SUPER BOWL WATCH: Driver done, Birk not

The Associated Press
Associated Press
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San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver answers questions Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, in New Orleans, regarding anti-gay remarks he made during Super Bowl media day Tuesday. Culliver apologized for the comments he made to a comedian, saying "that's not what I feel in my heart." The 49ers are scheduled to play the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game on Feb. 3. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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



Packers wide receiver Donald Driver has announced his retirement, ending a 14-year career as Green Bay's all-time leader in yards receiving and catches. Only quarterback Brett Favre has played more games in a Packers uniform.

In a team statement, Driver says: "I played my entire career in Green Bay and have always enjoyed a special bond with the fans. ... I can think of no better way to retire than to celebrate with them and the Packers organization."

Driver was slightly less formal on Twitter: "It's been an amazing journey, thank you for all of your love and support! (hash)Packer4Life"

Driver's key career statistics: 743 receptions, 10,137 yards, 61 touchdowns. He had seven seasons with 1,000 or more receiving yards.

— Nancy Armour —



Ray Lewis is retiring to spend more time with his family. Matt Birk is still playing, in part, because of his.

The Baltimore Ravens center is 36, and he and his wife have six kids. When Birk contemplated retiring after last season, his family was supportive, knowing they'd have him around a lot more.

Then they saw what that would be like.

"In the offseason, I'll be home for a month or two and they'll be like, 'Isn't it time for you to go back to work?'" Birk said. "I like to try to get involved, and they have a rhythm at home. When we have the re-entry period in the offseason, where I'm home a lot more, there's always a few bumps."

— Nancy Armour —



San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick set an NFL record for yards rushing by a QB in a playoff game, gaining 181 against Green Bay on Jan. 12.

But don't forget — the kid can throw, too.

Actually, he really zips the ball, showing off a right shoulder honed in part by his days as a baseball pitcher who threw 90 mph and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs.

Maybe throws a football a little bit too hard on occasion.

"I talk to him about a little less mustard all the time. (There's) a lot of velocity on the ball," 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said. "Colin is always in the weight room. If you want to find Colin, go to the weight room."

— Howard Fendrich —



San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver is reversing course after saying he wouldn't welcome a gay teammate.

Culliver now says that's "not what's in my heart" and he was "just kidding around."

The cornerback apologized to the city of San Francisco for remarks he made earlier this week to comedian Artie Lange.

— Paul Newberry —


EDITOR'S NOTE — "Super Bowl Watch" shows you the Super Bowl and the events surrounding the game through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across New Orleans and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.