Thoughts from the first quarter of the Super Bowl.
There really is a huge difference in crowd noise in a dome versus a regular stadium. Even two hours before the game, when there were only maybe 5,000 fans in the Superdome, it felt like there were 50,000.
I'd say the fan breakdown is about 55 percent Ravens, 35 percent 49ers and 10 percent everybody else. There's more fans of the teams than I expected. I assumed there'd be a lot of corporate "I'm happy to be here but don't care who wins" fans.
It's weird watching a Super Bowl without commercials. During the breaks, they have little video packages on the videoboards. (For instance, they showed every 49ers touchdown this year in 60 seconds.)
It definitely doesn't feel like a real game. Maybe it's because of the split crowd or the fact that it's indoors or because the hard-core blue-collar fans can't afford it, but it's a little too ... well-behaved.
I know the 49ers are trailing, but you can tell QB Colin Kaepernick is going to be a real headache for the Ravens defense. He's significantly faster than anyone in Baltimore's front seven.
I have no earthly idea how Pitt's coaches decided to play Tyler Palko over Joe Flacco when he was in college. I remember watching Palko against Youngstown State and he was awful.
Flacco, of course, transferred to Delaware, then was drafted by the Ravens. So, to sum up, he played at Pittsburgh, then transferred to a school that wears helmets with the Michigan Wolverines' design, then got drafted by the Ravens. For Browns fans in Ohio, this is the triple crown of reasons to dislike an athlete.