Today is the second biggest day of the biggest week on the NFL calendar, Super Bowl Media Day.  There is a different wrinkle this year, being the first Super Bowl played outdoors in a cold weather climate, and media day moves indoors, at the Prudential Center in Trenton, New Jersey, which is sure go make for a much more circus like atmosphere, with only four players from each team assigned podiums while the others mill around in another part of the building.

Credentials have been issued to 5,000 members of the media, from such outlets as Nick Toons, the Cartoon Network and annual favorite T-V Azteca, which always seems to find a way to raise an eyebrow.  7,000 fans have purchased tickets at 28 bucks per to witness the ridiculousness that leads to enough dumb questions to make all of us in the sports media feel ashamed of our profession until the next Super Bowl and the next dose of humiliation.  The all time dumbest question is still probably the one addressed to Redskins quarterback Doug Williams, when he became the first black quarterback to start a Super Bowl game, one genius asking him, “How long have you been a black quarterback?”

Thankfully there are enough other things going on in the sportsworld to ignore one of the worst days on the sports calendar.  I choose to vault over the winter sports to baseball, where the hot stove is stoked and blazing in both cities of local interest.

In New York most of the discussion with the Yankees, now that they’ve probably ended their spending spree, concerns life after Mariano Rivera, with David Robertson, Mo’s former set up guy, the expected heir apparent, leaving a vacancy in the set up role, which now appears to be the new assignment for Shawn Kelley.

The Mets may be a little less serious in their approach to this season, which they’ll play without young ace Matt Harvey, who’s return will make them much more serious next year.  The big debate in New York is who would benefit more by signing free agent infielder and former Red Sox utility guy Stephen Drew, the Yankees or Mets.  The answer is simple, Stephen Drew.

In Boston the good news is the return of Jerry Remy to the NESN broadcast booth.  After an off season of soul searching while he deals with murder charges against his son, Remy finally decided last week he will return for his 27th season.  The bad news is the attitude of DH David Ortiz, who says the Sox sign him to a multi year deal right now, or they lose him to free agency after the season.  Not exactly that “Pedroia” state of mind Jon Lester was so effusive about last week.  18 days to pitchers and catchers.

Before the next “wannabe” jumps on me for not knowing how many days there are until training camps open, let me clarify.  I do know the Dodgers and Diamondbacks open next week, because they’ll open the season early, March 22nd and 23rd, in Australia, and I know some teams open on the 14th of February, some the 16th, and, no, my countdown isn’t to the report date for the Red Sox because we carry them or because I’m a Red Sox fan or anything like that, though this year my countdown, coincidentally, is to the opening of the Red Sox camp.  Annually my countdown is to the start of the defense of the World Series championship, the day the defending champs open camp.  18 days to pitchers and catchers.

Avoiding as much talk of Super Bowl XLVIII as possible, in honor of media day, I’m Scott Gray.


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