Check out photos from Patriots Media Day at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona during on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.
PHOENIX – With all the access granted to today's journalists – real and pretend though some of them might be – every day feels like media day at the Super Bowl, but there's actually a specific day set aside for the Fourth Estate. It always falls on the Tuesday preceding the Super Bowl, and it normally takes place on the field where the game will be played.
This year, however, the NFL decided that since the stadium is on the outskirts of Phoenix, it would hold the event in a more centralized location in the capital city.
In the insanely overcrowded US Airways Center, where the NBA's Phoenix Suns play their home games, there were credentialed media crammed into the shrunken footprint of floor space where players and coaches of the participating teams granted their first team-wide interviews of the week
Given that the number of non-football media overwhelms those who actually cover the sport on a full-time basis, the day is more of a self-aggrandizing production where those behind the microphones and cameras are as much a part of the spectacle as the teams taking part in the actual game.
For instance, right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, a German national, was a popular player among the international media. He spent a large portion of the hour-long gab session granting interviews to media from the German-speaking world.
Backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo was cornered by a Spanish-language TV network and asked to discuss the other football – what Americans call soccer. The reporter even came equipped with a ball for her and Garoppolo to kick around on the floor and toss to one another.
Olympians Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, who've become known more for their broadcasting prowess in the figure skating world, teamed up to help NBC with the peacock network's Super Bowl coverage. Weir and Lipinski stood front and center at Chandler Jones' podium to ask him several fashion-related questions, including which jersey he'd rather wear.
Jones pointed out that the last two Super Bowls in which the Patriots appeared, the team wore blue, so, he's hoping that the fact that the club is wearing its road whites this time around – his first Super Bowl appearance – will make a difference in the outcome.
All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, appearing in his first Super Bowl, was given the prestigious Podium #1 and was asked at one point who the best corner in football is.
"Hahahaha," Revis laughed out loud. "You are, man."
The person who asked the question was former NFL great Deion Sanders, now an on-camera personality with NFL Network.
Most of the questions the players faced were of the ridiculous variety. And of course there were the costumes. This year's most outlandish was that of a radio personality who showed up in nothing more than a black cowboy hat, sneakers, and a barrel around his midsection supported only by suspenders. It's pretty hard to be taken seriously or to answer questions seriously when your interlocutor is dressed like that.
Yet, the players and coaches didn't seem to mind. In fact, not talking about football may have been exactly what many of them wanted as they prepare for the final days of practice.
Media Day is compulsory for every player and coach in the Super Bowl. Both teams spend an hour each taking questions that run the gamut from the serious to the silly. It's a time, amid all the stress and hype and overdone coverage, for the media as a whole to have a little fun themselves.
For the normally shy and reclusive Jamie Collins, one of 15 team members given his own podium, the entire scene was… entertaining.
"It's cool. If it's something I could control, I wouldn't do it because I feel like it could be a distraction. But it's cool.
"It's fun," he added, speaking about Super Bowl week in general. "One you're here, there's no way to explain it. It's the best feeling."
Which, I suppose, is the whole point of Media Day.