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Media Day brings them all out

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Jim Baumbach
February 1, 2012
— With more than 2,000 reporters on hand, the annual media day event at the Super Bowl tends to bring the unpredictable. Tuesday was no different.

Here’s how it worked: Every player and coach on each team were made available to the assembled media on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for one hour. The Patriots went first, followed by the Giants.


Here’s a sampling of the unusual that took place:


‘Lucky Star’

With Madonna the halftime performer Sunday, someone asked Giants quarterback Eli Manning for his favorite Madonna song. Manning didn’t flinch, saying that though he’s always been more into country music, he did listen to some Madonna tunes when he was growing up. But he wouldn’t reveal his favorite.


“I don’t think I can say the word on live television,” Manning said.


But Manning had no problem listing his favorite television shows—“Seinfeld” and “Modern Family”—and he thinks Gene Hackman would do a good job playing Giants coach Tom Coughlin in a movie.


Fourth-down situation

Ever wonder if Patriots receiver Wes Welker watches MTV’s “Jersey Shore”? Of course you did! So it’s a good thing someone asked Welker to name everyone from the show.


Welker started off strong with four names off the top of his head, but then struggled to pull out the name “JWoww” and drew a blank on the final two.


PP or Voorhees?

Justin Tuck stopped one reporter’s question short and said, “Did you just call me Jason?”


Apparently the reporter confused Tuck with his younger teammate Jason Pierre-Paul, who was stationed one spot over, and Tuck got a hearty laugh out of it.


Then someone else asked Tuck about his hair, the stubble on his cheeks, his shaving habits and the like. “I don’t think hair is going to have as much of an impact Sunday as you all would like it to,” Tuck said.


Danger vu

The two coaches—the Giants’ Tom Coughlin and the Patriots’ Bill Belichick—are all business all the time, so most of the media members with non-football questions steered clear of them.


Coughlin, however, grew a little tired answering the same questions repeatedly. When someone asked him a rather innocuous question about memories of coaching at Boston College, the Giants coach said, “I’ve answered that about five times now.”


Then, when someone else asked him what he learned from the Super Bowl experience four years ago, he said, “I’ve got to record some of this stuff and replay it.”


Comical marvels

You get more than your share of attention seekers at media day dressed in all types of garb.


For example …


One radio reporter walked around with a large dragon sign hanging around his neck and a fur hat.


Another reporter from VH1 wore an old-school football helmet, telling players he was in Super Bowl I. He also held up a sign of the Manning brothers and asked Eli to name them.


A reporter from Televisa asked players to put on a straw hat and dance with her. Another reporter from Telemundo tried to get players to tell the camera they watch, well, Telemundo.


And media day is never complete without a superhero. This year, it was Nickelodeon’s Pick Boy—picture a man dressed as a “superhero” complete with a cape—asking players random questions, including about, yes, their superpowers.



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