electricity in the stadium and in some of the commercials.

And San Francisco 49ers fans are sure to get emotional over that last play they ran on offense, when two players met in the end zone and despite interference, the referee did not call a penalty.

Here are the five moments you can expect your coworkers to talk about Monday morning.

Grrrl Power

The men may have duked it out during the game. But when it came to the non-football entertainment at the Superdome, women ruled the day.

First up was Jennifer Hudson with a stirring rendition of “America the Beautiful.” The choir backing her comprised of students from Sandy Hook Elementary, the Connecticut school where 20 students and six school staff were shot dead in December.

Players on the sidelines and fans on the stand wiped away tears.

“Our wish is to demonstrate to America and the world that, ‘We are Sandy Hook and We Choose Love,’” the choir said in a statement.

Next, Alicia Keys belted out the “Star-Spangled Banner” as the children, in white polo shirts with green ribbons pinned to them, stood with their hands on their hearts.

“It’s football. But I just cried,” tweeted actor Brian Baumgartner about the Sandy Hook performance.

The big show, however, came once the 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens got through the first half.

Welcome, Beyonce.

For 12 minutes, she rocked the stage clad in above-the-knee black stiletto boots and a leather minidress.

Powered by an all-female backing band, there was little doubt Beyonce sang live — unlike during President Barack Obama’s inauguration last month where she admitted singing along to a prerecorded track.

And as if that wasn’t enough girl power for the night, Beyonce was joined by her Destiny’s Child bandmates, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.

“Watching the #SuperBowl with family & friends. @Beyonce was phenomenal! I am so proud of her! -mo,” tweeted none other than the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.

She wasn’t the only one. Beyonce’s performance generated 5.5 million tweets!

Lack of power

For the first two quarters, the Ravens seemed unstoppable, steamrolling the 49ers to a 28-6 lead.

But then, half the lights in the Superdome went mysteriously black.

The NFL released a statement saying it was “investigating.” The power company said it was not to blame and that electricity in the rest of the city was fine.

The outage left players, coaches and fans to wait, wait and wait some more.

Social media lit up.

After 35 minutes when the lights slowly went back on, so did San Francisco — prompting many to wonder if the break in play played to the 49ers advantage.

Running back Frank Gore felt differently.

“You have to wait. Football is a game of adjustments. The elements don’t matter,” he told NFL.com. “I’ve been saying it all year, the elements don’t matter in football. You’ve just got to learn how to make adjustments.”

The real MVP?

Quarterbacks often get the glory in the Super Bowl, but wide receiver Jacoby Jones had a strong case for Most Valuable Player. He lost out to Joe Flacco.

Jones scored on two of the most incredible plays in Super Bowl history, including a record 108-yard kickoff return. It took him just 11 seconds on the clock to slice through the 49ers coverage team.

“Jacoby’s been a blessing to this team,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “We’re grateful to have him on this team.”

Jones, who grew up in New Orleans, also caught a 56-yard touchdown pass — his only reception. He fell, got up, decked a defender and sprinted at an angle toward the goal line, beating two 49ers into the end zone.

“Everybody dreams of scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl. But two of ‘em? That’s what’s up!” Jones told NOLA.com. “It was always a goal to win a Super Bowl. To come home and do it, that’s the icing on the cake.”

Jones is definitely the MVP for some Baltimoreans who bought furniture this weekend at a Baltimore store.

The Baltimore Sun reported Gardiners Furniture promised to wipe out the charges for anything purchased on Saturday or Sunday — if the Ravens returned a kick for a touchdown to start a half.

Probably seemed like a good bet at the time.

Grading the ads

Some of the Super Bowl commercials — 30 second ads that cost upward of $4 million — made us weep for different reasons.

There were quite a few that played on our sentiment, from Budweiser’s “Brotherhood” to Jeep’s Oprah-narrated America Will Be Whole Again” to Dodge’s ode, “Farmer.”

Then there was the racy GoDaddy ad that made us want to cry, burn our eyes out and have the Men in Black wipe out our memories.

In it, model Bar Refaeli shares a long kiss with a red-cheeked “nerd” that prompted its own hashtag: #NoDaddy.

