It’s the greatest — and weirdest — day on the sports calendar: Super Bowl media day. Follow here and on Twitter as thousands of media members and alleged media members/possible space aliens elbow one another to ask inane questions of about 250 players and coaches while fans pay $25 a head to watch.
Ravens safety Bernard Pollard isn’t backing down from comments he made about what he believes is a bleak future for the NFL.
He echoed President Obama, who in an interview said that he’d have to think “long and hard” about whether to let a child play football.
Bernard Pollard: “I have a son. He’s going to be 5 in a few days. I don’t want him to play football.”
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) January 29, 2013
When Ray Lewis is yapping, it can be hard for a tight end to draw a crowd…unless he puts on an awesome wig:
As soon as I took this picture, Dennis Pitta said, “I’m wearing this wig, and now I’m getting some attention.” twitter.com/joshkatzowitz/…
— Josh Katzowitz (@joshkatzowitz) January 29, 2013
Ray Lewis dismissed a report that he’d used a substance that contained a banned ingredient as he recovered from his torn triceps. As for the12-year-old murder case he was involved with: “I live with that every day. And I’d rather not speak about that today.”
“Everybody has a past. It’s what you do with your future.”
Oh, if only there were a Suggs brothers Super Bowl.
“I would,” Terrell Suggs said, “take every opportunity to kick his [backside].”
Jim Harbaugh quoted “Henry V” in talking about his brother, John.
John Harbaugh went in a little different direction when he was asked how the winner of the Super Bowl would console his (loser) brother.
“We’re way past consolation now. Not only would it be unnecessary, but it would be unwelcome.”
John Harbaugh said he spoke with his brother last night, about tickets for family and making sure “Mom and Dad had a hotel room.”
Ray Lewis was asked about a substance in deer antler velvet spray, a product Lewis reportedly used to help him recover quickly after tearing his triceps in October and quickly replied: “I wouldn’t give that report or (the reporter) any of my press. Next question.”
Lewis says the story is two years old and adds, “I’ve never even thought about using anything like that.” He went on to deny the report and say he’d never failed a drug test.
Here’s an excerpt from the Sports Illustrated report.
Hours after he tore his triceps during an Oct. 14 home game against the Cowboys, Ravens All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis and Ross connected on the phone. Again, Ross videotaped the call.
“It’s bottom, near the elbow,” Lewis said of the tear. After asking a few pseudo diagnostic questions, Ross concluded, “All right, well this is going to be simple. . . . How many pain chips you got around the house?”
“I got plenty of them,” Lewis replied.
Ross prescribed a deluxe program, including holographic stickers on the right elbow; copious quantities of the powder additive; sleeping in front of a beam-ray light programmed with frequencies for tissue regeneration and pain relief; drinking negatively charged water; a 10-per-day regimen of the deer-antler pills that will “rebuild your brain via your small intestines” (and which Lewis said he hadn’t been taking, then swallowed four during the conversation); and spritzes of deer-antler velvet extract (the Ultimate Spray) every two hours.
“Spray on my elbow every two hours?” Lewis asked.
“No,” Ross said, “under your tongue.”
Toward the end of the talk, Lewis asked Ross to “just pile me up and just send me everything you got, because I got to get back on this this week.”
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is catching a fair amount of heat for his comment about cold-weather Super Bowls.
Flacco, a New Jersey native, was asked about the prospect of playing the 2014 Super Bowl in MetLife Stadium next Feb. 2.
“I think it’s retarded. I probably shouldn’t say that. I think it’s stupid,” said Flacco, who is from New Jersey. “If you want a Super Bowl, put a retractable dome on your stadium. Then you can get one… Other than that I don’t really like the idea. I don’t think people would react very well to it, or be glad to play anybody in that kind of weather.”
And the first question to him comes from Weather.com.
A few minutes later, he apologized, saying he had made “a bad choice of words.”
The coaches of the two Super Bowl teams are brothers — you may have read something about this — and Jim Harbaugh did something that Super Bowl coaches so rarely do on Media Day.
He quoted William “The Bard” Shakespeare from “Henry V:”
“For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.”
And with that he was off to direct everyone as they posed for the official team photo.
Top that, John Harbaugh.
Alex Smith has to be the most uncomfortable, unhappy man in the city of New Orleans.
He’s a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, but he isn’t the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers. That’s Colin Kaepernick.
