There was arguably enough drama taking place at the Super Bowl in New Orleans before a 34-minute power cut halted proceedings between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.
Beyoncé, if you will, had just electrified the crowd with her halftime show and the Ravens’ Jacoby Jones ignited the start of the third quarter with a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, giving his side a 22-point lead.
And then, lights out. The Superdome’s power failed, plunging the teams, 71,024 fans in attendance and viewers around the world into near darkness.
TIME’s Sean Gregory, who was in attendance, picks up the story.
“We will be starting the game shortly,” the PA announcer kept telling the Superdome crowd, before the game didn’t start shortly. “We didn’t know,” says Baltimore safety Bernard Pollard of the power outage. “We kept hearing 20 minutes, then 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes. That’s the first time I had to stretch, in the dark, with teammates. Going over drills. It was crazy.”
Sure enough, the lights returned and the 49ers proceeded to make it a nail-biter of a finish. But the Ravens held on, and the number 34 was clearly key. Not only was that the duration of the blackout in minutes, but the final score was 34-31 in favor of Baltimore.