Wednesday, February 1, 2006
DETROIT, Jan. 31 -- Maybe all the A-list celebrities were busy doing the Oscar thing. Maybe it's just unfashionably early in Super Bowl week to be seen in Detroit. Whatever. The annual Media Day (Bigger! Not Better!) featured a B-to-C list celebrity parade Tuesday at Ford Field. Mo Rocca was there and looking less geeky in real life, as was comedian Gilbert Gottfried, and thespian (our thesaurus says that means "actor") Tom Arnold was making the rounds to various Steelers and Seahawks with camera crews in tow.
The event is exquisitely bizarre, with some people trying to uphold their duty to fill newspapers, magazines and airwaves with type and hype and others subscribing to a less noble (and yet more fun) cause: the quest to steal the spotlight. Gottfried made quite the splash, displacing Steelers linebacker James Farrior from his platform at one point and peppering every other sentence with a plug for his latest DVD. He also told his version of the world's most offensive joke from the movie "The Aristocrats" (needless to say it was not PG-13), and the more we watched him move and talk, the more he began to resemble the Aflac duck, whose voice he provides in commercials. While Gottfried spewed one Detroit joke after the next, Arnold, the former Mr. Roseanne Barr, spared the city his wrath.
"I don't bag on them because I got married here," Arnold said. "I love this town. I'm from Iowa. What joke could I possibly do about this place? This is the big city."
New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, working as a correspondent for Fox, butted in on our exclusive with Arnold, but not before he issued a warning to anyone trying to scalp Super Bowl tickets, saying he nearly got arrested for doing so last year. The NFL Thought Police might be interested in that bit of info.Madden Remembers
The ABC news conference provided a few moments of unintentional comedic splendor. It took about five questions before John Madden launched into sound effects, dropping a few "booms" and "bams" as he reminisced about a thunderstorm in a preseason game in Detroit. Madden provided a predictable response when someone implied that all the pomp, pageantry and bombast of Super Bowl week was becoming perhaps a little too much. He, of course, believes otherwise.
"It can't get too big," Madden said. "What else are you going to do? I don't know how it could get too big."Irvin's Hope
ESPN analyst and former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin was asked if his most recent run-in with the law would hurt his chances of being voted into the Hall of Fame this weekend. Irvin was arrested on drug charges in November, but says he was merely holding drug paraphernalia for a friend he was helping kick a habit.
"I would hope that [Hall of Fame voters] would research it and find out," Irvin said. "And if they do research it, they'll find out exactly how much truth I was telling, that was all the truth. And they might even say that's more of a Hall of Fame-type person, somebody that's reaching out to help someone that's had problems. I think that's the kind of human we all should try to be."Random Thoughts
The urge to make a little noise during the live broadcast of "SportsCenter" can be overwhelming at times. The sheer amount of Spackle, er, makeup on Dan Patrick's face begs for public heckling. . . . But on to the Follicle Report: The Steeler with the best hair is http://not Troy Polamalu. It's safety Tyrone Carter, whose meticulously coiffed dreadlocks are pulled back a la Busta Rhymes. . . . Biggest disappointment about the Super Bowl so far: No sightings of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog . . . . Only 1,256 more news conferences until kickoff.
-- Jason La Canfora