Super Bowl Blog: Media Day


6:36 p.m.:Shutting it down for the night. Check back tomorrow for more updates from a busy day on radio row.  Thanks for reading.


5:20 p.m.:The biggest oddities of Media Day are always the Mexican TV stations. Telemundo and TV Azteca bring out the wild ones. First of all, the women reporters are consistently dressed in skin-tight next-to-nothing, and the guys are always jumping around and trying to make the players do something zany.

I remember in the past seeing a dude that refused to talk unless it was from the mouth of a puppet he had.

This year, there was a guy dressed drag (a tight red dress) and a girl going around measuring people's biceps.

I kind of felt bad for international practice squad linebacker Eduardo Castaneda, who was mobbed by these guys, presumably because he can speak Spanish.

To his credit, Castaneda did get into one of the interviews by singing along with a reporter to the song "Mi Cucu" by Sonora Dinomita. It was funny, but the song stunk.

4:55 p.m.:While there are definitely many attractive female reporters that attend Media Day, especially the caliente "newswomen" from Telemundo, the cutest girl had to be 10-year-old Shelby Fallin, who was a student reporter on behalf of Scholastic.

Armed with a trusty microphone and flanked by a camera crew, she didn't back down from asking any questions … even if she didn't know much about football.

"I watched some last night," Fallin said with a big smile. "And I've been paying more attention to it this year."

4:30 p.m.:The defensive backs definitely have a lot of fun. Before the media came down to interview the team, all the players were basically just relaxing on some bleachers down on the sideline. Most of guys were quiet and just milling around with a video camera of some sort, but not the DBs. They were taking time to freestyle rap, like second-year corner Mike Adams, or dance, like rookie CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Actually, DRC's funky, low-to-the-ground moves were so good, they prompted defensive tackle Darnell Dockett to proclaim that his teammate was a better dancer than Pittsburgh's Bryant McFadden.

3:47 p.m.:A lot was made of Ravens punter **Sam Koch** changing parts of his fundamentals to somewhat of a rugby approach, and that's what led to the Nebraska native's stellar season.

Well, Arizona has the real thing.

Cardinals punter Ben Graham grew up playing Australian rules football. At 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, he's a little bigger than most punters. And, he's got a big leg that has allowed him to play four years in the NFL.

Could the size and athletic ability that is required in Aussie football allow Graham to pull some trick plays in the future?

"Coach sometimes would say, 'It feels like Christmas again,' because he sees something with me that they've never seen before," Graham said in his Australian accent. "It's part of the game I would love to explore. When I came to the Jets, I really asked every question under the sun, because I felt I was a different set of eyes with a different background.

"While I first thought when I first came over that I could play a lot of different positions, I realized I had to work hard on just punting to make that transition."

3:25 p.m.:Well happy Media Day, everyone.

My Tuesday began at 7 a.m., where I checked email and finished mapping out my day before hopping in a car to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for the Arizona Cardinals' Media Day. Remember when I told you that it was one of the craziest events of Super Bowl week?

I wasn't kidding. With the sun just beginning to break through the clouds Tuesday morning, warming up what would eventually become 70-degree temperatures by noon, I took the field to gauge the lay of the land. See, there are eight main podiums set up on one sideline with three tiers of metal risers facing them, as if a puppet show was going to take place. Each has the name of one of the more prominent Cardinals. Then in the red stands of the "Ray Jay," there are flags sporadically placed around the different sections that also bear an Arizona player or coach's name.

Players filed in to the stadium wearing their full uniform – white pants, red jerseys – to chill out in the calm before the storm.

On both scoreboards, there are clocks that read 60:00, and at 10 on the dot, those start ticking.

When they did, the storm broke.

Once the doors opened, media members of all ilk streamed from the concourse through the stands to take the field and assault the players and coaches with incredibly random types of questions and requests.

Of course, football questions took up most of the time, but the real gems come when the topics travel farther off the field.

I just got back to the media center, so I'll give you an example before I hit radio row to check up on how things are going there…

Entertainment Tonight was on hand to talk with some of the players. The big game had nothing to do with the interview, however. The host (and forgive me, but I don't know his name because I have never actually watched a full episode of the show) wanted defensive tackles Alan Branch and Gabe Watson to square off in a Dancing with the Stars-style competition with dancer Rene Sapp.

The judge was former defensive tackle, current NFL Network analyst and *Dancing with the Stars *second-place finisher Warren Sapp.

To the delight of the vulturous cameras – mine included – the two 300-pounders twirled around the makeshift dance floor and mugged for the videos and shots. It was almost as if one of them could have tossed the diminutive Sapp (Rene, that is) into the stands.

The winning trophy of a disco ball went to Branch, who scored an 8 by Warren Sapp's estimate, one better than Watson's 7.

As you can tell, it's nutty for Media Day.

Check back here throughout the day as I clean out my notebook with observations and notes from Media Day and radio row.

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