Good Week/Bad Week: Looking back at a packed week of sporting drama
By Charles Orr. Last Updated: February 5, 2013 4:01pm
This week saw Ray Lewis sign off in style as Baltimore beat San Francisco in the Superbowl's battle of the brothers. Elsewhere Italy shocked France, while there was also a surprise or two as Super League XVIII got underway and plenty more besides.
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On Sunday Baltimore Ravens won their second Super Bowl crown after beating the San Francisco 49ers in one of the greatest-ever matches for the Vince Lombardi trophy.
The 34-31 victory saw Ravens head coach John Harbaugh get one over on his brother Jim Harbaugh, the coach of the 49ers.
After 17 years at Baltimore, Ray Lewis got the fairy-tale ending he was after, lifting the Super Bowl before heading to retirement.
Perennial whipping boys Italy shocked France for the second time in three years in the opening round of the Six Nations.
Tries from talisman Sergio Parisse and cult hero Martin Castrogiovanni secured a 23-18 famous win for the Azzurri.
This was also the first time since 2003 that Italy actually won on the opening weekend of the competition, leaving the tournament wide open.
Lefty sealed his 41st PGA Tour title with a comfortable four-shot win at the Phoenix Open on Sunday.
The victory showed a remarkable change in fortune for the former world number two, after last week's Farmers Insurance saw him finish in a mediocre tie for 51st.
This was also the first time Mickelson had lifted a trophy since winning the 2012 Pebble Beach Pro-Am nearly a year ago.
Sir Alex Ferguson's men find themselves with nine-point lead over their city rivals at the top of the Premiership table without actually doing too much.
Considering Manchester United are normally stronger in the second half of the season, Roberto Mancini's men now look to face a tall order to overhaul the gap to their neighbours.
It proved to be an unhappy start for St Helens boss Nathan Brown as his first Super League outing at the Saints helm ending in an embarrassing home defeat by former club Huddersfield.
Indeed, it was a case of the master being toppled by his apprentice as Paul Anderson - the man Brown recommended to replace him at the Giants - led Huddersfield to a resounding 40-4 triumph.
Brown and his troops found themselves 22-0 down at the interval and only avoided being shut out at home for the first time since 1982 when Mark Flanagan went over for a late consolation try.
West Indies endured a day to forget with the bat as they were skittled for just 70 by Australia - their lowest-ever one-day total against the Baggy Greens - on the way to an emphatic nine-wicket defeat in the opening ODI in Perth.
However, Pakistan's batting order found the going even tougher in South Africa as Dale Steyn ran riot to help dismiss them for their lowest Test total - a meagre 49.
Steyn took 6-8 in that first innings and, despite a better effort from the tourists in their second innings, would eventually finish with 11 wickets in the match as South Africa completed a comprehensive 211-run triumph in the opening Test of the series in Johannesburg.
Rafael Benitez's reign at Chelsea seems to be lurching from one calamity to the nest at present with the Blues' latest setback a last-gasp 3-2 defeat at Newcastle.
The Londoners had showed good character to come from a goal down to lead at St James' Park, but would ultimately leave empty-handed as Newcastle's new French signing, Moussa Sissoko, stole the headlines with a second-half double.
It signalled a fourth consecutive match without victory for Chelsea who are now just a solitary point ahead of Tottenham in third, and ensured Benitez found himself on the end of yet more criticism from the Blues faithful.
Five-time champions Spain will not be adding to their Davis Cup tally after slumping to a surprise 3-2 defeat against Canada over the weekend.
Although they were without the services of stars such as Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Nicolas Almagro, the Spaniards were still expected to come through the tie in Vancouver.
However, an inspired Frank Dancevic beat Marcel Granollers to help put the hosts on the way to a victory which was confirmed when Milos Raonic beat debutante Guillermo Garcia-Lopez to record his second win of the tie.