On Tuesday, the media horde descended upon the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the annual madness that is Media Day. Hundreds of media members from television, radio and print outlets revved up the microphones and video cameras to interview the participants of Super Bowl XLVII.
Of course, there are always media members in costumes and outrageous outfits to add to the spectacle. Tuesday’s gabfest was no exception, as warriors, clowns and luchadors stalked the Superdome in search of sound bytes.
Naturally, the throng gravitated toward the individuals at the heart of the game’s three biggest stories: Colin Kaepernick, Ray Lewis and the Brothers Harbaugh. Other players and coaches were scattered throughout the sidelines and into the stands during the two one-hour sessions.
Lewis’ appearance came briefly after an SI report focused on PED use, so the assembled press was eager to get the first sound byte. He dismissed the report and the reporter.
There were times when players stepped out of the staid commentary that has been the staple of such events. Most of the answers are safe and straightforward. In some instances, however, a quote comes out that develops into a much larger story.
Reporters and radio hosts were buzzing about Randy Moss’ claim to be the greatest wide receiver ever all of Tuesday. The idea of “Moss and Toss” and his place in the list of great receivers made for easy call-in efforts and a review of the position’s history.
Moss was knocked out of the top billing on Wednesday by 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver, who talked to The Artie Lange Show during Media Day. Lange asked Culliver about gay players in the locker room, and his derisive response has become one of the top midweek stories.
The 49ers denounced Culliver’s remarks on Wednesday afternoon in a statement. He is expected to address the media on Thursday.
Eventually, reporters will move back to the X’s and O’s and update those initial top stories (the Harbaugh parents could do additional press conferences). In the interim, there will be myriad product pitches as athletes and celebrities start to arrive for the party circuit.