NEW ORLEANS — Bourbon Street behind him.
Harrah’s in front of him.
To San Francisco 49ers guard Alex Boone, there are plenty of reasons to be out and about this Super Bowl week.
But he finds more compelling ones to remain safely ensconced in the Marriott while the team counts down the days until Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens: spending time with his fellow offensive linemen.
“There’s a brotherhood on all teams, and especially among the offensive line,” Boone said Monday. “Being in the hotel, secluded away from everybody, only going to meetings and then to practice, hanging out with teach other — that builds camaraderie.
“That builds championships.”
Not that Boone didn’t make one brief visit outside.
“Dude, have you seen Bourbon Street?” he asked. “The whole street is crazy.
“Back in the day, I would have loved it. Not any more.”
When you’re in the Super Bowl, spending the week in a hotel, dealing with the extra media demands and trying to be thorough while not over-preparing for a game that means so much comes with the territory.
And for those who happen to hail from the Super Bowl city, the distractions are doubled.
“You need the extra weeks to get everything situated,” said Ravens safety Ed Reed, who prepped at Destrehan. “Honestly, I’m still trying to chop things down to make sure I’ve got things right.”
Reed will spend time with his family Tuesday. But it’s his extended family, plus those who in the community who have, or think they have, a claim on St. Charles Parish’s favorite son that Reed also has to deal with.
“I asked (University of Miami teammate) Jon Vilma how he handled it when the Saints played the Super Bowl in Miami,” Reed said. “He told me he went through the same things.
“Honestly, I think I could fill the Superdome with my ticket requests. I’d love to, but I can’t.”
The Ravens arrived here Monday afternoon, a day after the 49ers, after a morning workout back in Baltimore followed by a rousing sendoff by the fans.
Baltimore, which is staying at the Riverfront Hilton, will work out at Tulane — not on the usual practice facilities but at Turchin Stadium because construction work has begun on the Green Wave’s new football stadium.
San Francisco is using the Saints facilities.
And while there have been notorious occasions of player misbehavior during Super Bowl week in the past, neither team seems especially worried about it.
“This is a business trip,” Boone said. “We’re not here to party.
“We’re going to work because we’ve got a lot of preparation left to do.
“Then, when it’s over Sunday night, we’ll have all the time we want to do other things.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh agreed that even with the week’s head start, there’s always work to be done, right up until game time.
“There’s always going to be distractions because it’s the Super Bowl,” he said. “That’s why plan on how to deal with it.
“If you love football, you love this part of the game.”
Copyright © 2014, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved