A question about Super Bowl Media Day

First, here’s Sports On Earth’s Mike Tanier on Super Bowl Media Day:

The most notorious event of Super Bowl week: a Roman orgy in which the wine and debauchery have been replaced by banal quotes and poorly concealed hostility. Media Day is our industry’s excuse to stuff a tube down our own metaphorical esophagus and gorge ourselves like foie gras geese on a fatty slurry of pregame hype. The players trapped inside interview booths for hour-long interview marathons are ironically the only people in attendance not trying to draw attention to themselves. The whole event is televised, and sometimes open to the ticketed public, so fans can watch players go glassy eyed at inane questions while reporters jostle each other as if the person who gets 18 inches closer to Pernell McPhee wins an automatic Pulitzer.

Media Day, like many Super Bowl events, has acquired its own gravity and atmosphere, so sportswriting cutups like me are more likely to write about Media Day than to write reports based on the interviews we conduct during Media Day. You might think that this would be a good year to report on the phenomenon of reporting on the phenomenon of Media Day, which I am technically doing in this sentence, but in fact that became a common angle on Media Day about two years ago. At some point, you just stick phrases like “Delanie Walker spoke to a bikini model holding a disco ball dangling from a fishing pole Tuesday,” on a plate with some field greens, then move on to something else.

Tanier’s basic take on Media Day isn’t new or fresh– something he readily acknowledges– even if his way of presenting it was.

The question is, why do the same people who hate Super Bowl Media Day seem to absolutely love the cultural circus that is college football’s SEC Media Days?

This is an open thread.UPDATE: This no longer is an open thread.


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4 thoughts on “A question about Super Bowl Media Day

  1. Indulge me with a little thought that is likely obvious and entirely clear anyways:
    Thought: people who watch, make, follow, etc. media day [and similar such sports related ‘events’] seem to be in the same business as those who write for magazines such as People [I can’t even think of any others off the top of my head]. That is, I am suggesting that famous people’s [athletes or actors] lives can be split into two large [and not entirely separate] categories: what made them famous [catching footballs or pretending to be a fictional character] and talking about/doing other things [“Randy Moss on ‘catfishing’: If I did have an imaginary girlfriend I never told anybody about it” or who married/divorced/cheated on whom]. Of course these frequently overlap as people discuss their unique privileged insights into their respective fields. Based on what I see at the checkout line and the headlines I’ve seen on media day, it seems to me that this isn’t usually the case.

    • Not sure I was able to indulge you to the fullest extent possible, but I will say I agree with you and Tanier, above: more people are writing about media day than are writing about what was actually said there.

      I’m not saying I don’t understand the concept of a media day. What I don’t fully understand is why fans and bloggers (defined to encompass secondary, non-reporter observers) love SEC Media Days but loathe the Super Bowl variety.

      Maybe it’s the timing of the two events. The SB one happens a few days before the biggest game of the year, when goal #1 for players and coaches is to avoid distractions, avoid creating a stir. (Recall the story of Mr. Robinson in the previous post here.) In addition, we’ve already watched these teams all season long. We know the storylines. Nothing new typically happens the week of the game. (I will say, though, that some interesting things did come out around media day this year, including SI’s well-timed story about Ray Lewis and deer-antler-velvet-extract PEDs.)

      On the other hand, SEC Media Days come before the start of the regular season. It’s a signal of a return, like baseball’s pitchers and catchers reporting. Plus, the coaches in that confrence are mostly a bunch of characters who say funny things (RIP Robbie Caldwell) or take potshots at other teams (e.g., Steve Spurrier). There’s plenty of grandstanding because there’s little at risk, especially compared with Super Bowl Media Day, and that’s entertaining, unlike the clams who show up before the “Big Game.”

      Ok, I think I’ve solved it. Thanks all.

  2. Pingback: Ravens vs. 49ers: A losers’ guide to Super Bowl cheering | ALDLAND

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