Along with a few scantily clad, ahem, professional journalists, there was some clown running around Cowboys Stadium in tights and a cape. Everybody, it seems, gets a credential for Media Day, including the Nick Toons network.
That's where I found former Packers punter Jeremy Kapinos, a late-season addition to the Steelers' roster in place of injured standout Daniel Sepulveda, talking about "squid kicks" and punting to the coffin corner, even though coffins are strictly forbidden on the field of play of NFL stadiums.
"It's always good to be employed, and this is always a plus, too," Kapinos said after the intrepid caped reporter had moved on for more hard-hitting journalism with some poor, unsuspecting player. "It's been quite a year. This is very fitting that it's ending like this. Only in this business do you have years like this."
Kapinos punted for the Packers at the end of the 2008 season and all of 2009. He wasn't invited back to compete for the job this year, and in his place, Tim Masthay has emerged as one of the most promising young punters in the league. Kapinos punted for one game for the Colts but was out of the league for most of this season.
"I've always been told to rent, not buy," he said. "That's what you do as a kicker, you just rent. Luckily, I have a home base now but when I go to teams like the Steelers, I have a month-to-month (lease). Guys like me who aren't drafted, rent and keep the suitcase packed because you never know which way you're going."
This is Donald Driver's week.
And why not? Driver, who turns 36 on Wednesday, has finally reached the summit of the sport by getting to his first Super Bowl.
"This is nice," Driver said at his podium which was stationed in the end zone. "This is where you want to be come Sunday. The more times you are in this end zone, the more likely we are to get that trophy and that is our ultimate goal."
It's taken Driver a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to this point. There was the NFC Championship Game loss to the Giants three years ago. There was fourth-and-26 that derailed the league's hottest team against Philadelphia. The late-season swoon that sent the Packers form potential No. 1 seed to out in the wild-card round with a home loss to Atlanta.
"This is truly amazing and a dream come true," Driver said. "You get to point where you want your ultimate goal. As a kid, you watch them on TV and you dream about it. So when it finally comes, you can't let it slip away. It is right here in front of me and this is where it all starts and this is where it all finishes. You have to enjoy every moment."
Saying the right things
Aaron Rodgers and Chris Berman.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Yeah, like that would happen.
"I just try to follow Jesus' example, leading by example," Rodgers said. "One of my favorite quotes is by St. Francis of Assisi, who said, ‘Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words.'"
While saying he hasn't talked to Brett Favre since the Packers-Vikings game at the Metrodome, he's found a connection with another former Packers quarterback with Super Bowl success.
"It's great to be able to play for the Packers. It's a privilege," Rodgers said. "Bart (Starr) has been incredible to me – in the last three years especially – with the e-mails and conversations that I've been able to share with him. He's an incredible man and a guy I'd love to model my career after."
So, this is the Super Bowl …
Maybe they're the exceptions, but Ted Thompson's and Ryan Pickett's history of watching the Super Bowl shows how all-consuming it is to get here – and how devastating it is to fall short.
Thompson said this will be the third Super Bowl that he's watched, with the others being when Green Bay won Super Bowl XXXI and lost in Super Bowl XXXII.
"Jealousy. Envy. Plus, we're usually in draft meetings by then," he said.
Pickett hasn't watched a Super Bowl since his heavily favored Rams lost to New England.
"I can't watch them. I want to be in them so bad," he said. "When you get here and lose, it's just too much. I can't watch other teams while they are celebrating and winning a Super Bowl because I want to be there so bad. I have not watched a complete Super Bowl game since my last week in college."
Pickett, on his weight: "No. I don't think it's a problem. Every week I have to reach a weight. I have to be 338 pounds every week. If I'm over they fine $500 a pound that I'm over. I've been three pounds over once, which isn't bad. Right when you get on the scale you start having flashbacks of everything. I didn't know I was going to be this big until high school. I was a big kid, but I blew up in high school. My tenth grade year I was 260 pounds. My brothers grew up in front of me as running backs, so I always had the desire to be a running back or receiver. I ended being bigger than all of my brothers. I definitely worry about it post-football. You have to develop good habits. We have a tradition on the defensive line where every Thursday we buy a bucket of wings and just gorge after practice. Every time you do it you are like, why did I do it? We weigh in Thursday, which is why we have the food on Thursday and then a week later you have to weigh in again."
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.