TAMPA — Okay, so let me get this straight …
There's plenty of time this week to discuss offensive play-calling and defensive philosophies. But the real issues of Super Bowl XLIII get addressed today at the annual circus known as media day.
This is where one reporter wearing high heels and a mini-skirted wedding dress proposed to the quarterback, another brought a monkey puppet to ask questions and a third probed who players thought should portray them in a movie. And that was just last year.
There's open access to all players and coaches, and it seems like open season.
As if we in the "mainstream" media don't ask stupid enough questions, media day gets even more excessive with the inclusion of bloggers and foreign (representing a record 28 countries) and entertainment media. This year's list includes crews from Access Hollywood, E!, CMT, the late-night talk shows, Inside Edition, People magazine and Ellen.
The diverse group reflects the broad interest in the event, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "And we always appreciate media interviewing media about how much media there is."
The economy is bad and the media business worse, but you won't be able to tell this week. McCarthy said they issued 4,589 credentials (second most in history) from a record 633 media organizations.
The Lingerie Bowl was canceled because organizers were concerned that the people watching the game wouldn't be wearing enough clothes?
Maybe it's just us, but having women who already are playing football in skimpy underwear do so at the Caliente clothing optional resort didn't seem to be much of a stretch.
But Lingerie Football League president Stephon McMillen (and how do you get that job?) told our Emily Nipps that they didn't want to be in a "potentially negative" and "less than comfortable environment that would ultimately jeopardize the mainstream perception and reputation" of their brand.
It's true: You really can't make this stuff up.
Sex, lies and videotape? What exactly do the players do with those videos they were shooting Monday as they got off the plane? Are they going to tape all their activities this week? And how quickly will Matt Leinart's end up on pay-per-view?
Retired Buc Mike Alstott does a lot of wonderful things for charity and good causes, and meeting with an 11-year-old boy, Brandon Saunders, who lost a leg in a boating accident is another. Wednesday, Alstott and Saunders will be at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to, and we quote from the news release, "team up with Winter the famous tailless dolphin to pick a winner of Super Bowl XLIII. Two footballs will be thrown into the water and she will bring her trainer back one of them representing the team she thinks will win."
Providing news, or perpetuating a stereotype? Here is what an Associated Press story that is distributed worldwide said: "The week of Super Bowl XLIII is to Tampa's naughty nightlife what Black Friday is to America's shopping malls."
The Super Bowl is always an exercise in entrepreneurship, and Gallagher's Steak House — in Tampa and New York — rarely misses a chance to take a bit. This year's specials? The Larry Fitzgerald Filet Mignon, Betrand Berry Pie, Ben Roethlis-burger, Rooney Ribeye. There's also an Anquan Boldin Sliced Beefsteak, though wouldn't it have been more appropriate to make his a wine?