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Was there a spiritual symbol or even a supernatural aspect to the lights going out during the Super Bowl?

In New Orleans when someone mentions a team ready to play the beloved Saints, they have an expression: "Who dat!" The entire chant is: "Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?" Maybe Sunday night it was more like, "What dat?"

And who knows.

It seemed a bit of a mystery. They'll come up with an explanation -- a technical one -- for it. As virtually everyone on the planet by now knows (even those of us who weren't in front of a television), the blackout occurred just after half-time in the game between the San Francisco Forty-Niners and the Baltimore Ravens.

Now of course you start with things like San Francisco: In 2011, there was a blackout at another of the team's games, and San Francisco, as we all know, has its unique spiritual characteristics (as do many other places).

There is the name "Ravens." A raven is a crow. We know the image a crow conjures (excuse that expression).

And there is New Orleans -- on the one hand the country's center for the occult (especially voodoo), on the other hand a center for devout Catholics (real tried and true spiritual warriors, many Marian). You have that dynamic. It's Mardi Gras time! Forget the voodoo: all kinds of strange costumes are at the ready; unfortunately, many of them, in past parades, have mocked nuns and priests, sometimes even the Blessed Mother. When Hurricane Katrina came through, it was noted that "Katrina" means "purification."

As everywhere, good and evil are paired off against each other. There is no place like New Orleans! We love it. We are also concerned for it. Yes, it's true (as even The New York Times reported): locals have long believed the vicinity of the Superdome is "haunted" due to the nearby Girod Street Cemetery that was left in a state of disrepair. In fact, the Superdome was built over part of the graveyard. Some blame that -- a "curse" -- for the Saints' losing streaks. Let us recall that the Superdome is also where all those folks were stranded, during "Katrina" (and that "hurricane" comes from huracan, the Indian word for "evil spirit").

But what caused the blackout?

Physically, perhaps an outside power feed. A computer in the system sensed an "abnormality" and partially shut the electrical system down, according to initial reports. Half the stadium was dark, the other half lit. (If you're keeping score, it was the Forty-Niner side that was in darkness).

But let's take this all further.

"Voodoo priestess Miriam Chamani was once enlisted by a radio station to bless the Superdome, using a live python and a pumpkin, before the Saints faced off against the Cleveland Browns in 1999," notes US News and World Report. "Superdome officials said the stadium was actually using less electricity than it does during a typical Saints game. None of its equipment, all upgraded since Katrina in 2005, failed...  The Saints themselves bought into the curse enough to hire [another] voodoo priestess, Ava Kay Jones, to perform rituals before two games in 2000 and 2001." Her record: 1-1.

Meanwhile, Sunday, Chamani's own lights went out.

You can't make this stuff up.

As we headlined last week, the Super Bowl, beyond its materialism, beyond its hype, beyond all the chicken wings, is fueled by ads, many of which are vulgar or risque, a couple outright nefarious.

There is the occult.

A famous ad on Sunday featured Satan tempting a young man as a Rolling Stones song called Sympathy for the Devil played (a truly despicable song). A second ad had a model sporting an evil look as she made an obscene gesture and watched men suds a Mercedes sedan.

The two ads were for the luxury carmaker -- Mercedes Benz.

Mercedes Benz is also the sponsor of the Super Bowl building itself, which has been rebranded as the "Mercedes Benz Superdome"!

We kid you not.

During the blackout, the Mercedes sign was left in darkness (and became prominent, in the dark, in news stories the next day).

A coincidence?

We report, you discern.

There was also the half-time show. The star: Beyonc Knowles. "The Superdome audience went wild for Beyonc's halftime performance, which included a reunion with her 1990s R&B group, Destiny's Child," noted MSNBC. "But not everyone felt that the show, which included Beyonc in a low-cut leather outfit and some sexual innuendo, was family-friendly enough for the biggest football game of the year."

In fact, it was soft pornography as Beyonc and her accompaniment danced in what others might call underwear as flames sprouted in darkness around them.

Prayer need here: no doubt, many good aspects to this "superstar" -- who, by the by, attended a grammar school in Houston called St. Mary's. Some blamed the blackout on all the electricity her special effects and video consumed. One commentator said power had gone out twice during rehearsals leading up to the big pagan day. Others disputed that, saying the power had come not from the normal grid, but from generators.

The "physical" cause may miss the point. Spirits operate as spirits will. This you can ask Beyonc, who used to "channel" an alter-ego she called Sasha Fierce.

"I have someone else that takes over when its time for me to work and when Im on stage, this alter ego that Ive created that kind of protects me and who I really am," she once explained. "Sasha Fierce is the fun, more sensual, more aggressive, more outspoken side and more glamorous side that comes out when Im working and when Im on the stage."

Indeed, her countenance, during performances, does become something strange (and dark).

It's not to judge but observe.

Maybe there was just too much dark at this game. The winning quarterback exclaimed a profanity after the win (caught on a microphone). There were other ads. There is the fact that the Super Bowl has become the single greatest locus for human trafficking (young abducted prostitutes), not to mention everything else.

If this sounds wacky, consider what Father Gabriele Amorth, the famed Rome exorcist, has said: "Demons occupy a house and appear in electrical goods. Let's not forget that Satan and his followers have immense powers. It is normal for domestic appliances to be involved and for demons [to] make their presence known via electricity."

Was God trying to tell the largest television audience of the year something?

The devil did fall as a bolt of lightning.

Who dat -- or what dat?

Some people might say a spirit. Some might say a demon.

[An example of a good ad]

[see also: Jesus served the truth, not popularity, Pope says]

[resources: Michael Brown retreats: Michael Brown retreat in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Retreats announced for Seattle, Portland

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