The Norman Transcript

National Sports

January 31, 2013

Crabtree caps career-best year with Super Bowl berth

NEW ORLEANS — Michael Crabtree refused to remove the black 49ers beanie and reveal his hair. Nope, not going to do it.

Crabtree is trying to maintain every possible element of surprise he might still have left heading into his first Super Bowl — and will certainly take any advantage he can get this week.

Not that his ‘do has much to do with it. But this is Crabtree, quirky and superstitious, a guy still trying to shed that diva label he picked up as a college star at Texas Tech. It’s something his San Francisco teammates are quick to dismiss, insisting that’s not the case.

The dynamic, play-making wide receiver will be a primary focus for the Baltimore Ravens’ secondary come Sunday at the Superdome. Crabtree is as dangerous after the catch as he is dodging defensive backs to make acrobatic catches or finding ways to keep both feet inbounds while tiptoeing the sideline.

“A lot of coaches can coach a route and how you catch the ball, but after the catch it’s really all you,” he said. “That’s what makes you special.”

No matter his catches or number of chances this weekend, Crabtree cares about only one thing: capping his career season with a championship ring. The fanfare and media frenzy, he’ll take it or leave it.

Just last week, Crabtree learned he wouldn’t face charges for an alleged sexual assault in a hotel after the 49ers beat Green Bay in the NFC divisional playoffs on Jan. 12. The San Francisco district attorney announced Friday there would be no charges “at this time.” The wideout was never arrested or detained, and police said he cooperated with the investigation.

“I was disappointed in the allegations,” Crabtree said Wednesday morning, before heading off to practice at Saints headquarters. “It’s over now.”

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