By Peter Schwartz
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I don’t normally start these blogs with any of the secondary events that take place here at the Super Bowl, but I think this is very different.
Every year on Super Bowl Thursday, the halftime show performers hold a press conference — and that meant Beyonce would be speaking to reporters for the first time since she lip-synched the national anthem at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Beyonce took a lot of heat for lip-synching, so this press conference was an opportunity to respond to her critics. So after she was introduced, Beyonce grabbed a microphone, stepped onto the stage and delivered her response in the best way that she could!
What a way to say ‘&%$#@ you!’ in a very nice way. Beyonce spoke openly about the controversy, saying that she always sings live but chose to lip-synch at the inauguration because she didn’t want to take any chances.
“Well, I am a perfectionist and, one thing about me, I practice until my feet bleed,” said Beyonce. “I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra. It was a live television show and a very very important emotional show for me, one of my proudest moments. Due to the weather, due to the delay, due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk. It was about the President and the Inauguration, and I wanted to make him and my country proud. So I decided to sing along with my pre-recorded track, which is very common in the music industry and I’m very proud of my performance.”
Beyonce was also asked to confirm rumors that there will be a Destiny’s Child reunion on Sunday, but wouldn’t say either way.
YOU ARE NOW EXCUSED
The Ravens and 49ers met the media for the final time before the Super Bowl. There are always some players who will admit that all of the extra media responsibilities are a pain in the butt, there are some who just deal with it, and then there are some players like Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta who actually enjoys it.
“I’ve enjoyed it,” said Pitta. “I got to speak broken Spanish for a bunch of interviews so it’s been a good time.”
Now there’s a guy who gets it!
I’ve joked on and off the air all week about some of the “reporters” that are in town to cover the game. This might not seem like a big deal to people who are not in the media, but when you hear reporters complain and moan about how difficult this week is, this picture may turn you in the direction of understanding our plight.
And they say the Jets are a circus.
I mean if those two can get a Super Bowl credential, then maybe the “Dog With A Blog” should be here too! I actually have embraced the fact that this takes place during Super Bowl week and it really doesn’t bother me. In fact, I get a kick out of seeing these people in action every year.
There was actually some real reporting going on. Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger hopped on with Joe and Evan on WFAN. As you can see, he was pretty relaxed using my cell phone for the interview.
I’ve really enjoyed covering the Ravens all week. The players have been great to talk to, including the likes of Ray Rice and Michael Oher.
The next time we’ll hear from the players will be after the Super Bowl.
That is, unless the clown and the lady can land an exclusive with somebody!
THIS IS A TEST
Before he went to the scouting combine to show off his abilities to NFL teams before the 2008 draft, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco worked out with the TEST Football Academy. Among those that he worked with on the staff was former Giants quarterback Scott Brunner. This week, I caught up with Brunner to talk about Flacco back then and Flacco today.
THE SUPER BOWL OFFICIALS
Sorry I didn’t get this in yesterday but the NFL announced the seven-man Super Bowl officials crew on Wednesday. The referee is Jerome Boger, who is in his ninth season as an NFL game official.
“We congratulate Jerome and his entire crew on being assigned to work at Super Bowl XLVII,” said NFL Vice President of Officiating Carl Johnson. “Just like the two competing teams, every member of this officiating crew has had an outstanding season and earned this honor. We are confident that they will have a great game on Sunday.”
The rest of the crew is as follows: Darrell Jenkins (umpire), Steve Stelljes (head linesman), Byron Boston (line judge), Craig Wrolstad (field judge), Joe Larrew (side judge) and Dino Paganelli (back judge).
This crew has 77 years of collective NFL officiating experience and 50 combined playoff game assignments. The NFL uses an evaluation system allowing the highest rated officials at each position to earn the right to work the Super Bowl. All Super Bowl officials must have at least five years of NFL experience and previous playoff experience.
The replay official will be Bill Spyksma while the replay assistant will be Terry Sullivan.
THE NFL EXPERIENCE
The annual NFL Experience is open for business here in New Orleans. It’s an interactive football fanfest with something for everyone. My wife jokes that she has three kids… two she gave birth to and one that she married.
Here’s what she’s talking about:
I really like going to the NFL Experience, as it’s a ton of fun for football fans of all ages. It’s too bad that next year when the Super Bowl is in NY/NJ that there won’t be an NFL Experience. Since the Javits Center is booked, there isn’t a suitable place to have it in our area (is that amazing?), so many of the exhibits will be outside, starting in Times Square at 44th Street and stretching down to 34th street.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
On Friday morning, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and his brother, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, will hold a joint press conference. This is the first time that the NFL has had a joint press conference with the head coaches on Super Bowl Friday.
I wonder why?
Later in the morning, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will hold his annual Super Bowl State of the NFL press conference. This should be very interesting as topics of conversation will likely include the reception he’s received in New Orleans after Bountygate, player safety, the SI Ray Lewis story, next year’s cold weather Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, and the league’s interest in placing a team in London.
After not getting the opportunity to ask a question the last two years, I hope that the microphone finds its way over to me this year!
The league will also hold a press conference with the finalists for the 2012 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The three finalists are Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals, Joe Thomas of the Browns, and Jason Witten of the Cowboys.
The winner will be announced at the second annual “NFL Honors” awards show on Saturday, Feb. 2. The winner will then be honored live on the field just prior to kickoff of Super Bowl XLVII and he will also receive a $25,000 donation in his name to a charity of his choice. The award is the only league recognition that acknowledges a player’s off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence.
That’s all for now. Check back tomorrow for more!
Super Bowl XLVII will be broadcast on CBS, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.