NFL Media Day: It’s Manning, Newton and Man vs. Puppet


SAN JOSE, Calif. — See that punk with the bulging eyes above, standing between me and Peyton Manning? I came very close to coming to blows with him/her/it Monday night. A Hispanic television crew roamed the floor of San Jose’s SAP Arena for Super Bowl Media Day with two guys holding puppets, attempting to do interviews, while speaking Spanish. Or speaking Puppet. I wasn’t sure because I’m not fluent in either. Anyway, the cartoon that is Media Day is an unfortunate event of Super Bowl week but this was the first time I lost my cool and nearly opened up a can of puppet whup-ass. Why? Because that thing kept “talking” in Spanish or Puppet, while Manning was talking, and the problem was I couldn’t hear Manning, who was intended to be the subject of  my column, not the puppet, who was intended to be the subject of my Media Day homicide. I yelled at the puppet, “Enough! Seriously!” Actually, by that point I wasn’t sure who I was yelling, the puppet or the human. No telling which was the brains of the outfit.


There have been many times when people referred to the media as a bunch of clowns and it angered me on both a personal and professional level. But now, I have no comeback.


Players were introduced in WWE style, emerging from behind a large electronic video board onto a catwalk high above the arena floor. It was really … stupid.


These people were the real suckers. Fans paid to get into Media Day (actually renamed “Opening Night” so credit to the NFL for removing “media” from the name). Face value for the tickets were $27.50. And sold! Some fans reportedly paid $80 on the secondary market. That’s right — there was a secondary market for a ticket to watch players walk around and talk to people.


Roomed with the puppet at the Columbia School of Broadcasting.


Nothing fazes Cam Newton. Not puppets or transvestites or this question:

Media member: “Are you the LeBron of the NFL?”

Newton: “Why can’t LeBron be the Cam Newton of power forwards?”

Meanwhile, in quasi-news . . .

Peyton Manning would not give it up. There was a report that he has told friends Sunday’s Super Bowl will be his final game, which follows the overheard whisper to New England coach Bill Belichick following the AFC title game: “This might be my last rodeo, so it sure has been a pleasure.” But Manning isn’t about to have his imminent retirement steal the spotlight this week, so he told the media, “Yeah, I haven’t made up my mind. But I don’t see myself knowing that until after the season. I kind of stay in the moment and focus on the task at hand.”

For my column on Manning and why it’s silly that anybody would question his legacy, win or lose Sunday, click this link.

Former Georgia star Thomas Davis still insists he’s going to play after having surgery on his broken arm last week. The Carolina linebacker said, “Without a doubt, I will be there playing on Super Bowl Sunday.” He said plans are for him to wear a hard brace but not a cast.

The wheels on the bus go . .

Well, this is no way to start Super Bowl week. One of the Denver Broncos’ team buses was cut off my a driver in traffic on the way back to the hotel from the team’s practice in Sunnyvale, causing minor danger. “It was kind of an exciting bud ride today,” Manning said. “It just adds to the unique season.”

Denver’s DeMarcus Ware Tweeted this picture.

From the Digital Jukebox

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