As an ice storm bit the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex on Tuesday, members of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, and the esteemed football press corps huddled under the retractable roof of the $1.3 billion Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to participate in the annual exercise of stupidity known as Super Bowl media day.
This year’s edition lived up to its reputation. Pick Boy, a Nickelodeon character, darted around the field, asking players all sorts of inane questions: (to Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, “how big is your championship belt?” Huh?). One “reporter” got a group of Green Bays Packer to sing Journey’s Don‘t Stop Believing in unison. There was the lady who was measuring players’ biceps (see above), and the other one who was asking players if she could adopt them (“do any of ‘yall want a momma?”).
But in a new media day low, a reporter from Dallas-area sports radio station, 105.3 The FAN, asked one Packer if he would turn gay if that would guarantee a Super Bowl victory for the team.
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To confirm I heard this line of questioning correctly, I watched this reporter interview a Steelers player during Pittsburgh’s media session. First inquiry: “Who has the biggest wiener on the team?” She asked the player who his favorite celebrity was. When he told her it was Denzel Washington, she asked if he would “hook up” with Denzel in exchange for a Super Bowl ring.
It continued. She asked if he would “French kiss” his father for a million dollars, and implored him to “describe a vagina.”
Luckily, the session delivered a little insight. Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who at just 38 is going for his second title in three years, seemed to be enjoying the moment, and talked about how the flat Steelers hierarchy has bred a culture of success. “There are not a bunch of people with a bunch of titles telling you what to do,” Tomlin says. “There isn’t the Vice President of this and that. Nobody is hiding behind business cards. Everyone is putting their hand in the pile and going about the business of producing a winner.
And Steelers receiver Hines Ward delivered some strong thoughts about the NFL’s proposal of extending the regular season to 18 games, a sticking point in the ongoing labor negotiation that could cause an NFL work stoppage come March. “[The NFL] cares [about player safety], but they don’t care,” Ward says. “You know the game is a dangerous game. So if you care, why would you try to add two more dangerous games? You’re contradicting yourself …. No player wants to play 18 games.”
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So beneath all the inanities, the moral of the story would appear to be this: Enjoy this Super Bowl — if the players and owners can’t agree on the NFL’s future, next season could get wiped out. It might be the last Super Bowl you see for awhile.
Then again, if that catastrophe unfolds, at least NewsFeed won’t have to suffer through a 2012 media day.