1. THE PROBLEM AND SOLUTION
Pretty much everyone can agree that Media Day is insane. An army of 50,000 reporters desperately looking to turn identical talking points into something unique, 120 players whose answers are destined to get lost in the noise unless they say something stupid enough to become its own new, inescapable talking point, and then us, watching halfheartedly and sort of hating ourselves for it. Media Day is actually a lot like SportsCenter.
None of this is an original reaction, it just never stops being amazing when you see it all celebrated every year on the Tuesday before the Super Bowl.
This year, I'm pretty sure every single player got asked if he'd ever been catfished.
Anyway, want to make it all bearable? Limit the festivities to three hours of interviews with offensive and defensive lineman. If 10 years of watching Hard Knocks has taught me anything, it's that linemen are secretly the most hilarious, ridiculous people in football. Well them, and Randy Moss.
Randy Moss and 30 lineman would be the best Media Day in history.
But hey, let's talk about Media Day 2013!
A few other thoughts on the scene in the Superdome Tuesday...
2. ALEX SMITH IS NOT A HERO
"I think that's disgusting," Alex Smith said when a reporter asked if he's rooting for Colin Kaepernick to make mistakes and get pulled Sunday. "Why do you play football? Why do you play a team sport? If it's all about yourself, go play golf or tennis. I'm not saying all this has been easy. It hasn't. But if you can't be happy for a teammate's success, there's something wrong with you."
So, Alex Smith isn't actively rooting against his own team. Glad we got that cleared up!
Should we hate the Alex Smith storyline?
On the one hand, Smith's handled his demotion about as well as anyone could've hoped, and his gigantic salary aside, having this opportunity snatched away out of nowhere would absolutely suck. Alex Smith could've been Trent Dilfer, damnit! And now it'll never happen.
On the other hand, the avalanche of praise for his humility and sacrifice is becoming pretty unbearable. Smith didn't have a podium at media day? OH, THE HORROR.
Smith sympathy makes sense, but his life is still totally awesome. Let's not get too carried away worshiping someone for, basically, not being an asshole. If you really want to applaud someone trudging on, look at the guy in the bottom left corner up there. MEDIA DAY!
Everyone has an opinion on Ray Lewis and now there's deer antlers involved, so we'll just leave it all alone. Except to say this: Once you imagine Ray Lewis as Reg Mackworthy from Eastbound and Down, it makes Ray's gyrating evangelism SO MUCH BETTER.
Fast forward to the 1:20-mark:
4. BRENDON AYANBADEJO'S COCONUT OIL
Here's Terrell Suggs describing Brendon Ayanbadejo’s pregame routine (via Fox Sports): "It involves massage coconut oil. And he stands in the middle of the locker room in his board shorts, or boxer briefs. I don’t know what they are. He oils himself down. We try not to look, but you know, if you pass him — it’s kind of uncomfortable. It’s been four years, so I don’t want to say you ever get used to it, but you know."
Uhh... Holy shit!
We can only imagine the various insane pregame regimens that football players have, but even with Ray Lewis convulsing next to a bible, Haloti Ngata setting himself on fire, Ed Reed playing dominoes, Terrell Suggs eating live animals, and John Harbaugh headbutting everyone in sight, the guy calmly undressing and coating his entire body in coconut oil might be the craziest one of them all. Like the difference between a bunch of street fighters and a serial killer. Brendon Ayanbadejo just got a lot scarier.
(Suggs also had plenty of other insanity to offer. When a reporter asked about his Valentine's Day plans: "I’m going to the moon. I’m going to go on a space shuttle. Then I’m going to Houston." For what it's worth, an unedited video feed of Terrell Suggs at All-Star Weekend in Houston would actually be a lot more entertaining than Terrell Suggs on the space shuttle, but there's no reason we should have to choose. BALL SO HARD.)
5. RANDY MOSS IS THE GREATEST
By now you've probably heard the quote: "Now that I'm older, I do think I'm the greatest receiver to ever do it. I don't think numbers stand. Because you can talk about this and this, I think I've had ... this year has been a down year for me statistically. The year before I retired was a down year, and Oakland was a down year. I don't really live on numbers I really live on impact and what you're able to do on that field. So I really do think I'm the greatest receiver to ever play this game."
Add this to the "Randy Moss gives zero f**ks" file. You don't have to agree with him, but you have to respect him for bringing this up on the biggest media day of the year.
Later, a reporter asked what else he's going to do in life: "Enjoy it, I guess! It's really nothing to do but enjoy life. I still love life, I enjoy it, one of the things I wanna do, especially when this season's over, I wanna go fishing. I really can't wait to get out there and just listen to the birds and catch some fish."
Look: Tuesday may have been pretty stupid, but the lesson from this year's orgy is that nothing bad happens when you put Randy Moss in front of a microphone for 45 minutes.
God bless the players for dealing with this every year. Media day!