NEW ORLEANS - NEW ORLEANS
Around the Super Bowl and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of everything surrounding the game:
TEAMS ARRIVE AT SUPERDOME
The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers have arrived at the Superdome.
The teams left their hotels in buses roughly 3 1/2 before kickoff was scheduled Sunday.
(NOT) PLAYING FAVORITES
Jack and Jackie Harbaugh know where they'll be after the Super Bowl.
"There's going to be one winner and one (son) that's going to be totally disappointed," Jack Harbaugh said. "Our thoughts go to that one that will not experience the thrill of victory."
With Baltimore Ravens coach John facing little brother Jim's San Francisco 49ers, the thrill of the NFL title game also puts Jack and Jackie in an awkward spot, knowing one son will celebrate the highlight of his career while the other will be absolutely gutted.
They got a "dry run" last season, when John's Ravens beat Jim's 49ers. On Thanksgiving Day.
"We opened the door to the Ravens locker room ... guys jumping up and down, the smile on John's face. They were just ecstatic," Jack Harbaugh said. "Then you realize that you're not needed here. So you walked across the hall to the 49ers locker room ... and finally saw Jim, all by himself in this room, just a table and a chair. He was still in his coaching outfit. His head was down in his hands and you looked into his eyes and you realized that this was where you're needed as a parent. Every single parent can identify with that.
"That thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. On Sunday night, we're going to experience both of those great emotions," Jack Harbaugh said.
-- Nancy Armour -- http://twitter.com/nrarmour
With 30-second spots going for as much as $4 million this year, the Super Bowl is advertising's biggest stage. Companies that shell out that cash want the more than 111 million viewers expected to tune in to remember their spot come Monday.
Most advertisers have released their ads already, trying to get a head start on capturing the buzz on social networks.
But some companies are still planning big reveals, including M&Ms, Chrysler, Oreo and BlackBerry.
"What we see on the night of the game is really important," said Kelly O'Keefe, professor at a professor, creative brand management, at the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter.
-- Mae Anderson -- http://twitter.com/maetron
GEARED UP FOR THE GAME
Any fan can show their love for their favorite player by wearing a jersey. Four Baltimore Ravens are doing it with entire outfits.
In addition to the heavy painted leather coats he and his fellow "Ravens Posse" members are wearing, Rick Bowlus (far left) has linebacker Ray Lewis' number and face painted on his jeans.
-- Nancy Armour -- http://twitter.com/nrarmour
Three years running, the Super Bowl has set a TV viewership record. CBS is hoping that happens again on Sunday.
Last year, NBC's broadcast hit an average audience of 111.3 million people.
But ratings are a mere point of pride for CBS heading into kickoff. The ads have already been sold (some at more than $4 million a pop), so the network can now only hope to put forth its best broadcast and redirect as much of the Super Bowl glow toward its other programs and its cable sports network.
Telecasters Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will call the game while more than 60 cameras cover the action -- with at least one keeping an eye on the parents of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh.
-- Jake Coyle
NO RG3 IN THE HOUSE
There's only one way Robert Griffin III wants to go to the Super Bowl.
As a player.
The electrifying Washington Redskins quarterback came to New Orleans to pick up The Associated Press 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year award. But he won't be going to Sunday's game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, planning to watch it with his family instead.
"I'm a firm believer you don't go to the Super Bowl unless you're playing in it," Griffin said.
-- Nancy Armour -- http://www.twitter.com/nrarmour
HERE COME NINER BETTORS
After heavy betting on the Baltimore Ravens, sports betting professionals and last-minute casual bettors in Las Vegas and around the world are heavily swinging toward San Francisco.
The 49ers were favored by 5 points when betting action started two weeks ago, meaning San Francisco bettors need them to win by at least two field goals to collect. But the spread encouraged lots of bettors to take Baltimore, pushing the line down to 3 1/2. Now, San Francisco supporters have moved the line back up to 4 points in most sports books and 4 1/2 in others, according to gambling expert R.J. Bell of Pregame.com.
Bell says that a few days ago, nearly two-thirds of the bets taken in Las Vegas and online sports books offshore were on the Ravens. It's close to 50-50 now and the 49ers are closing the gap quickly in the hours before