Who (seen) Dat? A fleur-de-lis at the Super Bowl
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) – Jonathan Goodwin couldn’t take his eyes off the scene.
From his seat, about 35 rows from the field where his New Orleans Saints will play Indianapolis on Sunday night in the Super Bowl, Goodwin was mesmerized by what 14 workers down on the turf were doing.
Spray guns in hand, they were painting the golden trim on his team’s logo, the famed fleur-de-lis, in the corner of an end zone.
Who’d have ever thought that was going to happen?
“It’s … it’s … I’m just happy for the city and happy for the whole organization,” the Saints’ center said Tuesday at Super Bowl media day, needing a moment to find exactly the right words and still with both eyes locked on the paint crew. “It’s amazing how the fans are. They’ve really bonded with the team and I’ve never had so many people tell me that us winning games touches their lives.”
He’s a big, strong man, and a Pro Bowler this season.
But there was no mistaking that he was moved emotionally by it all, either.
Media day is always packed and often silly, and having it indoors for the first time may have added another layer to the spectacle. The sessions for each team were shifted because of Monday’s rain and the threat of more wet weather.
As a result, most players from the Saints and Colts were set up on the club level of the Miami Dolphins’ home stadium, while a few commandeered spots in the stands for their interview sessions.
Goodwin said he thrilled to get one of the outdoor spots, especially on a sunny day. He was taking in all the sights for the full allotted hour.
“After today, we have to get our mind back and treat this like a normal week,” Goodwin said. “There’s definitely a lot going on, but we’re here to win the game. We’re not here to celebrate.”
Maybe it was a coincidence, but when the painters were gone and the fleur-de-lis was complete, Goodwin quickly departed as well.
NOT-SO-SUPER SINGERS: Indianapolis guard Jaimie Thomas left with a shiny trophy on Tuesday.
No, not the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
A practice squad player, Thomas won the “Entertainment Tonight” Super Bowl Idol contest at media day, after singing better than any of his teammates who dared to try it on-camera.
Which, apparently, wasn’t much of a challenge.
It was one of the many off-the-wall things tried during media day, which has seen more than its share of zany antics over the years. Players interviewed each other in some cases, just about everyone had a video camera
“It was fun and I didn’t want to subject myself to a bunch of horrible questions about first-down plays or defensive blitzes and stuff like that,” said Kevin Frazier, an “Entertainment Tonight” host. “Look. It’s Tuesday. The game is Sunday. We’ve been analyzing it now for a week and three days. Enough already. Let’s stop and have some fun and that’s the beauty of today.”
The show asked former “American Idol” contestant Kimberly Caldwell to judge which player could perform the best. She picked Thomas from the Colts and Tyler Lorenzen of the Saints as the winners, then gave the overall nod to Lorenzen.
“He was the best of the day,” Caldwell said.
About five Saints players and four from the Colts participated in the contest. At first, players were shy but more came forward.
YOUNG REPORTER: Media day reporter Damon Weaver has already interviewed President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with other megastars such as Oprah Winfrey, Dwyane Wade, Samuel L. Jackson and Larry King.
Quite a lineup for any journalist.
Weaver is a star-in-making at Canal Point Elementary in Palm Beach County, about an hour north of the stadium where the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints will play in the Super Bowl.
“Every day is interesting because every day I have life,” said Weaver, a sixth grader who started on his “career” after a teacher came up with the idea to have Weaver interview Biden.
He got the interview.
“That’s when the magic happened,” said Weaver, who’s become a bit of a phenomenon since.
Ah, but even Weaver didn’t have enough magic for Peyton Manning.
The scrum around Manning’s seat at media day was worthy of professional wrestling, dozens and dozens of reporters and cameramen jostling for every inch, screaming out questions over one another with hopes that the NFL MVP would acknowledge and answer.
Weaver is little and quiet. Not a good combination for media day success, but the kid wasn’t disappointed not to add Manning to his ledger.
“He had to go,” Weaver said.
BIENVENIDO, SUPER BOWL: Indianapolis receiver Austin Collie spent two years on a mission in Argentina before becoming a standout receiver at BYU, and of course, he picked up Spanish pretty well during his time around Buenos Aires.
In South Florida, where the Latin influence is everywhere, he got to show off those language skills.
Once Spanish-language reporters at Tuesday’s media day figured out that he was bilingual, Collie became an even bigger hit, speaking fluently with those outlets for several minutes – even though they had to prod him along a couple of times for the right word.
How often does he get to use Spanish in Indianapolis?
“Never,” Collie said.
Collie was off the football grid from January 2005 through January 2007, not knowing much of anything that was going on back home on the sports front.
Oddly, he came back to the U.S. just in time to see the Colts win the Super Bowl in Miami three years ago. And now, he’s with them.
“I missed seeing the 2005 and 2006 Super Bowls, but was back in time to see the Colts win over the Bears,” Collie said.
MEDIA DAY SIGHTS AND SOUNDS: Longtime NFL linebacker Junior Seau was among the estimated 2,000 media members asking questions of the Saints and Colts on Tuesday. … The Saints’ Marques Colston talked around answering a question on who his favorite Kardashian sister is. Kim Kardashian is the longtime girlfriend of Saints’ running back Reggie Bush. … Colts TE Tom Santi, who is on injured reserve, attracted some attention Tuesday because the letters of his last name, when rearranged, spell “Saint.” Said Santi: “Yeah, I have heard that a lot today. A lot.” Not so obvious is this factoid, however: Santi was born in New Orleans.
Associated Press Writers Lisa Orkin Emmanuel and Sarah Larimer contributed.