Fifteen minutes of football. A lifetime of memories.
That sums up the Baltimore Ravens' final on-field appearance Saturday in preparation for Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Although footballs were involved, the 15-minute work session inside the Superdome hardly constituted a practice. It more resembled a pep rally and backyard social than a serious walk-through the day before a game.
The Louisiana Superdome’s most recent Super Bowl, on February 3, 2002 was perhaps its most exciting.
The heavily favored St. Louis Rams entered the game looking to win their second championship in three seasons, but it was the New England Patriots who would end up launching a dynasty that day at Super Bowl XXXVI.
The Patriots’ defense stifled the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” offense for most of the day, but quarterback Kurt Warner rallied late to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan. And if it's anything like last year, tomorrow's Super Bowl will reach more than 111 million viewers, in this country alone. And while the game ends for the fans tomorrow night, for players, the effects will likely linger on.
San Francisco 49ers Jim Harbaugh accomplished his coaching plan of trying to make Super Bowl week a normal week for his team both in practice and in preparation.
The players responded by being efficient. On Friday, the 49ers held an 80-minute practice at the New Orleans Saints indoor facility in Metairie, with practice ending 15 minutes early. If you include Wednesday and Thursday, the 49ers went through their normal week of work with 40 minutes less time on the practice field.
Linebacker Ray Lewis, drafted in the first round in the history of the new Baltimore Ravens in 1996 and retiring after Sunday’s Super Bowl against San Francisco, walked off the practice field for the last time Friday as the Ravens concluded full-scale workouts at the New Orleans Saints’ practice facility.