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As Terrell Suggs made his way to his seat for his first media appearance of Super Bowl week in New Orleans, a member of the Baltimore Ravens’ PR staff pointed at the linebacker and whispered to a colleague: “I think somebody should be here.” Yes, generally, better safe than sorry with Suggs. Never know what he’ll say.
About to watch my 47th consecutive Super Bowl, tying the all-time record, I brace for being swamped by Super Bowl week interviews with CNN, NFL Network, TMZ, Al Jazeera and the like, but nooooooo: Instead, all the hype is for Brother v. Brother. Harbowl. Superbaugh. Cain and Abel II. Please. My ninth semester at the University of Maryland was more interesting than the entire lifetimes of John and Jim Harbaugh combined. But I must tow the line with the rest of America, and, thus, as a public service, I am here to provide my 47th annual Super Bowl Viewing Guide (For Super Bowl Parties of Six or More).
NEW ORLEANS – Jim Harbaugh stepped to the podium, smirked a bit, and greeted his first news conference as a Super Bowl coach. “We’re super happy to be here,” he said Sunday night as his NFC champion San Francisco 49ers arrived in the Big Easy for the big game.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. – On game day, Torrey Smith is a whirlwind of dreadlocks, speed and big-play catches. None of this provides a hint of the hurdles he had to overcome to become the deep threat the Baltimore Ravens needed to make it to the Super Bowl.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – LaMichael James has transformed himself from a rookie spectator forced to watch the first three months of the NFL season to a key contributor on San Francisco’s Super Bowl team in a matter of weeks. After being inactive the first 12 games of the season, James has become an impact player for the 49ers, who face the Baltimore Ravens next week.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Ozzie Newsome just might be the happiest person in New Orleans next weekend. Newsome, the crafty general manager of the Baltimore Ravens, will be seeking another Super Bowl ring to go with the one he earned after the 2000 season. That would be reason enough to flash his toothy smile in the Big Easy.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. – For weeks, no one could determine when The Ray Lewis Retirement Tour would draw to a close. Since Lewis announced on Jan. 2 his “last ride” in the NFL would coincide with the end of the Ravens’ postseason run, there was the possibility that each game would be his last.
Ravens safety Ed Reed isn’t planning on joining teammate Ray Lewis in retirement after the Super Bowl. “I’ll be playing next year,” Reed said Thursday before Baltimore hit the practice field in preparation for their Feb. 3 Super Bowl matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.
NEW ORLEANS – The city of New Orleans must scale back its plans for a “clean zone” where the use of banners, signs and flags would be restricted during Super Bowl week, a federal judge said Thursday. U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt’s temporary restraining order says the city can only enforce the limits in an area near the Superdome, where the game will be played Feb. 3. The city had also planned to enforce the rules in the French Quarter and surrounding neighborhoods.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. – When the Baltimore Ravens last went to the Super Bowl, Art Modell was the owner, Brian Billick served as head coach and Trent Dilfer was the starting quarterback. Now, 12 years later, they’re back with owner Steve Bisciotti, coach John Harbaugh, QB Joe Flacco and one significant link to both teams: Ray Lewis.
Preparing to coach the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game Sunday night, John Harbaugh watched on the stadium’s big video screen as Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their victory in the NFC championship game. John, 50, looked into a nearby TV camera, smiled broadly and said to his brother, who’s 15 months younger: “Hey, Jim, congratulations. You did it. You’re a great coach. Love you.”
The Baltimore Ravens beat the New England Patriots Sunday night to advance to the Super Bowl.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Nothing brings political enemies together in Wisconsin like the Green Bay Packers. Following a controversial game-ending call by replacement referees that cost Green Bay a win over the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football, Wisconsin officials from across the political divide united behind the Packers.
A former pro football player whose championship rings were stolen when his home was ransacked in Spokane says he’s hopeful he’ll see the memorabilia again. “But we’ll see,” said Stefan Humphries, former director of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute. “It’s like a nightmare.”
The Patriots got exactly what they wanted when the Giants threw to Mario Manningham on New York’s last Super Bowl drive. Then the receiver New England deemed less dangerous than Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks made a catch that will be replayed for years to come. “This is still a Cruz and Nicks game,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick tells his defenders in audio captured for “Sound FX,” which first aired Wednesday on NFL Network. “I know we’re right on them; it’s tight. But those are still the guys. Make them go to Manningham; make them go to (tight end Bear) Pascoe. Let’s make sure we get Cruz and Nicks.” Manningham’s 38-yard catch (pictured right) – over-the-shoulder, between two defenders and along the sideline – keyed the winning drive. – AP