Media Day Madness At The Super Bowl

img_1176Media Day. If I use the word “circus” one more time to describe this cattle call, I will slap myself. It really isn’t as bad as we in the business like to paint it. And it is fascinating to see how many of us interview each other. ( I think I just blogged about that two days ago?) This is Chris Berman, the veteran ESPN anchor, a graduate of Brown University (Ivy League) whom we watched interview former Steeler, now Cardinal, Sean Morey, also a Brown alum. I didn’t get to use our interview with Sean, but he is going to the Pro Bowl for special teams and I  asked him if he had any idea his career would last this long. He said, frankly, no. He is such a great guy, and people in Pittsburgh loved his heart–you have to be happy for him even if you’re pulling for the Steelers. 

img_1177And this is another guy whom Pittsburghers will wish well, while rooting against his team-Steve Breaston. The injury to Anquan Boldin this season, gave this Woodland Hills graduate his chance to step up, and he did. Another connection of Steve’s is to LaMarr Woodley, who was (and still is) his best friend at University of Michigan. Go Wolverines (I am an alum, and a bit obnoxious about it, I admit)! Both guys were generously cooperative about my interview regarding their friendship, and how hard-hitting it may become on Game Day. Steve said he expected LaMarr would be chasing him around. It is the positive aspect of competition–go at it with all you have got, and shake hands afterwards. I could do that in golf, but I am not sure I would be so forgiving if someone slams me to the ground. img_1181Another well-known Western Pennsylvanian who will be dividing some loyalties. Coach Russ Grimm is the best, a frequent visitor to our Winterfest at Seven Springs. I talked to him about what makes our region so rich in football tradition, and it is unquestionably its solid work ethic. As everyone knows, Russ was one of the candidates for the Steelers head job when Coach Cowher retired. Both he and  Tomlin are great coaches, but the Rooney’s choice of Tomlin has turned out to be  brilliant, and seems to be the right fit for the Steelers. img_1185As has this choice. Ben Roethlisberger. I was talking to The Professor–ESPN’s John Clayton –yesterday, and he was rattling off the amazing stats that Ben has amassed in just five years in the league. “Rarified” atmosphere, I believe John called the position in which Ben finds himself. He has been handling the media with poise and maturity, and we saw him and Hines Monday afternoon, as we set up for our special at the Steelers hotel. He didn’t have to acknowledge us (for fear we might come over and bug him) , but he called out hello to me, which was nice. I said hi, and then started to walk by, and Hines called me over. I was so nervous about talking to them outside a “media availability,” and Hines asked me when I had arrived. I said,” Am I supposed to talk to you? I am media?”. He  laughed and looked at me as if I were crazy. I know it this all sounds silly, but these guys get attacked if they stick their head out the door, and their accessibility is very tightly regulated. That is why Media Day is such a frenzy. Oh, one last thing. I was soaking wet, because I soooo stupidly wore my backpack. But it served as a great battering ram getting through the  throng.

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And talk about a throng. The biggest Steeler star, other than Ben, is Troy. I admit, it is such a kick, when Dan Pratt, my photographer, and I walked over to his booth, he gave us a little wave before I asked a question. One idiot reporter kept hounding him about his hair, and I wanted to take our mike pole and whack the guy. 

And these familiar faces were part of that throng. DVE’s Jim and Randy. Randy interviewed me with an iPhone.  Never seen that before (although I know have one, and I am obsessed with it. They are broadcasting from here on Radio Row, and ESPN 1250’s and WTAE’s Guy Junker did a great piece on them.

 

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