New Orleans in party mode in lead up to Super Bowl

Sun Feb 3, 2013 5:23pm EST
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By Julian Linden

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - New Orleans was transformed into one massive party on Sunday as the city prepared to host the 47th Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.

The city's French Quarter was packed with visiting fans soaking up the atmosphere before the biggest game in American professional sports was due to start at 6:30 ET.

Across the country, millions of people were having their own Super Bowl parties in preparation for a game that has all the ingredients of a classic.

The two teams left their hotels in the early afternoon and took a short bus ride through the crowded streets to the Superdome, which will be packed with more than 70,000 spectators.

For the first time in the 47 years of the Super Bowl, two brothers will go head-to-head for the National Football League championship.

John Harbaugh is Baltimore's head coach and his younger brother Jim has the same job with the 49ers and their sibling rivalry has dominated the build-up to the game.

The two players who have been the main focus in the lead-up to the game are Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Lewis is the only survivor from the Ravens team that won the Super Bowl 12 years ago. A 17-year-veteran of the NFL, who has spent his entire career with the Ravens, Lewis is retiring after the game.   Continued...

Baltimore Ravens fans cheer in front of the Superdome before the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game against the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 3, 2013. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)