Published: January 31st, 2012 | Tags: Super Bowl XLVI, Ben Roethlisberger, DeMaurice Smith, Jason Pierre-, Jason Pierre-Paul, John Mara, Maria Menounos, Mark Herzlich, Maurice Jones-Drew, Media Day, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Steve Weatherford
Another Media Day is in the books, and it certainly lived up to its reputation as a hustling, bustling behemoth of a Super Bowl event.
Patriots and Giants players and coaches were assailed by hundreds of reporters, not to mention an uncelebrated superhero named Pick Man, former Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lange, dragon codpiece-adorned Vic “The Brick” Jacobs and entertainment personality/Patriots fan Maria Menounos.
Did we mention Maria Menounos was there? She was … and it was great.
In actual football news, Steve Wyche learned that Patriots OL Matt Light wasn’t in attendance because of a stomach bug that has affected other team personnel but no other players … at least not yet. Stay tuned on that one.
Rob Gronkowski said his ankle is feeling better. Chad Ochocinco didn’t have a podium, but he received plenty of attention anyway. Eli Manning was asked about the one trillionth question about his older brother, Peyton.
Union boss DeMaurice Smith was on the scene — as was his outstanding fedora — though I was disappointed he didn’t blurt out, “We dig our Media Day.” Maurice Jones-Drew sought the truth … whatever that meant. Mark Herzlich discussed his amazing journey.
NFL.com reporter Jeff Darlington worked the room, speaking with Giants owner John Mara about the alternate reality that had Ben Roethlisberger behind center for Big Blue. Darlington also filed dispatches on Brandon Jacobs‘ unlikely dream and the story of Jason Pierre-Paul and his father, who has been blind most of the New York defensive end’s life.
The event was open to the public for the first time ever, with more than 7,000 fans in the lower deck using a frequency earpiece to listen in on the interviews. Acting like Bono at Live Aid in 1985, Giants punter Steve Weatherford ended the day by going into the audience to interact with fans before security gently informed him he wasn’t allowed to do so.
Weatherford then jumped off a 6-foot wall to get back down to the field. If that ended with a turned ankle, something tells me he’d limp to his car and just start driving to Canada rather than face Tom Coughlin.
Finally, there was the insanity-encapsulating scene involving a tall Latina woman in a microscopic dress and thigh-high boots who was asked to salsa by a TV reporter. This wasn’t on camera or anything — the guy just wanted to see her salsa. And salsa she did.
Media Day is the best.
— Dan Hanzus