By Peter Schwartz
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After Media Day came and went Tuesday, it was back to football here in New Orleans.
The Super Bowl participants kicked things into high gear on Wednesday. Before hitting the practice fields, the 49ers and Ravens again held court with the media.
During the Ravens’ session, Ray Lewis continued to deny allegations in an SI story that he took a substance banned by the NFL.
One player that has certainly benefited from the tutoring of Lewis is rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw. I spent a couple of minutes with the former Alabama star during Wednesday’s media session.
Ravens safety James Ihedigbo will be playing in the Super Bowl for the second straight year. He was on the losing end with the Patriots last year but hopes to have better results this time around.
In this picture, Idhedigbo is on my cell phone talking to Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on WFAN.
Listen to the interview here:
Radio Row was packed with plenty of football personalities on Wednesday, including Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Mike Tannenbaum, Mike Westhoff, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Falcons head coach Mike Smith, Emmitt Smith and Ray Lucas.
One thing is clear about covering a Super Bowl — you never know who you’re going to run into!
A SUPER PARTY FOR A GREAT CAUSE!
On Saturday, the New Orleans convention center will be the venue for the 22nd annual Taste Of The NFL Party With a Purpose. Each year, net proceeds from the Taste of the NFL’s Super Bowl event are donated to Feeding America-affiliated food banks in each of the NFL cities, with an emphasis on the Super Bowl host city’s food bank.
This strolling wine and food event features a chef serving their signature dish along with a current or former NFL player. I caught up with Wayne Kostroski, the founder and executive director of Taste Of The NFL.
There will also be a silent auction with unique sports memorabilia and other items. Last year, there was a live auction for two pairs of Super Bowl tickets.The event is a complete sellout but there are still some seats remaining for Friday morning’s Taste Of The NFL “Salute To Earl Morrall,” honoring the former NFL quarterback for 15 years of service in helping to “kick hunger In America.”
For more information on the events this weekend, and to find out how you can help even if you are not in New Orleans, go to www.tasteofthenfl.com.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
On Thursday, 49ers and Ravens players will meet with the media for the final time. The coaches will have one final get-together with reporters, a combined press conference with John and Jim Harbaugh on Friday morning.
There will also be another highly attended press conference on Thursday as Beyoncé will meet the media to discuss her Super Bowl halftime show coming up Sunday.
I’m guessing it won’t be very long before she’s asked about her lip-synch performance at the inauguration. There are rumors of a reunion with Destiny’s Child in New Orleans, so we’ll see what happens!
That’s all for now. Check back tomorrow for more!
Super Bowl XLVII will be broadcast on CBS, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.
What’s your prediction for Ravens-Niners? Let us know in the comments!