NEW ORLEANS — OK, now we can officially flip the switch and turn the lights out in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Super Bowl XLVII has come and gone, and we won’t forget it for many reasons, to be sure.
Not for a long time. Not by a long shot.
There were way too many reasons to remember what the city, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation and legions of volunteers did over the past week to make the first Super Bowl in the city in 11 years the rousing success that it was.
To cap it all off, the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers gave us a memorable show with one of the most compelling and entertaining Super Bowls in the game’s 47-year history — complete with lots of raw emotion and the power outage heard around the sports world.
That it went down to the wire with the Ravens hanging on for a nail-biting 34-31 victory in the clash of the Harbaughs will make it even easier to remember in years to come, especially when the NFL returns to this city on a more-regular basis. Like every four or five years.
When it comes around again, certainly no later than 2018, it’s likely south Louisiana fans will still be talking about the play of two of its own: Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who was playing in his hometown, and future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed, who grew up in St. Rose.
First, they’ll remember Reed’s nifty interception in the second quarter, which was the 70th of his stellar NFL career. Nine of them have come in the playoffs, equaling the league’s postseason record.
Jones had an eventful evening as well with an acrobatic 56-yard catch-and-run touchdown near the end of the first half and an electric 108-yard kickoff return for a second score coming out of the halftime locker room.
His two quick-strike touchdowns gave the Ravens a comfortable 28-6 lead just 11 seconds into the second half, which had them on the verge of running the Niners out of the building until half of the Superdome suddenly and inexplicably went dark for 34 minutes.
The sight of watching anxious players and coaches, as well as NFL officials, milling around the floor of the cavernous stadium wondering what would happen next will be a lasting memory to be sure.
While some will take shots at New Orleans and the Superdome, saying it’s too antiquated to host the NFL’s biggest game, it added yet another unique element that made it such a memorable week in the Big Easy.
Somewhere, you know the late “Dandy” Don Meredith was watching.
If you grew up in the 1970s watching Monday Night Football, you could just hear the folksy former quarterback and ABC announcer loosening up his vocal cords for the Willie Nelson song Meredith regaled millions of fans with at game’s end:
“Turn out the lights, the party’s over;
“They say that all good things must end;
“Call it a night, the party’s over;
“And tomorrow starts, the same old thing again.”