By Connor Buestad
I’ll tell you, the NFL hype machine is almost getting to be too much for me. From the draft combine in the spring, to the trade talk over the summer, and of course all of the in-season analysis, sometimes I get overwhelmed. Turn on ESPN at any time of year, and chances are you’ll have a full dose of pro football analysis shoved down your throat. Right now the flavor of the month is Trent Dilfer, and this is one talking head I could certainly do without.
Seeing as how this is Super Bowl week, I thought I’d give my two cents on what is perhaps the only day of the season solely predicated on hype: Media Day. (In case you have a life and didn’t know when and where Media Day was airing, you can catch it on NFL Network today at 7am pacific).
For those of you who aren’t privy to what goes on during “Media Day”, it is basically where the players arrive at the field in their uniform (sans pads), and answer questions from journalists around the world. The whole concept sounds boring enough I suppose, but look deeper and there is some real entertainment value lurking under the surface. It’s always fun to watch the journalists and photographers themselves. The phrase, “kid in a candy store” wouldn’t do it justice. Not when you consider this is probably the only day of the year that is solely designed for the media’s unfettered access.
Quarterbacks and other notables sit perched high atop a podium for what seems like hours as the media calls up vanilla questions from below. Most times, these interviews are infested with clichés, yet sometimes you can get some real gems. Classic examples of this would include the likes of Joe Namath, Jim McMahon, and Deion Sanders. The name of the game is to hope that a marquee player will drop a comment or a prediction that will stir the pot and set the tone for Sunday’s game. It has happened in the past, and any roster with Jeremy Shockey on it could certainly provide some good entertainment value.
My favorite players to watch on Media Day are the kickers, the offensive linemen and the backup quarterback. The kickers always seem to be loving the limelight a little too much, the offensive linemen always are totting camcorders they bought at the airport, and the backup quarterback always looks lost and lonely (usually with a visor on).
Sound exciting? Hey, where else are you gonna find daytime television like this?