The Baltimore Ravens have arrived in New Orleans for the Super Bowl.
As their charter plane came to a stop on the tarmac at Louis Armstrong International Airport on Monday, a purple Ravens flag was held up against the cockpit window by one of the pilots.
Coach John Harbaugh was among the first off the plane, wearing a dark suit and striped tie. He smiled and nodded at onlookers as he descended the stairs from the plane, then gave an airport worker a friendly pat on the shoulder.
Harbaugh said later at a news conference, "We're proud to be participants in the Super Bowl. We're gonna do our best to play our best in this game."
"We had an incredible sendoff down in the Inner Harbor (of Baltimore) this afternoon on the way to the airport. We had thousnds, I'm not sure how many thousands, but lots of thousands of people there in a cold drizzle in a January Chesapeake Bay afternoon, and they were there all morning waiting for us, and they just went crazy. And so we just had a great time doing that."
Most Ravens players wore suits and ties and walked matter-of-factly from the plane to a waiting bus without gesturing in any noticeable way. Ray Lewis looked professorial in a gray suit and glasses as he strode with purpose across the tarmac without any of his usual flamboyant antics.
The 49ers arrived Sunday night. The Super Bowl is Sunday at the Superdome.
(Copyright 2013 by the Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)