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Celebs, babies and beer: its Super Bowl ad time

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Celebs, babies and beer: its Super Bowl ad time

NEW YORK (AP) It's showtime.

While the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens battle each other on the field during Super Bowl XLVII, advertisers will compete against each on advertising's biggest stage.

The stakes are high, with 30-second spots going for as much as $4 million this year. And more than 111 million viewers are expected to tune in.

About 28 of the 35-plus advertisers released ads early this year, trying to get a head start on capturing the buzz through social media sites. But early buzz is no guarantee viewers will remember your spot the day after the big game. And of course, some advertisers are waiting for Sunday night for the big reveal of their spots, including M&Ms, Chrysler, Oreo and BlackBerry.

``What we see on the night of the game is really important,'' said Kelly O'Keefe, a professor of creative brand management at the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter.

Here are some ads to look for during Super Bowl commercial breaks:

- Samsung is going big with a humorous two-minute ad starring actors Seth Rogen ("The Guilt Trip'') and Paul Rudd ("Role Models'') that features its Galaxy phones and tablets.

-Anheuser-Busch aims for the heartstrings with an ad showing a baby Clydesdale growing up. And Godaddy.com is showing a close up of an extended kiss between supermodel Bar Refaeli and guy wearing glasses.

- Kraft enlists Tracy Morgan from NBC's ``30 Rock'' to introduce its new Mio Fit water enhancing drops in a 30-second ad during the third quarter.

- Best Buy's 30-second ad in the first quarter stars Amy Poehler, of NBC's ``Parks and Recreation,'' asking a Best Buy employee ``lots of questions.''

- The Milk Processor Education Program, known as MilkPep and popular for its ``Got Milk?'' print ads, is featuring actor and professional wrestler Dwayne ``The Rock'' Johnson in a 30-second ad in the second quarter.

- Calvin Klein will show male model Matthew Terry strutting in underwear.

- Gildan Activewear's ad shows a man waking up ``the morning after'' and trying to get his t-shirt off his sleeping companion.

- First-time advertiser Axe's 30-second ad, in the third quarter of the game, shows a woman in the ocean getting rescued by a sexy lifeguard, but going for an astronaut instead.

- Hyundai Motor Group's Kia invents a fanciful way that babies are made, blasting in from a baby planet in its ``Space babies'' ad for the 2014 Sorento crossover.

- The E(asterisk)Trade talking baby will make a seventh appearance in the Big Game.

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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