The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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February 11, 2013

Joe Hadsall: Super Bowl power outage shouldn't shame Superdome

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Baltimore Ravens may have won Super Bowl 47, but the big loser wasn't the San Francisco 49ers. It was the Mercedes Benz Superdome.

By now, you probably know -- even if you didn't watch the game or any of the commercials -- that many of the lights went out in the dome a few minutes into the third quarter of the game. Play was paused for about 34 minutes while stadium officials got the lights on again.

I hated to see that happen, because I knew it would reflect poorly on my beloved birth city and its ability to host a Super Bowl ever again. But at the time, I didn't realize what a moronic notion that was.

It took hearing it from sports pundits to realize how dumb that idea was. Did I really hear Stephen A. Smith and Dan Marino say that there should never be another Super Bowl in the Superdome again? I thought I heard that, but I can't find any verification.

Of course, they will hold a Super Bowl in New Orleans again, as well as countless other events, including NCAA championships for football and basketball. And it will be in the running to host the Super Bowl in 2018, coinciding with the city's 300th anniversary. How great would that be?

The reason for the outage still isn't clear. Superdome officials will hire an outside agency to investigate, but already information has surfaced that there were power outages during rehearsals for Beyonce's halftime show.

Also, officials knew that there was a risk as early as Oct. 15, and rushed to replace some of the key equipment in its grid before the big game.

But regardless of what the investigation finds, I fully believe that there will be more Super Bowls played in the Crescent City.

Worse things have happened in other cities. Two years ago, Dallas adopted an ostrich-like approach to dealing with ice before Super Bowl 45, and the stadium is still in court over a game-day seating flub. Already experts are wondering if next year's Super Bowl, to be held in New Jersey's chilly MetLife Stadium, will have a halftime show because of cold weather.

Super Bowl 49 will be held in Arizona. No. 50 will be in either San Francisco or Miami, and 51 gets either of those two towns or Houston. It's not hard to imagine New Orleans being a finalist to host Super Bowl 52, which is one of my lucky numbers, by the way.

Besides, the outage provided plenty of entertainment on Facebook and Twitter. My online friends didn't disappoint:

"Next year's game will be played at Motel 6."

"Ray Lewis killed the lights."

One of my favorites was a doctored photo of New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton having his revenge by ripping wires out of a fuse box.

In any event, the Super Bowl's completion marks the end of a miserable year for my beloved, scandal-plagued, record-setting-bad defense Saints. Payton is back, quarterback Drew Brees is in his prime, the offense is still loaded and a new defensive coordinator (probably Rob Ryan) will get the defense rolling again. September can't get here quickly enough.

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