by JOHN-MARC NUTT
Phoenix, AZ – Super Bowl Media Day is in the books, and thousands of fans flocked into the U.S Airways Center to get their first glimpse of their favorite team and super stars.Now, I’ve been to Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl – BCS Bowl game, which is one of the biggest games in College football, but the Super Bowl by far takes the cake with the amount of signage and preparation the city to make it America’s biggest event of the year. The first glimpse of getting to the downtown area, you see Pepsi branding everyone, that was first and foremost. Following that you have Seahawks and Patriots logos splattered on pretty much every high rise in the city.
Now back to the fans.
The NFL made 7,000 tickets available at $30 a pop, and like anything else Super Bowl week…it was a sell out. Media Day is a chance to see some of the biggest named athletes in America’s most popular sport, and get into the Super Bowl festivities. It was easily a pro-Seahawks crowd, with quite a few Patriots fans.
NFL Network was the host of the event, with ESPN right there as the 1(a) and 1(b). With those two networks, and all those ex-jocks, at least 20% of the crowd were there to support their former team players like Warren Sapp, Ladainian Tomlinson, and Michel Irvin to name a few.
But the most important part of the Media Day, the part that gets dissected (far too much because let’s face it we’re all obsessive about football) were the questions and answers part of the day. First out were the New England Patriots, and only the players who were assigned a booth came out to participate with the media. There were a handful of players who came out to be interviewed by local low-profile radio stations but you can count them on one hand.
Each team had an hour session, which to me is crazy because you know the questions got redundant after about 15 minutes, but the man who stole the show for the patriots was Rob Gronkowski. Gronk was one of the few players from New England who let it all out, while he sung his alma mater’s fight song (University of Arizona – Bear Down). You can tell he was excited to be back in Arizona, and with Gronk, that could mean anything. Other news and quotes from the Patriots media session that stood out – Bill Belichick decided to wear flip flops and Tom Brady, we’ll have to re-evaluate whether he’s Jesus or Moses because the entire media parted like the Red Sea, when he walked in and flocked to his booth.
Now the Seakhawks took a different approach to media day, with the entire team out to participate in the event, even if they didn’t have a booth. The media absolutely loved it. They were able to interview any player they wish, no matter how big or small of a role they play on the team.
We all knew that before Marshawn Lynch came out, that he would be the biggest draw for the Seahawks and he did not disappoint. He said “I’m just here here so I won’t get fined” or some variation at least 25 times, got up dropped the mic and walked to the exit. The other super stars of the team Russell, Kam, and Sherman was very relaxed and even danced salsa with a Spanish reporter during the interview. That would scare me if I was a Seahawks fan, and what was most disturbing was that Russell needed a line up more than any other superstar in the history of the big game. I don’t know if he’s going to his barber between now and Sunday, I don’t know if this mean’s he’s really focused on football and not his look…all I know is it was weird.
As I mentioned before, you can see why Seattle fans are how they are because all the players came out and started giving them autographs, even though it was prohibited.
You can take your pick on who won Media Day, as we go on and on about it for the next hundred hours or so.
That’s how we fill the space as we wait for the biggest game in America.