Super Super Bowl Media Day
Before the big game on Super Bowl Sunday, the NFL holds an event that reporters around the world look forward to all year long: Super Bowl Media Day. Held in the host stadium each Tuesday before the Super Bowl, media day is a chance for reporters to talk to the players and coaches.
My dad and my uncle drove me to Dallas from Houston to cover the event for Scholastic. Getting there was a breeze. It was 75 degrees and sunny. Overnight, though, all that changed. We woke up Tuesday to cold wind, snow, and ice. Only 300 miles from home and I was in a winter wonderland.
The drive from the hotel to the stadium took much longer than we anticipated. We drove veeeery sloooowly past trucks and cars stuck in the ice all on the road. We got caught between three vehicles sliding around on an inclined entrance ramp to the highway and an 18-wheeler. It took about 30 minutes to get out of there!
Once we got inside Cowboys Stadium, you would never know it was snowing outside. The host stadium for Super bowl XLV is only a year old and has the world’s largest retractable roof. It was, of course closed, but could be open on Sunday if the weather clears up.
The stadium could fit six of the world’s largest whales inside—if you wanted to do something that whack. The gigantic jumbotron screen that towers over the entire field begins on one 20 yard line and stretches to the other.
The first player I talked to was shivering and complaining about the cold.
“You play in Green Bay,” my editor said to him. “You think this is cold?”
He quickly defended himself by pointing out that there’s a big difference between sitting still for an hour for interviews (even inside) and running around on a field, no matter what the weather. (What about those guys on the bench?)
The interviews were mostly held in booths set up along the sidelines. First the Green Bay Packers came out for an hour, then the reporters were all served brunch. Then to the Steelers. After that, the Fox broadcast team held roundtable discussions.
The fun was on the field, however. When I interviewed Brett Kiesel, I was one of the few reporters to ask a serious question. Everyone else wanted to know about his beard. It was pretty wild! I had seen pictures, but to actually see it in person was awesome.
Also not serious were some of the crazy reporters I saw. There was a girl in sweats doing pushups for the players before interviewing them. There was also a guy in a bull fighter outfit. TV Azteca was asking players to demonstrate with a giant wooden toy block on a string that you had to swing out and try to catch on a stick. No, I couldn’t do it either!
One reporter was wearing a blue box. Yes, a BOX! It opened up with swinging cardboard doors. He said he brought his own broadcast booth.
Another guy was wearing a wild furry hat and coat, leopard pajamas, and brown pointy shoes. He was a radio reporter so I guess it didn’t matter.
The coolest part of the whole day was talking to all the other reporters (the ones NOT wearing leopard pajamas or tights) and finding out how they prepare. Watching the adult professionals in action was a great experience. I was even interviewed by some of the reporters who turned the tables on me!
One camera man watched me doing my closing and gave me some advice for how to make it better. He told me to look directly into the camera like I was looking someone in the eyes. He said he would look better on camera and help me concentrate, especially with all the craziness going on around me. It worked! Check out the video!
PHOTOS: Kid Reporter Kenny Figuero becomes the news at Super Bowl Media Day in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on February 1, 2001. (Photo by Suzanne Freeman)