Monday, Jan. 28
10 a.m. (noon EST)
Phoenix -- The flight was, as they say, a tad choppy, which at one time wouldn't so much as lift my eyes from my magazine but now, perhaps through a combination of middle age and new-age fears, absolutely terrifies me.
Don't feel especially jealous about the weather difference. It's maybe 60 and overcast here, and the area has had all sorts of rain the past few days. Nothing better than 60s and maybe a touch of 70 all week, from what I hear.
The work portion of the day begins at 3:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. EST) with Bill Belichick and six of his players being made available to the media.
I'm looking forward to Belichick's sound bytes. He's obviously done this three times before, and from the results of the games, managed to get through things quite well, but I've never had a chance to experience him at the Super Bowl first hand. He usually looks like he'd rather be having his molars removed than answering questions from the media. And there is no more flagrant form of repetitive questions than at the Super Bowl, where 3,000 media, including a few of them actually working, descend on the biggest single U.S. sporting event of the year.
That brings me to Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who takes to the podium at 5 p.m. (7 p.m. EST) and will be joined by six yet-to-be-determined Giants. (My guess: Strahan, Toomer, Manning, Tuck, Pierce, Burress.) Coughlin has certainly lightened up lately, but my guess is that his patience will be running on empty by mid-week.
Coughlin hates, absolutely hates, redundancy. He doesn't understand that the more media interest in his team, the more journalists are apt to ask questions that were asked the previous day. One of my personal favorites is when he replies to a popular question with, "For the 567th time, ..."
I always wonder how he comes upon the number of times he's answered the question. Like, why 567th? Why not 550th?
Anyway, here follows a handful of questions that I guarantee he'll answer for the 958th time:
1. What went into Eli Manning turning the corner?
2. What is it about this team that impresses you most?
3. How will the Giants' last game against the Patriots help your team?
4. What role will Michael Strahan and Amani Toomer, your two players from the team's last trip to the Super Bowl, play in helping prepare teammates for Sunday?
5. What is your relationship with former colleague Bill Belichick?
6. How did you change as a coach from last season to this season?
7. Are you concerned that the off week will hurt your team's momentum?
8. What was the turning point in the season?
9. How has Plaxico Burress been able to be so effective without practicing most of the season?
10. If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
(OK, let's hope he's not asked that last one. But when it comes to the Super Bowl media, you never know.)
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