For 35 minutes - the mighty, all-powerful NFL - held the national spotlight with its trousers down.
Decades from now, when we're eating creamed corn and blathering to befuddled nurses about some guy named A-Rod, they'll still remember the Super Bowl power outage. If Beyonce is still around - she'll be tipping the scales in Aretha Franklin country - she'll be the lady who tripped the circuits of New Orleans. And then there will be the toadies on CBS, the turkeys who gobbled nothingness for 35 excruciating minutes.
Here was a major TV network - or at least it was - and CBS couldn't scrounge a legitimate news reporter? It's one of the biggest stories of the year, and they couldn't even talk about it.
OK, it caught them off guard, I'll give them that. But on Friday, Scott Pelly anchored the CBS Evening News from New Orleans. Where the hell was everybody? For 35 minutes, the clown court - Boomer, Shannon, "Coach Cowher," et al - attempted to recap game highlights and talk about what the 49ers needed to do to win. (Score touchdowns, dammit. That's all. They needed to score! We knew this. Yeesh!) John Sterling could have killed 35 minutes more easily - or better yet, he would have thrown it to someone outside the Dome, with access to the authorities.
Throughout the outage, nobody told us - or even raised the issues of:
1. Was the outage widespread? Were sections of New Orleans without power?
2. Had there been any disturbances? Any explosions? If there had been no such reports, that would have been worth noting.
3. What was the league protocol for canceling the game? If, say, the power was shot and could not be restored Sunday night, would the game be replayed in its entirety? Or picked up in the third quarter? What would they do?
4. Why did the field look so well lit on TV? With their camera lenses wide open, the field looked fine. This morning, I read that the Ravens sideline was plunged into darkness. You wouldn't know it from watching the game.
5. What was happening in the NFL Commissioner's box? Was anybody even trying to get an interview?
The longer the delay, the more CBS looked like a cable access show in Watertown. The esteemed football "panel" performed a retake of the pregame show. They had nothing to say.
It was one of the most fascinating moments in Super Bowl history - frankly, until then, I was ready to ditch the game, it was so one-sided - and then the lights died. And for 35 minutes, we watched buffoons.