NEW ORLEANS -- The 49ers are back in familiar territory, especially when it comes to the franchise's positive Super Bowl memories.
This is where they posted the most lopsided victory in Super Bowl history. Current coach Jim Harbaugh attended Super Bowl XXIV "as a fan" when the 49ers routed the Denver Broncos 55-10 on Jan. 28, 1990.
It was the fourth of five Super Bowl wins by the 49ers, and the quest for a sixth might end this coming Sunday when they face the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII at the ever-enduring Superdome.
"The organization has a tremendous history, and we're proud of it," Harbaugh said Sunday night, shortly after the 49ers' charter flight arrived. "This is new business, and our team
Starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick was only 2 years old when Joe Montana and the 49ers defended their Super Bowl title in New Orleans. Fast forward to Sunday and Kaepernick will be the sixth youngest quarterback to start a Super Bowl.
Neither he nor his teammates will be on foreign soil, however. The 49ers defeated the host Saints 31-21 on Nov. 25, when Kaepernick made his second career start and his first away from Candlestick Park.
"He's played in this stadium, like all our team has," Harbaugh said. "I don't know how much of an advantage that is. I can't put an advantage quotient on it."
Kaepernick accounted for two of the 49ers' touchdowns in that Week 12 victory. He
"I just wanted to do well so that we kept winning," Kaepernick said of his mindset. "Things have gone right, and we're here."
Harbaugh fielded several questions about his midseason quarterback switch -- "We did what was best for the team" -- and only one question about his brother, Ravens coach John Harbaugh.
Kaepernick insisted he'll stick
This might be the land of voodoo and spirits, but Kaepernick said he has no superstitions to follow. Instead, he has tattoos, and one more is in the works.
"I have new artwork lined up regardless (of the outcome), but I can't reveal it yet," Kaepernick said.
It's no secret in which French Quarter hotel the 49ers will bunk this week. A gigantic picture is splashed on the Marriott's garage wall showing Kaepernick, tight end Vernon Davis and the headline: "NFC CHAMPIONS."
As the 49ers and their police motorcade pulled up to their hotel, dozens of fans greeted them, including a couple hecklers who shouted the Saints' "Who Dat?" catchphrase.
Center Jonathan Goodwin played for the Saints from 2006-10, and he hopes to find time to visit his old barber in nearby Metairie. He also hopes to celebrate a Super Bowl win as he did three seasons ago with the Saints.
Goodwin's advice to teammates: "I've just stressed to do your best to focus. At the end of the day, it's a football game that just has a lot more (media) coverage."
Only two seasons removed from a 6-10 record, the 49ers indeed seem to be locked in on their sudden rise to Super Bowl contention.
"Our team's been really focused, on winning, on unity of the team," Harbaugh said. "I think it's genuine. It's the best focus on unity and winning I've ever been a part of."
The 49ers came off their plane donning a uniformly casual look, as players wore sweatshirts instead of business suits. At their media session, Goodwin and defensive tackle Justin Smith wore caps with personalized patches on them, similar to the machine-worker shirts and jackets players earned for their "blue-collar" effort during the season.
The Ravens will fly into New Orleans on Monday at 4 p.m., and they're staying at a riverfront hotel only three blocks from the 49ers.
As the designated "home" team, the 49ers will use the facilities of the hometown Saints in Metairie. The Ravens will practice at Tulane University. Practices are closed to the public and media, aside from a designated pool reporter each day.
Spending a week away from home is nothing new to the 49ers. For the past two seasons, they've spent a week in Youngstown, Ohio, between early-season road games. Harbaugh believes that is another familiarity aspect that works in their favor.
"It's a good thing that we've done this the last two years -- stayed in a hotel, held meetings in a hotel," Harbaugh said.
It'll be a better thing if they do what the franchise's 1989 team did here: win a Super Bowl.