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SUPER BOWL WATCH: NFL awards, real fun to come

Sunday - 2/3/2013, 1:20pm  ET

In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, workers put up signage outside the Superdome where tomorrow's NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens will be played, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Around the Super Bowl and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of everything surrounding the game:

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REAL FUN TO COME

The NFL's best have been mingling with celebrities, signing autographs for adoring fans and enjoying all the festivities New Orleans has to offer during Super Bowl weekend. But make no mistake, they'd gladly give that all up.

They'd rather be on the field at the Superdome on Sunday.

Case in point, what New York Giants Eli Manning told Nekesa Mumbi Moody, AP's global lifestyles and entertainment editor, on Saturday:

"I'm not enjoying it as much," he said.

Manning spent Saturday with his dad Archie and brother Peyton, first watching a celebrity flag football game featuring A-listers including Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Katharine McPhee, Deion Sanders, Neil Patrick Harris and more. The family then went to the "2nd Annual NFL Honors" awards Saturday night, where Peyton Manning won AP's NFL Comeback Player of the Year award during a show televised on CBS. The younger Manning said he likes being back in New Orleans, back where he grew up.

But this time last year, he was one night away from winning a Super Bowl and being crowned the game's MVP.

Where would you rather be?

"I'd rather be right now in the hotel room, looking at my playbook, trying to figure out how to win another championship," Eli Manning said.

-- Oskar Garcia and Nekesa Mumbi Moody -- http://twitter.com/oskargarcia and http://twitter.com/nekesamumbi

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1 HARBAUGH FAMILY WIN

The Harbaugh family got an early win on Saturday night well before the Super Bowl.

Tom Crean, coach of the No. 3 Indiana men's basketball team, knocked off No. 1 Michigan 81-73 at home. Crean is married to Joani Harbaugh, sister of San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh.

It's the third time in school history the Hoosiers have beaten the No. 1 team at home. When the new AP Top 25 poll comes out Monday, Indiana will likely take back the No. 1 ranking it held for the first seven weeks this season.

The Harbaugh family will finish the weekend with a 2-1 record.

-- Michael Marot -- http://twitter.com/apmarot

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5 KEY PLAYERS: SAN FRANCISCO

We asked AP pro football writer Barry Wilner to pick five key players for each team in this Super Bowl. You'll want to pay attention to these guys on Sunday.

For the Baltimore Ravens, it's Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Ray Lewis, Paul Kruger and Cary Williams. Now, for the San Francisco 49ers:

Kaepernick, Crabtree, Gore, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis

--COLIN KAEPERNICK (QB, JERSEY NO. 7): Dynamic player who replaced injured Alex Smith in November and kept the job. Fast with long strides, strong arm, unafraid to throw into tight spots.

--MICHAEL CRABTREE (WR, JERSEY NO. 15): Matured this season and became a true No. 1 receiver. Led team with 85 catches, 1,105 yards and nine TDs. Good after catch, but needs to consider better ball security.

--FRANK GORE (RB, JERSEY NO. 21): Career rushing leader for franchise, as dependable as they come. Strong, can pound through line, but also has quick feet to cut to open space. Had 1,214 rushing yards and eight TDs during season.

--ALDON SMITH (OLB, JERSEY NO. 99): All-Pro sacks machine. Not as good as he needs to be in coverage, but is raw. Then again, why not rush him every play? Great burst off the line, big wingspan and maneuverability.

--PATRICK WILLIS (ILB, JERSEY NO. 52): With apologies to Ray Lewis, Willis is best linebacker in this Super Bowl -- and probably best in entire league. Has been All-Pro in five of six seasons.

-- Barry Wilner

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BROTHERLY ADVICE: THE MANNINGS

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh and San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh are hardly the only high-profile siblings who've squared off in their arena of expertise. The AP is asking some others who can relate how to handle going against a family member in the Super Bowl.

When NFL quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning squared off during a regular season game, at least one parent didn't have too hard a time deciding who to root for.

"I knew my mom was going to root for me -- I'm the baby of the family, so that was an easy one," Eli Manning said.

But sibling battles can be tough on parents, the New York Giants quarterback said.

"It's hard to be excited for one child winning a game and also disappointed for the other one that didn't," he said.

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