Super Bowl XLVII Recap: Where do you go when the lights go out?

Everyone saw the game and it was a few days ago, so here are just a few points to put a wrap on this sports year*:

  • On that (historical) topic, I’ve been critical of Beyoncé in the recent past, but I thought her performance at halftime was just right for this setting. A no-holds-barred pop experience by one of the top musical celebrities of the day is what the Super Bowl halftime show should be.
  • (On that note, I finally saw the infamous Janet Jackson performance for the first time this week, and there is no possible way that wasn’t an intentional move by Justin Timberlake. How did he get away with that?!)
  • As for the no-call on the fourth-and-goal pass to Michael Crabtree:
    1. Based on where the ball landed, I think the pass was uncatchable, so the no-call is correct.
    2. For what it’s worth, Mike Pereira agrees with me, though for a different reason.
    3. There’s something sort of ironic about the 49ers complaining about a lack of a pass-interference call on the last play of a playoff game, or at least Falcons fans think so.
    4. If you really want to Zapruder the thing, click here and have your heart contented.
  • Also for Crabtree, he intercepted Colin Kaepernick’s first-half touchdown pass to a wide-open Randy Moss, so he probably should include that play in his analysis of the game.
  • Penalties, early and late in the game, really are what doomed San Francisco.
  • I think it’s fair to ask whether we should’ve seen Alex Smith in the game at some point.
  • Who told you about Frank Gore?
  • Who told you before kickoff the Ravens would win?

Thanks for tuning into our Super Bowl coverage. Onward.

*It really feels like the “sports year” ought to run from Super Bowl to Super Bowl, so we’re going to treat it that way around here. I’m not really sure what we’ll touch on between now and the Daytona 500, but there are a few items in the pipeline, so don’t worry. The slowest sports day of the year doesn’t come until July anyway.

No fool’s gold: Frank Gore

The San Francisco 49ers are 9-2, their best start since 2001. In trying to understand the team’s sudden success, many are pointing to some combination of new coach Jim Harbaugh and supposedly resurrected quarterback Alex Smith as the reason for the change.

The one person nobody seems to mention, though, is running back Frank Gore. While Smith and Harbaugh have bumped the Niners up to be the league’s 29th-best passing team, Gore has made them the seventh-best rushing team in the NFL. In a league in which RBs only last for three to five years, Gore is playing in his seventh season, and he played all of them for SF. Since he became a starter in his second year, Gore has rushed for fewer than 1,000 yards in only one season (2010, when he only played eleven games and still rushed for 853 yards), and he never averaged fewer than 4.2 yards per carry. Although his receiving numbers are severely down this year, that’s likely due to Harbaugh-induced schematic changes, and with 909 rushing yards through eleven games, Gore should have no problem finishing on the high side of 1,000 again this year.

While Gore hasn’t done anything out of his ordinary this year, observers’ ignorance of his role in the 49ers’ success requires explanation.