Smith, benched midseason after suffering a concussion, was classy and honest as he dealt with the media today. Unlike Kaepernick and the other starters, he didn’t have a podium. He was left to roam the Superdome field, something he is unlikely to do Sunday.
The former No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft admitted it was difficult and looked a little like one of those people in a Southwest Airlines commercial.
“It’s tough,” he said. “I’m not going to lie about it.”
NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders asked wide receiver Michael Crabtree about his Jiffy-Pop look and Crabtree explains that it’s good luck not to get a haircut.
Deion: “So you’re saying you look like Django?”
At the risk of going the full Musburger here, Katherine Webb, the former Miss Alabama who was the star of the BCS championship game, is at media day in her capacity as a reporter for “Inside Edition.”
Webb, you will recall, was shown by ESPN cameras as her boyfriend, A.J. McCarron, led Alabama to a national championship victory over Notre Dame earlier this month.
Now, we’re talking biceps. This is Patrick Willis. He confides that “I love ice cream” and cannot pronounce Danell Ellerbee’s name. “Eljerbean?”
When it comes to talking about his foster parents, though, he’s moving.
— Dan Hellie (@DanHellie) January 29, 2013
Unlike Chad Ochocinco with the New England Patriots last year, 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss has a podium to himself, but will he have a roster spot with the 49ers in 2013?
“Next question,” was Moss’s response when asked about that. “I don’t like my role. I really don’t.”
Moss, who went on to say he think he’s the greatest wide receiver ever, returned to the NFL after sitting out the 2011 season because, he said, he loves the competition. “I don’t think I’ve really expressed how much I love to compete… When I hear people talk about how talented I am…I can tell you it’s hard work.”
hey look…randy moss! said – “I think having a Super Bowl my career will be complete” twitter.com/shalisemyoung/…
— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) January 29, 2013
The downside of Super Bowl media day: Deion Sanders, in his capacity as an NFL Network analyst, hugs players after interviewing them.
But he had the first interception, grabbing 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick before he could get to the podium and asking about the 800-pound gorilla in the room, also known as benched 49ers QB Alex Smith.
“He’s a great guy,” Kaepernick said. “He has been phenomenal this whole time.”
Sanders learned that Kaepernick would go sleeveless in the Super Bowl, displaying his tattooed arms, and, of course, Deion insisted that Kaepernick “kiss the guns” (this is known as Kaepernicking) for him.
49ers Hall of Fame QB Steve Young had two words for him, Kaepernick said: Humility and fierce.
Once he gets past Sanders, Kaepernick confides that he isn’t able to go out as easily as he used to and his drink of choice is “water.”
Meanwhile, Smith, benched as the starter after he suffered a concussion midseason, has no podium spot but is, nonetheless, surrounded the media.
Alex Smith patiently and gamely answers ALL the questions abt being a backup QB. lockerz.com/s/280160628
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) January 29, 2013
— SB Nation (@sbnation) January 29, 2013
Right off the bat, there’s a guy wearing a media credential — and lederhosen.
(Thanks to alert lederhosen aficionado Rob King!)
— Rob King (@ESPN_RobKing) January 29, 2013
Over 6,000 fans have purchased Media Day tickets at $25 a pop. For that, they get to sit in the stands and choose which interviews to listen to on special listening devices left over from Spygate. (Too soon?)
If there were a media day drinking game (one day — dare to dream), the magic word would be “elite.”
I mill around at an elite level at #MediaDay
— Michael Tanier (@MikeTanier) January 29, 2013
Enough milling. The 49ers are taking the field, albeit slowly. Buckle up.
How media day works:
It’s like speed dating for nerds, the “Star Wars” bar scene, only weird. Originally, this was known as Picture Day and everyone posed for, you know, pictures and left. Not now, though. There will be hype. Oh, yes, there will be hype.
Players and coaches each have a spot on the field at the SuperDome in New Orleans and media members wander from person to person, asking soul-suckingly ridiculous and sometimes pertinent and important questions. (If only the Puppy Bowl had a media day…)
At some point, there will be an Ines Sainz sighting.
Typically, someone is wearing a wedding dress. Occasionally, it is a woman.
Inside the dome on media day yfrog.com/oc3niqgj
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) January 29, 2013
There was a time when there were empty seats at Super Bowls, when Roman numeral II was no certainty. As you watch the zoo that is media day, remember that.
This year’s media day kicks off at 11 a.m. EST with the San Francisco 49ers up first for an hour of fun and frivolity. The Baltimore Ravens take the stage from 1:15-2:15.