INDIANAPOLIS — Deion Sanders said he wasn't worried. Joe Montana went in with his game face on and Jordin Sparks just hoped sand did not end up in her eyes.
Athletes and celebrities had different strategies as they prepared to play in the sixth annual DirectTV Celebrity Beach Bowl. The event teams up stars with former and current professional athletes for a flag football game on the sand.
Assistant coach Neil Patrick Harris admitted he didn't know much about the game, so he was going to rely on his teammates to make the calls.
"I really am not competitive at all. I quite frankly don't know what is going to happen or what we are playing," the actor said with a smile. "I know it is football of some sort, but it might be flag football, touch, two-handed touch. I don't know."
Lucky for him, legend Joe Montana was on his team.
"I hate to lose," Montana said ahead of the game. "I am not very good at losing. You try to go into this as it's going to be a fun game, but as soon as you get involved ... if they score, you go, `OK.' You have got to at least keep it competitive. I can't just go through the motions. I want to win."
Sparks arrived with her dad, Phillippi Sparks, a former New York Giant. The former "American Idol" champ says she wasn't expecting intense action.
"I know it is not tackle. They are just grabbing the flag, but who knows, we could get tripped up and stuff, so I am glad there is sand," she said. "I am nervous about it getting in my eyes if I fall but other than that, it is going to be a lot of fun. I am excited. "
As for the other big game in Indianapolis, Sanders said he would not pick the New England Patriots or the New York Giants to win on Sunday.
"I am a former player. I am not rooting for anybody. I just want a good quality game. I just want the fans to be entertained for three and a half hours. I want Madonna to come out and do the doggone thing like she can do it," he said of her halftime performance.
Other big names at the event included Peyton Manning, Chace Crawford, Cam Newton, Terrell Owens and David Arquette, who said he's been having a great time in Indianapolis.
"What I really like about Super Bowl in general is that it introduces you to another city," he said. "Indianapolis is a beautiful city a lot of people might not know about or have not visited. To come here and to meet the people and see the city, that is my favorite part actually."
Alicia Quarles is the AP's Global Entertainment and Lifestyles Editor. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciaquarles