The Bright Side of the Super Bowl Blackout

Burning CandlesThe Super Bowl – American football’s event of the year, and some might say America’s event of the year.  Half-way through last night’s Super Bowl 2013, the New Orleans Super Dome lost power and sank into darkness.

My Facebook feed erupted into commentary about how irked all of game’s sponsors were going to be and how much of the expected $185 million in revenue was not going to be realized.  And how the guy responsible was going to lose his job…because apparently a person is always responsible, always in control, and always to blame.

I am no stranger to blackouts.  When I lived in Liberia, it seemed like every other night we would hear the hum of the gas generator fall and all of the power would go out in our building.  JP and I would switch on the flashlight (or “torch”) at the end of our cell-phones in order to locate the candles we had set aside or these occasions.

And then we would relax…

Without power, there was no internet, which meant there was no work to do.  So we would open a bottle of wine and wander, candles in hand, down to our neighbor’s apartment and sit out on her balcony chatting about anything and everything…except the blackout.

Blackouts were non-events – excuses for us to watch a movie on whatever laptop battery life we had left.  Or go to bed early because nothing was keeping us from the sleep we actually needed.  Or to just sit and talk with each other, to catch up on whatever the day or week had brought.

So maybe “the guy,” that sacrificial lamb of responsibility, will get fired.  But maybe he will go on to publish a book about being “that guy” who caused the 2013 Super Bowl blackout.  Maybe he will title it “Oops!” and make millions, and advertise at the next Super Bowl.

Maybe the people in the stands will be angry and want their money back.  Or maybe they will remember that the last time people were huddled in the Super Dome in the dark, Katrina was outside taking the homes and lives of so many.  Maybe instead they will smile because they are alive and they got to be a part of a Super Bowl that will go down in history…the Super Bowl that had a blackout 🙂


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