Good morning, Broncos Country!
A year ago this week I was having the time of my life gallivanting around Santa Clara, Calif., covering the Broncos at Super Bowl 50 for Mile High Report (and since I don’t care one iota for the teams playing this weekend, forgive me as I reminisce a bit).
From racing between downtown San Francisco to downtown San Jose (Bay Area peeps know this is a nightmare for traffic, especially at rush hour), to arriving at the Broncos hotel every morning by 7 a.m. to get the right spot to interview Peyton Manning, to driving all over for stories on the stadium, the Hall of Fame, the NFL awards...
It was exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time.
And I wasn’t even playing football.
The Super Bowl is just too much media.
As much as I loved - LOVED! - covering the team the week before the game, I felt sorry for the players. They get asked the same silly questions every day and have to give the same trite answers:
"Peyton, will this be your last game?"
"DeMarcus, what will it mean to you to win a Super Bowl?"
"Von, can you sack Cam Newton?"
"Emmanuel, does Peyton still have what it takes to win the Super Bowl?"
"T.J., what do you think of the Broncos defense getting dissed in favor of the Panthers’ offense?"
"Couldn't stop Aaron Rodgers, couldn't stop Tom Brady, couldn't beat Roethlisberger. Yet we're in the Super Bowl." pic.twitter.com/G3UXJed3P7— L.Lattimore-Volkmann (@docllv) February 4, 2016
But those are at least a huge step up from the Monday night NFL Network kick-off event where "reporters" (this is a stretch) from TMZ and Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition ask possibly the stupidest questions I’ve ever heard, ranging from favorite reality TV shows to how long have you been growing your beard. Rolling Stone wrote as much last year as Michael Weinreb clearly felt my pain:
"At one point, Miss Universe, apparently on assignment for Inside Edition, was confronted by a gang of reporters from Entertainment Tonight, and it felt like either; A) The worst remake of The Warriors I could imagine, or B) The apogee of the tabloid television news-magazine business. I think they did a little dance after that, but I couldn't bring myself to watch, because it felt like it might suck my soul straight out of the building."
SBNation’s Louis Bien wrote a really interesting piece yesterday about how annoying Media Week has gotten at the Super Bowl, and I couldn’t agree more.
And I say that as one who completely benefitted from the access to players so I could write a multitude of features that I’d never have gotten to do without the morning press conferences in the media tent where players were either stationed at podiums, scheduled for the main stage or sitting around tables just having to answer random questions for an hour and half.
As a reporter, I loved the access. As a journalist, I found the non-stop narratives driven by national media hotshots every morning to be completely annoying. I mean, they don’t cover these guys every week like we do, and they just pick a narrative to start the day and then every other reporter follows with the same line of questioning.
As a football fan, I lost interest in the non-stop, non-story headlines that were constantly being talked about around me (and I was a fan of one of the teams in the Super Bowl!!)
And as a Broncos fan, I felt sorry for our players. It’s pretty hard to really concentrate on the game, the game plan and football when Hollywood is constantly front and center.
I knew the Broncos would beat the Panthers last year. I could tell watching the guys all week that they stayed focused and handled their responsibilities with professionalism, even if some irritation. That came from veteran leadership and good coaching from guys "who’d been there before."
And when I saw Cam Newton get visibly rattled more and more in front of the press as the week went on (and I couldn’t blame him given all the asinine race questions he had to answer), I knew the Panthers wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure by kickoff on Sunday.
And that’s not fair. It’s not fair to players or to fans or to the game of football to have the Super Bowl be such a major media event all week that the game itself becomes secondary. I’m sure players love the attention at first, but I bet - and I know - almost all of them are over it by day two.
It’s all about money, and I know my get-off-my-lawn attitude about this is not going to make any headway with the NFL, but the experience of the game can still have all the magic and promotion it should even without so much ridiculous hoopla the week before.
Now get off my lawn :)
Horse Tracks - docllv’s picks of the week
How Super Bowl media got to be so annoying - SBNation.com
And a taxonomy of what a Super Bowl interview looks like.
The Super Bowl Excitement Index - Washington Post
Charting the best (and worst) Super Bowls in NFL history (*editor's note: except WashPo got it all wrong because SB32 definitely was competitive and exciting).
Legendary? Lousy? How your team has fared in the NFL draft - Washington Post
Some teams seem to always strike gold on draft day, while others just find rocks. (We’re looking at you, Cleveland.) Revisit the past 20 NFL drafts to see how adept every team has been at mining top talent.
Horse Tracks - Terrell Davis
Terrell Davis to the Hall of Fame: 30 for 30 - Mile High Report
For the third time, Terrell Davis has become a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And for the first time, Mile High Report joined the media blitz to help get him in. Here are our 30 reasons in 30 days as to why Terrell Davis deserves to get that bust in Canton.
Some Hall of Fame voters believe Terrell Davis is among most qualified candidates | Broncos Wire
Some Pro Football Hall of Fame votes believe former Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis is among the most qualified finalists.
Five by-the-numbers reasons why Terrell Davis should be in the Hall of Fame
No running back did more in less time than Davis -- and yet the Selection Committee has yet to choose him for Hall of Fame induction.
The Case for Canton: Terrell Davis
Broncos TV's Matt Boyer and Andrew Mason preview this weekend's Hall of Fame announcement and make the case for Broncos legend Terrell Davis.
Horse Tracks - Broncos
Roger Goodell, Broncos CEO Joe Ellis discuss team ownership situation
The Broncos’ longtime owner established a trust in the late 1990s to serve as a vehicle to transfer controlling ownership of the team to one of his seven children.
Vance Joseph outlines current priorities as head coach
Why is football Vance Joseph's third priority right now?
Gary Kubiak preparing to return to NFL in non-coaching position | Broncos Wire
Former Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak plans to return to the NFL in a non-coaching position.
Joe Ellis on John Elway’s contract: "I’m confident that we’ll be able to get a deal done" – The Denver Post
Broncos general manager John Elway is entering the final year of his contract and president/CEO Joe Ellis reiterated Wednesday that he is hopeful the sides will reach an agreement on an extension to keep Elway in Denver "for a long time."
Siemian's journey from baseball to Broncos starter
A 7th-round pick turned starting quarterback of the Broncos, Trevor Siemian may never have played football if not for a persistent high school coach.
Broncos freezing ticket prices for 2017 season – The Denver Post
For the first time since 2011, the Broncos will not increase their ticket prices. Denver will maintain an average ticket price of about $101, putting the team outside the league's 10 most expensive tickets.
Horse Tracks - Super Bowl/NFL
An illustrated history of the Super Bowl Halftime Show - Washington Post
Forget deflated footballs: The weirdest part of the Super Bowl is the halftime show, which now attracts more viewers than the game itself. Here's a look at every halftime show, in all its cheese-tastic glory.
How the Falcons and Patriots made their way to the Super Bowl LI, play by play - Washington Post
The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots are in Houston to determine who will become this season’s NFL champion. Re-live each team’s playoff games — play by play — to see how they made it to the big game.
Lady Gaga promises 'tremendously athletic show' - NFL.com
Lady Gaga spoke directly to the media for the first and only time ahead of Super Bowl LI. What can fans expect to see from her halftime performance?
How Pats will combat passing attack | PFF
When designing coverages to deal with elite receivers, there are a handful of things you can do as a defense (and New England did all of them in the AFC Championship at some point against Antonio Brown).
USA TODAY Sports' Super Bowl LI predictions: Patriots or Falcons?
Our experts reveal how they're leaning and also pick the game's MVP.
Eric Berry: I'm not going to play under franchise tag - NFL.com
Eric Berry turned in an All-Pro season on the franchise tag, but the Kansas City Chiefs safety says he's "definitely not going to play under the franchise tag" again in 2017.
Roger Goodell previews NFL's potential changes, return to Mexico City
Recapping Roger Goodell's Super Bowl LI press conference, from 2017's Mexico City game, how games might change and more.
Drew Brees says 'I got a few more (years) at least' - NFL.com
Saints quarterback Drew Brees isn't going anywhere. "I got a few more at least," Brees said on Good Morning Football Thursday when asked how much longer he was planning to play in the NFL.
Steve Smith inks multi-year deal to join NFL Network - NFL.com
Steve Smith may have retired from the gridiron last month, but the former Panthers and Ravens wide receiver has already inked a new deal. Smith will join NFL Network as an analyst.