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Super Bowl Media Day came and went on Tuesday, and we didn't learn anything new from the Giants and Patriots, but that doesn't mean it wasn't fun! Get caught up on all the highlights.
New England Patriots offensive coordinator spent much of his Super Bowl media day time being asked about the Penn St. Nittany Lions. As he prepares for Sunday's game, he's also got to keep a portion of his mind on his next job, which begins as soon as the Pats' season finally ends.
O'Brien has his work cut out for him once he does finally arrive in State College. Not only is there that replacing-Joe-Paterno thing, he's also got to immediately begin work on a 2013 recruiting class that will need to make up for a leaking 2012 ship. He wasn't able to invest much of any time into the 2012 class, which will officially come aboard on Wednesday.
For the time being, in fact, O'Brien says he's not able to do much of anything beyond seeing a list of recruits once it's finalized. Transcript via the Patriots:
(on his first dead period in recruiting at Penn State)
"Dead period, yeah. Don't quote me on the rules, but I know it's 48 hours. But again, this is about the Patriots this week. I'm thrilled to be the head coach at Penn State, but I'm really focused on the Patriots and trying to do the best we can to put together a great game plan on Sunday."
(on how difficult it is to execute both jobs at the same time)
"I've been asked that question a million times, and it's really about the people at both ends. Bill (Belichick) has really helped here as far as the offensive staff and some administrative people that have helped me in New England when I haven't been here, and then I think I've put together one of the best staffs in the country at Penn State, and they've hit the ground running up there."
(on how he will hear about the new signings at Penn State)
"Tomorrow night, I'll get a fax of our signees. I already have a pretty good idea of who they're going to be. Again, it's really more about the Patriots and making sure we're ready for today's practice, tomorrow's meetings and Sunday's game. So it's day-to-day."
B.O'.B. is in a tough position for the rest of the week. He's got to say things just right to appease both his current and future fan bases, but there's really not much more he could be doing for PSU at the moment. This class pretty much is what it is, and, all things considered, it's really not that bad.
New England Patriots starting left tackle Matt Light missed Super Bowl media day due to illness, a team official reportedly told NFL.com's Steve Wyche. Light was the only player to be stricken with the illness, but Wyche reported that several other members of the Patriots staff had also been sick.
Super Bowl XLVI is still five days away, so it's too early to get too concerned, but any perceived weakness is ripe for exploiting. Light is a three-time Pro Bowler and protects Tom Brady's blind side. Clearly, the team is banking on him getting healthy.
"Matt Light, please get well soon," Umenyiora said, smiling. "I hope to see you on Sunday. You are one of my greatest friends."
Jason Pierre-Paul was one of the big surprises for the New York Giants this year as he took a major leap forward and finished the year with 16.5 sacks. That rise in production means JPP is a little more popular these days and, at Super Bowl media day, it means he's going to be the subject of hard-hitting journalism from Nickelodeon's "Pick Boy".
As you can see in the video below, "pick boy" says to JPP: "I think I can talk to Osi [Umenyiora] about giving up a half sack to you and making it an even 17. Is that something that would interest you? Trust me, dude. I can work this out."
Note the poor NFL Network reporter who is trying to get a live shot in while JPP answers questions from "Pick Boy".
Scene you thought you'd never see: a reporter asking Tom Brady to grab his dragon.
That's Super Bowl media day for you. As you can see in the video below, a reporter with a strange hat tells Tom Brady that he's had other Patriots players grab his dragon -- he's really holding a dragon -- and he wants Brady to do the same.
Reporter: "I've already got Patrick Chung grabbing my dragon. I've already got Aaron Hernandez grabbing my dragon..."
Brady: "Keep your dragon to yourself."
The video evidence of this strange sequence:
The media never, ever gives up. They pull each strand of the story together, assembling quotes, interviews, stories, and solidly sourced information into a cohesive narrative. They see threads of connection where none seem to exist, and weave them together into what can be a breathtaking whole.
