|(NFL) Ravens and 94ers talk business
Baltimore Ravens players flew into New Orleans, Louisiana yesterday for the Super Bowl, settling into a riverfront hotel three blocks from the San Francisco 49ers, their rivals in Sunday's title game.
Thousands of fans from across the United States are expected to flock into the Big Easy as well this week ahead of the National Football League championship showdown at the Louisiana Superdome.
Parades and parties began last week for the Carnival in which Mardi Gras is the centerpiece, but for the players it will be business as usual while their supporters frolic in the French Quarter, near both team's hotels.
“We're not going to New Orleans for nothing else but to bring a [championship] ring back to Baltimore,'' Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis told a crowd of supporters at a harborfront pep rally in Baltimore yesterday before the team flight.
The 49ers made a point of not gawking like tourists when they departed their plane late Sunday, no recording the sights or showing any sign it was anything other than an ordinary road trip, although it could change their lives.
“We're not down here to have a good time,’’ offensive tackle Joe Staley said. “We're here to compete for a Lombardi Trophy.’’
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh, will challenge his brother, Ravens coach John Harbaugh, in the first Super Bowl matchup pitting brothers against each other as coaches. Even they are all business.
“We want to come down here and it's a business trip,’’ said 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. “It's not necessarily to have fun. It's to win a football game. We have to stay focused throughout the week and try to accomplish the goal we set in training camp.’’
Jim Harbaugh was a fan at the 1990 Super Bowl in the Superdome when the 49ers routed Denver 55-10. It was the fourth of five Super Bowl triumphs by the 49ers, who have never lost in the Super Bowl.
The 49ers will train and practice at the New Orleans Saints facilities in the suburbs while the Ravens will work out at Tulane University in the city.