Aside from the press conferences I attended on Thursday, I also got to experience Radio Row. Radio Row is the central hub for radio stations and television networks to broadcast from one area during Super Bowl week. It is really dazzling to see! This was the first year that the NFL (National Football League) opened portions of Radio Row to the public.
There were many important people wandering around Radio Row. I got to interview Don Crisman, a huge Patriot fan that has been to every Super Bowl since the beginning (even before it was called the Super Bowl). Don is also part of the “Never Miss a Super Bowl Club” as seen in the Visa commercials that aired last year.
He explained the difficulties of finding tickets over the years and even his favorite moments.
“Well, actually the first 15 years was kind of easy,” Crisman said. “Then it became difficult and we got scalped a few times and paid double and triple the face [value]. Then they wrote a story in the Super Bowl XXXIII program about guys who had never missed [a Super Bowl] and since then the NFL provides seats we can buy and we can sit together.”
I also had an interview with Super Bowl champion and former head coach of the Baltimore Ravens Brian Billick. We talked about how opinions change from when you are a coach to being part of the media. He also talked about his favorite Super Bowl memory.
“I was really lucky in our Super Bowl [XXXV],” Billick said. “We kind of had control of the game in the fourth quarter, against the New York Giants, so it kind of nice to know the game was sewed up. You could kind of sit back and take it all in. Because we had the game in hand early, it was kind of fun.”
On Thursday, I attended a press conference for the “Got Milk?” campaign. There, former Super Bowl champion and retired NFL quarterback Kurt Warner was the host. Warner unveiled the new advertisement for “Got Milk?” during the press conference. The ad was a poster of Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker and Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks each pouring a jug of milk into a bowl of cereal wearing the classic “milkstache.”
Kurt Warner is the father of seven children, so he finds it extremely important that kids drink milk. At the grocery store, Kurt was given the nickname “Milk Man” because he buys around 9 jugs of milk for his family each week. He talked about his involvement with the “Got Milk?” campaign over the years.
“I’d seen all the pictures. Been through a bunch of magazines where all the individuals had their milk mustaches and thought that would be so cool to be part of that,” Warner said. “I got involved way back in 1999 in my first Super Bowl. And then I was fortunate when I went to the Super Bowl just a few years ago, they asked me to be part of it again. So I’ve been involved a couple of times and enjoyed the process.”
Later in the day, I attended a press conference for Madonna. Madonna will be performing at the Super Bowl for the Bridgestone Halftime Performance. She answered questions in front of hundreds of media members eager to hear what the pop star had to say. I was one of the fortunate 18 reporters that had the opportunity to ask Madonna not just one, but TWO questions.
“What is the craziest thing that you have seen in Indianapolis?” I asked.
The Material Girl, after a thoughtful pause, replied with, “Me!”
After a few chuckles, she gave me another chance at asking her a different question because she felt her answer wasn’t sufficient. On my second question I asked her what she planned on doing in Indy. Madonna said that her kids really looked forward to going to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, which she had heard was great!
Covering Super Bowl Media Day is an intense experience! Players and coaches from both Super Bowl teams are there, waiting to be interviewed. The field is full of reporters and other members of the media. There are people watching from the stands. And then there are some really crazy people!
I got the full Media Day experience yesterday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. This is where the New England Patriots and New York Giants will meet for Super Bowl XLVI (46) on Sunday. But first they met the media — including this Kid Reporter.
Besides interviewing members of the Patriots and Giants, I talked to other NFL players who were there as part of the media. Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars was working for Chad Ochocinco's Network (OCNN.) Brett Keisel of the Pittsburgh Steelers was working with Head and Shoulders Shampoo for the day. Pierre Garcon of the Indianapolis Colts was working for a local news station.
Along with these players-turned-journalists were many spectacular reporters. Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was in attendance working for NFL Network. Peter King, renowned writer for Sports Illustrated and reporter on NBC Football Night in America, was also at Media Day. They both had tips for up-and-coming reporters.
"If you want to be successful read books. I got to where I am by reading," said Peter King.
"Say what you feel and feel what you say," Sanders added. "Always think about where you are going (with your questions), but always listen. Because it may take you somewhere totally different in your next question."
Lindsay Soto of NFL Network also gave some advise on becoming a reporter.
"Write a lot. Pay attention in English classes," Soto said. "There is a lot more writing in this business than you think going in. Read everything you can."
This was all great, but I experienced the less serious side of Media Day, too! The crazy side of Media Day consists of people in absurd clothing and colorful personalities asking silly questions. Los Angeles radio personality Vic "The Brick" Jacobs was promoting "the Year of the Dragon" with his festive Chinese clothing and a yellow dragon hanging around his neck. "Pickboy" from Nickelodeon was also at Media Day enjoying himself and with talking with the NFL players and other media. There were other "reporters" that asked players to wear funny hats or answer very odd questions.
The Super Bowl Media Day is a whirlwind event. There are so many different conversations, questions, stories, and personalities on hand, it is easy to see how Media Day has become so popular.
This Sunday, the New England Patriots and New York Giants will meet in Indianapolis, Indiana, in Super Bowl XLVI (46). But last weekend the teams began arriving in Indianapolis to prepare for the game.
I had the opportunity to attend the Patriots press conference at their hotel after they landed in Indy on Sunday. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady were among the people who spoke to the media.
This is the fifth time Belichick and Brady have competed in the Super Bowl. They have won three championships and lost one. The one Super Bowl they lost? It was to the New York Giants. If the Patriots win Super Bowl XLVI, it will be Belichick's fourth championship as a head coach. This would tie him for the most all-time Super Bowl wins with former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll.
At the press conference, I asked Coach Belichick how it would feel to reach that record.
"It would make me feel pretty good. It's a great honor to be mentioned in the same conversation with Chuck," Belichick said. "Chuck was the coach of the [Pittsburgh] Steelers the first year I was coach of the [Cleveland] Browns. I got to know him my first few years in the league. I coached with several coaches who coached under him at Pittsburgh. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Chuck and the job he did with his team and the organization. So, it is very flattering to be mentioned in the same sentence with Chuck Noll, so thank you for doing that."
Between the personal records and the rematch between the Patriots and the Giants, Super Bowl XLVI will be an exciting one to watch. I'll be covering Super Bowl events all week as the teams and the city prepare for the big game. Stay tuned to this blog and the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps website for my stories!
And check out video of me asking Coach Belichick my question at the Patriots press conference!