Following the aftermath of the Super Bowl, there has been tons of media output from moments captured from the game. The Super Bowl is one of the biggest media events in the world -- there is no shortage of cameras. In a recent development, NFL.com reported some suspicious behavior on the Baltimore Ravens sideline as the game was winding down.
The Ravens had just taken a voluntary safety in their own end zone, which would be followed by a free kick. Ted Ginn Jr. went back to return with only a few seconds left on the game clock.
The San Francisco 49ers were hoping on a wing and prayer.
Prior to the free kick, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was perusing the sideline for someone that would be willing to trip Ginn if he were to run one back. He came across tight end Dennis Pitta and his other offensive linemen, telling them to interfere with the play on the field.
Flacco: If he starts to break it, go tackle him.
Pitta: Really? (inaudible hesitance)
Flacco: I don't know ... what else can ... I mean, they might be able to get a touchdown on that, but I don't know.
Flacco: Hey, if he breaks it, if he busts this for some reason, tackle him; go tackle him ... I don't know what the rule is on that, but ...
Birk: Why can't you?
Flacco: I will - I'm going to.
However, it never came down to this. Ginn was tackled and the game was over, which means Flacco did not have to make another "MVP-like" play. Had it come down to this, Flacco could have been disqualified from the game and the 49ers could have been awarded the touchdown.
And since they were only down three-points, it would have been a game-winning score. The NFL has strict rules against interference for obvious reasons, citing it as an "unfair act."
According to the NFL Rule Book's Rule 12, Section, 3, Article 3:
"Palpably Unfair Act: A player or substitute shall not interfere with play by any act which is palpably unfair. Penalty: For a palpably unfair act: Offender may be disqualified. The Referee, after consulting his crew, enforces any such distance penalty as they consider equitable and irrespective of any other specified code penalty. The referee may award a score."
Clearly, Joe Flacco was willing to cheat to get the win. After witnessing what NFL Sound FX caught on camera, one can see that Flacco was caught up in the moment. Nothing about his tone or demeanor suggested that he was kidding around.
Take a look at the video linked above and use your best judgement to analyze the situation. The faces of his teammates emoted nothing but confusion and questionability. So, this was not a theme by the team, but merely the suggestions of a single individual.
Ladies and gentlemen, your Super Bowl XLVII MVP.