After the opening kickoff of the second half of Sunday night’s Super Bowl XLVII game in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, it appeared the Baltimore Ravens were headed for a blowout win over the 4 1/2-point favored San Francisco 49ers.

An NFL record-tying 108-yard kickoff return by former Houston Texan speedster Jacoby Jones following the great halftime performance by singer Beyonce` upped the Ravens lead to 28-6 and gave the sellout crowd an inkling that a one-sided game really was in progress.

But moments after the ensuing kickoff, most of the Superdome lights dimmed and then went out, producing a blackout delay that lasted exactly 33 minutes and 55 seconds, which should not have been beneficial or harmful to either Super Bowl team.

However, the great momentum the Ravens appeared to have after Jones’ great kickoff return seemed to have dimmed more than the stadium lights as the 49ers, led by 25-year-old quarterback Colin Kaepernick  came roaring back when play was resumed and rattled off 17 unanswered points and almost pulled off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

Ironically, it was a brilliant goal-line stand by the Ravens defense, led by retiring perennial All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis that saved the day for Baltimore. The Ravens’ defense stopped the 49ers on downs on the five-yard line with 1:46 remaining to salvage the win. Lewis led a blitz on the fourth down try that led to an incompletion in the end zone.

“Can you imagine? The final series of Ray Lewis’ career was a goal-line stand for the Lombardi Trophy,” Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh was quoted saying to a reporter from the Houston Chronicle in the Ravens’ winning dressing room after the game. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who has led his team to the NFL playoffs for each of his five years that he was been the Ravens starter, hurt the 49ers early and often, throwing all three of his touchdown passes in the first half. He was an easy choice for Super Bowl XLVII’s Most Valuable Player.  He has led the Ravens to 63 wins since 2008, the most wins in NFL history.

Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and earned him a quarterback rating of 124.2. His brilliant performance came at just the right time, too, because his contract has now expired.

He was offered a new contract last fall, but turned it down because he believed he would have a super year in 2012, which he did. And now the sky is the limit for his future earnings as the Ravens quarterback.

Flacco joined Joe Montana (1989) and Kurt Warner (2008) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw as many as 11 touchdown passes without an interception in the postseason.

In the 2012 playoffs Flacco was 73-of-126 (57.9 per cent) for 1,140 yards and a 117.2 quarterback rating.

NFL records were tied by Jones’ 108-yard kickoff return and by Ravens’ veteran All-Pro safety Ed Reed, who registered his ninth interception of his postseason career.

What has really boggled this Korner’s mind for the past two weeks is why the Baltimore Ravens have been overlooked by the odds makers throughout the entire 2012 NFL playoffs?

Perhaps it was the roller-coaster ride they were on during the regular season when they were annihilated 43-13 by our Houston Texans Oct. 21. Or maybe it was the four games they lost in December to the Pittsburgh Steelers (23-20), Washington Redskins (31-28), Denver Broncos (34-17) and the Cincinnati Bengals (23-17).

But it must be remembered that several of the key players—especially on defense- were out with injuries. Most of them were healed, but held out of the season’s finale against Cincinnati and played well in their convincing 24-9 victory over Indianapolis in the Wild Card segment of the NFL playoffs.

The Ravens ignored the Las Vegas Boys who made them a 9 ½-point underdog to Peyton Manning and his Broncos teammates up in cold Denver in the AFC semifinal game.

The Vegas Boys thought so little about the Ravens’ 38-35 come-from-behind upset victory in the Mile High City that they made Baltimore another 9 1/2-point underdog when they played the New England Patriots for the AFC Championship game in Foxborough, MA.

And even after humiliating the Patriots 28-13 in front of their home fans, those genius odds makers made San Francisco a 4 ½-point favorite when the Super Bowl kicked off Sunday evening in New Orleans.

I suspect there was a lot more of that big California money bet on the 49ers in Las Vegas than the blue collar dollars that are generated in the Baltimore area.

They believed that free-spirited quarterback Colin Kaepernick, with only 10 NFL games under his belt, was going to outclass Joe Flacco, whose been to the NFL playoffs in all five of his seasons since being drafted by Baltimore.

After all, before Sunday night the San Francisco 49ers had NEVER lost in their first five appearances in the Super Bowl. Perhaps they never ran up against a team that was influenced by a player as great as Ray Lewis in his career finale. Or maybe, the best team really won!!!

Baltimore’s veteran outside linebacker Terrell Suggs may have summed up the Ravens’ plight in the 2012 playoffs. “We beat the future (Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck), we beat the past (Denver’s Peyton Manning), we beat the present (New England’s Tom Brady) and we beat the greatest show in the NFL in the Niners’ Colin Kaepernick.”

KWICKIES…Retired Orangefield ISD superintendent Phillip Welch has returned to the high school campus as he was recently named as the interim athletic director at Hardin-Jefferson ISD in Sour Lake.

Orange’s 71-year old Marathon Man Ken Ruane won his age group in the 13.1-mile Park-to-Park half-marathon held at Sulphur, La. Saturday morning. Kenny ran the event in 1:43:06 and finished 13th overall in the field of 99 runners and was the oldest runner in the race. “I feel like I improved quite a bit since the Houston Marathon four weeks ago and ran this race 10 minutes faster,” Ruane said. He plans to concentrate on shorter races of 5K and 10K in the spring.

Baltimore’s victory over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday put them in the elite group of multiple Super Bowl winners led by the Pittsburgh Steelers (6), Dallas and San Francisco (5), Green Bay and the NY Giants (4), Washington, New England and the Oakland/LA Raiders (3). The Ravens joined Denver, Miami and the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts with 2.

John and Jim Harbaugh are the only brothers that have ever been head coaches at the same time in the NFL. They have made the Top Ten Sports Siblings of all time; 9. Waltrips—Darrell and Michael had a collective 88 wins and 520 top ten finishes on the auto racing circuit; 8. Alous—Felipe, Matty and Jesus a collective 49 major league seasons; 7. Di Maggios—Joe, Vince and Dom a collective 34 major league seasons; 6. Charltons—John, Jack and Sir Bobby two World Cup soccer medals and 333 goals; 5. Richards- Maurice “The Rocket” and Henri “Pocket Rocket” a collective 40 NHL seasons, two Hockey Hall of Fame spots; 4. Millers—Darrell, Reggie and Cheryl a major league baseball player, an NBA star and women’s basketball icon; 3.Mannings—Peyton and Eli a collective three Super Bowl titles, four Super Bowl appearances, three Super Bowl MVP awards; 2. Williams’s—Venus and Serena a collective 22 Grand Slam singles titles, 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles; 1. Sutters—Brian, Darryl, Duane, Brent, Rich and Ron six brothers a collective 86 NHL playing seasons with six Stanley Cups.

Phil Mickelson seems to play at a higher level whenever Tiger Woods is not entered in the golf tournament. He fired rounds of 60-65-64-67—256 to win the Phoenix Open by four strokes last weekend after leading wire-to wire for the entire four rounds. Lefty just missed the PGA Tour record of 254 set by Tommy Armour III in the 2003 Texas Open.

JUST BETWEEN US…The sports media members who will be covering Super Bowl XLVIII next February had better forget about the posh and comfortable working conditions they usually enjoy during this football extravaganza. Next year’s event will be at Sun Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.—the home field for both the New York Giants and the New York Jets. The temperature at Sun Life at kickoff Sunday night was 21 degrees, with a wind chill factor closer to zero. So the media and the fans had better bring their parkas, earmuffs and fur-line gloves for this one!!!