Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Dose Of Reality From Telemundo

Yesterday, we got to witness the circus sideshow that has become Super Bowl media day. There was a time when this day represented a chance for serious journalists to pursue multiple storylines and get quotes from coaches and players to create 2 week's worth of articles.

Today it's more
of a chance for television and radio personalities to do their own jokes and use the players as a yielding part of the entertainment. What it has become is the media's own Super Bowl to see who can come up with the best shtick. And leading the charge are the media stations that pander to our Hispanic brethren.

Perhaps it's the fact that American football isn't a religious experience to the Spanish speaking crowd. Maybe American journalists would screw around more if they ever actually covered soccer. All I know is that stations like Telemundo and TV Azteca have turned the week leading up to the Super Bowl into a light-hearted affair. And to them I say buen trabajo.

In the past, the media had taken themselves WAY too seriously at the Super Bowl as they tried unearth some ground-shaking story that might win them an award or something. Media members were so tight that Ferris Bueller could do his whole turning a lump of coal into a diamond trick with them. And the questions still sucked, it's just that players didn't have as much fun.

Ask Doug Williams if he enjoyed being asked how long he had been a black quarterback. I'm sure he enjoyed the 205 questions he got about that. Players got ridiculous questions all the time, but they w
ere asked without a hint of humor.

Today we've got the same types of questions, but they are mixed in with stupid stunts and pranks. Players seem to enjoy themselves so much more now because they know half the of the questions asked to them don't mean a thing.

Last year, T
om Brady was treated to the Telemundo bride who kept asking him to marry her. This year, the players had fun with the Hispanic female host who simply went around measuring biceps and comparing them to her waist size. Then there was the Telemundo bride dressed in drag. I'm not sure what that was all about, but I guarantee you the coaches and players got a good chuckle out of it.

Though they seem to lead the charge, stations like Telemundo aren't the only ones having some fun on media day, there are plenty of honkies in on the action too. Entertainment Tonight had lineman participating in a dancing contest, there was the sports fiddler who wore overalls and played a fiddle every time he asked a question. Jay Leno sends some of his staff to do Super Bowl bits.
They aren't funny, but what can you expect from Jay Leno? Half the time, media members just interview each other for better sound bites and the players are left alone.

And people ENJOY it. It's a game. I'm sure Steelers kicker Jeff Reed would rather do a joke series about his bleached afro than answer how kicking in Tampa is different than kicking in Pittsburgh. Do you think Dominique Rodgers Cromartie had some fun with questions about who would win a fight between his allegedly mammoth johnson and Gary Coleman? I'm sure he'd rather joke about that than answer questions about the difference between covering small college receivers and Santonio Holmes (the answer is that the small college receivers can't carry as much pot with in their uniforms since they don't have the money to buy it.)

The Super Bowl media still has its resident grouches and arrogant ego-maniacs that think of themselves as the sports version of Woodward and Bernstein. But fewer people are listening to these people, especially when guys like Chris Mortensen keep screwing stories up in his desperate effort to be the first one with the scoop.

Super Bowl media day is changing and it's becoming more fun to deal with (now if they could only get rid of Deion Sanders...... ) For that I must think the Spanish speaking stations for giving us perspective before the big event. It’s just a game and we should remember that because in Nigeria, police are holding a goat because people claim it robbed a bank. You can bet the goat isn’t having nearly as much fun as they are at media day.

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