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Category:    Home > Reviews > Sports > Football > Games > Championships > Documentary > Controversy > Baltimore Ravens: Super Bowl XLVII Champions (2013/NFL Films/Gaiam Vivendi Blu-ray)

Baltimore Ravens: Super Bowl XLVII Champions (2013/NFL Films/Gaiam Vivendi Blu-ray)


Picture: B-     Sound: C+     Extras: B-     Main Program: B-



The 2013 Super Bowl will go down as the biggest sporting event with more clouds over it than any other in recent sports history.  Lip-syncing controversies and the specter of horrible injuries suffered by players and former players on the rise are not new, though the latter is gaining momentum as a full-blown scandal.  But this time, new controversy on and off the field tainted the broadcast in ways never seen before.


One team has a star player that may be dodging double murder charges, is not popular with everyone and also has five children with four different women, while the opposing team talks about a zero-homosexual policy in their locker room that is against the “sweet stuff” spreading to two more players who said they were confused about an anti-bullying promo they did and that it was not meant to protect gays and lesbians, though they were on the San Francisco team.  Even if you ignored the members of both teams playing, then there was the scandal involving the star broadcaster for CBS just breaking where he decided to spend many millions of dollars in hush & hide money to make his TV station intern lover and their love child disappear (?) and pretend their connection did not exist in what should have been his private business very, very badly handled.


Then he sent them to Texas (?!?), only for her to return to the ultra-wealthy Hamptons where she partied while accepting big bucks in additional hush money until the story finally broke with the young baby now seven years old!  Why?  Was he trying to pretend to be something he was not (projecting a phony perfect image; if this is what he does with family he loves, imagine what he does to family he despises!) and/or was it just about money?  Turns out a book written a few years before had chronicled some of the madness with thinly disguised renaming and the connection was about to be made public!


You just could not escape the idea something was not going to be the same about the 47th annual game an all three scandals were still unfolding as the NFL did little about any of them and that is the craziness that preceded Super Bowl XLVII weeks, then building into worse, more embarrassing situations in the few days before it began and these stories would continue well past the game.


The new Baltimore Ravens: Super Bowl XLVII Champions Blu-ray from NFL Films with Gaiam Vivendi might make you think it is all about that game, but not only does it cut out all that games commercials (at $4 Million per 30 seconds, they were some of the worst ads of all time and to date), it is actually a chronology of the team’s entire winning season from regular games to playoffs to the big game and even starts with a flashback to how the previous season ended.


At 140 minutes, it is remarkably thorough and to the point about everything that happened in what amounts to a year of work and several months of waiting for the chance to =do what they did.  We don’t get the halftime show either, but we do get the bizarre blackout moment that looks even worse here than when I was watching it live.  Of course, this is for fans of the winning team and football in general, but I don’t think it captures enough just how badly the 49ers were playing for most of the first half and at least does its best to present this in a thoroughly sports journalism way that gets to the point, even if it misses others.


This is as good an NFL title as we have seen to date technically pretty much as the league stays on the cutting edge against so many other big business franchises, but they have been at it for a long time, so that is no surprise.  They care to put out top quality work of their players and it is consistently good.  Anyone interested will not be disappointed, leaving the whole story for another time, especially since come of them are far from over.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is pretty good throughout looking like a mostly HD presentation, though some shots look like Super 16mm film from the noise, or is that grain?  The raw HD video from the extras is some of the best I have seen to date with fine color and depth.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is too much in the center channel with a limited use of surrounds that is puzzling, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo on the extras is solid and at least as good.  That is a rare miss by the NFL, but someone ought to think about using the rest of those 5.0 channels better next time.


Extras include BD Live interactivity and 9 featurettes including Super Bowl Media Day, Super Bowl Post-Game Ceremonies, The John Harbaugh Interview, The Jack & Jackie Harbaugh Interview, Sibling Rivalry, Courtney Upshaw’s Journey, The Season: Harbaugh Family Update, 2012 NFL Shots Of The Year, 2012 NFL Players Wired For Sound and 2012 NFL Coaches Wired For Sound.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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