NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - The temptation of visiting one of the most famous party streets in the United States during Super Bowl week has no appeal for the San Francisco 49ers.
While tens of thousands of visiting NFL fans will flock to Bourbon Street in the lead-up to Sunday’s 47th Super Bowl between the 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, there’s no chance the San Francisco players will join them in the city’s historic French Quarter.
“We know that we are not down here to have a good time,” Niners’ left tackle Joe Staley told reporters after the team’s arrival in New Orleans.
“We are down here for a business trip and to compete for the Lombardi trophy.”
The team’s hotel for Super Bowl week is located just two blocks away from Bourbon St and although Staley did not indicate whether there was a formal ban on the players from visiting the tourist strip, he did say they talked about it.
“We addressed it but did not make a big deal about it because we know the players that we have on this football team... high character guys,” Staley said.
“We are going to do all we can to prepare and make sure no stone is unturned. I do not think that is going to be an issue with our football team.”
A more pressing issue for the players, Staley said, was trying living up to the expectations of maintaining the franchise’s unbeaten Super Bowl record while creating their own legacy.
San Francisco have played in five Super Bowls and won the lot. If they maintain their perfect record on Sunday, they will tie the Pittsburgh Steelers’ overall record of six Super Bowl titles.
“You walk through the team facility and see all the past Lombardi trophies we have won. They are proudly displayed. It is a great tradition there,” Staley said.
”You are reminded of that with the fan base as well. A lot of the people you meet in the community say that they became fans of the 49ers in the 80’s when they were young.
“Right now we are trying to establish our own identity. You do not want to live in the past.”
Editing by Julian Linden