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Rick Snider: At the Super Bowl, the story remains the same

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Sports,NFL,Ravens,Rick Snider

Get ready for Super overload.

The storylines for Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens are well worn but never get old. For every X's and O's matchup, the redemption of Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is chronicled.

The Super Bowl isn't simply a game. It's a national event that draws viewers who don't see a tackle or pass all season. And they still might not as they scan commercials averaging $3.7 million per 30 seconds to reach 111 million Americans. They watch for Beyonce's halftime show and Budweiser ads.

Many viewers don't care whether San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick can elude Baltimore safety Ed Reed or Lewis can silence the 49ers' pistol formation. They want to know the backstories.

Lewis is certainly the biggest, just as he was 12 years ago before Baltimore beat the New York Giants for the title. Lewis was forced under threat of NFL sanctions to answer media questions for one hour about his involvement in the 2000 double murder in Atlanta shortly before the previous Super Bowl.

Lewis was convicted of misdemeanor obstruction of justice after lying to police about the case. Two men with Lewis that night were later acquitted. No one has since been charged.

At first, Lewis spent that hour refusing to answer any questions. Eventually, several hundred reporters relentlessly asking about the case managed to pry a few comments from Lewis but nothing momentous.

Tuesday's media day will resume that questioning. Nothing has changed. That the mother of one of the slain men recently visited her son's grave for the first time with media in tow wasn't coincidental. She's obviously hoping for answers -- and probably won't get any.

Lewis is retiring after the Super Bowl, a sure first ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer who is either beloved or hated by fans. Don't expect him to say much about that 2000 case after not doing so all these years.

Meanwhile, the HarBowl story that Baltimore coach John Harbaugh dismissed as not "Roosevelt and Churchill" in facing his brother, San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh, will rival Lewis for top interest. The first meeting of brothers in Super Bowl history already has been overdone and the week's just starting. The latest revelation is their family will wear neutral colors and wish both well. Their seat location is still being investigated in case they're one row closer to one of the brothers.

Normally, kickers sit in the stands with maybe a handful of reporters. Certainly, 49ers kicker David Akers hopes to be overlooked. San Francisco nearly dumped the former Washington Redskins kicker after a recent slump.

Meanwhile, there's Bourbon Street to exploit, the memory of Hurricane Katrina's impact on New Orleans eight years later and the relevance of the coming Mardi Gras.

It all seems so familiar because it is. And yet no one cares. It's the Super Bowl, where everything is bigger than warranted.

Examiner columnist Rick Snider has covered local sports since 1978. Read more on Twitter @Snide_Remarks or email rsnider@washingtonexaminer.com.

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