The Circus That Is NFL Media Day …

From Arlington, Texas

Its official name is Cowboys Stadium.

But the mammoth building that rises out of the Texas prairie has picked up many other names in the two years since it was finished – Jerry’s Word, the Jones Mahal and the Death Star are but three.

On Tuesday, it had a new name – Circus Maximus – as the NFL held its annual Super Bowl week media day activities under the Cowboys big top. I can assure you of this, Barnum & Bailey’s three rings would not have handled the silliness that went down in two separate one-hour sessions for the Packers and Steelers.

I’m not quite sure when Media Day spun away from legitimate searching for interviews and pearls of wisdom from Super Bowl participants to the current version where the most outrageous of costumes and questions is the order of the day.

Before the shift, there were always odd, strange and just funny questions, often asked by reporters who were not sure if the football was blown up or stuffed. My favorite years ago was the serious question put to quarterback Doug Williams – “How long have you been a black quarterback?

It’s gone well beyond that. Several years ago a female personality from Mexican television showed up wearing a wedding dress. She proposed to Patriots QB Tom Brady. With a smile on his face, he declined the offer. 

On this Tuesday I did not witness any marriage proposals or strange costumes, but only if you don’t count the guy from Nickelodeon who was dressed as some sort of super hero with a cap and mask. This year the favored form of strange seemed to be hair. Whether it was the home-grown “yes it’s real” beard of Steelers DE Brett Keisel, or the reporters running around with big furry hats and long hair wigs, it was warm and fuzzy.

OK, it was fuzzy. There was a Troy Polamalu wig floating around the Steelers session, one that WR Hines Ward decided to wear for awhile. Yet, Polamalu was there with his flowing mane tied back and stuffed inside a sweatshirt.

The Mexican TV networks always show up with young ladies that are dressed provocatively. But this time things were pretty tame. The woman that caused such a stir early last season when she was unhappy with the way she was greeted in the New York Jets lockerroom was on site.

Ines Sainz from TV Azteca actually did more interviews where she answered the questions than ones where she asked her own questions. Eventually, she found herself posing with another B-List celebrity, Bengals WR Ochocinco.

Given the situation involving Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and sexual assault charges that got him suspended for four games by the NFL, you’d like the league might want to limit the sexual silliness. But then, this is the Super Bowl and very little in the world of professional sports is bigger than the league’s championship week.

Many years ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers were in their first Super Bowl and faced a much different media day in New Orleans. This was a time of football questions and there was talk among the media pundits that Pittsburgh’s inexperience of being in the ultimate NFL spotlight would hurt them.

Yet, ask any old media codger who was there and they all remember the same story. Steelers C Ray Mansfield at a table and entertained for an hour. Many of his teammates did the same thing. When it was announced that it was time for the media to leave, Mansfield yelled “hey comeback, I’m not done yet.”

After the silliness of Tuesday at Circus Maximus in Jerry’s Death Star, there were no Packers or Steelers calling for more time with the media.

“That wasn’t so bad,” said Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy as he came down from his podium.

Maybe somebody should have gotten him a wig.

One Response to “The Circus That Is NFL Media Day …”

  • February 2, 2011  - MEDennis34 says:

    I prefer the “sometimes dome”, which is a carry-over from the old cowgirls stadium; the “almost dome”.

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