And if you can judge a man's journalistic instincts by his hairstyle, then we have found the Woodward and Bernstein of Super Bowl reporters. (Via Gregg Doyel, who does fascinating on-the-scene work.)
This man may also be a Shaolin Monk looking for his evil but formidable master. Someone therefore please point him in the direction of Bill Belichick, also known in the Chinese underworld as "Bloodfoot Darkness Bear." (Via
The New England Patriots defense was the target of plenty of criticism this year as they finished the regular season ranked 31st in yards allowed. One of those guys in the secondary is Julian Edelman, a receiver who also plays defensive back.
A receiver also playing defensive back has to bring a smile to the New York Giants receivers, particularly Victor Cruz, who could match up with Edelman. In the video below, NFL Network's Deion Sanders asks Giants receiver Victor Cruz about facing Edelman and his eyes quickly light up.
Cruz's teammate said something similar earlier this week so you can bet that Edelman and the Patriots are aware of it, maybe even using it as bulletin board material.
Check out our look at the key matchup of the Giants receivers vs. the Patriots secondary.
You knew one of the first questions Eli Manning would get at media day for the 2012 Super Bowl would be about his brother, Peyton Manning. Super Bowl media day is being played out in Lucas Oil Stadium, home to Peyton and the Colts, and Peyton's one of the biggest stories in the NFL right now with his uncertain future in Indianapolis.
NFL Network's Deion Sanders asked Eli about what should happen with Peyton and he gave the family line on the topic.
"Peyton's going to do everything he can to get back healthy. He wants to continue to play football and I think that's the No. 1 priority right now, get him healthy, get him well and get him back to the level he was playing football last year. That's the goal and if he can do that everything else will work itself out."
And that family line is not giving up much information at all, as you can tell.
On a lighter note, Eli shared a memory of growing up when he said that Peyton used to wrestle him to the ground and pin him down until he could name all 12 schools in the SEC. (He eventually learned them.)
Other highlights from Eli Manning's time at media day:
You're not even trying. You see the layers I'm working with here? There's a nod to Kid 'n Play with the high top fade, indicating my ironic but affectionate homage to the dance-hop heroes of my childhood. There is a Patriots logo shaved into the back to indicate my sincere but playful commitment to the cause of winning this very important football game. I spent 45 minutes picking out the correct retro Casio wristwatch. It cost $499, and was once worn by Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science.
This is artt--talking, living, breathing art. And you think you can just put on a funny hat and the tablecloth from a strip-mall Mexican restaurant, and just walk in here and strut with The Artist? Please. I cover my mouth at your amateurism. Pardon me, I have to speak to a real performance artist now, Adam Schefter. He hasn't seen the sun in five years in order to attain the perfect NFL reporter pallor, had his hair replaced with surgically implanted Man-stroturf to keep him camera-ready at all times. He had his soul surgically removed so he could mindmeld with NFL owners without dying from sadness. I've heard he pees once a week on Wednesdays. It takes an hour, and the screaming can be heard for miles.
Show some dedication like that, and maybe you can hang with His Highness. But a poncho and a mike? PLEASE.
One of the most important New England Patriots players is set to be a free agent in March. Wes Welker's contract is up and if he's not re-signed by the Patriots he'll become a free agent on March 13 when the new league year opens.
But hardly anyone expects that to happen. Welker will likely work out a deal with the Patriots and the team will, as Deion Sanders said, "pay the man".
Welker was asked by Sanders whether the Pats will pay up and he said, "They're gonna have to."
We don't know where the two sides stand as far as a longterm contract goes but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who actually thinks the Patriots will let Welker walk so this situation shouldn't be much of a concern right now.
Welker was also asked to name something about Bill Belichick and Tom Brady that people don't know.
On Belichick, he said, "You probably know this but [Belichick's] a terrible dresser. This one the other day he has on, "Team Bassmasters". There was something wrong with his sweatshirt."
