Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Goodell praises New Orleans despite outage

NEW ORLEANS — The blackout at the Superdome will not stop the Super Bowl from returning to New Orleans.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that despite the electrical outage which delayed Sunday night's game for 34 minutes, the city did a "terrific" job hosting its first pro football championship in the post-Katrina era.

"Let me reiterate again what an extraordinary job the city of New Orleans has done," Goodell said Monday at a post-Super Bowl media conference held for the game's most valuable player, Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, and winning coach John Harbaugh. "The most important thing is to make sure people understand it was a fantastic week."

Baltimore's 34-31 victory over San Francisco was the 10th Super Bowl hosted by New Orleans, tying Miami for the most.

While serving as the site of America's biggest sporting event and focus of an unofficial national holiday gets any place a lot of attention, this game had special meaning for New Orleans.

The city last hosted the Super Bowl in 2002 and officials hoped this would serve as the ultimate showcase — on a global scale — of how far it has come since being devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"I do not think this will have an effect on future Super Bowls in New Orleans," Goodell said. "I fully expect to be back here for Super Bowls. I hope we will be back."

The cause of the blackout remained under investigation, but public records released Monday show Superdome officials were worried about a power outage several months before the game. An Oct. 15 memo released by the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District, which oversees the Superdome, says tests on the dome's electrical feeders showed they had "some decay and a chance of failure."

A couple of potential culprits had been ruled out. It wasn't Beyonce's electrifying halftime performance, according to stadium manager Doug Thornton, and it apparently wasn't a case of too much demand for power.

NGATA GIMPY: Ravens DL Haloti Ngata injured his left knee Sunday but was walking without crutches Monday and said he was feeling better, USA Today reported.

RAVENS PARTY: Baltimore is in party-planning mode a day after the Ravens' victory. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says a parade for the team will begin this morning at City Hall and end with a free celebration at M&T Bank Stadium starting at 12:30 p.m. The National Weather Service forecast temperatures in the 30s with a 20 percent chance of rain or snow.

VIEWERSHIP: CBS's game telecast drew the third-most average viewers in Super Bowl history (and in the history of American television). The previous two Super Bowls drew more — 111.3 million last year and 111.0 million in 2011. But the total audience was 164.1 million, a record.

BETTORS' PARADISE: Sports fans bet a record $98.9 million at Nevada casinos. The Gaming Control Board says unaudited tallies show 183 sports books made $7.2 million on the action. In 2006 gamblers wagered $94.5 million in Nevada. Casinos say they lost big on proposition bets, especially when the Ravens gave up a safety in the closing seconds. Casinos paid out at 9-to-1 for the safety and fans who bet that the 49ers' final score would be on a safety cashed in at 50-to-1.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: The Lions released WR Titus Young. His relationship with the team soured this season, and he posted on his Twitter account last month: "If y'all going to cut me let me go." … Rookie LB Brandon Joiner was activated by the Bengals after completing a prison term. The Bengals signed him out of Arkansas State as an undrafted free agent, knowing he would go to prison in Texas over a robbery that led to his indictment in 2008. He missed this season while serving his sentence. … An attorney for the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, which runs the Edward Jones Dome, says it is unlikely the CVC will implement the Rams' plan to upgrade the team's home. City officials believe the team's plan would cost $700 million to $800 million.

OBITUARY: Walt Sweeney, a standout offensive lineman for the Chargers in the 1960s and 1970s, has died at 71. The team website says Sweeney died Saturday of pancreatic cancer.

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