In seven days the biggest sporting event in America, perhaps the world, will kick off. One game to decide who will hoist the Lombardi Trophy in Santa Clara in the 50th Superbowl. Before the game, however, there will be a media frenzy all over Santa Clara as writers, tv hosts and ex-players turned experts will all be talking about one thing. The Superbowl. Both teams, AFC Champion Denver Bronocs and the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers, will be grilled in a gruelling media day where the aforementioned media will get the chance to spend time with players from both teams and asking them questions about the game. As we learned last year some players aren’t too happy about media day, missing it results in a fine, and will turn up with the intention of answering no questions.
Marshawn Lynch, in his attempts to answer no questions, became the focus on media day his now famous interview (See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1kvwXsZtU8) showed that players can use media day to make a statement. Marshawn Lynch disagrees with many mandatory media appearances and the punishment that comes with them and use the biggest mandatory media appearance to make that known. In a similar interview for Superbowl 48 ‘I’m just about that action, boss’ Unlike many NFL players he allows his game to speak for him and was ‘only here so I don’t get fined’.
The Broncos are used to media day, having appeared in Superbowl 48, with many of the veteran players still playing for them. The biggest interview/attraction for media day will be the future Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning. One of the best Quarterbacks of all time he is playing in his fifth Super Bowl in the search for his second Super Bowl victory. His second Super Bowl with the Broncos he will be hoping that it goes better than his last Super Bowl appearance which ended with a 43-8 smacking by the Seattle Seahawks. It won’t be the most charismatic interview or one with grand statements because that is not who Peyton is. He will most likely be asked about his future as he approaches his 40th birthday just a month and a half after the Super Bowl. Especially having been overheard in the AFC Championship telling opposing head coach, Bill Bellichick (Who have great mutual respect for each other) that is probably his last rodeo.
The Panthers, making their first Super Bowl appearance in 12 years, will be new to the new age media day. A team who have become the team to be in the NFL after about a decade of struggles. The likely MVP Cam Newton, much like his counterpart Manning, will be the biggest attraction on Media Day. Cam has had to deal with a lot since being drafted number 1 overall in the 2011 draft. Even in College he had question marks but the main focus on media day will be about how he feels going into his first Super Bowl. Having won a National Championship in college he knows the big stage. The Panthers will also have to deal with the pressure of being favourites heading into the big game. An unusual position for recent years but they have dealt with for almost the whole season.
This is the first of a week of posts leading up to and including the Super Bowl. Media Day is Monday 1st Feb 2016 and I will posts some thoughts on Media Day after the day is over.