There's no spectacle in sports quite like Super Bowl Media Day. That doesn't mean it's a good thing, or important, or that Media Day is anything other than a pointless orgy between people who don't really want to talk and reporters who don't really have anything to ask.
But yes, Media Day is definitely a thing.
It's the day when 5,000 credentialed reporters can feel free to abandon any pretense of professionalism without worrying about the consequences. You want to ask about a player's favorite color? Media Day. What's a player's favorite Harry Potter book? Media Day. Want to know what animal a player would be if that player were an animal? Media Day. Want to ask a player to grab your dragon?
Yep, that's a reporter talking to Tom Brady about a plastic dragon. 'Tis the season. Or day. Or whatever. In the name of celebrating this charade to its fullest, let's run down some other highlights.
There was Michael Irvin on NFL Network.
This makes me wish Mike, Deion, and Rich Eisen were announcing the actual game. Speaking of Deion... If anyone was ever born to perform on media day, it's gotta be Prime Time, right? Here's a collection of his greatest hits from this afternoon:
Elsewhere, Eli Manning called his brother, Peyton, "the best I've ever seen."
"Peyton has had an unbelievable career and in my opinion is the best I’ve ever seen play football," Eli said. "My goal is to get to his level of play. That’s something I’ve worked on."
That drew loud cheers from the more than 7,000 fans who purchased tickets to attend Media Day, many of them wearing Peyton Manning jerseys. Colts fans know they need to take every opportunity they get to cheer Peyton at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"Wait, Colts fans bought tickets to be Media Day?" Of course they did.
You notice the hat first, and then the beard, but that little fanny pack-type thing is what really completes the look. Speaking of style, this man right here has got it all figured out. (via)
And Patriots wide receiver Tiquan Underwood begs the question: Has there ever been anyone with a Kid N Play haircut that the internet didn't immediately fall in love with?
This is art--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.
Elsewhere in New England's receiving corps, Ochocinco is trying to convince everyone he's not crazy, apparently by acting like he's completely miserable.
Ochocinco was downcast during the time we spent around him, seemingly miserable and waiting for the experience to end. He was asked if he was happy. "You’re looking for the crazy Chad. He hasn’t been here all year," Ochocinco said while staring down the reporter who asked the question. "Why would I be different now?"
Asked what was different about this year: "I’m wearing a jersey. That’s the only difference."
On whether he was disappointed about his lack of production: "I don’t control that. I never have. Never been able to."
Yeesh. That little excerpt makes me depressed. Let's just change the subject as quickly as possible. Look, a Tom Brady impersonator!
The Tom Brady impersonator would have been a much more fun interview than actual Tom Brady, who kicked the cliches into overdrive when he told reporters, "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." It's answers like those that makes you wish both teams had to attend Media Day drunk.
Anyway, here's Patriots Media Day by the numbers, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports:
59 -- Number of times Deion Sanders referred to himself in the first person
1 -- Fan sitting in the front row eating nachos at 9:40 a.m. ET
3 -- Televised Deion hugs
4 -- Close-ups ofsocks
3 -- Number of times during the 60-second clip shown on NFL Network that Bill Belichick responded to a question with a one-sentence response
7 -- More minutes that NFLN devoted to Ochocinco than Ochocinco will likely play on Sunday
Here's, who still looks like an angsty teenager that snuck onto a football field.
The only legitimate news of the day came from Rob Gronkowski, who wasn't wearing a protective boot on his injured ankle, which has to be a good sign for his progress toward playing Sunday. And finally, the best, most terrifying quote came from (via Yahoo! Sports):
"My plan is to go out there and be just as nasty as any player or any nasty person in this world. Just go out there and be one of the nastiest, most ferocious people you've ever seen in your life." - Brandon Jacobs
BOLD PREDICTION: Brandon Jacobs ends the game with less than 35 yards rushing. BUT STILL: "One the nastiest, most ferocious people you've ever seen." You gotta admit, that's a pretty awesome, completely meaningless quote right there. Media Day!