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Monday, January 30, 2006

Long and winding road

Photo by AP

Talk about a long day!

My day began at 6:30 a.m. Monday in Washington and is still going strong now here at 9:30 p.m. in Pontiac.

I arrived at the airport this morning and watched the players hand out their No. 6 Notre Dame jerseys. Maybe it was too early in the morning for me, but it took me a while to figure out why they were wearing them.

Once we landed here in Detroit, the drive from the airport to our hotel in Pontiac actually took longer than our flight from Pittsburgh. No joke. We landed at 10 a.m. I checked into the hotel at 11:30.

Then, it was on to the NFL's media center in downtown Detroit. I got together with a couple of other writers and we got a car to take us down to the city, about 30 miles away. Our bill was $70, but it beat the $150 two other guys paid for a taxi cab. Ouch.

The media center is where it's all happening. After getting credentialed, we went for lunch. As I was sitting at my table eating, I looked up to see former Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly chatting with some people over my friend's shoulder. Chuck's aged a little since his days on the Pistons' bench, but as a fan of the team, I recognized him immediately even if not everyone else did.

The big news for the Pittsburgh media people today was Mark Madden's heart attack Sunday. It was definitely making the rounds, especially for a harried Tim Benz, who had to go on the air to replace Madden.

The interview sessions in the afternoon were ridiculous. Head coach Bill Cowher addressed the mass of media first for about 20 minutes before six players were led into a ballroom with a station set up for each of them.

The biggest draw, of course, was Jerome Bettis, who actually drew a larger crowd than Cowher did for his session. Some of the guys who haven't been through this before commented on the ridiculousness of it all, but they haven't seen anything yet. Wait until media day Tuesday at Ford Field.

I finally made it back to my hotel at 7 p.m. - car fare $79 - and came to the realization that after 12 hours of work, I hadn't written a word yet. Talk about depressing.

Oh well, this is the Super Bowl, after all.

1 comment:

Greg Tarr said...

Wish I were there. But I'm stuck here in Steelers, PA.