The message from Ravens coach John Harbaugh to his team comes during an early minicamp, and again during the long, grueling training camp. At some point, he'll ask the team: "Where else would you rather be?"
This week, as the Ravens prepare to head to New Orleans for the Super Bowl, you can bet that question has been asked again.
Harbaugh joked that he would like to take credit for the line, but that center Matt Birk pointed out that it should be credited to former NFL coach Marv Levy.
"Thank you, Marv," Harbaugh said at his media session on Saturday. "It’s a great point. Where else would you rather be? And certainly, where else would you rather be than preparing for a Super Bowl?"
The Ravens on Saturday wrapped up their Owings Mills preparations for the game, conducting a workout that Harbaugh said was meant to mimic a typical Friday practice. The team will fly to New Orleans on Monday, and then deal with the circus atmosphere of more than 3,000 media at Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday before getting down to business in New Orleans.
Harbaugh also said on Saturday that he will stress to his team that, forgetting all the trappings, all the hoopla, all the hype, the Super Bowl boils down to the same game these guys have played for years. He said he might show the team the famous scene from Hoosiers in which Gene Hackman, playing the Hickory High School basketball coach, measures the distance from the foul line to the basket to show his players that, even though the stage is huge, the game remains the same.
"The stage is big, but the field is small," Harbaugh said. "It’s 53 1/3 [feet wide]. It’s 120 yards long. There are going to be these big thick white lines right there. We are going to be in between those white lines. You take that into perspective."