NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans native Rosey Taylor looked around in amazement Tuesday as he took in Super Bowl XLVII Media Day festivities in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Taylor, a former Grambling defensive back, went on to play 13 seasons with three NFL teams — including the San Francisco 49ers from 1969-71. He won a championship with the Chicago Bears in 1963 and played in Super Bowl VII with the Washington Redskins but lost to the Miami Dolphins, 14-7.
It was easy to see that it’s changed a lot for Taylor, who was a guest Tuesday at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame exhibit in the Media Center.
Taylor was inducted into the Hall in 1996.
“It is a circus,” Taylor said with a laugh. “We had just one camera, but these guys now have about 40. So it’s 40 to 1.”
Taylor, now 75, got to speak briefly with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who asked him for his phone number to visit with the players later this week.
“I just wanted to tell him that I wanted to say hello to the boys and tell him about my connection to the team,” he said. “But he said he knew who I was and asked for my number.”
Former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick, now a color analyst for Fox Sports games, couldn’t be happier for the organization that fired him in favor of current coach John Harbaugh.
Billick compiled an 85-68 record from 1999-2007 and won Super Bowl XXXV after his second season in 2000.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “I still live in Baltimore, so to see the city get excited even though it’s a 12-year span between Super Bowls. It’s great to see the energy in the city and the excitement of the people again.”
The 58-year-old Billick was mentioned as a possible replacement for some of the NFL openings this season, but said he’s done coaching.
“They’re looking for young and cheap,” he said, “and I’m not.”
This will be the third Super Bowl for CBS play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz but his first in New Orleans, a city he’s fond to call his childhood home.
“It’s the greatest host city for any championship event,” said Nantz, who called the Saints’ appearance in Super Bowl XLIV in Miami and the men’s Final Four here in April. “I’m excited that (the Super Bowl) is back in New Orleans and that it’s on our watch.”
Nantz lived in Metairie from 1966-69, attending James Madison (now Harold Keller) Elementary.
He attended the Saints’ first game in 1967 and said he planned to rent a car while here this week to go back and visit his old neighborhood.
The NFL Experience, an interactive theme park that celebrates the sport’s history amid the backdrop of Super Bowl XLVII, opens a five-day run Wednesday next to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
The NFL Experience will be open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under.
7,000 — Volunteers needed by the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation to put on the myriad Super Bowl XLVII events. The GNOSF used 5,000 volunteers for the last Super Bowl played in the city in February 2002.
contributed to this report.
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