Ray Lewis is not the first member of the 2012 Ravens to suggest there was something fishy about the lights going out in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome early in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII, but he's certainly the most high-profile one.
The retired linebacker voiced his opinion in an interview with "America's Game," the NFL Films' special that chronicles the Ravens' 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 3 in New Orleans.
"I'm not gonna accuse nobody of nothing -- because I don't know facts," Lewis said, according to USA Today. "But you're a zillion-dollar company, and your lights go out? No. No way."
Lewis was reportedly laughing when he said it, but it's clear that what he believes.
"Now listen, if you grew up like I grew up -- and you grew up in a household like I grew up -- then sometimes your lights might go out, because times get hard. I understand that," Lewis continued. "But you cannot tell me somebody wasn't sitting there and when they say, 'The Ravens [are] about to blow them out. Man, we better do something.' ... That's a huge shift in any game, in all seriousness. And as you see how huge it was because it let them right back in the game."
As Ravens fans surely remember, the AFC champions were up 28-6 and Jacoby Jones had moments earlier taken the opening kickoff of the second half back for an 108-yard touchdown. But the blackout resulted in a 34-minute delay and when play resumed, the 49ers took back all the momentum, scoring 17 straight points.
The Ravens ultimately needed a late goal-line stand to capture their second Super Bowl.
City and stadium officials later attributed the blackout to a faulty electrical delay device, although 49ers CEO Jed York is more than happy to take credit for it.
Responding to reports of the claim by Lewis, York said on his Twitter account today: "There is no conspiracy. I pulled the plug."
Asked about Lewis' conspiracy theory Sunday, quarterback Joe Flacco responded: “Somebody else just asked me this from Denver. I said, ‘Listen, I’m not against conspiracies, but I don’t necessarily think that was one of them.’ So no, I don’t really concur with that.”
The "America's Game" show will air Monday night at 9 p.m. on NFL Network. Sans Lewis, who will work this season as a commentator for ESPN, the Ravens will begin defense of their title Thursday night in Denver against the Broncos.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun