Super Bowl: the top players and stories - big stars, cute pups & power cuts

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

It’s the biggest sporting event in the US. But don’t worry if the game itself leaves you cold, we’ve picked the top players and stories on and off the field

Introducing Jacoby Jones

So often a sideshow amid the razzmataz, ads and half-time perfomances, sport did pretty well, providing by many accounts the most thrilling match in Superbowl history. One record was fixed: a  108-yard kick-off return for a touchdown by a man called Jacoby Jones (above). Translated, that means the Baltimore Ravens wide receiver ran the length of the pitch like Usain Bolt with a Star Trek forcefield. The 28-year-old, playing in his home city, added a second touchdown to help his team to victory.

Nicely timed, Beyoncé

What better time to announce a world tour than immediately after wowing 100 million sport fans around the globe? After Beyoncé’s triumphant Super Bowl half-time show, which included the long-awaited return of Destiny’s Child, dates for the 46 day tour, which kicks off in April, were revealed. O2 also released a rather fabulous ad, depicting Queen Bey holding court in an opulent Marie Antoinette-esque setting; except this scene included trippy DJs, gold fingernails and much shorter hemlines. Calling her tour “The Mrs Carter Show” has, however, riled some of her female fans who are none too happy that the self-confessed independent woman is using her husband’s name for professional purposes.

Lights, camera, power cut

Had Beyoncé blown the lights with her electrifying half-time performance? Was Bane about to appear in his John Motson/Ikea monkey coat and make mumbled threats about a neutron bomb? For 35 minutes audiences were in the dark about the cause of a sudden powercut affecting more than half of the Superdome’s lights on the richest night in US sport. As speculation and bad jokes circulated, confused players formed huddles and the city energy supplier claimed no responsibility. The cut was blamed yesterday on a rather sensitive circuit breaker but, happily, a Beyoncé-related power surge  could not be ruled out.

Super (Bowl) sibling rivalry

As any teenage fule knows, the immediate reaction to the success of a sibling is to immediately try to trump it at the dinner table the next day. When the Harbaugh family next gets back together for dinner you’d imagine that Jim (49ers’ coach) will be finding some  triumph to outdo older brother John’s: “Dad, I caught a 18lb  spotted seaperch near the Bay  last week. And John spilt coffee  on the rug in the front room.”

John: “I won the Super  Bowl, Mom.”

John told the press after the game that commiserating with his brother at the end of the game was “probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, ever been associated with in my life.” It won’t be as hard as the stare he gets when he tells everyone about the facilities on the open-top bus for the third time at Thanksgiving…

Ali in the audience The Louisville Lip may be from Kentucky, but during Sunday’s Super Bowl, Muhammad Ali was showing his support for the Baltimore Ravens. We know this because the former boxer’s daughter Laila posted a picture of her dad enjoying the game in a Ray Lewis 52 T-shirt (he follows the Ravens having met the team last year). The Ravens’ signature “What’s my name?” call, too, comes from Ali shouting the same thing at Ernie Terrell in a 1967 fight (Terrell had made a point of calling Ali, “Clay”) Laila was moved to show her dad enjoying himself after Ali’s brother Rahman  – who hadn’t seen Muhammad since last summer – claimed he was close to death in an interview with The Sun. A rumour that Ali Jr had indeed exaggerated.

Puppy Bowl:  it’s barking

What did ITV show while the Olympics Opening Ceremony was on BBC1? Well, quite. The Super Bowl demands such a huge US audience (a 111m average in 2012) that other broadcasters might as well not bother.

Nature channel Animal Planet took a counter intuitive approach – merging their competition with their own niche to create… Puppy Bowl. Or, to give it its proper name Puppy Bowl IX. Puppy Bowl featured, simply a few kennels’ worth of ultra-cute puppies, hedgehog cheerleaders, hamsters in the TV blimp, a bird commentator (tweeting throughout @MeeptheBird) and a half-time show by a group of kittens (the twain didn’t meet in the tunnel, thankfully).

The pups did battle over a blue toy instead of a ball and the game was won with an MVP performance from Marta, an adopted Schnauzer/Beagle. She put even Baltimore quarterback Joe Sacco to shame with a gutsy performance against dogs twice her size.

Odd ads R us

 The ads during the Super Bowl are often as closely scrutinised as its scrimmages. And one that got plenty of attention on Sunday started off by addressing itself to “the curious, the inquisitive, the seekers of knowledge”. This was followed by a lot of rather beautiful people pouting to the camera. Was it for jeans? A new soft drink? “To the rebels, the artists, the free-thinkers and the innovators, who care less about labels and more about truth,” the voiceover went on. Wow, sounds cool! Tell me, what is this wonder product being advertised, that has all these catalogue models  so beguiled? Oh, Scientology.  Never mind.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect