Here comes media day madness


Get ready for the Super Bowl’s train-wreck TV as networks such as NFL Network and ESPN gear up to cover Tuesday’s media day.

Part interview session, part freak show, part entertainm­ent, media day has become an event in itself. The NFL is dishing out 2,000 media credential­s and selling tickets for the first time for fans to watch the show in person at Indianapol­is’ Lucas Oil Stadium.

Look for ex-players-turned-tv analysts such as NFL Network’s Deion Sanders to bigfoot grumbling print reporters. And for the annual invasion of publicitys­eeking “correspond­ents” from The Tonight Show, Entertainm­ent Tonight, Access Hollywood, etc.

Then there are the antics of some foreign reporters. Who can forget TV Azteca’s Ines Gomez, wearing a wedding dress, asking quarterbac­k Tom Brady to marry her four years ago?

NFL Network will devote nearly five hours of coverage and use 28 cameras for media day (or about the same number it uses to cover a regular-season game), executive producer Eric Weinberger says. And why not? A record 1.3 million viewers tuned in last year, up 77% from the year before.

“Media day has transcende­d sports,” Weinberger says.

ESPN will have NFL Live’s Trey Wingo and Mark Schlereth on the field. There will be live hits on Sportscent­er, spokesman Bill Hofheimer says.

John Mcclain, veteran football columnist for the Houston Chronicle, says he’s fascinated by the growth of media day.

But the stupid questions and grandstand­ing by entertainm­ent reporters don’t sit well with some of his newspaper colleagues who can’t get a question in while the likes of Sanders and Gomez hog the limelight.

“I know a lot of writers are very resentful of the fact it’s become what it has been: a separate event instead of a media day where everybody comes to get informatio­n to help them write their stories,” Mcclain says.

At least it’s better than it was in the old days, he says, when jostling media members would get into fistfights.

“It’s a combinatio­n of a circus and a black hole seeing the characters that are down there,” Mcclain says.

Meanwhile, NBC Sports Network’s SportsTalk will kick off 19 hours of live coverage from Indianapol­is today. The show will air from 4 to 7 p.m. ET daily, except Thursday when it will air from 4 to 8 p.m. and serve as lead-in to the debut of Costas Tonight.

 ??  ?? Sports on TV By Michael Mccarthy
Sports on TV By Michael Mccarthy

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