Super Bowl Momentum: How Would You React When the Lights Go Out?

As you were waiting for the lights to go back on in New Orleans last night, were you thinking to yourself: if this were my Super Bowl, what would I be saying to my team? What would I be doing to keep my team on the winning side? And is some poor worker at the stadium in big, big trouble for turning off the light switch? Thirty four minutes of darkness and delay surely is a long time, and certainly enough time to dull the edge, to lose momentum.

And as you watched the Ravens lose 17 points in 4 minutes, 10 seconds shortly after the lights went back on in the third quarter, did you marvel at the concept of Momentum? How the 49ers snapped into shape as energy was sapped from the Ravens? Maybe you weren’t thinking about this, but surely you weren’t marveling at the mediocre commercials.

As a Baltimore native and Ravens fan, I was flabbergasted that my team might actually lose. Before our very eyes, we saw the power of Momentum, both in the way the Ravens lost it and the 49ers rallied, and in the way the Ravens held on and persevered.

As a businessperson who hosts many events and conferences, I found a certain cold comfort in knowing that one of the most choreographed events in the world could hit a major snag, such as the lights going out in half the stadium for a half hour that’s worth nearly $240 million in Super Bowl commercials. (So next time the AV isn’t working at a PR News conference, I will tap into Super Bowl 2013 Memory Bank to calm my nerves.) And from a crisis management standpoint, the power outage presents interesting post-game scenarios for the city of New Orleans and the stadium management – surely they are meeting on this topic as you read this blog. From a leadership standpoint, the power outage and new-found half hour of Waiting forced on Brothers Harbaugh and their quarterbacks the need to rally their team, keep them focused and driven while marveling at the bad or good luck just presented to them. And kudos to the cheerleaders, who kept swinging their pom-poms during the crisis.

Momentum is a powerful force. We saw it on the field last night, and we see it every day around us. Success begets more success. If you and your team are on a roll and you are feeling the momentum, you hold on to the ball and keep moving forward. You might lose sight of it for a short time, but you find it when it’s most needed. It’s just what you do! When your team has no momentum, it tends to continue on a downward slide until someone finds the right switch and the lights go on, figuratively. The power can and will go out every now and then. It may not happen in front of millions of people, and it may not be your fault. But it’s Momentum that will save the day.

– Diane Schwartz


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