Schwartz: Postcard From New Orleans — Media Mania!
By Peter Schwartz
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Tuesdays during Super Bowl week are known for two things — media day and the media party.
Having said that, it turned out to be quite the eventful day here in New Orleans.
The buses rolled out of the convention center on Tuesday morning carrying the large throng of reporters to the Superdome. For the second straight year, fans were in attendance as they were able to buy tickets for the event. They received a gift bag that included a radio that allowed them to listen to various players’ press conferences on different channels.
The 49ers session was first. Since I’m covering the Ravens all week, I used that time to walk around and get a feel of the atmosphere. Super Bowl media day attracts plenty of non-football reporters, and Tuesday was no different. What’s funnier: This guy who looks like a professional wrestler or the puzzled look on the reporter standing behind him?
And then we have Katherine Webb. She is the former Miss Alabama who drew national attention when she was shown on television watching her boyfriend Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron during the BCS title game. She’s here covering the Super Bowl for “Inside Edition.”
I had a chance to chat with Katherine for a minute. She’s having a blast in New Orleans!
It seems like she’s still pretty level-headed, and I get the feeling we haven’t seen the last of her. I wonder how AJ is dealing with this?
Okay, back to football now!
Here is former Jets and Saints offensive lineman Jonathan Goodwin who is now with the 49ers. What a week this is for him as he’s back in New Orleans for the Super Bowl a few years after winning it all with the Saints.
During the break for lunch, we found out about the SI story that suggested that Ray Lewis may have taken a banned substance during his recover from a torn triceps. As you can see, there was a tremendous amount of reporters around his riser.
Lewis really didn’t want to talk about the controversy, saying that it’s a two-year-old story and that he didn’t want to give the writers any publicity.
So another Super Bowl Media Day has come and gone. I can say without hesitation that I survived it because I actually was amused by all of the shenanigans.
A lot of the reporters look at it as a nuisance — but I have come to embrace it and take it for what it is: Mayhem!
THE MEDIA PARTY
The annual Super Bowl media party was held at Mardi Gras World here in New Orleans. The host committee puts this party on every year for the thousands of reporters that have gathered. However, I have noticed that if you know the right people you can get into the party without being a reporter.
There were about 40 local restaurants that were dishing out samples of their famous dishes. (Yeah I know I have a tough job, but someone has to do it.) There were New Orleans favorites including catfish, gumbo, jambalaya, alligator, and other Cajun specialties.
The party extended outside to this Riverboat that had docked in the Mississippi River. Later in the night, the media assembled on the boat for a ride before returning to Mardi Gras World. Then, on the way out, I ran into the New Orleans Saints Cheerleaders.
Yeah, again, I know, I have a tough job!
All in all, it was a pretty enjoyable evening.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
On Wednesday, the 49ers and Ravens will hold media sessions at their respective hotels.
There are also a number of other Super Bowl related events.
There will be a Super Bowl security press conference where the NFL discusses the steps taken to ensure that everyone is safe on Super Sunday in the Superdome. Also, the NFL Experience opens for business at the convention center as fans can take part in interactive games, see plenty of football exhibits. including the Vince Lombardi Trophy, take a picture holding the jersey of your favorite team as if you were just taken in the NFL Draft, and empty your bank account at the NFL Super Bowl shop.
I have a feeling I might be using my credit card a bit starting on Wednesday.
That’s all for now. Check back tomorrow for more!
Is Media Day your favorite part of Super Bowl week? (And no, the game doesn’t count.) Be heard in the comments!