Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Welcome to Media ... Night

The best thing about the NFL turning Super Bowl Media Day into Super Bowl Media Night is that everyone got it over with a day early.

I've been to a couple of Media Days, and they are a contradiction in terms, because the media -- or media as we understand it -- has very little to do with it. Mostly it's about the guy from the Cartoon Network who shows up dressed as a superhero. Or about the guy from Telemundo who insists on conducting "interviews" via hand puppet. Or about that fringed getup Ines Sainz from TV Azteca was almost wearing one year.

Fun times, but hardly a "media opportunity" in the traditional sense. The keynote players all sit in little individual booths like spectators at the zoo, which in a sense they are. The Assembled Media gathers around like so many cattle, mooing at the appropriate times. The scoreboard clock starts at 60 minutes and ticks down to zero, at which time one team moves off and the other team takes their seats.

Sometimes you get something worth writing about. Mostly you just wind up writing about the freak show.

And so last night the big news was the fact Broncos defensive back Aqib Talib was wearing my house on his wrist, disguised as an $80,000, diamond-encrusted Rolex. It was Demaryius Thomas being asked about Coldplay, the Super Bowl halftime show, and Thomas responding "Who?" It was Cam Newton's Versace pants and Denver defensive guru Wade Phillips swiping Talib's gold chain and wearing it around his neck, and Peyton Manning getting the obligatory HGH question and saying the NFL's investigation will turn out to be a "big fat nothing."

So I guess that's that, and no one will ask him about it ever again this week.


I'll pause while considering that and other fairy tales, and think about maybe my all-time favorite Media Day moment. It happened in 2012, when the Giants and Patriots played in Indianapolis. And so here came Tom Brady and all the other Patriots to their little booths -- including, of course, Mister Laughs himself, Bill Belichick, good ol' Grumpy McHoodie.

Cut to some radio dweeb from somewhere asking Belichick a question while waving a red plastic tricorn hat in the air.

"Hey, Coach, will you put this on for me?" he said.

Grumpy McHoodie gave him his best Grumpy McHoodie stinkeye.

"Uh, no, I don't think I'm gonna do that," he rumbled.


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