Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Super Bowl Media Day - January 28, 2014

As an occasional member of the media via my work with Stadium Journey, I was hopeful that I could get a credential to Super Bowl Media Day, if only to hobnob with some non-traditional media who might be interested in my recently completed NFL Road Trip. The league was not particularly helpful, ignoring our followup email while issuing credentials to international media representatives who clown around dressed as Waldo or ask absolutely idiotic questions. To be fair, I had no questions to ask myself, so I shouldn't be too upset at being denied.

Fortunately, there was another way in. Tickets had been sold to the general public for a crazy $28.50 a pop. I was not willing to pay even half of that, but a friend of a friend had a ticket and bailed the night before, so I received a freebie from my pal Eddie. Thanks Eddie!

I arrived at Prudential Center at around 11:30, two hours after the event got underway. Being 90 minutes from home, there was no way that I could have done any better than that as I must maintain the proper impression of an unemployed layabout.

Upon arrival, I was handed a bag of goodies that included a couple of bottles of Pepsi (Max was one, Next the other) some chips, a granola bar, 12 Gatorade energy shots, deodorant, shampoo, body spray, and most importantly, a radio so I could listen to the proceedings.

I arrived just as the Broncos were finishing up (that's the scene above) so made my way to my seat near the top of the arena to await the Seahawks. During the intermission there was "entertainment" in the form of the Rutgers University band, some numbers from "Motown the Musical", the New York Jets cheerleaders, a Springsteen cover band, and interviews with a few NFL stars such as DeSean Jackson. Let's just say that those energy shots were in the bag for a reason.

Eventually, the Seattle contingent emerged and took their places. There were 17 podiums, with Richard Sherman's by far the most popular, with about half of the 6,239 accredited media surrounding it, including Deion Sanders (below). The radio channels were displayed so the 7,000 fans could choose which player to listen to. Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll, and Sherman remained on the same channel for the entire hour, while the other two channels rotated among the other players. The NFL Network was broadcast continuously on the final channel.

I flipped between channels, but the big problem was that you could rarely hear the question. Sometimes the player would rephrase the question, but mostly we just heard sound bites with no context. The big controversy was Marshawn Lynch leaving after 7 minutes. So yeah, it was a thrilling day. Everything was wrapped up by 2:00, taking about 4.5 hours, which is how long the Super Bowl will last. Guessing that will be just a bit more interesting.



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