In theory, Super Bowl Media Day could be useful.
It's the day before the Super Bowl when all players on each team are available for interviews at the same time and place. A few reporters told me today that after Media Day, access becomes limited. There is player availability at the team hotels on Wednesday and Thursday (where teams choose the players who will talk), there is a joint coach press conference on Friday, but this is it for kind of open access.
Theoretically, this is a great chance for reporters to talk to players - all players, stars and scrubs alike. It's a place to find and get stories, collect information to inform your stories and your readers in the week leading up to the game.
Of course, that's all theory.
Media Day has become an official part of the Super Bowl Spectacle. From bizarre reporters acting bizzarely, to the endlessly told story about how Doug Williams was asked how long he'd been a black QB (note: It isn't exactly true), Media Day is less about the media than it is about The Show.
Today, there will be talk about Deflategate. Much talk about Deflategate. There will be stories about what Marshawn Lynch's Groot-esque catchphrase of the day is. Richard Sherman will say something intelligent and provocative. There will be live blogs, stories about the stories, snarky Tweets, etc.
And I'll be thinking of some of the beat reporters. The ones at the back of the pack in the photo above, trying to find anything interesting for the readers, the ones who know it's all a show but are faced with the institutionalized norms of getting the quotes they need from players and coaches for the rest of their week's stories. The ones who are trying to find a unique story and tell it a unique way. It's easy to mock the day, but these reporters do have a job they're expected to do. That job, hopefully, is thought of as not just collecting quotes from the guys on the platform but instead finding unique, interesting stories for their readers.
A job that's harder and harder to do under the bright lights and big crowds of The Spectacle.