Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Appreciating Absurdities of Media Day

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Appreciating Absurdities of Media Day

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Woods, Times-Union sports columnist

NEW ORLEANS -- Sorry, I cannot tell you who will start at quarterback for the Patriots.

I can, however, tell you that Drew Bledsoe's favorite Teletubby is Po, that Kurt Warner's middle name is Eugene, that players on both teams overwhelmingly prefer Mary Ann to Ginger and that -- just in case you're hoping to serve something a little different on Super Bowl Sunday -- Patriots offensive lineman Grey Ruegamer has a recipe for sheep testicles.

"Just slice 'em up and cook 'em up with a little garlic and oil," he said.

Welcome to Media Day.

I used to despise this day. It was everything that was wrong with the NFL. Hype. Excess. Downtown Julie Brown with a press pass.

I would roll my eyes when some serious line of questioning would get interrupted by some kid from Nickelodeon asking: "Can you show me your game-face?"

Then I saw the light. Or maybe it was just the explosion from Michael Jackson's halftime show that year in Pasadena. Whatever. I have learned not only to accept the circus but to appreciate it.

It is silly. It is absurd. It is perfect.

I mean, this is a game that comes complete with a press conference for the coin toss. There was a time, if you can believe it, when the NFL used only one person to toss the coin. A few years ago in Miami they needed 12. Or should I say XII. After all, this is the Super Bowl. And it wouldn't be quite the same without the annual Tuesday ritual -- a gathering at the stadium for Media Day.

Among those with media credentials this year: comedian Jay Mohr, the two bald guys from The Amazing Race (for The Rosie O'Donnell Show), an 11-year-old girl from New Orleans (for the Weekly Reader) and former Rams defensive lineman D'Marco Farr (for The Best Damn Sports Show, Period.)

Farr, finding himself on the other side of a boom mike, did try to get some answers, working his way close to the stage where Bledsoe sat and yelling: "About the quarterback controversy? …

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