If you're a sports media junkie, a diehard listener to sports talk radio or a rabid viewer of sports on television, Radio Row at the Super Bowl is like your Disney World. That's how I felt the first time I traveled to the Super Bowl to cover the week leading up the big game.
Wow, over there, it's Mike Francesa doing his show for WFAN in New York! (NOTE: I grew up listening to Francesa.)
Hey, there's Jim Rome doing his show on the CBS set! (NOTE: I was once a critically acclaimed caller to Rome's show.)
You can fill in any number of a few more dozen TV and radio personalities, and for me, a life long fan of the genre, the Disney World analogy holds up. This is my amusement park, these are my characters. But if Radio Row is media's Disney World, then Media Day is like the cantina scene in Star Wars (or Wal-Mart after midnight).
Freaks, goofs, and media posers galore. Tuesday was Media Day for Super Bowl XLIX. Here are a few of the highlights....
4. Tom Brady was really, really popular. Well, he was popular in the sense that he had a lot of people gathered around his area where he took questions. A lot of people wanted to hear what Brady had to say, so many that this was the crowd 30 minutes before Brady arrived....
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 27, 2015
Predictably, Brady had nothing to say about deflating footballs, massaging footballs, or why a locker room attendant would be taking a bunch of footballs into the bathroom with him. Instead, we got to hear about silly things like respect for the Seahawks and how focused his team was. Yawn....
3. Bill Belichick was really, really casual. If we are judging stress level by style of footwear, I'd say Bill Belichick is about as worried about Deflate-Gate ramifications as Bill gates is worried about where his next meal is coming from....
Well this is a new look for Belichick ... Flip-flops and a hoodie. He's got that whole Yin and Yang thing working. pic.twitter.com/w5t77Izt6T
— John P. Lopez (@LopezOnSports) January 27, 2015
He's got his FLIPPY FLOPPIES! The only way Belichick could be more casual would be if he took questions while laying down and getting a Swedish massage.
2. Gronk sang Katy Perry's songs, because....well, because he's GRONK!! Rob Gronkowski is a national treasure, and he just keeps getting more and more awesome. It's hard to believe he was a draft classmate of Aaron Hernandez coming into the league. Based on this video, let me just say that I'm glad that Gronk isn't the one of the two tight ends that gets into "incarceration" level trouble. We would miss him....
In addition to this performance, Gronk also read excerpts from the erotic novel in which he stars. And the big news from that was GRONK CAN READ!!
1. Marshawn Lynch answered every question with the same answer....29 times. According to reports, the Seattle Seahawks mute-whenever-convenient running back was threatened with a $500,000 fine from the league if he didn't show up to Media Day. So he showed up, and then in what was (depending on your point of view) either an open display of truthfulness or a blatant disregard for media members (it's probably both), he proceeded to answer every question with some variation of "I'm just here so I don't get fined." Hell, even Hall of Famer Deion Sanders isn't immune to the Lynch snub! Check it out...
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I don't have a problem with Marshawn Lynch snubbing the media. At this point, I find the hand wringing over the whole thing by some of my fellow media members to be kind of funny. My only issue is with the people who label Lynch's reluctance to play ball with the media as a sign of his "uniqueness." Being immature and stubborn doesn't make somebody unique, it makes him a brat.
Of course, portions of the media at this thing don't do themselves many favors when it comes to being taken seriously...
HOW DARE MARSHAWN LYNCH MAKE A MOCKERY OF THE MEDIA pic.twitter.com/qEzBe1H3TY
— Michael Katz (@KatzM) January 27, 2015