NEW ORLEANS -- When the Baltimore Ravens' plane lands here Monday afternoon, the coaches and players will head to a hotel where the casino is across the street and Bourbon Street is a short walk away.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh as well as the team leaders have reminded everyone to keep focused on the game and not be lured away by the distractions.
"It will be very important for us to understand that this is a business trip first and foremost," Harbaugh said. "Yes, we want to enjoy it, but we want to enjoy all the things about it that make it special. You can do all those other things anytime. You can do them next week if you want, but you aren’t going to be going to the Super Bowl next week. You are going to be going to the Super Bowl this week."
Harbaugh added, "That will be our priority. I will be shocked if our guys have their focus anywhere other than that."
The horror stories during Super Bowl week are well-known. Players have disappeared from their teams (Oakland's Barret Robbins), gone on cocaine binges (Cincinnati's Stanley Wilson) and even been arrested for soliciting a prostitute (Atlanta's Eugene Robinson). All three of those teams then lost in the Super Bowl.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said this team will keep its priorities in order.
"I think we all know what’s at stake for this game, and I think you have to enjoy it," Flacco said. "There’s going to be certain points of being down there that you have to enjoy. We all understand what that means and how to be smart about it. I think we have a team that does a great job doing that, and we will this week, too.”