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Another great moment for false narratives

Feb 4, 2013, 8:52 AM EDT

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

You won’t be surprised to hear that I did not watch the Super Bowl. I’m not trying to act all superior or anything or make some anti-football statement. Just saying that I didn’t watch it because the NFL is not my thing. Instead I watched several “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” episodes, with the “Who pooped the bed?” episode standing out as the absolute topper.

OK, maybe I am trying to act superior. That show is the best.

Anyway, Joe Sheehan did watch the game and he wrote about how anyone telling you that the third quarter power outage changed the momentum of the game and allowed the 49ers nearly successful comeback to get going is full of beans.

No, it has nothing to do with baseball. But baseball has plenty of false narrative of its own. Normally that false narrative starts in some obscure play in some obscure game or bit of history and people tend not to question it because looking back at what really happened is difficult. The Super Bowl blackout false narrative is great, though, because everyone in the world who doesn’t have the good sense to watch “Always Sunny” marathons was watching it so anyone passing it off as the reason for the 49ers comeback is engaging in some particularly bold and obvious narrative-mongering.

Be ever-vigilant, my friends. The forces of false narrative are always out there waiting to take advantage of the gullible. Don’t let them.

  1. jarathen - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    I blame the outage on Nightman. He’s sneaky and mean.

    • pmcenroe - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      You gotta pay the troll toll if you want to get into that boy(‘s)hole

    • nightman13 - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Hey, I have a perfectly good alibi for last night! And I am not mean, but I am very sneaky.

    • okwhitefalcon - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      Don’t “narrative” me bro.

  2. Jason Lukehart - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Always Sunny is much like the NFL, in that it is vastly overrated.

    • proudlycanadian - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      I have never watched Always Sunny and have no desire to do so; however, I think that Drew is also a fan of it.

      • sdelmonte - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:30 AM

        I know I would hate that show, but I can’t condemn anything that keeps Danny DeVito employed.

    • Old Gator - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      I agree. I’ll be damned if I want my taxes supporting his stick deoderant habit.

  3. sdelmonte - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    I still think that the blackout was a travesty and ruined the game. And that if it happened to a baseball game, the whole world would be saying that. But football, as always, gets a free ride.

    This is yet another reason baseball is better, though. We will never know if things would have been different if the lights stayed on because it’s just one game. Whereas (unless it was game seven) there is always another matchup coming.

    Of course, it would help the cause if baseball had more game sevens.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      So the rain delay that caused I think it was the red sox to clinch their World Series a few years back didn’t ruin the game? I may have the team wrong but baseball has had plenty of delays that ruined games.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        That should say “clinch their world series the next day”

      • sdelmonte - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        Yes, and I never hesitate to say that. It stinks. And it’s part of baseball. But it’s not part of football.

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:23 PM


        Baseball delays suck because of the pitching implications, like losing your starter to a 2-hour delay after just 1 IP.

        And what is the point of saying the delay helped the 49ers? They didn’t win, or even tie or take the lead.

    • sportsdrenched - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      I follow NASCAR as well as baseball & football. There has been two Daytona 500’s in recent years where there were significant delays. One was a track malfunction, and the other was last year when Juan Pablo Montoya HIT the jet dryer on the track. On both occasions local radio honks who don’t get NASCAR condemned the sport because nothing like that would ever happen at the Super Bowl. Oooops.

      Logistics are logistics and no sport is immune to logistics going wrong.

  4. The Dangerous Mabry - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    I thought it was obvious that the power outage was intentional, and designed to allow for more commercials to run during the broadcast. /conspiracytheory

    • sdelmonte - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      I expect a ton of conspiracy theories, ranging from China/Iran/Kim Dotcom hacking in, to Joe Montana pulling the plug, to Bane staging a remake of Dark Knight Rises.

      • Old Gator - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        Yep, and the NFL is now “investigating.” Guffaw! Me, I think a cockaroach got into one of the relays. Zzzzzzzztttttttt! Period. End of story. Next thing you know, we’ll be hearing that the Loma Prieta earthquake was caused by fracking. Anyway, I just sat back and watched half an episode of Treme while the blackout went on. A national treasure – if the nation but knew.

        Anyway, at risk of incurring Craig’s wrath, I gotta say that, unless you were a Niners fan, last night’s was about the best Superbowl – as opposed to the usual Stupor Bowl – in about five years. Went through three bags of popcorn and half a cup of real sweet cream butter, half a veggie special pizza liberally sprinkled with crushed red pepper and grated cheese, and half a dozen buzzard wings from Casola’s, three bottles of O’Doule’s amber special. I don’t want to be too explicit about where I will probably be spending most of the late morning and early afternoon because of that, but here’s a hint: it’s got a stack of old National Geographics on top of the tank next to the pull chain.

    • jarathen - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      They wanted to make sure no one heard Forrest’s thoughts on Vietnam.

    • umrguy42 - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      You would, except for the fact that they didn’t really show any more of them, at least not any cool ones. /colddashoflogic

  5. deathmonkey41 - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Leave A-Rod alone!!! Oh, sorry, just a force of habit.

    • sdelmonte - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      Gotta admit, the A-Rod story was bigger than any Super Bowl story last week. So in a weird way, baseball trumps football for once.

  6. shoehole - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Craig. USANETWORK showed old re-runs of NCIS all night.

    • deathmonkey41 - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Speaking of vastly overrated television. That goth chick is the most ridiculously laughable and badly conceived character on TV since Steve Urkel.

