Newly hired ESPN football analyst Ray Lewis was shadowed by an NFL Films crew before, during and after last February’s Super Bowl XLVII for their “America’s Game” DVD. Amongst the pearls of wisdom dropped by the two-time Defensive Player Of The Year winner ; said contest’s notorious blackout was the work of nefarious sources. If you think Lewis is grasping at straws, fine. Just don’t tell him he’s taking a stab in the dark. From USA Today’s Nate Davis :

“I’m not gonna accuse nobody of nothing — because I don’t know facts,” says Lewis. “But you’re a zillion-dollar company, and your lights go out? No. (Laughs) No way.

“Now listen, if you grew up like I grew up — and you grew up in a household like I grew up — then sometimes your lights might go out, because times get hard. I understand that. But you cannot tell me somebody wasn’t sitting there and when they say, ‘The Ravens (are) about to blow them out. Man, we better do something.’ … That’s a huge shift in any game, in all seriousness. And as you see how huge it was because it let (San Francisco) right back in the game.”

Ultimately, Baltimore’s victory was enabled by Flacco’s 70-yard touchdown heave to Jacoby Jones which tied the game 35-35 at the end of regulation.

Lewis’ recollection of that play?

“When you see that ball drop (into) Jacoby’s hands, that’s the first time in an 80-plus thousand (seat) stadium you can hear a rat (urinate) on cotton,” he said.