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WHAT A GAME! SUPER BOWL SUPER INDEED

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WHAT A GAME! SUPER BOWL SUPER INDEED

This year's Super Bowl sure lived up to its name.

With a power outage, a record kickoff return, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scoring flurry and the biggest goal-line stand of Ray Lewis' long career, the Baltimore Ravens' 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers was so wacky and thrilling it even made folks briefly forget about the Harbaughs.

Until John shoved a photographer to get to his little brother, that is.

The game had all the makings of a yawner in the first half, as the Ravens steamrolled San Francisco to a 21-6 lead. When Jacoby Jones returned the opening kick of the second half 108 yards for another Baltimore touchdown, most folks at home headed for the kitchen, happy to have seen Beyonce's Destiny's Child reunion and leaving their TVs on just so they could see the commercials. (To recap: Chrysler and the Clydesdale were warm-and-fuzzy, GoDaddy.com was just gross and most of the rest were forgettable - many were released in advance, anyway.)

Then the power went out. And the game's entire mojo changed. Fitting, considering this is New Orleans.

The 49ers that could only manage two field goals in the first half went on a scoring frenzy, ripping off 23 points in a little over 12 minutes. When they reached the Baltimore 5 yard line just before the two-minute warning, the unprecedented comeback was almost complete.

Right. Like this game was going to get wrapped up that easily.

The Ravens defense stopped quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers not once, not twice, but three times, forcing them to turn the ball over on downs. Then Baltimore tried to run the clock out - literally. Did you see punter Sam Koch run around the end zone like he was playing a game of keep away? San Francisco wound up with a safety, but did nothing with the final kickoff.

The Ravens ran onto the field, the confetti fell and, just like that, it was done.

Four hours and 14 minutes has never been so much fun.

- Nancy Armour -http://www.twitter.com/nrarmour

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EDITOR'S NOTE - ``Super Bowl Watch'' shows you the Super Bowl and the events surrounding the game through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across New Orleans and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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