      • chumthumper - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        …and for a lab that analyzes body parts, bullet fragments and every other substance known to man and gosh knows what else, plus all its sophisticated technological gizmos, the place has windows for all the world to see through.

  7. wonkypenguin - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    A friend of mine is really hoping Poweroutagegate catches on… :-)

  8. elpendejo59 - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    …because pooping the bed is funny.

  9. chip56 - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    For what it’s worth: when Baltimore’s offensive players say that being off the field for 80 minutes (extended half time + blackout) impacted their offensive continuity, which they did, then the narrative is no longer false, it’s just a narrative.

    But far be it for me to disparage the false narratives about false narratives being spewn forth by the author…

    • nightman13 - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      I love that he chose the Ravens to “discount” a false narrative. The team that played significantly better with their inspirational leader than without. Despite the fact that their inspiration leader is washed up and a detriment when he’s actually on the field.

      So momentum doesn’t exist but inspiration does? Is this line between false and real curved?

  10. jwbiii - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    A New Orleans friend of mine had the tweet of the night: “This time, it’s the rich folks in the Dome without power.”

  11. elmo - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    There was a football game on yesterday?

    That’s the game with the NON-spherical ball, right?

  12. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Sheehan is a frigging moron and I will leave it at that. Maybe if it didn’t affect the team winning 28-6 then the competition committee should create a new rule starting next year saying that a team, when falling behind by 22 points, can say “I call a 35 minute time out” so that they can check the pictures and adjust to what has been happening the last 33+ minutes. Not to mention, completely stemming the tide of a 109 yard KO return for a TD. His points are stupid and short-term in his lame and ridiculous article.

    This was not a narrative. It was fact. The 35 minute “time-out” helped the 49ers far more than it helped the Ravens. Anyone who disagrees either is a 49ers fan or bet them. And trust me…I hate the Ravens because of Ray Lewis.

    • paperlions - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      Post hoc ergo proptor hoc

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      You do remember that it was the 49ers who had the ball when the blackout occurred right? The had a third and 7, threw incomplete, punted, Ravens ran 4 plays, punted, and then the 49ers scored their first td?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        church, you sound like Sheehan…as if the lights went out and a magic switch just immediately turned the 49ers better. They had a good 40 minutes to study the film and their first play didn’t work but that doesn’t matter. The 49ers defense, younger and more athletic easily stopped the Ravens, like the did to them the entire second half. The Ravens Offense basically spent about 70 straight minutes off the field…between Beyonce, the 109 kick off return, and then the 35 minute time out, they got cold. Meanwhile, the 49ers offense got to adjust by looking at the pictures of formations, etc. while the Ravens older veteran defense wore down because they got tighter as they sat there for 35-40 minutes trying to stretch and stay loose.

        Again, to both you and Sheehan…just because THE FIRST FREAKING play for San Fran didn’t result in a 70 yard touchdown doesn’t mean the 35 minute time-out didn’t help the team in distress. Anyone with any semblance of common sense knows it did. Otherwise, they would have a 35 minute time out.

      • paperlions - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        They just had a 40 minute time out minutes before that called half time. You are assuming that somehow the extra time benefited SF but could not or did not benefit Bal, for which there is no evidence.

        No matter what happened after the power outage, there were going to be nonsensical narrative woven around it….hell, all of the possible logical fallacies were being written before the lights even came back on.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        church, you sound like Sheehan

        That might be the most insulting thing you’ve ever said to me Chris! 😉

        I’m not saying that the blackout didn’t help one team or hinder another, I’m saying that many int he media, and many fans, don’t seem to remember that SF had the ball when it occurred, that the Ravens got the ball back, and then the 49ers got another position before they scored.

        I think it did help the 49ers in that they are generally a younger team across the board, and the time out might have helped them regain their composure. However, to merely say that “extra time from blackout = momentum shift” narrative doesn’t follow facts. I think there’s a lot more involved than just the blackout.

    • nightman13 - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      Momentum and emotion are definitely real in football. Anybody that says they aren’t needs to read about how the placebo effect works.

  13. a125125125 - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Contending that the blackout had nothing to do with the way the 3rd (and 4th) quarter of that game played out is a sure sign that you weren’t watching the game (Or, alternatively, were watching it and don’t know what you’re talking about.) Also….It’s Always Sunny is a great show….for dumb people that want to pretend their into “smart” comedy.

    • a125125125 - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      *pretend they’re into “smart” comedy.

    • fusionix7 - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      Sounds like somebody needs to get back to the Big Bang Theory marathon.

      • a125125125 - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:15 PM

        Won’t be happening. Hope you idiots enjoy “Entourage” (another show for dopes) starring Craig as Vince and all his boyfriend commentators as the “Yes Men” supporting cast.

  14. koufaxmitzvah - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Craig, why do you hate America and love Al Qaida? And what is Al Qaida doing watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelpha?

    The first season of It’s Always Sunny is one of the best first seasons ever.

  15. stlouis1baseball - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    The power outage is probably the fault of that crazy ass NRA. Or potentially the doings of Glenn Beck.
    Perhaps George W. Bush. No? Maybe it’s Mitt Romney or Bane Capitals greedy asses. Wall Street? Sarah Palin’s ignorant cronies? Or the racist cops who profield Torii Hunter. Something is amiss.
    It’s a conspiracy I tell you. I blatant conspiracy!

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