Future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis went out on top early this year as he and the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII in his final NFL game. Despite Baltimore's monumental victory, Lewis apparently subscribes to the conspiracy theory that someone tried to derail the Ravens' title hopes with a conveniently timed power outage.
As noted by Nate Davis of USA Today, Lewis, quarterback Joe Flacco and head coach John Harbaugh were interviewed as part of NFL Films' America's Game series, which chronicles many of the greatest teams in NFL history. During Lewis' portion of the interview, he questioned the circumstances surrounding the highly-publicized blackout, which caused a delay and allowed the San Francisco 49ers to get back in the game:
I'm not gonna accuse nobody of nothing — because I don't know facts. But you're a zillion-dollar company, and your lights go out? No. (Laughs) No way.
The blackout occurred in the third quarter with Baltimore leading by a score of 28-6. The delay lasted for 34 minutes, and the Niners were noticeably better after the stoppage. San Francisco nearly battled all the way back but ultimately fell 34-31. If not for a controversial, late stop in the red zone by the Ravens, the 49ers very well may have come back to win.
Do you believe the Super Bowl XLVII blackout was rigged?
Lewis remains skeptical about the blackout despite the fact that Entergy Corp. admitted that a faulty device it installed was the culprit behind the chaos at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome that night, according to the Associated Press, via ESPN.com.
Lewis went as far as to suggest someone with a vested interest in the game might have been responsible for causing the power outage:
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. 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.
Upon learning of Lewis' thoughts regarding the blackout, 49ers chief executive officer Jed York decided to joke about his potential role.
@ProFootballTalk there is no conspiracy. I pulled the plug— Jed York (@JedYork) September 1, 2013
York is obviously trying to make light of the situation, but it's clear Lewis has taken a more serious stance on the issue.
Lewis is certainly entitled to have his opinions on the blackout, but it's probably time to let it go seeing as the Ravens were able to pull out the victory anyway.
Football fans may never know the exact details surrounding the blackout, but it is certain to be talked about for many years to come regardless.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter