Media Day at the Super Bowl is like nothing else in the world. How's that for hype? Over the top, perhaps, but in this case, it might be true. Media Day can make Mardi Gras look sleepy. It can make Times Square on New Year's Eve look like Podunk, Mo.
The media covering the actual Super Bowl game is plenty all by itself. But on Media Day, the NFL throws the gates open and lets in virtually everyone. You get not only the ESPNs, the Foxes, the APs and the major newspapers, you also get local TV stations from -- in this case -- Boston and New York and also from Phoenix, the host city. These days, anybody with a camcorder and a microphone can ask a question, and likely will.
If you're not completely familiar with the process, the Patriots come into the stadium first and the main players get their own podium with the others (hmm ... think offensive linemen) will be in clusters around the stadium, perhaps even in the stands. After a certain amount of time, the Patriots leave, the media get fed (this time with food instead of tired old sound bites), and then the Giants come in.
The only time I was ever involved with this was way-y-y-y-y back when the Rose Bowl last hosted the game, the XXVIIth, Dallas-Buffalo in 1993. Strangely enough, Media Day was held at Dodger Stadium. Just about the strangest people I saw that day were Downtown Julie Brown from MTV and Al Roker from the Today Show on NBC.
These days, as you can see from the accompanying photos, Julie and Al would be milquetoast, compared to the kind of "reporters" traipsing around in Glendale, Ariz. It's pretty crazy for everyone, media and teams alike. Some players love it, some players hate it. I remember Cowboys owner Jerry Jones holding court at Dodger Stadium, giving one-on-one interviews and looking like he expected his ring to be kissed.
Here are the descriptions of the AP photos, from top:
Tom Brady takes a picture of his own from his podium as a throng of media members surround him.
Na'Shan Goddard of the Giants is interviewed by a turbaned Telemundo reporter.
Ines Gomez Mont, a reporter from TV Azteca in Mexico, wears a wedding dress and is carried by Patriots center Lonie Paxton while she interviews him. Don't look for the logic.
Bam Childress of the Patriots dances with reporter Marisol Gonzalez.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin is either answering a question or blessing his audience. Donte' Stallworth of the Patriots is a highly sought-after interview subject.
Not all players are clamored after by the media, as Jared Lorenzen of the Giants discovers.