Near the center of the circus, not far from a surprisingly conspicuous Waldo and a woman wearing what appeared to be a doily, a reporter had a pressing question.
“Rihanna, Beyoncé and Oprah,” the reporter asked Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas. “Who would you want for a wife, a girlfriend and a one-night stand?”
Thomas actually mulled over the question for a few seconds before former NFL cornerback Deion Sanders sneaked on the podium beside him and said, “Don’t answer those questions.”
Tuesday was Super Bowl media day, an event that over the years has evolved from a time for interviews into a spectacle second only to the game. Several thousand fans paid $28.50 to sit in the stands at the Prudential Center and witness the chaos.
Some questions were irreverent (see the question for Thomas) and some were just ridiculous. After Seahawks center Max Unger was asked if he had a pet unicorn and if the Super Bowl trophy was filled with chocolate, “What do you do when your beard freezes?” seemed like hard-hitting journalism.
In the sea of athletes, media, and celebrities, a long-lost children’s book character kept popping up.
The iconic and elusive Waldo of “Where’s Waldo?” fame was portrayed by Tommy Kjærsgaard, a journalist from Denmark.
Kjærsgaard figured dressing like Waldo was a fitting and facetious way to tackle the long and hectic day of filling his notebook.
This is hardly an original idea these days. Phillip Hajszan, an Austrian TV reporter, wore a white wig and burgundy outfit. He said was dressed as Mozart, but he was regularly confused for a thin Benjamin Franklin.
“Mozart is Austrian and I wanted to bring him to the Super Bowl,” Hajszan said.
While some players (and many journalists for that matter) gripe about media day, many enjoyed the experience.
“It is pretty crazy but it’s fun,” Unger said. “It’s the Super Bowl. It doesn’t get any bigger than this.”
There were several star sightings to note.
Regis Philbin made his way through the sea of reporters early in the day. The TV host said he loves the Hawks, head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson, but he can’t ignore the power of Peyton Manning.
“They are two great teams,” he said, adding that Denver would win 21-17 on Sunday.
Actor and comedian Hank Azaria had a slightly offbeat prediction.
“The cast of ‘Castle’ is going to win the game,” Azaria joked before recording a podcast report. “I just think they’re gonna pull it out.”
Even Seahawks practice squad players got a little star-struck.
Wide receiver Phil Bates took pictures with Michelle Williams, the former Destiny’s Child singer, before the duo belted out a duet of “Say My Name” for the cameras.
WHO’S THE LOUDEST?
On Jan. 19 at the NFC Championship Game, Fox Sports broadcaster and former Raiders star Howie Long caught up with old Seahawks rivals Curt Warner, Jacob Green and Dave Krieg. The conversation, he said, quickly turned to the 12th Man.
What was the loudest stadium they’d ever visited?
The consensus, Long said, was Century Link as the loudest outdoor stadium and the Kingdome as the loudest indoor.
“Let me tell you something, for our tackles that place was a house of horrors,” Long said. “You just can’t hear.”
MOSS: LYNCH ONE OF THE GREATS
Randy Moss has never been shy about throwing around the word great. Usually, he’s talking about himself, but Tuesday the former NFL star was using it to described Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch.
“To my eyes he’s a great,” said Moss, who asked not to be referred to as a member of the media even though he’s working for Fox Sports. “… I’ve seen Walter Payton, I’ve seen Eric Dickerson, I’ve seen Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith and I’ve seen Adrian Peterson. Man, Marshawn Lynch is in there too now. He’s in there hands down.”