Technically, the San Francisco 49ers are the home team in Super Bowl XLVII, and as grand arrivals go, their landing in New Orleans on an unseasonably warm Sunday evening was rather calm and unassuming. Players casually walked off the team plane dressed in casual attire, minus handheld video recorders recording the moment. Nobody waved to the crowd. They offered no real hint of the hoopla to come.
Only a 49ers team flag flapping in the breeze from an open window of their charter plane marked the franchise's official return to a Super Bowl for the first time since 1995. The 49ers have won five Lombardi Trophies, but their proclaimed "Quest for Six" will need to go through the Baltimore Ravens, who are set to arrive Monday.
And while there is a lot of attention on second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose 10th NFL start will come next Sunday, there also is a palpable sense that the 49ers have been here, done that, and can do it again.
Maybe it's because Kaepernick's first NFL ...