Amid all the excitement among Baltimore Ravens fans for Sunday's big game, there is undoubtedly a tinge of sorrow.

It is, after all, most likely the last time they will see linebacker Ray Lewis anchoring the defense. Lewis, who has been the face of the franchise for nearly two decades, announced that he would be retiring after these playoffs.

So to celebrate Lewis' career and to thank him for all that he has meant to the team and the city, a group of Ravens fans are planning a large march from their tailgate to the Superdome on Sunday. There is no lack of symbolism in the event: The march will be 17 blocks (one for each year of Lewis career) and it will start at exactly 2:52 p.m. CT. 2 o'clock represents for the number of times the Ravens have played in the Super Bowl, and 52 is Lewis' jersey number.

Nestor Aparicio, the owner and CEO of Baltimore radio station WNST, organized the tailgate and the march. He said the idea was born out of a necessity to get from the tailgate to the Superdome as well as a desire to honor the franchise's best player.

"It’s a big tailgate, from there everybody’s going to want to get to the dome and get to the game," Aparicio told ThePostGame. "And I’m just giving them a methodology to do it."

It hasn't been the smoothest week for Lewis, who was mentioned in a Sports Illustrated report as having a connection to the company Sports With Alternatives To Steroids (S.W.A.T.S). In the story, the authors note that Lewis may have gone to S.W.A.T.S., after his triceps injury earlier in the season in search of deer-antler velvet extract spray, a substance banned by the NFL.

Aparicio said neither he nor his fellow Ravens fans are too concerned with the report.

"No one in Baltimore cares for the deer antler story," Aparicio told ThePostGame. "The distraction is media-created, media-exaggerated and media-believed. I don't think it matters much to Ray Lewis. It certainly doesn't matter much to our fans either."

Aparicio, who is known among Baltimore fans for hosting parties in road cities for away games, has organized for 265 fans to bus the 17 hours from Baltimore to New Orleans for the game. Overall he said he expects thousands of purple-clad supporters to join in on the march.

For more information on the tailgate and the march, see Aparicio's Facebook page.

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Colin Kaepernick has taken the NFL by storm. The 25-year-old's dual-threat ability is causing nightmares for opposing defenses, and his confidence is through the roof.

But his college coach says if he had had his way with a young Kaepernick, San Francisco's Super Bowl starter may have been converted to a defensive back.

In an interview on Fox Sports Radio, former Nevada coach and pioneer of the Pistol offense Chris Ault said that when Kaepernick was a redshirt freshman, he and his staff had their doubts about the rail-thin 19-year-old.

"There was nothing that told us he was a special athlete," Ault said in the interview, which was transcribed by Deadspin. "He threw sidearm a little bit."

Because Kaepernick's throwing motion needed work, Ault considered other spots for him on the field. Ault thought free safety, where the speedy, 6-foot-4 Kaepernick could roam the defensive backfield, would be a perfect fit.

"I thought to myself, ‘If he can't play quarterback, he looks like he's a good enough athlete that he could play free safety or wide receiver," Ault said. "At that time, Kaep was maybe 6-foot-4, about 183 pounds, built like a fork."

Luckily for Ault, Kaepernick and 49ers fans everywhere, no position switch was made. Kaepernick went on to have a stellar career at Nevada, throwing for at least 2,000 yards in each of his four years under center and rushing for at least 1,000 yards as a sophomore, junior and senior.

And the rest is history.

(H/T to Deadspin)

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Not too long ago the sporting world was enthralled by a story about a young man who had a trusting relationship with someone he had only spoken with on the phone. After it was revealed that the person on the other end of the line was a hoax, it was hard to believe that this young man had not seen any red flags.

Well, here we go again. But not to worry -- this story has a happy ending.

After wiring $5,900 to a man she met on Craigslist for what she thought were four Super Bowl tickets, 49ers season-ticket holder Sharon Osgood was heartbroken to receive a package filled not with tickets but with a taunting note. Some conniving Baltimore supporter had sent a photo of quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick, Joe Flacco and the Super Bowl logo.

"Enjoy the game!!!! Go Ravens!!! LOL," the note read.

Osgood's cautionary tale was reported by the San Jose Mercury News this week, and before long Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard had heard Osgood's story. So Hubbard did everything in his power to make it up to her, and more.

The Mercury News is reporting that Hubbard has given Osgood four tickets to the Super Bowl and has arranged for her and her boyfriend to have breakfast with former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current Fox color commentator Troy Aikman.

According to the Mercury News, Osgood, a 49-year-old utility worker, broke down when she heard the news.

"My heart literally was in my throat; it was fluttering," Osgood said. "I was like, 'Oh my God, I can't believe this is happening.' I can't put into words how grateful I am."

