These are the side trips you make when you are at the Super Bowl: I got a chance to join media relations man Chris Melvin (later joined by VP of media stuff Mark Dalton) along with coach Ken Whisenhunt and safety Adrian Wilson on their ride over to the media center and their appearance Monday night on NFL Network.
Now, from the Cardinals' perspective, it's been tough watching the NFL Network for a few weeks. The analysts have hammered the Cards pretty good. Whisenhunt and Wilson are among those who have noticed.
The ride over was good, though – Wilson was in a good mood. As the pair was brought through the loading dock at the convention center and the back way to the set, we ran across Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley and running back Willie Parker in the bowels of the building. Parker and Whisenhunt are close from Whiz's time in Pittsburgh and it made for a nice -- if very brief -- reunion.
While waiting in the green room, Wilson watched with a half-smile as the on-set trio of Rich Eisen, former defensive back Rod Woodson and former running back Terrell Davis broke down Wilson's play this season. That's something interesting to witness, especially after hearing how so many of these guys insist they don't pay attention to such things (I've always thought Adrian was a guy who did pay attention to such things).
Speaking of that, Whiz and Wilson made sure Eisen knew they knew of the not-so-nice talk about the Cards on the network (There may have been an Eisen comment at some point about the Cards being the worst playoff team -- and yeah, that doesn't sit well). Eisen even asked at the end, "Are we good, coach?" when talking to Whiz.
At one point on the ride home, Whisenhunt mentioned how much the Cards did on Monday alone. It was a long day, with the team reporting to the Tempe facility by 7:30 a.m., flying to Tampa after the excitement of a sendoff rally, some of the players (including Wilson) doing interviews after landing, and then the team going over to the Buccaneers' training facility (which by all accounts is amazing).
Wilson, in his trademark deadpan, simply said he found the day "festive."
Everyone laughed. All I could think was if Wilson considered Monday festive at all, what will that make media day tomorrow?