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Best, worst of Super Bowl Media Day
Only at Super Bowl Media Day can a reporter from the New York Times ask Ray Lewis to go through the details of the 2000 murder of two young men in Atlanta — a mere five feet away from a grown man dressed as a clown doing summersaults on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome artificial turf.
This is the new normal at Super Bowl Media Day, an NFL cultural and journalistic melting pot that puts Miss Alabama and Brent Musberger favorite Katherine Webb, in the same room as 84-year-old Hall of Fame journalist Edwin Pope. It’s no longer about the players’ answers; it’s about the folks asking the players the questions.
Other reporters roll their eyes at the madness. It’s a waste of time. It’s foolish. It’s a mockery.
Well, I love it.
Where else can you spot Artie Lange having a 20-minute conversation about the 1990 New York Giants with Howard Cross? Where else can Ravens third-string quarterback Dennis Dixon be asked over a dozen questions by a man dressed in a cape?
Here were some of my personal highlights (and lowlights) from a Super Bowl Media Day that will not be forgotten … until Wednesday.
Moss has been called everything from enigmatic to cantankerous to just plain rude over the course of his 14 years dealing with the NFL media. On Tuesday, he stole the show. Some of the highlights of the Randy Moss Experience:
On his placement on the list of best receivers of all time: "'I do believe I am the greatest receiver. No disrespect to Jerry Rice.”
On the Manti Te’o story: "I did have an imaginary girlfriend … I never told anybody about it"
On what he eats before a game: “I don’t really mess with a lot of pork. I prefer peanut butter and jelly. I prefer the ‘Crustables.' Ever have a 'Crustable?' That’s what I eat before the game and at halftime.”
On what he did last season on Sundays: “I watched a little football. I usually would fish during the week or maybe on Saturday, but I still love football. It’s hard to get away from it. I liked seeing the guys go out there and compete even though I wasn’t playing.”
On what he wants to do when his playing days are finished: "I would like to one day tailgate a football game. I think there’s something that I’m missing. Just seeing the camaraderie and the fans.”
Ravens Media Day MVP: Terrell Suggs
MEDIA DAY MEMORIESCan this year's media top the best Super Bowl Media Day moments?
He’s been in the league 10 years, but Tuesday marked Terrell Suggs’ first Media Day. Under the impression he only had to be on the podium for 15 minutes (all podium players are required to field questions for the full 60), Suggs answered a few questions about Beyonce and Jay-Z before bolting off the stage to play reporter and interview Ed Reed.
When a PR staffer chased him down and instructed him to go back on stage, Suggs said, “I just sit there looking like an idiot?"
Then, he got weird. Some Sizzlisms:
Suggs, minutes after being handed a plastic trophy by OMG! Insider host, Kevin Frazier: “What the f-? Not only that, they gave me a f-ing plastic, instead of a glass trophy. What is this? Glass-tic? It’s glass-tic.”
On teammate Brendon Ayanbadejo’s pregame routine: “It involves massage coconut oil. And he stands in the middle of the locker room in his board shorts, or boxer briefs. I don’t know what they are. He oils himself down. We try not to look, but you know, if you pass him — it’s kind of uncomfortable. It’s been four years, so I don’t want to say you ever get used to it, but you know. I just eat eggs and bacon in the morning. That’s my pregame routine.”
On what he wants to do after the season: “I want to go to Hogwarts. Then, I want to take my lovely family to the lost city of Atlantis.”
On his Valentine’s Day Plans: “I’m going to the moon. I’m going to go on a space shuttle. Then I’m going to Houston.”
Worst Question of the Day
A reporter, in a serious tone without a hint of sarcasm, asked 49ers fullback Bruce Miller: “So, did Ray do it?”
Miller deflected the question and did not warrant the reporter with a response.
Ray Lewis’ Biggest Revelation
You can have your deer antler doping story or Lewis' parenting tips to President Obama. The most fascinating thing from Lewis on Tuesday — "I may have been catfished once or twice."
Shakespearean Quote of the Day
Jim Harbaugh, perhaps already worn out from the hundreds of different questions he’s fielded about facing his brother, went the Henry V route, saying: "That's my brother on the other sideline. I love him and care about him very much. He's a tremendous competitor. And it's a great challenge and a task to play his team … For he who sheds his blood with me today shall be my brother. That's the way I feel about our players and our coaches."
Henry V! How about that Michigan education? Go Blue.
The Most Important Harbaugh Brother Questions of the Day
Joe Staley was asked the following questions, one-by-one consecutively, by the same reporter:
“Which Harbaugh brother is more handsome?”
“Which Harbaugh brother has a firmer handshake?”
“Which Harbaugh brother do you like more?”
"Which Harbaugh is better dressed?"
Staley, a good sport, went with his coach Jim as the answer to all four. Shocker.
Boldest Prediction of the Day
A TV Azteca male reporter was dressed in a full clown suit. Another reporter, from an English-speaking network, asked him how the game will play out on Sunday, expecting a comical response.
Instead, the El Azteca reporter, breaking character, answered the question completely seriously: “I think the Ravens will win 25-24. Flacco will get the job done. The Ravens will win. Trust me. The Ravens will win.”
He was so confident about it. He didn't smile. Didn't even grin. His conviction was borderline eerie. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a 25-24 final score to a game, but the confidence this man had in that final score was unbelievable.
I'm ready to bet my entire life savings on a 25-24 Ravens win.
Then again, this was a man dressed like this.
The Next Big Thing Award
You know you’re truly part of the cultural zeitgeist when a pack of 49ers players stop in the middle of an interview and ask each other, “Oh, is that her?” Then they grab their iPhones and snap photographs from afar.
Katherine Webb, whether you asked for it or not, you’re officially a star.
As for actual football? Well, we’ve got four more days to get into all that. Media Day isn’t about football. It’s about the clowns (real ones), the misfits (real ones, too) and the bizarre mixing and matching of media personalities.
When “Edwin Pope, Artie Lange, and Katherine Webb walk into the Superdome” isn’t the start of some terrible joke, but in fact, a reality — you know you’re in the right place.
And by that measure, Super Bowl Media Day was alright by me.
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