Broncos OL Evan Mathis explains exactly what Media Day is like for a player

BY foxsports • February 2, 2016

When we won the AFC Championship, I was reminded shortly thereafter about Media Day, or as it's now called, "Super Bowl Opening Night."

The reminders came via congratulatory texts from a few members of the Philly media telling me they'd see me there. More often than not, I'd be receptive to a media circus, but this is an incredibly important week and I don't want there to be any unnecessary distractions. When I say unnecessary distractions, I'm not talking about agreeing to write a piece for FOXSports.com. I'm more so talking about something I said becoming sensationalized clickbait. There are plenty of opportunities for the latter to happen at this event.

Earlier in the day, we are given a Nike bag with the entire outfit we are to wear that night. We're also warned that dress code violations could result in fines of $50,000 to $100,000. We bus over to the SAP Center in San Jose, and file in to a player lounge stocked with Xbox Ones and appetizers. I played "Madden 16" for the first time and lost a hard-fought battle to my teammate, Kapri Bibbs.

Shortly thereafter, it's time to line up for our entrance on to the stage, which is a mock Golden Gate Bridge. Most guys are sure to add this moment in time to their Snapchat story before we head down to the floor for this frenzy that would surely make P.T. Barnum proud. There are members of the media representing many outlets from all across the globe. The variety of their intents is as widespread as their geographical origins: From trying to be outlandish and get funny reactions to looking for headline material from someone saying something taboo about a controversial subject. There may have even been a few people there to cover the upcoming Broncos-Panthers game.

As soon as I step on the floor, I'm greeted by four members of the Philadelphia media. I always got a long pretty well with all of these guys, so we all know each other pretty well. I know exactly what they're going to ask me and pretty quickly they start firing. I know how quickly I could end up on the front page of every paper and website in Philadelphia plus ProFootballTalk.com, so I'm guarded.

Evan Mathis' Media Day view.

There were a few more questions like the last one that surely would have exploded my Twitter mentions had I answered candidly.

After dancing around most of the Philly questions in the beginning, the rest of the session was a piece of cake. There were some thoughtful questions from BamaMag, a nice 1-on-1 with Chris Berman, and some friendly interviews with Mexican, Danish, and British television. These interviews all took place on the floor of the SAP Center.

Also on the floor are about 10 podiums for important players that will get way more interview requests than me. I'm able to do an interview and take a few steps before being approached again unlike the guys at the podiums who are answering question after question. Ah, the perks of being an offensive lineman.

I continue to make my way around the floor in an effort to take it all in.

The man bun question might have been the most off-the-wall one I got, but it wasn't even too bad. I checked my Twitter mentions following Media Night and again the next morning. The most exposure I got was from the "no regrets" response about the Eagles. Thankfully I was able to stay diplomatic and avoid saying something stupid which is easy to do, especially in the media market that is Philadelphia.

The Super Bowl Opening Night is something I didn't think I would be fond of, but after the experience I've decided that it has its place and it's as good or bad as you decide to make it. Our actual time commitment was only about an hour and there isn't much more media access than that throughout the rest of the week, which helps minimize some distractions.

Speaking of distractions, I need to finish this up and watch some more Carolina film.



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