Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fans Add to Circus, NFL Coffers at Media Day

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fans Add to Circus, NFL Coffers at Media Day

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino

INDIANAPOLIS | Just when it seemed as if the Super Bowl hype couldn't get any bigger, the NFL came up with the idea of putting 7,000 tickets on sale at $25 each for the fans to watch Media Day at Lucas Oil Stadium on Tuesday.

Yes, $25 to watch reporters interview the players so the NFL, which already had a sponsor for the event, found another way to make it a money-making event.

And the tickets were not only snapped up, but they were being scalped.

When one fan was asked why he would pay $25 to watch Media Day, he said he wanted to see the players.

The fans were in the lower deck on one side of the stadium.

There were 18 players and/or coaches at podiums for the headliners and the rest milled around in the area between the stands and the sidelines.

The fans appeared to be having a good time and cheered on occasion when a player was flashed on the scoreboard but generally quietly watched the activity.

Some players interacted with the fans. One threw a football and a pen to Patriot safety James Ihedigbo, who signed the football and threw it back. He also threw a towel the players were given by the sponsor into the stands. Giants punter Steve Weatherford, who played for the Jaguars in 2008, jumped into the stands and posed for pictures.

One woman held up a sign that read, "I've got the moves like [Wes] Welker."

The next two days, the interview will be in hotel ballrooms.

It will be interesting to see if the fans will be as eager to buy tickets for Media Day next year in New Orleans, which has been a frequent Super Bowl site.

This is the first one Indianapolis has hosted and the city has embraced it with downtown already crowded even though many out-of-town fans don't arrive until Thursday.

Indianapolis also lucked out on the weather with temperatures in the 50s this week.

The city is also getting good reviews from the writers because the media hotel is within walking distance of the stadium and the team hotels and there are no long bus rides.

OFFICIALS KNIT SCARVES FOR HOST VOLUNTEERS

Indianapolis officials came up with the idea of fans knitting blue and white scarves for Host Committee volunteers to wear during the week. Their goal was to get 8,000 knitted. They got 13,000 from all over the country.

GRONKOWSKI DAY TO DAY WITH HIGH ANKLE SPRAIN

There aren't usually many injury stories during Super Bowl week because teams that make it usually have all their key players healthy.

But this year, the high ankle sprain suffered by tight end Rob Gronkowski in the AFC title game will get a lot of attention all week.

He was out of the walking boot at Media Day but said he is still day to day.

When he was asked if he could play if he can't practice all week, he said, "I am not sure. That's why I am with the training staff, whatever they have me do. …

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