INDIANAPOLIS -- Osi Umenyiora was a no-show during the Giants' media availability on Wednesday morning and was fined $20,000 by the NFL.
“I misunderstood the schedule," Umenyiora explained in a statement released by the team. "It won’t happen again, and I will be at tomorrow’s media session and available after the game. I apologize for any inconvenience my absence this morning may have caused.”
The defensive end spoke to the media for an hour during Tuesday's media day but was not available for the mandatory 45-minute news interview session at the team hotel on Wednesday morning. He was one of six Giants who were featured on risers to talk to the media while the rest of the team was available in a large conference room. Justin Tuck and Tom Coughlin were on the main stage for their press conferences.
The absence did not appear to be anything major. A source said Umenyiora was in team meetings shortly after the media session was done.
Coincidentally, Patriots' left tackle Matt Light did meet with the media after missing practice and Super Bowl media day due to illness. Umenyiora and Light have been involved in two skirmishes in previous meetings on the field and the defensive end had said last week that he wasn't a Light fan.
On media day on Tuesday, Umenyiora praised Light and refused to say he hated the Patriots' offensive lineman.
"Matt Light is obviously a good football player," Umenyiora said. "I don't have him at all, honestly. We don't play each other enough for true hatred to develop. This is maybe my second or third time playing against Matt Light. There is no hatred there. Some of the things he has done, I wish he wouldn't have, but we're both professionals and he seems to be a good guy."
Light met with reporters at Patriots media availability yesterday and was asked about Umenyiora.
“Can you have an individual rivalry?” Light told reporters on Wednesday. “I thought rivalries were maybe between teams in general. Hey, look, I’m ready to go out there and play whatever game I’ve got to play, we’ll have fun doing it. I’m not sure that comes with a personal level, though.”
"I don’t know the guy personally, and we’re not pen pals,” Light added. “We’ve played football against each other. I’m not sure how you categorize that. No, I wouldn’t view it as anything anymore than anybody else I’ve ever faced.”