Welcome to the NFL. Where if you’re a real journalist, they don’t want you to be a part of NFL Media Day.
Okay, that’s a little harsh, and I don’t mean any disrespect to the hundreds of legitimate journalists assigned to cover Media Day on Tuesday in Newark, NJ. Those Denver Broncos beat writers, those Seattle Seahawks beat writers, the New York-area press, the national football writers, etc.
But the NFL has turned the S*per B*wl event (see what I did there – don’t want to use the words “Super Bowl” and get sued by the NFL!) into Mardi Gras. An entertainment spectacle. A pop-culture joke.
And yes, I’m bitter, not because my request for a press credential wasn’t accepted. Because my request wasn’t even opened. Neither was the follow-up email. And I followed the NFL’s proper protocol.
I had hoped to cover NFL Media Day for our sister publication, Chief Marketer. I would have asked players like Peyton Manning about their Papa John’s deals, the Wes Welkers about their Old Spice deals. What do they and their agents consider before they accept endorsement deals – other than the almighty dollar.
Come to think of it, since I didn’t have any on-the-field questions for the players, I would have fit in like another car on the circus train.
Instead, these people received coveted press credentials:
(William Perlman/The Star-Ledger)
Mary Bartnicki, Teresa Dahlquist and Josephine Cavalluzzi, who are apparently reporters for The Queen Latifah Show.
Flipped over to NFL Network for a second and watched a reporter ask Pete Carroll if this was a must-win game. I hope it was a joke.
— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) January 28, 2014
The guy James Wagner of The Washington Post called out…
@awfulannouncing It was a joke, AA!
— Dave Dameshek (@Dameshek) January 28, 2014
But it should be noted the culprit works for NFL.com, and he was kidding.
(Elsa, Getty Images)
Where’s Waldo? THERE’S Waldo! Danish TV reporter Tommy Kjaersgaard stood in the crowd while his producer approached players and asked: “Where’s Waldo?”
Mozart got a press credential, too.
And so did a Nickelodeon super hero, Pick Boy, seen here being interviewed by a jour… wait, that’s Coby Fleener, a tight end for the Indianapolis Colts… What the…
Maybe I was better off in the office Tuesday.