Super Bowl XVL: Media Day
The Crazy Media Frenzy
By John Mercure
Media Day was absolutely amazing. Sur-real. Let me set it up for you. All ll the members of the media were bussed from our hotel, the Dallas Sheraton to Cowboys Stadium. That was an adventure in itself. The icey conditions made the roads almost impassable. Despite our ten coach busses having a police escort from the hotel the normally fifteen minute job took us an hour and 15 minutes. Consider that we didn't have to stop at any lights.
Cowboys Stadium is amazing. Don't get me wrong, it's no Lambeau Field, but this shrine to Jerry Jones ego is ridiculously incredible. It's just humongous. So we get inside and there are booths set up for about a dozen marquee Packers players; guys like Rodgers, Matthews, Jennings, and Driver. Chad Clifton even had his own booth. There are risers that surround these booths and then all the media piles in and takes a crack. All of them are talking at the same time and the media crawls from player to player. Up in the first row of the seating bowl are about six or eight other Packers... guys like Ryan Pickett and Dom Capers. They're each situated with a big sign and they sit there ready to be interviewed. And if that weren't enough, the other thirty or so Packers are all mingling among the media. They are all available for interviews. Every Packer is required by the NFL to be here for this one hour. They actually put a 60 minute countdown up on the scoreboards. So here I am with my H2 Handy Recorder wandering the turf of Cowboys Stadium, literally banging into Packers every time I turned around. It was insane; all the Packers in their uniforms, in a great mood, willing to discuss anything on Cowboys Stadium carpet.
One of my favorite moments happened right at the beginning of the media frenzy. QB Aaron Rodgers was already situated on his perch. The media had begun to lob their questions and suddenly Greg Jennnings emerged with his own video camera rolling. He climbed to the top of the risers and began shouting at Rodgers, "Hey Mr. Rodgers, how does it feel to be here at your first Super Bowl? Are you having fun?' Rodgers sat quietly. "Who is your favorite Receiver?" Rodgers turned his head and got a peek at who was asking the question. His game face quickly gave way to an ear to ear grin. They both laughed out loud and it was like watching two buddies just hanging out for a minute. The media wasn't there. The cameras weren't around. All the microphones didn't exist. It was just Rodgers and Jennings making the connection they've made so many times on the football field.
As has come to be the tradition at Media Day, There were also some bizarre moments. Some very bizarre moments. There was a guy dressed up as superhero, another as a mariachi, and there was a bullfighter. There was even a guy dressed up as a big TV set. Just when I thought I had heard every thing I could possibly hear, I turned to glance at Donald Driver and could not believe what I saw. There was a middle age man in full Eskimo regalia shouting at Driver in a language that i couldn't begin to understand. It wasn't confrontational, just very intense. I couldn't understand a word of it, and by the look on Driver's face, neither could he.
I will post pictures soon. I promise