“Oh my gosh those kissing noises,” tweeted Chicago college student Grace Barnes.

A no-call to rue

Niners fans will tell you they were robbed of a possible win when referees failed to call a penalty.

In the final quarter, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick attempted a pass to the Niners’ Michael Crabtree in the end zone.

What happened next depends on who’s doing the talking.

Niners’ fans will say Smith deliberately interfered with Crabtree, making it impossible to catch the ball.

Ravens’ fans will say it doesn’t matter, the ball was too high for Crabtree to catch.

Niners’ fans will say the penalty call would have given the team a first down and a great chance to take the lead with less than two minutes left in the game.

Ravens’ fans will say the ball was uncatchable — that it sailed way over Crabtree’s head.

But if you ask New England wide receiver Donte Stallworth, there should have been a penalty flag, even if the ball seemed like it was too high to catch.

“For all y’all saying that ball was uncatchable for Crabtree in the endzone… DUH!! Because dude held thee sh*t outta him…” he tweeted.

Crabtree told Yahoo Sports it was “a missed call.”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said. “I don’t want to think about it.”

That’s OK, the 49ers fans will likely do it for him.

NEW ORLEANS (KTLA) — The lights went out after a power surge at the Superdome.

Officials initially said it would be about 15 minutes to get the lights restored, but it took more than a half hour.

Doug Kolk reports.

NEW ORLEANS (KTLA) — The 49ers and the Ravens will go head-to-head in New Orleans on Super Bowl Sunday, and many fans have their predictions which team will come out on top.

At a few zoos across the country, the animals are also making predictions on the game.

A manatee, a bear, and an orangutan all chose the Ravens to win the game.

Big day reveal or YouTube preview?

That’s the question marketers face as they decide when to release their much-anticipated Super Bowl commercials. Mashable recently reported ads that ran online before the Super Bowl received 9 million views, compared to 1.3 million views for ads that debuted during the big game. Generating buzz and going viral are two measures of success.

In 2012, more than 13.7 million Super Bowl-related tweets were posted during the big game and this year that figure is expected to be higher. Last year, the top ad hashtags were #solongvampires, #makeitplatinum and #beckhamforhm. Does anyone remember what those were for? No matter. It’s a new year! Here are some of the Super Bowl ads currently creating big buzz…

Volkswagen ad – The Minnesota man with the Jamaican accent

Spreading happiness by channeling Jimmy Cliff is the theme of this Volkswagen commercial, which has generated some controversy. While some online discussions question whether the use of a Jamaican accent by a white guy from the “Gopher State” is offensive, commenters on the Volkswagen YouTube page say Jamaicans come in all colors.

“I think it’s great, funny and a compliment to the Caribbean no worries feel happy way of life!” wrote user rebelphoto. “I myself am not Jamaican but work with a good friend who is and I just love the sound of his dialect and the way he spreads his happiness when we are demoralized, just like the guy in the ad. I love Marvin, anyone offended by this ad should watch it and listen closer.”

The Jamaica Gleaner, a newspaper in Kingston, Jamaica, posed the question to their Facebook fans, who mostly agreed the ad was not racist. “There is nothing wrong with this ad it’s not racist,” said Lascelles G. Johnson. “How many Jamaicans speak like Americans?”

Watch the Volkswagen ad

Coca-Cola ad – Race across the desert

A Coca-Cola commercial featuring a race among outlaw cowboys, aggressive showgirls with glitter bombs and scavenging badlanders to reach a giant bottle of soda seems harmless enough. But it’s the lone Arab character leading his camels through the desert who is overtaken by the race participants that has at least one Arab-American group asking for the character to be edited out.

Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee told Reuters on Wednesday the commercial is racist. A Coca-Cola spokeswoman said the characters are a nod to movies of the past.

There hasn’t been much reaction on Twitter. On Coke’s YouTube page, Mona M. said, “I’m Arab and I don’t find this racist only because I don’t allow myself or anyone to lower my people’s standards. I’m smart enough to know that not every Arab is a Bedouin with a camel and not every American is a cowboy or show dancer…. Now can we worry about more important things in life already?!!!”

