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It's Thursday, and Super Bowl Thursday is the day everything starts to change and the atmosphere starts to intensify around the host city - and New Orleans definitely had a sense of that today.

Last Updated: 31/01/13 at 23:03 Post Comment

Beyonce belts out the anthem live at the media centre

Beyonce belts out the anthem live at the media centre

It was nice of the sun to finally come out for the occasion as well, it's cold here according to local weather forecasts, it's anything but cold to anyone who has spent a few winters in Yorkshire - it's positively balmy weather for us.

It's a great day for the two sets of players, as it's their last day of media grilling before they look themselves away and prepare for the biggest game of their lives on Sunday - sadly not the case for the coaches who have one last ordeal to get over.

John and Jim Harbaugh will take part in another Super Bowl first when they hold a joint press conference on Friday, and that will be the highlight of the week for many. I can't see it becoming a tradition though.

It's also celebrity Thursday as Beyonce popped into the media centre to plug her latest tour/album/perfume, sorry I mean to talk about her pride at performing at the Super Bowl half-time show.

Highlights

The real big highlight of the day though is the return of Papa John's pizza delivery - nothing tastes so sweet as free media pizza, even at 11.30am or whatever time it was, and that for some of the greedier member of the press is what Super Bowl week is all about.

Anyway, back to Mrs Jay-Z - after last year's debacle of a love-fest towards Madonna, including the probing question 'Madonna, explain to us why you are the greatest ever star in music, what makes you so great?' Paxman was hardly quaking in his boots after that grilling.

A quick look shows Beyonce has 6.9 million followers on Twitter, for just four Tweets! Still, being a global icon is exactly the kind of CV needed to land the gig at the half-time show at the Super Bowl. She even admitted that she sang along to a backing track during President Obama's inauguration because she did not have enough rehearsal time, she was busy prepping for New Orleans.

The answer to her critics was to walk on stage, belt out a brilliant rendition of the American national anthem, and simply finish with 'any questions?' Luckily the questions were not as bad as last year, with Denmark's input of surrounding the colour of her toothbrush being the highlight.

After the big distraction, it's back to focusing on the matter in hand - the small matter of a huge Super Bowl game coming up on Sunday - although this week is seemingly all about distractions.

Stars

The superstars will soon by flying in to New Orleans to take up residence at their plush hotels ahead of their VIP parties, the French Quarter will soon be booming with tourists, football fans and revellers, while the alligator population will be quaking like turkeys at Christmas at the thought of ending up in the increased amount of burgers being devoured.

Hopefully everything will go smoothly, New Orleans has already proved to be a great host, in a similar vein to Indianapolis last year being a relatively small venue helps enormously. This place is far more geared up for the party aspect of the week though - there's a reason this place has held nine Super Bowls before.

We'll now be looking towards Sunday soon enough, and starting to dissect the match-up, pick out the strengths and weaknesses of each team and then somehow try to pick the winner - this could take a while, might need to seek out Papa John again.

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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

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Rodgers: The pressure's on

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eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

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Neville: Reds need a rest

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ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

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