Collier: Media day a scary scene
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Super Bowl 45's Media Day somehow went off as scheduled Tuesday despite an unscheduled performance of the infrequent, yet always hilarious sitcom, Texans On Ice.
With the frozen Metroplex littered with jack-knifed trucks, spun-out cars, and flopping pedestrians, the global media still managed to turn Jerry Jones' bulti-billion-dollar playpen into just another stage for the annual exhibition of journalism burlesque.
Ross the (wide) openly gay intern (altogether now: "not that there's anything wrong with that!"), originally celebritized by the Tonight Show's Jay Leno, asked the Steelers' Greg Warren what position he played.
"Long snapper," Warren said.
"I had that once," Ross shrieked, "too much salt!"
Yeah, he's here all week, presumably.
This was just an hour or two after Ross persuaded Green Bay Packers' linebacker Clay Matthews to let his blond hair fall out to its full length.
"Ah well, why not?" Matthews agreed, removing the clip in the back.
"Oh Clay, Clay," Ross said, "that is so hot!"
OK, apparently there is a football game on the horizon somewhere, but the Super Bowl has come to mean that first the media must pause essentially to study its own navel. Yeah. Like omigod what is that?
Troy Polamalu endured a series of, um, unorthodox questions, including "whose hair would win a fight between yours and Clay Matthews'?"
"Mine," Troy said. "My ends are better."
Ryan Clark and Hines Ward then took turns wearing an out-sized Polamalu wig, making it two days in a row that Ward had been YouTubed in truly eye-catching headwear. Monday, it was a big black wide-brimmed hat, a blatant attempt to establish that fashionable Urban Korean-American Cowboy look that's so popular in Texas right now.
Meanwhile the NFL Network, as part of its blanket coverage no doubt, was caught interviewing former Nickelodeon superhero Pick Boy, whose superpowers were not readily apparent, except for his superhuman willingness to appear in public in a cape and tights.
NFL Network reporter: "What are your superpowers anyway?"
Pick Boy: "Actually I'm pretty awesome at everything."
NFL Network reporter: "What kind of hard-hitting journalistic questions have you asked today."
Pick Boy: "I use the word journalist lightly [really]. I ask questions, but I don't keep a journal."
It wasn't as if the traditional media was harvesting a ton of fresh information itself, you should know. The NFL Network started this week by reporting at 11:38 a.m. Central Standard Time Monday, the moment the Steelers plane landed, that "Mike Tomlin will definitely be coming out of that plane."
What, had there been some kind of hostage situation?
Why wouldn't he definitely be coming out?
ESPN got off to a stumbling start as well when one of its analysts said "Mike Tomlin understands that this is the Super Bowl."
See, I don't.
I thought all the security had to do with Bill Maher bringing his uber-liberal stand-up act to Austin next month.
But I guess I'm not the only one who doesn't get it. Veteran Green Bay wideout Donald Driver said Tuesday that Sunday's event will be "just another game."
With 5,000 credentialed media from 26 countries. With broadcasts in 10 languages emanating from the site alone. With play-by-play available in 30 languages.
Sorry, it's not every day that you see a rookie linebacker from Utah, Stevenson Sylvester (not Sylvester Stevenson), talking to a man wearing a large blue cardboard box. Inside the box is Karim, who is working for Telemundo. His assignment: See if you can get some players to interview a man wearing a large blue cardboard box.
Sylvester's very game for this.
"My first time talking to a guy in a box," he said.
Who could resist?
Sylvester is at his first Super Bowl, but the dozen and a half Steelers who've been through this actually were putting that experience to its only viable use Tuesday, according to Tomlin.
"The benefit [of experience] has nothing to do with the game, in my opinion," he said. "This is the third game I've been involved with in some form or fashion. There is always uneasiness and things that go with preparation and ultimately playing the game. But there is a certain level of comfort that comes with being experienced in terms of dealing with some of these things. The gauntlet, if you Swill, is the things that you have to do once you get on site.
"You know the lay of the land; you know the direction of some of those things. It probably lessens the anxiety in terms of some of the non-football things. If that allows you to focus your energy more clearly on preparation, and ultimately play, then if there is a benefit, that's it."
It wasn't clear Tuesday whether Rashard Mendenhall has that particular benefit or not. He missed Super Bowl 43 with an injured shoulder, so this is his first time in what Tomlin described as the gauntlet. He sounded comfortable enough.
"The game's not played on paper," Mendenhall was telling someone from Azteca America.
He was right, of course, it's played on a surface called Sportfield Softtop, which sounds like a mattress. Meaning there's probably someone here blogging for Mattress World.
First Published February 2, 2011 12:00 am