The Superdome had been dark for just a few minutes when it started.
“Ray Lewis killed the lights, too? Geez!”
“NFL: No freaking lights.”
“This time, it’s the rich people trapped in the Superdome.”
At Super Bowl 47, the only thing blacker than the inside of the Superdome was the humor.
And as the Great Super Bowl Power Outage of 2013 stretched on for 33 minutes and 55 seconds, the jokes kept piling up.
“Heckuva job, Brownie.”
“Slowest response in NOLA since FEMA.”
“Superdome officials are now reporting that the lights did not go out.
They were simply spotlighting Manti Te’o’s girlfriend.”
Maybe the biggest laughs came from the Superdome’s spokesman, Eric Eagan, whose written statement said: “Power has been restored.”
This was handed out to the media TWENTY MINUTES AFTER THE LIGHTS CAME BACK ON.
It was the most unintentionally funny moment of the night, unless you count someone playing Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” 10 minutes later. (“Exit light, enter night!”)
Part of the Super Bowl experience is the spectacle. The chance to hobnob with celebrities (“Is that Shaq’s limo?”). Escape some bad weather. (The only snow I saw this week was on a sportwriter’s shoulders.) Overpay for game-time food. (All-beef hot dog: $9. Signature cocktail: $18. Ray Lewis T-shirt: Don’t ask. It’s, ahem, murder on your wallet.)
And, yes, enjoy a blackout — whether at the game or on Bourbon Street.
This was New Orleans’ 10th Super Bowl, and you can see why they’ll get an 11th, 12th and 25th. Super weather. Super people. Super culture.
Sure, some things don’t make sense. Like naming their signature drink (the Hurricane) after their biggest fear. Or naming their football team the Saints when they have the most sinful street this side of Amsterdam.
But for a city that likes to party this much, it makes sense (and cents) to host America’s biggest.
A lot of people will remember the blackout, but the game went on. Young millionaires ran into each other at high speeds to win a trophy. Old millionaires watched it with their trophy wives. And dashingly handsome sports writers with five-figure salaries (and four-figure expense reports) wondered how they ever got this lucky.
For 34 minutes Sunday, America’s biggest sporting event went dark. But when the Superdome awoke, we were still enjoying life in the Big Easy.
The NFL can call that a nightmare if it wants. For me, Sunday was a dream come true.