On January 31, I attended my first Super Bowl Media Day—quite possibly one of my most memorable experiences in my short journalism career. I tweeted a lot that day—mostly about serious and spiritual things for our subscribers—but there were also a number of tidbits that didn’t make the, uh, dreaded 140-character Twitter limit. I apologize ahead of time for this brief glimpse into my dysfunctional brain…
3:21 a.m. – Wake up ready to go, then realize it’s not even 4 a.m.
Somewhere between 3:22 a.m. and 7 a.m. – Have a dream about purposely tripping Tom Brady at Media Day and justifying my act of violence by saying it’s work related. Seriously.
7 a.m. – Wake up and realize that’s the best dream I’d had in a long, long, time.
Editor’s note: Whenever your archrival makes it to a Super Bowl…in your home city…after your team nearly goes winless…and is on the verge of coughing up the best quarterback to ever play the game…victimized fans deserve the right to say whatever they please regarding their nemesis. Is it a journalistic approach? Nah. But then, is Stephen ever journalistic?
7:27 a.m. – Look in the bathroom mirror and notice that my forehead looks like a Donatos pepperoni pizza. I shake it off by thinking, “Eh, I bet Bob Costas deals with the same thing.”
7:28 a.m. – Consider wearing makeup for the first time.
7:29 a.m. – Mount Kilimanjaro. Erupting.
9:30 a.m. – Walking the streets of Indianapolis and approaching the JW Marriott to pick up media credentials for my colleague and me.
9:33 a.m. – The first person I see is ESPN’s Chris Berman. I can’t tell, but it looks like he’s thanking the doorman in an emphatic way: “TICK, TICK, TICK, WHOOP!, WHOOP!, WHOOP!”
9:34 a.m. – Get the feeling that I’m, once again, a freshman on his first day of high school.
9:37 a.m. – Pickup my media credential, and my media number in the bottom right corner, no lie, reads “66666.” And we’re a Christian sports magazine. Psh.
10:03 a.m. – Arrive at Lucas Oil Stadium with my colleague where the Patriots are answering questions from the media.
10:04 a.m. – Conclude that there can’t possibly be any Christians on New England for me to interview. Why, you say? Easy. They always beat the Colts.
10:08 a.m. – Walking on the field and, literally, the first thing I hear is from wide receiver Matthew Slater’s media booth: “Jesus…Christian…faith.”
10:09 a.m. – God whispers in my ear, “Paul killed Christians. David slept with Bathsheba. Peter denied me three times. Yeah, I think I can use a team who, yes, beat the Colts.”
10:10 a.m. – For the eighth time that day, I respond, “Touché, God.”
Somewhere between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. – Interview several—yes, several—solid Christian New England players, and my whole theological framework falls apart. I realize that “The Patriots are of Satan” can’t be considered dogma.
10:47 a.m. – Ask Brian Waters a question about prayer. Berman interrupts me and shakes his hand. Then Berman looks at me, apologizes, and tells me to continue. I thank him…then proceed to ask two more questions. Milkin’ it.
11:36 a.m. – Interview ESPN columnist and one of my favorite writers, Rick Reilly, about his story on Tim Tebow. I shake his hand after the interview, hoping he transfers some of his writing power through our palms. You know, like the woman who touches Jesus in the eighth chapter of Luke? Or when the players touch that basketball in Space Jam?
(11:36 p.m. on Wednesday evening) – Read through the blog and realize that it didn’t work…at all.
12 p.m. – The Giants take the field.
12:18 p.m. – I uncomfortably observe that the players are no more than mascots at Disney World where everyone wants a piece of them. I sympathize for them.
(Editor’s note: Wow, your first deep thought of the column. That’s at least one thing we can keep.)
12:19 p.m. – Eli Manning looks like Piglet.
(Editor’s note: Not even.)
12:50 p.m. – Winding down Media Day, I conclude that: 1) The media is annoying; 2) Players find it painstaking to talk about football over and over; and 3) They find it refreshing to talk about something important to them like faith or family. That’s where Sports Spectrum comes in.
(Editor’s note: Another deep thought. Punch line?)
12:51 p.m. – Vince Wilfork looks like Pooh.
(Editor’s note: Yes.)
12:54 p.m. – My bold colleague (MBC) vocally outmuscles every other reporter and asks Eli how it feels to be an uncle.
1:15 p.m. – MBC looks at me and says, “Take a picture of this,” then proceeds to sit at Giants head coach Tom Coughlin’s vacant podium.
2:27 p.m. – Arrive back at the JW Marriott, the epicenter of Super Bowl media.
3:03 p.m. – Realize how hungry I am.
3:04 p.m. – Find out that the NBC crew of Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Dan Patrick, Peter King, Bob Costas, and more are answering questions in the JW.
3:05 p.m. – Drink a coffee for lunch…then enter the room.
3:17 p.m. – Dan Patrick says that he tries to watch his language around Tony but lets a few things slip every once in a while.
3:28 p.m. – Peter King shakes my hand. Still no effect.
5:30 p.m. – Drink a coffee for dinner.
9:30 p.m. – Finally eat a real dinner at the Media Party located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
9:35 p.m. – For the first time in my life, I see pink cheese.
9:36 p.m. – For the first time in my life, pink cheese enters my body.
9:40 p.m. – Second plate of coconut shrimp.
9:45 p.m. – Third plate of coconut shrimp.
9:49 p.m. – Bathroom. And I wonder what celebrities had, ahem, sat there, too.
Editor’s note: I’m speechless.
10:43 p.m. – Open bar. Three Cokes down and worried I’m gonna have to call a cab.
10:56 p.m. – About to leave the party when I get to end the night on a perfect note and talk to my idol, Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz. I ask him how he continually improves as a writer. He tells me to read. Everything.
Editor’s note: Finally, he’s listening.