Super Bowl XLVII
Sky Sports NFL man Paul Higham blogs from New Orleans as the Media Day extravaganza kicks-off Super Bowl week.
By Paul Higham in New Orleans - Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH
Last Updated: 01/02/13 9:08am
Even though New Orleans is one of the smallest markets in the NFL, there is nothing small about the cavernous Superdome - Mercedes-Benz Superdome to give it its full title - which dominates downtown and will stage the big game.
The Big Easy will be home for a tenth Super Bowl, but none will be as important to the city as this one as the people of this town will look to showcase themselves again after the huge damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina seven years ago.
It's such a good way to start your Super Bowl experience, and nowdays lucky fans are allowed into the stadium to see the massed ranks of the media get just an hour and one hour only to grill the two teams hoping to return on Sunday and claim the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The poor old coaches will do this every day though, so they best get used to it, and if there is any difference between Niners coach Jim and Ravens boss John Harbaugh it is that elder brother John does seem slightly more at ease with the media.
Media Day Highlights
So what were the highlights from this year's Media Day?
John Harbaugh seemed at ease and very upbeat, winning an early battle with his slightly more nervous brother, especially when talking about his dad and what influence he'd have on proceedings.
Terrell Suggs and Ed reed provided great entertainment as they battled for supremacy in the volume stakes in side-by-side booths.
49ers man Randy Moss proclaimed himself as "the best receiver ever to play the game" which is probably as ill-judged as a comment can be seeing as the man most people believe holds that tag is San Francisco legend Jerry Rice.
Rice did not go so far as to rip into Moss as he was later analysing the day's media scrimmage on American TV, but it was clear that the three-time Super Bowl winner and Hall of Famer did not take too kindly to a current Niners man making such comments.
Ray Lewis was preaching and unsurprisingly has the biggest and most consistent huddle around his booth - even more so after morning 'revelations' of him taking a banned performance-enhancing substance in his recovery from injury this year.
Lewis refused to comment on the reports, and Harbaugh did not seem too disturbed so they will be hoping nothing comes of the talk - Lewis especially will not want anything to sour what he hopes will be the perfect send-off into a well-earned retirement.
Joe Flacco perhaps made the biggest impact on me, improving his persona greatly with a jovial hour, including a response to his own father's comments that his son might be on the 'dull' side. Flacco's response: "Yeah I heard Dad said that, I'm not sure I'd say I was dull, but I'm probably pretty close to it."
In a contract year and steering his team to the Super Bowl, Flacco has every right to smile though as he is bound to be handed a huge deal after his exploits especially in the post-season.
On the flip side, poor old Alex Smith cut a forlorn figure, as he stood around the field not being given the booth treatment after being dropped as San Francisco quarterback. To his eternal credit though Smith insisted he would be behind his team all the way, even though he will be playing elsewhere next year.
Much like the weather in New Orleans, now comes the relative calm before the storm as the rain and storms heading towards the Crescent City should not in any way dampen the atmosphere that you just feel is brewing along Bourbon Street in the city's famous French Quarter.