Sitting at the center of the NFL universe

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — To borrow a football term, traversing Radio Row requires a head on a swivel. This is the NFL universe for the next few days, as a quick walk-around proves.

NFL.com photographer Ben Liebenberg and I just took a quick Award Tour starting from the NFL Network set. Bears WR Johnny Knox and Texans WR Jacoby Jones were behind us on tandem radio interviews. Knox, who’s from Houston, is sporting a Cincinnati Reds hat. He says there’s no connection, he just likes fitted hats.

Hall of Fame CB Mike Haynes sits down for an interview on Radio Row. (Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com)

The legendary Joe Montana had been at the same table a moment earlier, before moving on to the very next one for more of the same. Another Hall of Famer, Mike Haynes, was moving through, while yet another, Barry Sanders, was doing a stand-up TV interview. Emmitt Smith walked past with a small gaggle, five-people strong, being closely followed by two cameramen. That was four Hall of Famers in about a three-minute span.

I exchanged brief “hellos” and a handshake with Jets QB Mark Sanchez, who’s in the middle of his second car wash. He was in Tampa last year — already a Radio Row veteran.

FOX analyst Darryl Johnston also is making the rounds — he told me during a brief chat earlier that he’s taking the Colts in this game — and Redskins TE Chris Cooley was just interviewing Sanders (wait, didn’t I just see him? I’m tripped out) on the Ochocinco News Network set against the far wall.

Radio Row is in full Car Wash effect. There’s also a lot of media interviewing media — CBS broadcaster Phil Simms was just on the NFL Network set, and I just saw NFL Network play-by-play voice Bob Papa and NFL.com senior analyst Pat Kirwan doing radio interviews.

It would be interesting to put a time-lapse camera on this room from above. I’m guessing it would look something like old-school Frogger.

– Frank Tadych

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