DALLAS — In some respects, Media Day has become an self-congratulatory industry event, where members of the media jostle for attention trying to show just how clever they can be. Kind of like the Golden Globes.
But without Ricky Gervais.
Instead we get puppets, crazy characters and members of the media running around in wedding dresses. And she ain’t Eddie Izzard.
The sideshow of Media Day has overshadowed what we are supposed to be doing: asking shallow, fairly obvious questions, while the players put on a fake smile and give a disingenuous answer while trying not to rile up the competition.
So here are the top six moments in media day history. And a quick point of order: the Doug Williams, “How long have you been a black quarterback question” is not on the list. Know why? It never happened. The whole thing is a myth. Kind of like the Patriots’ ability to win a big game without the help of video equipment.
Consider the Williams myth busted.
6. Who let the dogs out?
The Falcons were pretty heavy underdogs to the Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII, so defensive back Ray Buchanan drove that point home by wearing a studded dog collar to Media Day. Although most Falcons fans would agree that Atlanta’s defense played like dog-something in the blowout loss.
5. International incident
Media Day draws a lot of international media folks, who may or may not completely understand the NFL. Which explains why one Japanese reporter once asked Joe Montana before the 49ers and Bengals played in Super Bowl XXIII, “Why do they call you Boomer?”
The Japanese have not insulted America this bad since, ah, never mind.
4. Inspirational words
Dumb reporter questions have become a dubious part of Super Bowl lore, just like the Buffalo Bills. But RB Thurman Thomas did provide the one bright spot in Bills’ Super Bowl history when a reporter asked Thomas how he got motivated for the game. Said Thomas: “I read the newspapers and look at all the stupid questions you all ask.”
That would have been really hilarious if, you know, the Bills had mixed in a win.
3. The birth of a phenomenon
Downtown Julie Brown might have been the pioneer of attention-seeking reporters when she graced Super Bowl XXVII’s Media Day and used that as a launch point for a lucrative career hawking acne medicine. Although, being proud of this is akin to being proud of creating the flu. Brown garnered attention by trying too hard, dressing outrageously and posing dumb questions — such as asking Emmitt Smith what he planned to wear on Super Bowl Sunday. Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson, who had grown tired of the antics, told the MTV veejay that he had but one rule for the Cowboys during Super Bowl week: “Don’t kiss Julie Brown.”
That is just sound advice, regardless.
2. Man of few words
Cowboys RB Duane Thomas did not say a word during Media Day prior to Super Bowl VI, part of a year-long boycott of the media because of a contract dispute. Kind of a shame, too, seeing that Thomas — when asked if the Super Bowl was the ultimate — once replied, “If it’s the ultimate, how come they’re playing it again next year?”
1. There is such thing as a stupid question
The trouble with Media Day, is that you have so many reporters peppering questions, that you can often lose track of stuff if you are not paying attention. That happened prior to Super Bowl XV, when Jim Plunkett was talking about his family. Moments after Plunkett had moved on to other inquiries, one Philadelphia reporter couldn’t keep up, and launched this question, “Jimmy, Jimmy, I want to make sure I have this right. Was it dead mother, blind father or blind mother, dead father?”
That is probably the time to hang up the dog-eared notebook.