When a team wins the Super Bowl, as the Baltimore Ravens did last night in their 34-31 Super Bowl XLVII victory over the San Francisco 49ers, they thank god, each other and their fans. When a team loses, instead of giving props to the victors, they sometimes make excuses and speak more about how they lost or had the game taken from them, rather than accepting defeat with grace.
All through the two weeks prior to the game, both teams gave their opponents compliment after compliment. However, after the Ravens heart-stopping win, the excuses started flying from the mouths of the 49ers and their supporters, starting with head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh could not have been any more humble in his post-game press conference, talking about the Niners team with glowing comments and even calling his brother "the best head coach in the NFL." Not once did he congratulate his older brother, instead choosing to complain and perhaps even whine about the last few plays that were only part of what decided this thriller of a final game to the 2012-13 NFL season.
Fans will always do whatever they feel is necessary to support their team and account for a loss rather than just stating, "they were the better team tonight."
Coaches and players get to the big game so few times over the course of their careers that they are upset, frustrated, even angry. But to hear so many commentators, analysts and radio hosts say the 49ers were cheated out of a win was surprising, disconcerting and downright sad.
There are always plays that can be pointed at after a game, that had they turned out differently, might have changed the tone of the game. However, football is the ultimate team game and there are sixty minutes of action that at any point, could have had plays made or not that would have, should have, and could have changed the outcome. But they didn't happen.
The officials did not play a roll in the 49ers fumble, the interception and the 108-yard kickoff return that all ultimately found their way onto the scoreboard in the form of Ravens points. But the plays that didn't happen are the reasons that a team lost and a lot of so-called professionals focus on that rather than the actual plays that counted?
Sounds like a lot of sour grapes. The Ravens played great most of the game. The Niners are an excellent football team and will be a force in the NFL for years to come. However, make no bones about it, Baltimore was the better team Sunday night and not only earned the victory, but deserved to win it by their ability to take advantage of their opportunities and then stay resilient when the chips were on the line.