||U Miami F Darius Rice:
Jerry Rice's nephew had Super Bowl-sized karma, scoring 43 and hitting a buzzer-beating desperation 3 off an inbounds steal to lead Miami to an upset over UConn.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Think of a long, hot car trip, with bratty
kids in the backseat repeating over and over: "Are we
there yet? Are we there yet?" That's Super Bowl Media
Day, and today, there will be no
satisfaction until every player and coach is asked 200
times some variation of: "So what about this whole
'Jon Gruden-Raiders grudge' thing?"
Teams hope their players stay disciplined and don't
get baited into saying something the other team would
find inspirational (as if a Super Bowl game is won or
lost with a juicy quote); every media type is trying
to be the person to elicit the quote (as if
there's such thing as a "scoop" when there are 50
microphones for every player).
Players and coaches must have feelings on the
Gruden/grudge issue, yet they'll likely keep them
bottled up; fans, meanwhile, have a big appetite for
this particular drama but will likely go unsatisfied.
Here's a dream solution: a 15-minute free-for-all
where everyone says what they feel like; if everyone
was doing it, both sides of smack would cancel each
other out, mitigating the usual risk of generating the bulletin-board quote that
leads SportsCenter. Meanwhile, there is enough
choice talk for every media person to get a unique
piece of the action. We get our juice; the teams get
to vent. Then maybe we can focus on the game.
YOUR Media Day
Media Day is also the most populist moment of
the NFL season, because ESPN.com's army of
correspondents will be asking your questions,
among others. Please don't submit, "How long have you
been a 37-year-old quarterback?" Something
baiting, however, like "How long have you hated Jon Gruden?" would be fun. I'd personally like to find out from
quote-machine Frank Middleton: "If you could be any
pirate from history or literature, who would it be?"
Hopefully he'd reply with something like: "All we talk
about in our locker room is how much we hate that
Submit your question here!
||"MORE CLICHED MEDIA DAY QUESTIONS" EDITION
|CONVERSATION TOPICS THAT ARE IN PLAY:|
1. To T. Brown: "What does this mean to you?"|
2. To J. Rice: "Compare this to other SBs."
3. To A. Davis: "Are you moving to L.A.?"
|CONVERSATION TOPICS THAT ARE SO OVER:|
1. To J. Gruden: "Who's your pick for American Idol II?"|
2. To K. Johnson: "Do you have anything to say?"
3. To A. Davis: "Where can I buy a satin sweatsuit?"
One Week Enough
Enjoy this frenzied one-week lead-up to the
game; next year, the NFL is going back to two
weeks between conference championships and the Super Bowl.
Is it about giving teams more time to prep? Giving
players more time to deal with getting their families
to the game? Allowing even more hype to build?
Off-the-field details notwithstanding, teams don't
need two weeks to get ready; if it was enough time for
the Patriots to devise a game plan last
year, it's enough time for any team.
The only thing that seems unfair this year is that one
week is an advantage for the team taking a short hop
from Oakland, rather than a long haul from Florida.
Gruden carved out a little extra time to game-plan
(suddenly it's a verb?) by sticking around Tampa
yesterday, rather than flying out with the team. It
was the non-story of the day, and he's arriving this
morning in time to answer questions like "How long
have you hated Jon Gruden?"
The NFL says that it has had no discussions
about contingencies in case the U.S. launches an attack on Iraq before Sunday. I have this
from-left-field theory that
the U.S. would never
launch an attack before the Super Bowl, because the
game might be cancelled, and the White House
understands that the country needs the Super
Bowl -- arguably the most collectively "American"
event of the year -- particularly if we're heading
into a war of undetermined length and intensity. The
game itself is inconsequential in the bigger picture;
the Super Bowl as national experience is important.
On a smaller scale, game security will be as
tight as last year, but managed by the San Diego
police, as opposed to the Secret Service. Don't expect
to see the usual cavalcade of Raider Nation freaks,
however; chains, spikes and all other weaponry that
Raiders fans think shows their devotion will
be prohibited. (Not that there are too many tickets for
the actual fans. But watch out for the cavalcade of
corporate-executive freaks, with their Blackberrys,
cell phones and all other weaponry.)
Nuggets rookie tried to trash-talk MJ and got this reply: "You watched me. I didn't watch you." Ouch.
|It's Media Day! But we've got questions for you.|
|Vote at SportsNation|
|Today on ESPN.com|
|P2: Media dumbness|
|P2: Super Sex|
|IN: NBA rumors|
Make no mistake: This season, the Cavs would have
eight wins with LeBron ...|
Speaking of King James: He scored 32 last night in
front of the biggest crowd in N.C. history to watch a
prep game ...
Calgary's Harvey the Hound deserved to have its tongue
pulled out by Oilers coach Craig MacTavish. What is a
mascot doing being allowed to taunt a coach from
two feet away? ...
Want pain? Try watching the Knicks and Heat combine
for 57 points in the first half yesterday ...
Arizona is a pretty uninspiring No. 1 college hoops
Combustible Jeremy Shockey should put a fixed
percentage of his salary into a "Future Fines Cookie
Jar," following the playoff-antics $10K the NFL nicked
him for yesterday ...
Jefferson, Richardson, Mason, Amare: The NBA couldn't
find just one underdog, bench-warming All-Star dunk