NEW ORLEANS — Around the Super Bowl and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of everything surrounding the game:
SURPRISES? NOT REALLY
Don't be surprised if you're not surprised by the Super Bowl ads on Sunday.
The multimillion-dollar spots used to be closely guarded secrets. That's out the window. Thank Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. Today, the eyeballs advertisers covet are online.
Last year, Super Bowl ads released early had six times the views — with 9.1 million average views — than spots released after the game, according to YouTube.com, which hosts advertisers' commercials on its site.
In recent years, more advertisers have been making their spots public before the Big Game. This year, 26 of the 35 or so advertisers have released their spots, with more reveals expected, YouTube says.
— Mae Anderson — http://twitter.com/maetron
AP national sports columnist Tim Dahlberg writes about Colin Kaepernick's parents, Rick and Teresa, who lost two sons while young parents in their mid-20s before the future 49ers quarterback was born. Read the whole column here: http://bit.ly/VsFmEc
Their new son was 5 weeks old when they first held him at the Lutheran Social Services office in Appleton, Wis. He was healthy, vibrant, and full of life.
On Sunday he'll be behind center, trying to win a Super Bowl for the San Francisco 49ers.
"He's ready to roll," Rick Kaepernick said this week from his hotel room in this party town. "He's pretty focused."
If the story of Colin Kaepernick's meteoric rise from obscurity to superstar in the making is a remarkable one, the story of his life bears some telling, too. Born to a teenager in Wisconsin a quarter century ago, the only memories he has of his early life are with the couple who adopted him.
He doesn't like to talk about it, and has declined chances to meet with his birth mother. For their part, the Kaepernicks particularly dislike it when people refer to their son as adopted.
Of course, they couldn't have imagined when they began the process that the offspring of a blonde, athletic mother and an African-American father who was out of the picture before he was born would be a star quarterback.
"At the end of the day he's just our son," Rick said.
— Tim Dahlberg — http://twitter.com/timdahlberg
APE PICKS RAVENS
Too bad gambling's illegal in Utah: This ape's on a roll.
An orangutan at a Utah zoo has predicted the winning Super Bowl team each of the past five years. The ape, named Eli, is picking the Baltimore Ravens this time around.
Casinos in neighboring Nevada favor the San Francisco 49ers.
Eli made his pick by knocking down a papier mache goal post decorated with the Ravens logo. He ignored the 49ers post.
Hogle Zoo spokeswoman Erica Hansen said Eli has hesitated in years past, but charged toward the Ravens side this year. He then joined his mate and daughter in chowing down on the edible posts.
At least he's confident.
OLDER AND WISER
Sunday's Super Bowl has been five years in the making for Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
Boldin was with Arizona when the Cardinals lost to Pittsburgh 27-23 in the 2009 Super Bowl, and he still feels the sting.
"Everything that I have done as far as working out, as far as preparing, has been to get back to this point and to win," Boldin said. "I think whenever you're in a situation like that and being a competitor, you don't want to lose. But I think when you do (lose) in a situation like that, it drives you. I mean, for me, it's been only about football and getting back and trying to win."
Now that he's back in the NFL championship, Boldin is drawing on his experiences from 2009.
The Super Bowl is unlike any other game, with a longer-than-normal halftime and long delays following warmups and the coin toss. Though football players are creatures of habit, Boldin said he and his teammates have to be prepared to adjust their normal routines.
"Everybody is used to going out and warming up at a certain time. Coming in the locker room, having a certain amount of time in the locker room before you go back out. Having a certain amount of time before the coin toss," Boldin said. "You can toss all that to the side, because it's completely different. (You can't) ... use too much energy or get too excited too early."
— Nancy Armour — http://twitter.com/nrarmour
EDITOR'S NOTE — "Super Bowl Watch" shows you the Super Bowl and the events surrounding the game through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across New Orleans and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.