It's All Fun Until the Broncos Get Seasick
Health and safety are always major concerns come Super Bowl time -- so much so that the National Football League holds a news conference during the week to address those issues. But it was another media session that left several Denver Broncos seeing orange.
Yesterday Broncos players fulfilled their final media obligation of the week in a 45-minute session aboard the Cornucopia Majesty, a boat docked along the waterfront in Jersey City. Cornerback Quentin Jammer was one of about a dozen teammates who suffered from symptoms of seasickness, including nausea, headaches and dizziness.
"I don't like the boat," Jammer said. "I'm not feeling very good with all this rocking. I don't know who thought to have these interviews on the boat, but it's really not a good idea."
Events like this are par for the course in a Super Bowl week that's more style than substance, packed with events that have little, if anything, to do with football. There's well-deserved entertainment for fans and the news media, and some little-needed distractions for players (and probably those same news media).
Take, for example, Media Day, the spectacle of which overshadows the supposed purpose of interviewing players. The event has been open to fans for a few years, which isn't a bad idea in itself. Fans should have the opportunity look inside and listen at what players are thinking leading up to the game; there's no reason for exclusive access to make the media feel like we belong to a special club. But Media Day has spun out of control, with genuine insights taking a backseat to photo ops and sound bytes. Sure, you may get 30 seconds of Peyton Manning discussing his legacy, but you'll have to wait until after an interviewer from some gossipy television show asks him what he plans to eat for breakfast on Super Bowl morning. And though Russell Wilson might have interesting things to say about his underrated receiving corps, some folks only want to ask about his hair.
Super Bowl week is usually crazy, but it doesn't help that this year, the big game is being held on the world's biggest stage -- or, rather, near it. A casual fan walking the streets of New York this week probably wouldn't realize that the game is actually taking place in New Jersey. State officials have complained that all Big Apple events have overshadowed their role, and the mayor of the city that's hosting the game couldn't get Super Bowl tickets until Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay realized how absurd that is.
With all the galas, concerts, fashion and celebrities booked for this week, it's clear the NFL throws one heck of a party. Amid the hoopla in Manhattan, let's not lose sight of why all eyes will be on East Rutherford, N.J., come Sunday evening.
(Kavitha A. Davidson is a Bloomberg View columnist who writes about sports. Follow her on Twitter at @kavithadavidson.)
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