Last week Osgood emailed, texted and spoke on the phone with a man who claimed he was a corporate tax attorney living in Boca Raton, Fla. He said he was a Baltimore Ravens fan, and he couldn't go to the game because his wife was eight months pregnant. So Osgood wired him the money.

"I'm just sick -- like, physically sick," Osgood said upon receiving the prankster's note. "All over the envelope it says 'go Ravens' — even on the FedEx label."

While this particular instance of fraud ended on a happy note, Hubbard says stories like Osgood's are all too familiar.

"I wish I could tell you that we don't hear this story a lot, but we do," Hubbard said. "There are a lot of places that fans go to buy tickets that aren't safe, and they get completely exploited. And it drives us crazy."

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Wes Welker's wife, Anna Burns, caused quite the stir recently when she posted disparaging remarks about Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis to her Facebook page.

In a post following the Patriots' loss to the Ravens in the AFC championship game, Burns posted the following note on her wall:

Proud of my husband and the Pats. By the way, if anyone is bored, please go to Ray Lewis‘ Wikipedia page. 6 kids 4 wives. Acquitted for murder. Paid a family off. Yay. What a hall of fame player! A true role model!

Burns' words resulted in a considerable controversy, and she immediately apologized.

Meanwhile, Lewis was asked about Burns' comments at Super Bowl Media Day, and he said he harbors no hard feelings.

"I've always been a firm believer of the Good Book, and the Good Book always confirms, even a fool is counted wise until he opens he or she mouth," Lewis told reporters. "And sometimes people just say silly stuff. And they say it out of emotion. And sometimes you need to let the game take care of the game. We lost up there last year, and I didn't hear one teammate say anything about nobody there because we have respect for that team, that they won it fair and square.

"So for her to come out and say what she said, listen, I truly forgive her, and I have no hard feelings against her at all, but I believe people just make mistakes and say foolish things sometimes."

And thus ends one of the more bizarre pre-Super Bowl story lines.

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President Barack Obama said recently that if he had a son, he would have to think "long and hard" before letting him play football.

And now that the President has weighed in on a topic that has long been on the mind of fans across the country, it seems more and more people are voicing their opinions. Jim Harbaugh, along with many members of the San Francisco 49ers, respectfully disagreed with the President.

While the consensus among NFL players may be that they'd let their sons play the sport they love, one NFL baby who may not see the gridiron is Camden Cutler.

Kristin Cavallari, a former reality TV star and the wife of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, recently told that she would prefer her son not play football.

"I will try to steer Cam in a different direction, maybe a sport that isn't so aggressive," Cavallari said. "Maybe baseball -- something where he doesn't have to get hit."

Cutler was also posed a similar question last fall on ESPN Radio in Chicago, and he gave a more nuanced answer.

"It is a huge number of players that have played football for numerous amount of years and don't have any symptoms from concussions and are leading completely healthy, normal lives," Cutler said. "I think as a culture and as fans of football everyone got caught up into the concussion mania and awareness, it's kind of -- I don't want to say blown out of proportion, because it is a significant issue and something that needs to be paid attention to. ... There is a lot of other things I worry about for Cam other than football. I have diabetes, our food situation in America with preservatives and everything else we put into it, that's something I worry about a lot more than him getting concussions playing football.

"So, to answer your question, would I let him play football? Absolutely."

The bottom line in the Cutler-Cavallari household seems to be that if Camden wants to play football, despite his mother's best wishes, he'll play.

"At the end of the day, I think if he wants to play football, I don't know if I'm gonna have too much control over it," Cavallari said. "You know, how can your dad be a football player and you tell them that they can't do it?"

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Joe Flacco is not and never will be Peyton Manning, a superstar quarterback whose personality and charisma matches his impressive talent.

Now that Flacco has finally made it onto the country's largest sporting stage -- the Super Bowl -- every aspect of his being has come under examination. While there's lot to argue about when discussing his talent as a quarterback, there is unfortunately little to look at when it comes to Flacco's personality. In contrast to other quarterbacks who have started in the Super Bowl in recent years -- Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers -- Flacco seems to lack a certain pizzazz.

For lack of a better word, Flacco is boring.

And that's not just the media's characterization of Flacco. One of the people who knows Flacco best, his father Steve, said there's not much more than meets the eye.

"Joe is dull," Steve Flacco told the New York Times. "As dull as he is portrayed in the media, he’s that dull. He is dull."

The one notable instance in which Flacco showed some flair was on his wedding day, June 25, 2011. In a series of photographs which instantly went viral, Flacco is shown in several amusing poses. One is at a theater, where Flacco is pretending to scream during a movie. Another is at Flacco's high school football field, where Flacco is under center while his wife and his groomsmen are on the offensive line.

