Ravens get royal sendoff on their way to Super Bowl

Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:37pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - The Baltimore Ravens arrived in New Orleans on Monday, a day later than their opponents for Sunday's Super Bowl, but inspired by a rousing farewell they received from their most dedicated supporters.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was still beaming when he touched down with his team in the Big Easy and went straight to his first news conference ahead of Sunday's title game against the San Francisco 49ers.

"We had an incredible send-off down in the inner harbor today on our way to the airport," Harbaugh told a news conference.

"We had thousands, lots of thousands of people in a cold drizzle, in a January Chesapeake Bay afternoon and they were there all waiting for us and they went crazy."

Running back Ray Rice was also moved by the support the team got before making their departure for the warmer climate in Louisiana.

"It was cold and it was raining and our fans stuck through, just like they've done for us all season," said Rice, whose team lost four of their last five games before catching fire in the playoffs.

"There was gloomy days and we had nothing to lean on but our fans. It was special for them to send us off like that."

Even strong-armed Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who operates with low-key assurance on the gridiron, was inspired.   Continued...

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh speaks during a news conference after the team's arrival for the NFL's Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, Louisiana January 28, 2013. The Baltimore Ravens will meet the San Francisco 49ers in the game on February 3. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes