The Opening Pitch: Super Bowl Media Day is the worst day of the sports year.
A crush of sports-media humanity descends into one area to surround the players and coaches in the Super Bowl, asking them the same banal questions.
Worse, it has become a spectacle about the sports-media horde:
— Who can ask the most outlandish (or inane) question.
— Which non-sports buffoons can "crash" the event.
— And the "meta": Saying how lame the event is ... FROM the event.
The fact is: Media Day has out-lived its usefulness. There was a time when local reporters could get all their quotes for a week's worth of stories on one day, then just churn 'em out until Sunday.
But with the transparency and immediacy of our current era, fans hear all the quotes today — many of us will hear them at the same time the reporters do. From there, content from the Super Bowl is instantly stale, from here 'til Sunday, complete with a vague "Haven't I heard that before?"
Less than which models or buffoons show up to upstage the mainstream sports media, I am curious about how new technology might further empower fans to take the event back from the media that has let it stray.
Media Day doesn't belong to ESPN or to the goofs who crash it. In 2009, I think it will belong to Twitter.
Monday at the Super Bowl means ... Team Arrival Day. Nothing notable, beyond the annual complaints about how long the week is, plus Hines Ward saying he's not 100 percent, but good to go for the game.
Super Bowl Must-Read: TSB's own Chris Mottram is in Tampa. Check that link frequently.
CBB Mania: Beware Marquette. Sure, Notre Dame isn't nearly as good as they seemed to be just a few weeks ago, but they still are incredibly tough to beat in South Bend — and yet Marquette dispatched them impressively (held ND to 36 pct FG; Jerel McNeal: 27 points). Yes, that's Marquette unbeaten at the top of the Big East.
Marquette has benefited from a favorable early-season conference schedule; they should still be leading the league heading into the final five games of its season, which size up as difficult a stretch as anyone in the country will have in late February/early March: @G'town, UConn, @L'ville, @Pitt, Syracuse.
Blake Griffin Watch: 26 and 19, his umpteenth double-double of the season (17th), in an Oklahoma win over Oklahoma State that put OU at 6-0 in the Big 12 for the first time ... ever?
The reason Mark Gottfried is out at Alabama? Ronald Steele, according to Mike Decourcy.
Hmm: Postseason tournaments beyond the NCAA or NIT that include teams left out of both are becoming college hoops' version of low-tier college football bowl games. First the "CBI"; now the CollegeInsider.com tournament: This isn't elementary school, where every kid needs to get a trophy. At the same time, postseason tournaments are fun for the fans.
NBA Instant History: CP3! Here is why it's a damn good thing Chris Paul was elected to start for the West in the All-Star Game — 27 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds, 7 steals. (Wait: Shouldn't there be a FANTASY NBA All-Star Game of some sort?)
Marbury to the Celtics? Am I a chump for thinking that being on a contending team of vets would keep Stephon Marbury focused and ensure he could be a key contributor to a title run?
Torre Book Fall-Out: What? "A-Fraud?" Never heard of him.
MLB Hot Stove: Andy Pettitte staying with Yankees. That gives them Sabathia, Burnett, Wang, Joba and Pettitte. When Pettitte is your fifth starter, you have depth. (That said: I'm sure that injury issues will move Pettitte up that rotation — if Pettitte himself isn't part of the walking wounded himself.)
One more time: Jake Peavy to the Cubs? Will the sale of the team facilitate the trade everyone things can/should/will happen?
The Last Word: T.O. is getting a reality show on VH1? Does that make T.O. the "Flavor Flav of the NFL?"
Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com.
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