The National Football League’s annual circus known as Super Bowl Media Day came and went on Tuesday, as there were roughly 5,000 media credentials issued and for the first time more than 7,000 fans in attendance.
The NFL Would Sell The Air You Breathe If they Could
For the first time ever, a certain sect of the general public was allowed to attend Media Day provided they purchase tickets at $25 each which were reportedly later scalped at more than 10X that figure.
Yes, the public purchased tickets to watch the media ask questions.
Perhaps many of those who plopped down the $25 to watch us go to work were hoping for an Ines Sainz wardrobe malfunction or they were mystified by 100 reporters standing around watching Bill Belichick say virtually nothing about anything, but this is your media day.
There is no truth to the rumor that Roger Goodell is lobbying to charge PSL’s for attendance to shopping malls that sell NFL merchandise and electronics stores that sell televisions which you could watch the National Football League on.
Pulling A Freddie Mitchell
Bill Belichick will emphatically tell you, or perhaps Freddie Mitchell will too, the first rule of media day is to not give the opposing team any bulletin board material. As easy as this sounds, there are always a few players that “slip-up,” in one capacity or another.
At this point we bring you to New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle who pulled a Joe Namath at this morning’s event.
“We’re going to win this thing,” Rolle said, via Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger. “We’re going to win this thing for a lot of good reasons.”
Quickly realizing the error of his ways, Rolle backtracked as a reporter asked him a follow-up question.
“I didn’t say we’re going to win, I said we’re going to go out there and do whatever it takes to win,” Rolle said. “I didn’t guarantee anything.”
Too late Antrel. Imagine how early he’s going to have to show up to Tom Coughlin’s meetings now?
Does it matter at all that Rolle said the Giants were going to win? Absolutely not. Both teams are unquestionably motivated and all the talk in the world means very little once the ball is kicked off.
Gronk Ankle Hurt, Gront Not Allowed To Talk About It
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski’s ankle has been one of the biggest Super Bowl stories, aside of course from Peyton Manning who isn’t actually playing in the game. “Gronk” was walking around the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium with no walking boot, nor did he have a noticeable limp, which seems miraculous considering his father said last week in a radio interview that Rob suffered a high-ankle sprain in the Pats AFC Championship Game victory over Baltimore.
We couldn’t get any confirmation on the injury from actor Rob Lowe, but Gronkowski was rolled up on pretty severely in a fourth period reception.
“I’m improving every day, Gronkowski said. “When you’re hurt you want to improve every day.”
Gronkowski later added, “We’re just going day-by day and taking it day-by-day.”
“Tomorrow’s a new day and we’ll have to see what happens tomorrow.”
Rob Gronkowski folks, taking a chapter straight out of the Bill Belichick cliche handbook.
Peyton Continues to be the Biggest Manning
Although Eli Manning has matched his older brother Peyton’s postseason success, Peyton was the biggest Manning story on Super Bowl Media Day and will likely remain so throughout the offseason.
With the Super Bowl being played in Peyton’s current home, his health and impending split from the Colts has been a trending topic around NFL circles. The story is magnified in Indianapolis as they will have to say goodbye to the player that has brought the franchise unparralelled success throughout the past decade.
Brother of Peyton, Eli Manning who by the way is trying to win his second Super Bowl title played to the pro-Colts, pro-Peyton crowd during Media Day.
“Peyton has had an unbelievable career and in my opinion is the best I’ve ever seen play football,” Eli said. “My goal is to get to his level of play. That’s something I’ve worked on.”
As for the Peyton Manning health mystery, the eldest Manning has announced in an exclusive ESPN interview that he’s on track for a return next season.
“Doctors and I have been in good, constant communication,” said Manning. “And I’m very encouraged by what they’ve said. Everything’s right on point, I’ll be cleared and ready to play.”
If Peyton does get a clean bill of health, no fewer than a third of the league will actively pursue his talents and he may be the most sought after free agent in the history of the league, even at 36 years old.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie