Observations from Super Bowl Radio Row
Posted January 31, 2013
New Orleans — Showing up to the Super Bowl and expecting actual football conversation is a foolish endeavor, especially on Radio Row.
This event is about which outlet brings the heavy production glitz, trumped up story lines from the countless player press conferences and tons of celebrities pushing product.
All of this is perfectly fine. The NFL rules the sports world because it has found the right balance of giving the audience a heavy dose of reality television to go along with athletic.
That's why deer antler velvet can take over a news cycle, Manti Te'o's catfishing embarrassment can crossover into media day and Ray Lewis can go next level on the interest scale because of a murder case 13 years ago. Sports fans want the human interest stuff whether or not they care to admit it.
All Ray Lewis Everything
We can all agree the saturation of Ray Lewis hit toxic levels well before the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Part of the problem is rooted in the belief the Baltimore Ravens weren't supposed to get past the Denver Broncos. The Divisional Round was supposed to be his home field sendoff, but the Broncos blew it in coverage and here we are in New Orleans still talking about Lewis' final ride.
How many times can the murder case, the people still angry about outcome of the case, the inspirational redemption story, his dancing, his preaching and his hypocrisy over media attention be rehashed? The end of the season can't come fast enough.
What is that, velvet?
This might come as a shock to some people, but athletes are finding new and bizarre ways to gain a competitive edge. At some point fans and media will stop feigning shock over this discovery.
Randy Moss vs. Jerry Rice
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss is a polarizing figure, so it's no surprise his boastful claim to being the greatest to play the position creating endless debate on Radio Row.
There's no doubt Randy Moss has freakish ability, but he's still hunting that first Super Bowl ring. Jerry Rice has a bunch of them and his name attached to various all-time records. In other words, look at the scoreboard.
But here's something to think about: What player would ever admit they're just average? A particular amount of self confidence and ego is require to play in the NFL.
In a year devoid of obvious Radio Row rock stars, Russell Wilson emerges as "It Guy."
Nothing has equaled the circus surrounding Tim Tebow at last year's Radio Row, but there has been considerable buzz for obvious interview targets such as Andrew Luck and Jerry Rice. However, there's something special happening with Russell Wilson.
Talk to various NFL observers about Wilson and they won't be able stop the glowing reviews. His cool demeanor and his work ethic are just the sort of thing this league loves. Don't be shocked to see Wilson doing triple the endorsements next season.