"I guarantee none of it was Joe's idea," Steve Flacco told the Times of his son's photoshoot.

As it turns out, those photos aren't the only instance that Flacco has made headlines for something other than his play. Last year he sported an impressive Fu Manchu mustache, and he tried to get everyone on the Ravens' offense to join him. Sadly, he was unsuccessful.

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Bob Costas has proven time and again that he has a gift for words.

The 60-year-old Costas has provided the soundtrack for dozens of the most memorable sporting events of the past few decades, and he will undoubtedly go down as one of the most popular sports broadcasters in American history.

So who better to eulogize Stan Musial, one of the most accomplished but least celebrated baseball players in American history than Costas? Musial surely knew what he was doing when, several years ago, he asked Costas to speak at his funeral.

This weekend Costas delivered a eulogy for the Cardinals' Hall of Famer, who passed away on Jan. 19, and it was everything we've come to expect of Costas. Equal parts touching, inspiring, thoughtful and humorous, Costas did Stan the Man justice with this speech.

Costas described how, even though Musial was as or almost as successful as contemporaries such as Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Joe DiMaggio, for various reasons Musial never reached quite the same cult status as those men.

"What was the hook with Stan Musial other than the distinctive stance and the role of one of baseball's best hitters?" Costas said. "It seems that all Stan had going for him was more than two decades of sustained excellence as a ballplayer and more than nine decades as a thoroughly decent human being."

(H/T to Larry Brown Sports)

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For the first time in 100 years, William Taft will be running against Theodore Roosevelt.

The Washington Nationals announced this weekend that Taft will join Roosevelt, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson as a participant in the team's fourth-inning "Presidents Race."

Taft is an appropriate choice, seeing as he began the tradition of the president throwing out a game's ceremonial first pitch and is also credited as having accidentally started the seventh inning stretch.

Roosevelt and Taft, once political friends turned bitter foes, will get to relive their rivalry on the baseball diamond. Taft was Roosevelt's Secretary of War and went on to succeed Roosevelt as president in 1908. Four years later Roosevelt ran against Taft, and both ended up losing to Woodrow Wilson.

Roosevelt's struggles in the mascot race have been well documented. He won his first race on Oct. 3, 2012, and is 210 victories behind all-time leader Lincoln. One would think adding another mascot would only hurt Roosevelt's chances, but Nationals COO Andy Feffer told the Washington Post that it was actually Roosevelt who pushed for Taft to be added.

"Not only do I think he'll be well-received, but he'll add to the competition," Feffer said. "Who knows what’ll happen next? He might even give Teddy a run for his money."

If the actual presidents were running against each other, Taft would almost certainly lose every time. Whereas Roosevelt and Washington were athletic men, Taft weighed more than 300 pounds.

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If you're not one of the millions of people who has seen the hilarious viral video "The NFL: A Bad Lipreading," you should probably check it out.

In the video a clever, anonymous YouTube user inserted zany comments into the otherwise mundane mouths of NFL players. You can see the clip here.

One of the funnier moments in the video was an interview with Adrian Peterson that takes place at around the 2:00 mark. In the interview, the Minnesota Vikings running back asks Pam Oliver if she has an orange peanut. Oliver says she does, and she tells Peterson it's for him. Clearly elated, Peterson says, "I accept you."

It's all nonsense, and one can't help but chuckle when thinking about how funny it would be if the star running was to actually say these things.

As it turns out, a fan created an orange peanut and brought it to the Pro Bowl to get it signed by Peterson. The fan, who goes by the name TCHRox on Imgur and Reddit, actually got AD's signature.

The best part of the story? According to TCHRox, when Peterson saw the peanut he said, "An orange peanut, for me?"

Touche, AD.

(H/T to Game On!)

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Ravens fans, are you feeling lucky?

If so, you might want to check out Saxon's Diamond Centers over the next week. The store, which has locations in Bel Air and Aberdeen, is offering a sweet-sounding deal on its jewelry; If the Ravens shut out the 49ers in the Super Bowl, all jewelry purchased between Jan. 26 and Feb. 2 is free (up to $5,000).

Sounds good, right? Well, here's the catch; there has never been a shutout in the Super Bowl. What's more, during their current three-game winning streak, the 49ers has scored at least 27 points in each game.

We've seen deals like these several times this year, with mixed results. An appliance store in Denver and a car dealership in Washington, D.C., offered full refunds on items purchased if the Broncos and Redskins were able to pull off a shutout. Both teams won, but neither blanked their opponent.

For those Ravens fans searching for hope, look no further than Alabama jeweler Jeff Dennis. Dennis made a similar gamble on the Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama, and he lost. But to be sure, the best college team in the country playing a 3-9 squad is much different than the two best teams in the NFL squaring off in the biggest game in sports.

(H/T to Game On!)

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