What Did We Really Learn From Super Bowl Media Day?

That members of NFL teams are determined not to let us learn anything of note about the game

One of my favorite things about Super Bowl Media Day is this:

Nowhere else on earth will you find as much talking with as little being said.

All 106 players, plus the head coaches and coordinators, are available to speak with the 6,000 or so media members in attendance. All of them are asked multiple questions. None of them say anything (I think they all learned from Falcons defensive back Ray Buchanan wearing a dog collar, calling out Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe, then watching Denver beat Atlanta to a pulp, 34-19 in Super Bowl XXXIII).

So, these days you get a whole lot of clichés and learn basically nothing about the game we’re all allegedly here to cover. The Seahawks and Patriots were on top of their say-nothing game in Phoenix. Here’s a sampling of the answers to a few questions on Tuesday.

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll on how to beat the Patriots:

“The game plan for us is to play like we always play. That’s the big challenge, that we can play with the same kind of intensity and attitude, the execution that gives us the chance to win. So, regardless of what they do, we have to play like we’re capable of playing. That’s a greater challenge in itself, but that’s really what we’re after. If we do that, that gives us our best chance to win.”

New England head coach Bill Belichick on how to beat the Seahawks:

“Seattle’s a great football team. We’re going to need a great effort out of everybody: our offense, defense, special teams, coaching staff. Seattle’s very good in all phases of the game. They’re well coached. They have a lot of great players. You can see why they were a championship team last year and why they’ve had so much success with the No. 1 seed in the NFC this year. So we’re going to have to do a lot of things well, we’re going to have to do them consistently for four quarters and that will be a big challenge for us. It’s going to take all of the above.”

Seattle defensive back Richard Sherman on playing against a QB like Tom Brady:

“It’s fun, it’s fun for competitors. It’s a great challenge for us and anybody who’s ever been an elite competitor or an elite player enjoys those moments against other great players. It brings the best out of you. I think we as a group and as a team enjoy going against an elite team because it brings the best out of us.”

New England quarterback Tom Brady on the spectacle that is Super Bowl week:

“Well, we just got down here yesterday so we’re trying to obviously get settled here in our hotel. It’s a big game, obviously, with a lot going on here. But we’re locked in on practicing. It starts tomorrow.”

Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin on the Patriots defense:

“Sound. They are extremely dangerous because they are athletic. They are physical. They fly around to the ball. They are one of the fastest front seven we have seen. We are anxious about the opportunity. We know that they have some dogs over there. We know about the dogs on our defense, so like I said we are just excited about the opportunity.”

New England tight end Rob Gronkowski on the Seahawks defense:

“They’re very, very good. They’re very, very talented. Very, very tough mentally and physically. Probably one of the best defenses out there, if not the best defense. We’ve got to go out there and prepare and we’ve got to be ready.”
Not exactly earth-shattering stuff here, is it?

Of course, part of the problem is the football guys are not getting fed great questions and are not asked to elaborate when they spew the obvious, and that’s our fault as media members. But, for the foreseeable future, Super Bowl Media Day will be more about reporters trying out out-outrageous one another and the NFL making lots of money.

They did, after all, have it sponsored by Gatorade and sell a few thousand tickets to fans for the event.

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