Media day during Super Bowl week has been a part of the show since the inception of the first Super Bowl way back in 1967. Back then, it wasn’t the glamorous, over-the-top, worldwide event that it is now. The first Super Bowl media day was attended mostly by the participating teams’ local media and some members of the two broadcasting networks. It wasn’t televised and due to the dominant form of media at the time being the newspapers, the only way football fans knew what had happened was to read the articles written from information obtained in the interviews.
What began as a simple method of granting the media access to Super Bowl athletes to write in-depth stories and provide fans with a new perspective on their favorite athlete has now morphed into a massive circus. Today, the NFL issues more than 5,800 media credentials to media day, up from the 2,000 or so they issued in 2016. The event is now broadcast during television prime time and, as of 2012, fans can attend the event. Think you might miss out on the action by forking over $32 a seat to watch players get interviewed? Worry no more, as there are appearances from each of the teams’ mascots, cheerleaders and the NFL hands out “free” gift bags containing a radio so you can listen to the interviews taking place right in front of you.
Gone are the days of Media Day being about collecting pertinent or interesting tidbits from each of the athletes on each team. We now have a spectacle where even the media itself goes over the top, donning costumes and asking obsurd questions with no true relevance to the Super Bowl or even the athletes themselves. In the spirit of these outrageous moments, let’s review some of the best from recent times
January 31, 1988
A member of the media actually asks Redskins QB Doug Williams “How long have you been a black quarterback?”
January 29, 1999
Falcons cornerback, Ray Buchanan takes shots at Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe, calling him an “ugly due” and “Mr. Ed”. Word then makes it to Sharpe about Buchanan’s digs and Sharpe proceeds to go right back at him, eventually saying “You can’t get into a peeing contest with a skunk. You’ll lose every time”. Sharpe ultimately had the last word when his Broncos rolled to a 34-19 victory.
January 28, 2004
Nickelodeon gets into Media Day and asks players from both the Patriots and the Panthers “who would you rather tackle, Celine Dion or Clay Aiken? Celine was the most popular answer. One player went as far as saying he would tackle his mom if the Super Bowl was on the line.
January 29, 2008
Tv Azteca reporter, Ines Gomez Mont wears a wedding dress to Media Day and asks both Tom Brady and Eli Manning if they will marry her. Sadly, it didn’t work out.
February 2, 2010
In what was no doubt a publicity stunt, Chad Ochocinco gets a media pass for his newly released OCNNN. While he held his own with the media, it’s hard to take such an attention seeker seriously.
January 27, 2015
Marshawn Lynch who has spotted with the NFL and the media over his entire career answers all 30 questions asked to him “I’m just here so I don’t get fined”
Articles such as this demonstrate exactly what Media Day has become – entertainment in itself. There are reporters who now attend Media Day just to report on what happens at the event and not to gain information from interviews. The event gets further over the top and more of a circus with each year. This year should be no different in Atlanta.