By Alan Stein February 5, 2013
Here are 7 things you can learn from Super Bowl XLVII:
1. Player leadership is invaluable. I know many people who despise him, but it’s hard to argue that Ray Lewis is one of the best on the field leaders (and most inspiring players) in the history of team sports. As far as his play is concerned, he leads by example. No one outworks him.
2. Focus on what you can control. You can’t control a power outage. You can control your effort and attitude. The 49ers did a tremendous job of using the 35-minute delay to their advantage by taking a proverbial deep breath and calming down after the gut punch they took on the kickoff return after halftime.
3. No excuses. Keeping in mind that I am the only high school strength & conditioning coach to ever get a technical foul during a game, I can certainly empathize with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh for feeling like he got screwed on the no pass interference call against Michael Crabtree at the end of the game. But one play never wins or loses a game. Winning and losing is culmination of every play that takes place after kick-off (or the jump ball).
4. Underdogs can get it done. The Ravens had a good regular season, but not an amazing one. They were a 4-seed and entered the playoffs a little bit under the radar. Joe Flacco, a Delaware grad, entered the NFL the same way. In a post game press conference, Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh said that the first time he met Joe he knew he wanted to draft him. Why? Because he had a chip on his shoulder and was willing to do whatever it took to prove people wrong and show he could make it in the NFL.
5. Defense wins championships. I know that is an overused cliché, but it is true. Granted, the Ravens’ offense was impressive… their defense always has been and always will be their foundation and their identity (with full respect to Joe Flacco). Great defense takes pressure off of your offense. Yes, I realize the Ravens’ D gave up a ton of yards and a ton of points in the big game… but they are still a defensive oriented organization.
6. Don’t ever give up. After the Ravens’ returned the opening 2nd half kick-off for a touchdown, I posted a Tweet that simply said, ‘Game OVER.’ I really thought that was the nail in the coffin and that the Ravens’ had insurmountable momentum. Then the power outage occurred and the 49ers were able to compose themselves. They never lost belief that they could win. They maintained poise and confidence. They never gave up and they came out swinging when the lights came on.
7. Hype doesn’t count. Only results do. Like millions of people, I watch the Superbowl as much for the commercials as I do for the game. Despite a tremendous amount of hype, I wasn’t impressed. Overall, I thought the commercials were pretty lame. I almost puked when that model kissed that fat, Internet nerd. Not GoDaddy’s best work. I think there will be a lot of ad execs that have some serious explaining to do this week to their bosses!