o beyond the bone-crunching tackles and you'll see that football is actually one of America's most elegant sports. In brightly colored, body-baring costumes, exceptionally sure-footed athletes almost resemble dancers as they soar over opponents, reeling in spiraling balls with outstretched arms and seemingly magnetic fingertips, touching down on the sidelines only to implausibly drag their toes across the turf before the rest of their body falls out of bounds. Behold, the hidden ballet of Super Bowl XLVII.
Grand Allegro: Cary Williams of the Baltimore Ravens and Ted Ginn of the San Francisco 49ers. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Deux pirouettes: 49ers defensive back Chris Culver and Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Lords a leaping: The Ravens' Jacoby Jones and the 49ers' Chris Culliver. (Harry How/Getty Images)
The plié lift: 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and Ravens safety Ed Reed. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
En pointe: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Ravens players Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs. (REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)
Grand jeté: San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree and the Ravens' Ed Reed. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Fallen port de bras: 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Pas de deux: Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Bernard Pollard. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Arabesque: 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones. (REUTERS/Sean Gardner)
Glissade: Jacoby Jones and his teammates. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The sexual politics of Game of Thrones just got enormously worse
- The hidden reason for the student loan crisis
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- 7 ways to quickly become a master at anything
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
- How to flirt, according to science
Subscribe to the Week