Thousands of reporters and photographers from around the world did get to know the players a little better on Tuesday at the Super Dome in New Orleans, but Media Day is also a spectacle where things can get a little strange for the players and those reporting.
Surreal best describes it. You take thousands of reporters, bring in two football teams, start the clock, and let them go at it. That's the essence of the annual event which took place Tuesday on the same field where the Ravens and 49ers will square off Sunday.
Reporters were allowed one hour with each team. Most are pretty legit, but some wore costumes and asked goofy questions. It was a chance for reporters to get a glimpse of the lighter side of athletes leading up to the big game. Players with lots of personality, like 49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley, were right at home in that setting. "My muscles are too big. Hey Colin," he said as he kissed the fake tattoos he was wearing on his bicep.
It was also a chance for the media to question quarterback Alex Smith who despite losing his job to Colin Kaepernick, stands firmly behind his counterpart. "You'd love to be starting and playing, but it's a blessing to be at a Super Bowl and there's a lot of guys starting and playing who play a long time. Loving it," he said.
Kaepernick told the media it's a little weird being the center of attention. He was slammed by hundreds of reporters asking about everything from how he's dealing with the heightened publicity to requests to sing the Rice-A-Roni jingle.