I covered 10 Super Bowls. My week began on Tuesday, Media Day. The first time was mesmerizing. Along with reporters there were current and former NFL guys, some of whom were desperate for attention. There were people dressed as boxing promoter Don King and former legend Marilyn Monroe. There were entourages and entertainers, intentionally bizarre questions and even serious conversations. I had never seen anything like it.
The next year Media Day was still amusing. By the third, I'd look at the impersonators and think, "You're still here?"
They probably looked at us and thought the same thing.
The Super Bowl is a testament to wretched excess, not that that's a bad thing. Stars show up to hang out or to get paid for showing up. Parties are extreme. Famous people will host one, charge commoners $100 for a ticket, show up late and hang out in the security protected VIP section. Events are constant. By the end of the week, you need to move like a tailback just to navigate the hotel lobby.
Sidewalks are full of scalopers and everybody with pull tries to get a ticket to one of the premiere parties. One year I brought my older son to the game, and for the first time I was offered a ticket to the legendary Playboy party. But I only had one. Even though he was legal age, I wasn't going to leave him to go. And he wasn't going without me. I don't know when or if I would have seen him again. So I gave the ticket to a friend. That was the most he ever liked me.
That same year my son and I went to the hotel gym. He saw that Jenna Jameson, the famous, oh, actress had signed in at 1 p.m. I knew he'd be in the gym at 1 p.m. the rest of the week.
On the weight bench next to ours was Troy Aikman. Aikman was courteous and quiet, didn't seek attention or think he was a big deal.
I finished with a sting on an elliptical machine. An old guy, very tan with light brown hair, asked me if the machine was free. I told him it was but I needed to clean it off first. I grabbed something to clean it off, and the old guy already was on the machine.
"I'm sorry, I thought you were finished," he said.
I am, I told him. I quickly cleaned it off and said, "It's an honor to have Joe Namath use the same machine I did."
"That was Joe Namath," I told my son.
"Jenna Jameson was here," he told me.
The Super Bowl is like that. It's a social swirl of unending activity, Texas-sized this week.
A football game will be played, too.