Joe Flacco may have won a free trip to Disneyland and Ray Lewis may have ended his career on the highest note a competitor could possibly dream of, but it’s Jacby Jones who has grabbed one of the great historic honors in sports — appearing on the post-Super Bowl edition of Sports Illustrated.
Jones had one of the best games of his career on the biggest night of his life. Jones caught a sizzling touchdown pass in the second quarter to put the Ravens up 21-6 at that point and he added another touchdown right out of the gate in the third quarter, returning the opening kick 108-yards for a score. All-in-all, Jones finished his first ever Super Bowl performance with 164 all-purpose yards and two crucial touchdowns.
The game might have still gone the Ravens way had Jones not returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown, but take away seven of Jones’ final 14 points in the Super Bowl and it’s the other Harbaugh hoisting the Lombardi Trophy right now.
To add even more subtext to Jones’ incredible night, he’s a New Orleans native, which means not only was he playing out his dream in the Super Bowl, he was doing it in the very city he dreamt up his Super Bowl fantasy. He was born in New Orleans, went to school in New New Orleans and even went to college right close to home at Lane.
The Super Bowl tends to amplify experiences and seems to take smaller players and — if for even a moment– inflate them into massive stars of the game that everyone knows. Last season, only Houston Texans fans knew who Jacoby Jones was, and now the entire world knows his name and those same Texans fans are kicking themselves over the fact that their favorite team cut one of the heroes of Super Bowl XLVII.
Jones may not have won the MVP, but he won so much more in his journey to where he was on February 3rd. Getting the MVP would have been nice, but appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated, forever capturing your moment in the sun, is a lot more than just a consolation prize.