Watch the Coca-Cola ad

Mercedes-Benz ad – Blond bombshell washes car… in slow motion

The sexy, sudsy Kate Upton video for Mercedes-Benz that released last week gave audiences a peek at the direction the luxury carmaker was heading for the Super Bowl. On Wednesday, Mercedes released the full spot, which features Usher and Willem Dafoe in addition to Upton. Sadly for some, it contains fewer suds, but more fantasy.

Watch the Mercedes-Benz ad

Calvin Klein ad – It’s for underwear, right?

And while we’re talking about sexy, Calvin Klein’s preview featuring male model Matthew Terry prompted this response from YouTube viewer omgboyplex, “Best. 16 seconds. ever.”

Watch the Calvin Klein preview

Audi ad – Kiss the prom queen

Would a teen really go to the prom — in a tuxedo — by himself? Probably not. But Super Bowl ads are definitely not about reality. This Audi commercial challenges viewers to “Be Brave. It’s what defines us.” Oh, and by the way, you could end up with a black eye. But it’s totally worth it.

Watch the Audi ad

Toyota – Your wish is my command

Kaley Cuoco struts around everyday America as a purple genie granting your spoken and unspoken wishes in this Toyota RAV4 commercial that pairs talking squirrels with space travel. Cuoco has been tweeting about the commercial, and although the hashtag #wishgranted hasn’t gotten much buzz ahead of Sunday’s game, at least one person wished for a hobbit plane.

Watch the Toyota ad

Budweiser – What’s in a name?

Beer + baby animals? Budweiser launched a Twitter contest to name the Clydesdale foal that will be featured in its Super Bowl ad. The foal will be seven days old on the day of the big game. Not old enough to drink or vote, but we’re hoping old enough to refuse some of these suggested names: Harmonica, Buddakup and Frodo.

Submit your vote

Kia – The birds and the bees… and a planet

Speaking of baby animals and humans, this panicked dad tries to explain to his young son where babies come from by inventing an elaborate story about the planet Babylandia. In the end, he is saved by a feature in his Kia Sorento that plays music on demand.

Watch the Kia Sorento ad

GoDaddy – You might not want to watch with grandma

Twitter user @renillawafer14 says her least favorite part of the Super Bowl is the “slutty GoDaddy commercials where you just look around at your family like ……” Well Rennie, it’s not likely to be any less uncomfortable this year if these are really the commercials they are planning to air.

Watch the GoDaddy commercial lineup

CNN

Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Courtney Lenz, 23, says she has been barred from the Super Bowl because she weighs too much.

Lenz made the comments during an interview on “Access Hollywood” on Wednesday evening.

“They said that I had quote, unquote, a rough year,” Lenz said. “I’d been benched earlier in the season for a little bit of a weight gain. We do get weighed every week during the season, and you can’t fluctuate at all. I gained, I think it was 1.8 pounds. I had been consistent and they let me cheer previously and then I gained 1.8 or 1.6 pounds and they said because I had gained weight and they wanted me to be consistent or they wanted me to lose, they benched me for a game and because it was a disciplinary action, that was the reason.”

Lenz went on to say that she weighs 124 pounds.

“During the season, I was 124. That was consistently, they wanted me to get back down to 121, 120, which is what I was at when I was 18, 19, when I started on the team,” she said. “That was the only disciplinary action I had during the year. I got benched because of my weight, and they said that was the reason. Anybody that had disciplinary action taken during the season was automatically disqualified [from the Super Bowl]. However, there are some girls on the team that were also benched for their weight, and are going. So they just aren’t consistent, it isn’t fair. That’s why I brought this to the attention of the fans because what they’re doing is not right.”

Lenz has been a Ravens cheerleader for five years.

The Ravens released a statement Thursday morning about the situation:

“As set by the NFL, we are permitted to bring 32 cheerleaders to the Super Bowl. Our selection process was based upon three criteria: seniority, performance ability and personal conduct throughout the season. As much as we would like to take the whole team, we are unable to do so, due to parameters set by the NFL.”

– Los Angeles Times

Entertainment
01/29/13

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