And on Brady, he said, "Tom, I don't think people understand...I think his whole life revolves around football. Everything he does, from getting the right amount of sleep to whatever supplement he needs to massages to whatever he does to play on Sundays. The amount of work he puts into it and what he does is unbelievable."
Super Bowl media day is usually filled with reporters asking terrible questions and players trying to either give the most boring or outlandish answers to said questions, but New England Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has flipped the script.
Instead, Green-Ellis is doing his part to further the database regarding concussion research.
Green-Ellis will wear a special chinstrap called the Impact Indicator made by Battle Sports Science that measures the force and duration of a hit to a player's helmet. If a hit is measured at Head Injury Criterion levels, and LED light turns on, allowing the coaches or referees to notice and get the player to the sideline for concussion tests before further injury is sustained.
"Since the NFL has started paying attention to concussion rates, they've been doing a better job, that's something for young people to (notice)," Green-Ellis told the Boston Herald. "Those concussions at a young age, those can stay for a long time. You want to do something to prevent that. That's what I'm for."
ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss posted a photo of the chinstrap that Green-Ellis brought with him to Tuesday's media day:
It's certainly a positive sign that players are taking steps to limit tragic incidents in the future as far as it relates to head injuries in contact sports. Hopefully nobody has to see Green-Ellis's new chinstrap in action this weekend.
At Super Bowl Media Day, the NFL Network turned its attention to the New England Patriots' Vince Wilfork. The eight-year veteran said many things about football, none of which were particularly interesting. He did not want for Gatorade and Gatorade-brand products, however.
Clearly, the Gatorade marketing personnel experienced some miscoordination.
MARKETING REP 1. Okay, I just put a Gatorade bottle on the podium.
MARKETING REP 2. Wait. I already put a bottle up there.
MARKETING REP 1. Okay, well, that's a little redundant, but it's no big deal. Now, you used the Gatorade we brought with us, right?
MARKETING REP 2. Oh, yes, of course.
MARKETING REP 1. Good. Because you do know that the Gatorade sold in the Indianapolis market is just ...
MARKETING REP 2. Beef broth. I know.
MARKETING REP 1. Right, and bullion cubes.
MARKETING REP 2. And it's carbonated. Carbonated, fizzy beef broth. We can't let the rest of the country know we're placating this market like this.
MARKETING REP 1. No one must know their terrible secret.
MARKETING REP 3. Hey, guys! We're all set! I just put a paper Gatorade cup on the podium! We're good to go!
MARKETING REP 1. Oh, come on.
MARKETING REP 2. Didn't you see the Gatorade we already put up there?
MARKETING REP 3. I did ... but I thought maybe it would be nice if he had something to pour it into.
MARKETING REP 1. Wait, who does that anymore? Pour a single-serving bottle into a separate cup?
MARKETING REP 2. Yeah, that's what they did in old-school commercials. That's, like, some 1960s s***.
MARKETING REP 1. Are you from the 1960s?
MARKETING REP 3. My mom was.
MARKETING REP 4. HEY GOOD NEWS YOU GUYS!! I JUST GOT BACK FROM VINCE WILFORK'S PODIUM, WHERE I PUT ONE OF THE GATORADE BRAND BOTTLES IN A GATORADE BRAND KOOZIE! IT'S GOING TO BE [slips on banana peel]
MARKETING REP 1. Wait, a banana? Fresh fruit in Indianapolis? That's weird.
MARKETING REP 2. Peels are a delicacy here. They throw away the fruit.
MARKETING REP 1. Oh.
MARKETING REP 2. They use the peels to make Hawaiian spaghetti.
MARKETING REP 1. What is Hawaiian spaghetti?
MARKETING REP 2. Horrible.
But after 16 regular season games and two playoff games, Ochocinco hasn't made an impact. At all, really. He has 15 catches on the season and often sees just a handful of plays during the game. He's not a major factor.
So it has to be strange for him, the guy who used to cover Super Bowl media day with his OCNN crew, to take a backseat in all of this. NFL Network's Deion Sanders talked with Ochocinco at media day and asked him about his new role this season.
