Chalk it up to the "
The journey everybody has been talking about in the Ravens locker room for the last month officially came to an end at 10:44 p.m. Sunday with their arrival at the mountaintop. Three straight times, the oddsmakers said it couldn't be done only to have newly minted Super Bowl MVP
What exactly did you expect to happen when they got to the Big Easy and everything they had worked so long and hard for was finally within reach?
Did you really think Flacco was suddenly going to stop piling up playoff touchdown passes when he got to the
Did you seriously believe that Lewis would play the last game of his terrific 17-year career and walk off the field with the same number of championship rings he came with?
"How else do you say 'thank you' to your teammates and the people of Baltimore who believed in you?'' Lewis said. "We're going to take the trophy back to them. There's just no better way to go out."
Of course, Lewis couldn't have stayed out of the spotlight if he had tried — and he didn't — but this night belonged to Joe Cool, who has spent this postseason setting records and poking a football in the face of everyone who ever questioned whether he belonged among the
That conversation should have ended when he dispensed with
Flacco threw for three touchdowns in the first half and
What happened after that was just as otherworldly. Somehow, all that pent-up electrical energy seemed to flow right out of the Ravens and into the 49ers. The momentum shifted so fast that San Francisco was threatening to tie the score before the end of the quarter. It took one more big red zone stand in the final two minutes of the game and a strange voluntary safety with 12 seconds left before the celebration could finally begin.
The confetti was still floating over the field a half-hour later.
"We don't make it easy,'' Flacco said at the trophy presentation. "That's the way the city of Baltimore is. That's the way we are."
That makes two Lombardi Trophies during the Ravens era to go with two NFL championships and a Super Bowl title for the old
"Thank you, Baltimore fans, for sticking with us, for believing in us,'' Harbaugh said. "We all did it together. I'm talking about the fans, the players and the coaches and the organization, all the little kids wearing purple on Friday, all the little kids at
What a year it has been. The Ravens survived a string of significant injuries and a dramatic late-season coaching change to stage an inspiring surge that started with a resounding regular-season victory over the defending Super Bowl champion
The Broncos probably were the best all-around team in the
Who could possibly have doubted that after Lewis announced his retirement leading into the postseason and led all defensive players with 44 tackles during the Ravens' first three playoff victories? Who could question the karma when all-everything offensive tackle
Think about it. The first thing anyone can really remember about this season was the devastating Achilles tendon injury suffered by 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
If anyone had told you they'd lose Lewis and cornerback
Read more from columnist Peter Schmuck on his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here" at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog and listen when he co-hosts "The Week in Review" at noon Fridays on WBAL (1090 AM) and at wbal.com.