NEW ORLEANS — The next time the 49ers step onto the field at the Superdome, it'll be time for the Super Bowl.
San Francisco finished up on-field preparations on Saturday with a 15-minute walkthrough. The team has meetings Saturday night.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said the stadium lights are brighter than they were when the 49ers beat the New Orleans Saints here on Nov. 25, so getting his players adjusted to that was important.
Harbaugh invited family members and friends — 11 busloads of people — to attend the short session and come down to the field to pose for photographs.
One person hollered Harbaugh's signature chant from the stands: "Who's got it better than us?"
The rest of the group replied: "No-body!"
The coach smiled.
RAVENS DONE PRACTICING: Team officials, friends and family watched as the Ravens went through a short walkthrough at the Superdome on Saturday afternoon.
The 15-minute session was more of a pep rally than a workout.
Running back Ray Rice playfully tackled his mother on the sideline and guard Marshal Yanda had a video camera attached to the top of his Ravens cap.
John Harbaugh describes his team's work this week as "effective."
"We've gotten everything we've needed to get done, that's the No. 1 thing," Harbaugh said.
GLORY, PLUS CASH: The Super Bowl isn't just about the glory — players for San Francisco and Baltimore both have decent paydays riding on the outcome.
The difference between winning and losing is $44,000, nearly $9,000 less than the median annual household income in the United States from 2007-2011, according to U.S. Census data.
Winning players get $88,000 each, losers get $44,000. That's just cash — it doesn't count the marketing clout gained by going from NFL player to Super Bowl champion.
Super Bowl paydays have gradually increased the last 30 years after doubling in 1983 to $36,000 for winners.
In the game's first 11 years, winners got $15,000 and losers got $7,500.
LEAVING HIS MARK: If there are some dents in the Superdome roof, blame San Francisco 49ers punter Andy Lee.
Lee bonked several punts off the roof this week as the 49ers practiced for Sunday's Super Bowl against the Baltimore Ravens. Lee finally lowered the trajectory of his kicks to make sure he got the ball downfield.
"I'm glad he didn't hit those lights," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said.
PLAYING FOOTBALL, NOT FUTBOL, IN MEXICO: The NFL wants to return to Mexico, though Commissioner Roger Goodell won't say when.
Back in 2005, Azteca Stadium in Mexico City was the site of the league's first regular-season game outside the United States. But the league hasn't been back, despite playing in Toronto and — now regularly — in London.
Goodell says the league is perfecting things in England.
"We have to make sure that whenever we do come back to Mexico, and I expect we will, that we do it successfully, with the right kind of television support, fan support and sponsor involvement," Goodell said.
"I would expect if we are successful in the UK, where we thankfully are continuing to grow, that we'll have the opportunity to get back there," Goodell said. "And the sooner, the better for me."
YOU BET WHAT?: Novelty bets on the Super Bowl might be getting out of hand.
Regional specialties between mayors and governors used to be the only norm, but now it seems like every public figure's betting on the Super Bowl — and the wagers are getting pretty elaborate.
Here are three of the better bets:
THE BOOKWORMS: If the Ravens win, San Francisco Public Library City Librarian Luis Herrera has to recite Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" in the atrium of the city's main library while wearing a Ravens jersey. If the 49ers win, Enoch Pratt Free Library CEO Carla Hayden must declaim George Sterling's "The Cool, Grey City of Love" in the Central Library main hall wearing a 49ers jersey.
THE FUZZ: It's a duel of on-field demonstrations for San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr and Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts. Suhr vows that Batts will be "Kaepernicking" — flexing and kissing his bicep in imitation of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's victory pose. Batts says Suhr will have to don Baltimore Ravens gear to perform the signature dance — the Squirrel — of linebacker Ray Lewis.
WHO DAT?: Wander the streets of New Orleans this week and you'd think the Saints are one of the teams playing in Sunday's Super Bowl.
Entire families are sporting Drew Brees jerseys. Women are wearing rhinestone-studded Saints T-shirts and fleur-de-lis earrings. Men are in Saints jerseys and sweatshirts.
Of course, fans in every host city show pride in their home team. But there's a special bond between the Saints and the people of New Orleans. While they're happy to welcome the Ravens and the 49ers, this city will always belong to the Saints.
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