The week of Super Bowl LI has begun, and as is the expectation, the annual event becomes more of a spectacle each year. The first night is dedicated to the media, and the reporters made sure to live up to the hype; taking advantage of their unique, interactive atmosphere. Owners Arthur Blank and Robert Kraft share friendly jabs in a rousing interview, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick avoid political questions about league officials, and Atlanta’s Golden Boy Matt Ryan is just happy to be here.
Super Bowl LI Media Day: Opening Night Reactions
The two teams pose an interesting dynamic, which should lay the foundation for an eventful week to come. The Patriots have been the season favorites since the start; and you could definitely get that ‘incumbent’ feeling when watching members of the organization answer questions. Kraft was quick to correct an old adversary, Kurt Warner from NFL Network, when asked how it felt to be at his seventh Super Bowl: “Excuse me, the eighth time” he quipped. In stark contrast, the Falcons owner was much more introspective, given that this was his first appearance; sharing two major pieces of advice that Kraft had given him: “first, paste yourself over the next couple of weeks. Number two, create a happiness bubble around yourself: anyone who doesn’t fit in that bubble, remove them from it.” The words shared by these two men is signatory of the 15 year bond that they’ve had together as owners, and exemplifies the respect that they have for the other and their franchises.
Brady and Bill Play Politics
At this point, whenever these two guys get asked about league reports, the media’s perception of the team, or really just anything that doesn’t specifically have to do with the upcoming game; the answer is seemingly an automated response. The same key words and phrases continue to resurface: teammates, preparation, opponent capabilities… etc. etc. Giving credit where credit is due, the NFL’s media team uses some pretty clever tactics to draw answers from the players. Who better to ask Tom Brady “whether or not he’s sick of being asked Deflategate questions” then his former Super Bowl teammate, Willie McGinest. Belichick on the other hand has found some creative ways to curve the media himself; expounding on his experience as a fisherman using life-like imagery: “I’ll eat just about anything that doesn’t eat me, how about that”.
Matt Ryan Opens Up
Once again, the NFL did a great job at pairing a current face of the Falcons with Deion Sanders, a memorable giant from the franchise’s past. Sanders hurled a litany of questions at Ryan, and the MVP favorite seemed to answer them all with ease. No major story here, but the traditional tone that the interview took was a representation of what the signal caller’s personality has been all year: cool, calm, and collected, regardless of the circumstance.
Some prophesize that media day is most exciting for players due to the exclusive sweat-suits, but the truth is we know it’s much deeper than that. Fans of the prevailing teams get to feast on the ‘hidden’ excitement from their favorite players; in hopes that the promises that they make on this day lead to actual success on the field.
To the players: we know you’re excited about LI, we just want you to show it.