NEW ORLEANS (CBS / AP) — A look at what to be aware of when the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers meet Sunday in the Super Bowl XLVII at the Superdome in New Orleans:
1. LIVE OR LIP SYNC?
Don’t walk away at halftime! Unless, of course, you want to miss Beyonce in concert. And who wants to do that? Watch closely to see if she’s really sings or lip syncs. Beyonce hasn’t said which she did when she performed the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration.
2. DANCE, DANCE, DANCE
Ravens fans will rock the building during Ray Lewis’ pregame Squirrel Dance, a YouTube sensation that Lewis surely will perform for the final time before retiring. Will smoke and flames accompany the star linebacker’s ritual?
3. ROGER’S RECEPTION
Forget the hated Falcons, the biggest football enemy to fans in the Big Easy is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The Superdome will likely ring boos for the commish, who suspended the Saints’ beloved coach Sean Payton (among others) for all of last season for his role in the team’s bounty scandal.
4. TATTOO U
Count the tattoos, from the Ravens’ Ray Lewis to 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick to, well, just about everyone on the field. Try to count how many players don’t have tattoos.
5. RAGIN’ CAJUN SOIREE
Welcome back. This is the first Super Bowl in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city in 2005. With Mardi Gras nearly upon us, too, it makes for as festive a celebration as any venue can muster.
6. TAKE THAT!
The NFL might be all about offense and lighting up scoreboards, but this Super Bowl features some of the hardest-hitting defenders in the league. Both defenses are exceptionally physical, with Baltimore led by Ray Lewis, safety Bernard Pollard and end Paul Kruger, while San Francisco features linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, lineman Justin Smith and safety Donte Whitner.
7. SUPER PERFECTION
With a win, the 49ers would match the Pittsburgh Steelers with six Super Bowl crowns. The Steelers, though, have lost twice in the big game. The 49ers are a perfect 5-0 in championship games.
8. BIG STARS/SMALL SCHOOLS
While national champion Alabama, LSU, Oregon and other college powers are represented on the Super Bowl rosters, look for the guys from Delaware, New Hampshire, Washburn, Lane, Central Missouri, Idaho.
9. HAND JIVE
After the game, keep your eyes on the traditional post-game handshake between the coaching Harbaugh brothers, John of the Ravens and younger brother Jim of the 49ers. Jim, by the way, is known for his extra hard handshake followed by a hard backslap (ask Lions coach Jim Schwartz). For that matter, keep an eye on their interaction before the game.
Viewing this Super Bowl will be cozy for those who made the trip to New Orleans, compared to the 2014 Super Bowl. The fans in the stands will enjoy the warmth in the Superdome because New Jersey hosts the game in a year, and it will be played at MetLife Stadium. Yep, outdoors.
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