We’re here at Lucas Oil Stadium for Super Bowl Media Day, and while my media colleagues wolf down their buffet spread I’ll offer up a few observations:
1. The fans loved it. Many of the journalists who view Media Day as a chore scoffed when the NFL announced that it would sell tickets. But the thousands of fans who turned out today sure seemed like they were enjoying themselves — cheering, laughing and generally having a great time. The NFL could easily sell many more tickets to Media Day if it wanted to, as evidenced by the fact that I saw someone scalping tickets outside Lucas Oil Stadium. The fans are here to stay.
2. Rob Gronkowski doesn’t seem concerned about his ankle. Gronkowski is out of his walking boot and seemed completely comfortable. He was joking around, laughing and generally acting like a guy who expects to be good to go on Super Bowl Sunday.
3. People still want to talk to Chad Ochocinco. As a bench warmer for the Patriots, Ochocinco wasn’t given one of the spots at a podium and was instead just milling around inside Lucas Oil Stadium. But he was still mobbed by reporters — at one point I saw exactly one reporter talking to Logan Mankins, who did have a podium, while about 30 reporters fought for a position around Ochocinco.
4. Bill Belichick remains in a good mood. We’ve talked all week about how Belichick seems calmer, more relaxed and just happier to be here than he has been at past Super Bowls. Belichick was asked plenty of questions about his coaching legacy, and he always answered that he was just honored to be mentioned in the same sentence as coaches like Chuck Noll and Vince Lombardi. He seems to be genuinely enjoying himself and grateful to be back at the Super Bowl.
5. Media Day remains more about the spectacle than the sport. Occasionally you can hear people talking about the game (and we’ll get into more of those quotes later today) but what you see more of is players getting interviewed by superheroes.