By The Associated Press, Associated Press
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:
GRIDIRON TO LEMONADE STAND
Donald Driver didn't waste much time finding a new job.
The Green Bay Packers all-time leading receiver announced his retirement Thursday morning, then helped kids from Junior Achievement sell lemonade at a pop-up stand in the Super Bowl media center.
Not only did Driver help behind the counter, he loaded up four carrying cases and he and his three new friends set out to find customers. Their cases were empty when they returned.
"All the money they've raised will stay here in New Orleans," Driver said. "What they're starting to do is learn how to run their own business, become entrepreneurs by themselves.
"I'm just here to raise as much money so maybe they can open up their own lemonade stand the next couple of years.
— Nancy Armour — http://twitter.com/nrarmour
JUDGE FOR YOURSELF: BEYONCE
Wondering about Beyonce and her response inauguration lip syncing flap?
Judge for yourself — here's her full rendition of the national anthem during a press conference Thursday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p2MTKCLNsY
QUICKQUOTE: JERSEYS AND DRUGS
Authorities say buying a cheap imitation NFL jersey may be more harmful than you think.
Kevin Abar, assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New Mexico, said there's evidence that Mexican drug cartels are getting involved in the counterfeit NFL black market trade because they can make quick money.
"A lot of folks may think that there's nothing wrong with buying a knockoff Denver Broncos jersey, but in reality, the money is being used to fund the drug war in Mexico," Abar said.
— Michael Kunzelman — http://twitter.com/Kunzelman75
STAT OF THE DAY: 158M AVOCADOS
AP Food Editor J.M. Hirsch has the stat of the day today: Americans are expected to consume 158 million avocados around the Super Bowl.
That's 79 million pounds of green goodness — up from 8 million pounds at the turn of the century.
So has the guacamole improved that much? Not really, it's just outstanding marketing and other factors.
— J.M. Hirsch — http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch
YUP, WE HEARD YOU, BEYONCE
Beyonce belted out the national anthem — for real — and America clearly heard.
Shortly after the singer's press conference on Thursday where she admitted singing to a backup track during President Barack Obama's inauguration, "National Anthem" became a trending topic in the United States on Twitter.
Millions of fans clearly approved of her impromptu performance, now reassured that her pipes are still fine.
— Oskar Garcia — http://twitter.com/oskargarcia .
NO TAPE NEEDED
Beyonce's version of the national anthem was worth the wait.
The superstar singer, roundly criticized for lip syncing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the inauguration 10 days ago, walked into Thursday's news conference for the Super Bowl halftime show and asked the ballroom filled with several hundred people to stand. She then belted out a spine-tingling version of the anthem, leaving no doubts about the power of her voice. Many in the room applauded when she finished.
"Thank you guys so much. Any questions?" Beyonce said, drawing laughs.
Beyonce admitted she sang along with a pre-recorded track at the inauguration, saying she hadn't had time to rehearse with the orchestra. This was too big of an occasion to have it be anything less than perfect, she said.
"I did not feel comfortable taking a risk," she said. "This was about the president and the inauguration and I wanted to make my country proud."
She did promise to sing live Sunday, however.
"I am well-rehearsed," she said. "This was what I was born to do."
That was about all Beyonce was willing to spill, though. She wouldn't say what she'll be singing, though she did say it was "not easy" to choose a few songs from her many hits.