February 2, 2005

The Real Meaning of Super Bowl Soundbites

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Ah, Media Day! Thanks to the ridiculous two-week interlude between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, we are stuck with two weeks of meaningless sports talk, over-analysis, and trash talk. All of this culminated yesterday in the fantastically useful Media Day down in Jacksonville. While each team takes an hour to talk to the media, Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell got things started a little early, when, in an interview with Dan Patrick on SportsCenter, he remarked that he couldn’t name one member of the Patriots’ secondary.

Never mind that the depleted Patriots secondary shut down Peyton Manning and the lethal Colts offense or that Mitchell has a total of 22 catches and only two touchdowns on the year. Let’s also neglect the fact that Mitchell’s fellow wide receiver Todd Pinkston, who is afraid to catch the ball in traffic. If we set aside these things, then maybe Mitchell’s comments are not completely baseless. Oh wait, the Patriots have won two of the past three Super Bowls. Nevermind.

While Mitchell drew the ire of the Patriots earlier in the week, he was relatively silent from the Media Day festivities. Fortunately, another member of the Eagles’ receiving corps, Terrell Owens provided some good fodder for reporters. When the Eagles were done being uninformative, it was the Patriots turn to impart some words of wisdom to the press.

Or not.

Here are some of the highlights from Media Day, followed by the necessary translations.

TO: I WILL play on Sunday.

Translation: I don’t care if I’m not 100 percent. I’m going to play on Sunday and make sure the entire country is talking about me for another week. I’ve really enjoyed the debates last week about whether I’d play, and now I’m looking forward to the arguments about whether I’ll be effective on Sunday.

TO: The pain is minimal. God has already cleared me. I have the best doctor of all, and he cleared me.

Translation: My foot hurts a lot. I’m hoping to draw some comparisons to Willis Reed if I play hurt on Sunday. Except I’ll play longer than him, and if all goes well, I plan on becoming a faith healer in the offseason.

TO: I’m going to be very effective.

Translation: Only throw me the ball if I’m not covered.

TO: If you believe in miracles, wait until Sunday.

Translation: It’ll be a miracle if I don’t get destroyed by the Patriots defense. I think they’re mad about what Freddie said last week. That idiot. Like the Patriots really needed another thing to be mad about.

Donovan McNabb: It’s freezing, my nose is running, but I’m having a good time.

Translation: Who the hell thought it was a good idea to have the Super Bowl in Jacksonville? Seriously, we could be playing in Miami or San Diego. Do you know what the temperature is there? It’s 70 degrees! I’m going to get eat some Progresso soup — Chunky, Chunky Soup. Sorry, I meant Campbell’s Chunky Soup with real chunks of beef and vegetables. I don’t know why I said Progresso.

Jeremiah Trotter: I’m pretty famous but I really want to have a street named after me. I really need a Jeremiah Trotter Lane or something.

Translation: Is someone looking into this? Seriously, I need a street with my name on it.

Rodney Harrison: Regarless if TO plays or not, we are not doing anything special for him.

Translation: I’ve spent the last four days watching film of TO. After this is over, I’m going to watch more film. Then I’m going to watch it all again. And again. And again.

Rodney Harrison: I call heads or tails and 90 percent of the time I win.

Translation: I’m very good at calling the coin flip. You would think my success rate would be 50 percent, but I’ve pretty much nailed it down to a science. I watch film of the ref who is going to flip the coin, and I also recreate the stadium conditions using an advanced modeling program.

Willie McGinest: We have one gameplan, that TO will play. We hope he does play.

Translation: We are game-planning for TO, even though Rodney Harrison said we’re not. He was just joking. We’re totally game-planning for him. Coach Belichick has designed about 400 defensive schemes just to neutralize TO.

Tom Brady: The comparisons to Montana are very flattering … but I have a long way to go to reach the level of Montana or any of those other great QBs.

Translation: I get goosebumps everytime someone compares me to Joe Montana. If we win this game, then I will have surpassed him completely. I mean, look at him now! He’s doing commercials for some stupid kid’s football toy.

Corey Dillon: Everybody is going to give it 110 percent and leave it all on the field … it’s up to us to go out there and execute.

Translation: I’ve just finished reading Don Powell’s book of sports cliches.

Jonathan Auerbach is a Sun staff writer. I Never Kid appears every other Wednesday this semester.

Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach