The Super Bowl is by far the biggest event of every sporting year in the U.S. and this year will be no different. But before the teams take it to the gridiron to determine which is NFL’s best, we are treated to the Super Bowl Opening Night, an event that we used to simply call Media Day and which only grew crazier since it changed names. It took place last night and we were treated to some truly memorable moments.
One of those moments had everything to do with Payton Manning and his retirement. At least half a dozen media people asked the Broncos quarterback about his plans for retirement, but the veteran QB had nothing specific to say. He only told them that his mind wasn’t made up and that he wouldn’t know anything about it until the season was over. The Broncos’ general manager and someone who knows everything about calling it quits at his peak, John Elway added that retirement should be the last thing on Manning’s mind at the moment.
However, this was not Manning’s night. It was Cam Newton’s and it became obvious the moment he walked in, that charismatic smile on his face and that sense you always get when you see him that he knows something you don’t. He handled the press in his own inimitable style, even breaking into freestyle rap at one point, rapping how he hates media day. And as quick as his mind worked when talking to media, his body was just as quick leaving the whole thing behind once the questions ran out.
Josh Norman of the Panthers probably won Opening Night by wearing a Panthers’ luchador mask throughout his interview, saying how it was for his Spanish-speaking fans. An icon was born. He added that getting an interception off Manning would be the best thing in his entire life. We’ll see.
Trying to even scratch the surface of all the inane questions posed to the players and their (mostly run-of-the-mill) answers would be an exercise in futility. One question that definitely stuck with everyone was posed by a “journalist” who asked Brandon Marshall if he would be “gurling with your doodily in the end zonen”. Top that.
All in all, it was a silly occasion like always and a welcome break from all the super-serious and intense analyses and predictions.