If it was tough on me, emotionally draining, I think I would have spoke out as I did in the past. I took this as a challenge, as a lesson. I think it was a test from you-know-who upstairs. Will he be able to handle himself the right way in different circumstances when he's not that guy, the main focal point? I think I did extremely well regardless of what everyone might say.
And a few other reactions and quotes from the media on Ochocinco at media day:
@greggrosenthal: Chad ochocinco seems miserable, waiting for this to be over.
@PFWErik: "I never said I was elite. You guys put that label on me. I just like to have fun, talk $#!+, and celebrate." ~ Chad Ochocinco at Media Day
@ESPNBoston: Ochocinco: "It still hasn't hit me yet. I see lots of people, cameras. But it hasn't hit me."
Looking for shocking quotes from the New England Patriots on Super Bowl media day?
Here's a snippet of what Brady had to say at the podium on media day:
"A win means everything. That's why we're here. We're trying to go out there and win this game. It's certainly not going to be easy. There's a lot of buildup around the fact that we played these guys four or five years ago but those were very different teams, too. The team that wins on Sunday will be the team that plays the best and that's what we're going to try to do, go out there and play our best."
Just trying to get a win? Check. Avoid rematch talk? Check. Just play your best? Check.
Sounds like Brady hit all the necessary talking points for the Pats.
There won't be very much real news broken at media day for the 2012 Super Bowl but we do have one nugget of information to pass along: Rob Gronkowski has the boot off of his foot. The Patriots tight end has a high ankle sprain and, while he's expected to play, his ankle has been the big topic of conversation during Super Bowl week.
ESPN's Mike Reiss has the photo evidence of Gronkowski's boot-less foot.
Gronkowski's ankle is by far the biggest injury news for either team. He hasn't practice since the week leading into the AFC Championship game and he may not practice at all leading up to the Super Bowl. The Patriots will have practice Wednesday through Friday.
Despite the fact we've spent a lot of time talking about Gronkowski's injury, it's important to remember that almost everyone expects him to play. He may not be 100 percent, but he should be on the field.
We noted that Super Bowl media day really isn't about the game itself. It's just as much about the "reporters" who dress up in strange outfits and try to draw attention to themselves, along with the fans who do the same thing. It's an event, not a legitimate series of press conferences.
The picture below is a good summary of what what media day is all about. I present to you the fake Tom Brady:
Reporters interviewing a guy dressed up as Tom Brady (who clearly doesn't know Brady got a haircut). Yeah. That's about the best description of media day I can give you.
The New England Patriots will be the first team taking the field at Lucas Oil Field for media day in the 2012 Super Bowl. Patriots players will be on the field at 10:00 a.m. (ET) for an hour followed by the New York Giants at 12:00 p.m. (ET).
For the Patriots, here's your media day schedule (via @SC_DougFarrar)
Those players will be at booths on the field for the media to talk to. The other players will talk, too, but they won't have a fancy booth like the more popular players do. Of the players listed above, can you guess who is so popular that media members are lining up at his booth an hour in advance? Via @PWilson24:
Hint: He plays quarterback.
Super Bowl media day sure is different than what it used to be. Back in the day, media day wasn't an all-day NFL Network extravaganza. Instead, it was a small group of reporters getting together in one place to interview players for the Super Bowl. The focus was actually, you know, the players that will be in the game.
But now...it's an event. NFL Network will be airing media day live and the league has actually sold over 7,000 tickets for media day. Check out the fans lining up outside Lucas Oil Stadium on Tuesday morning (via @AlbertBreer):
Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star notes that Super Bowl I had 338 media credentials. This year, the league issued over 5,000 credentials to media members. One reporter remembers sitting at a table with just a handful of people interviewing Roger Staubach at Super Bowl X. Now, that table would have more than four dozen media members surrounding it.
Yeah, things are a little different these days.
Super Bowl media day is here. Players and coaches from the Giants and Patriots will be on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium on Tuesday morning to answer questions from reporters.
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