Wednesday, Jan. 29
Today 25°, winds 14 mph, chance of snow 30%
Super Bowl 6:20 p.m. Sunday: 39°, winds 8 mph, chance of snow 20%
What’s Happening Today
11 a.m.: MIDTOWN — Finally, the 60-foot tall, 180-foot-long toboggan run—planted on Super Bowl Boulevard, which occupies Broadway, between 34th and 47th streets—opens to the public. It’s $5 a ticket; proceeds go toward planting trees in New York.
12 to 5 p.m.: MIDTOWN — The Lombardi Trophy will be available for pictures on Broadway, between 43rd and 44th.
1 to 5 p.m.: MIDTOWN — DeSean Jackson, Eric Berry, Matt Forte and Josh Gordon will stop by the “Autograph Stage” on 40th and Broadway to sign for fans.
5:15 p.m.: MIDTOWN — Saks Fifth Avenue hosts “Fashion Meets Football,” an athlete-filled party featuring Jason Kidd, Reggie Bush, Justin Tuck and Chris Canty. Tickets are $100. The event benefits Big Daddy’s Foundation.
7:30 p.m.: THE BRONX — The Islanders take on the Rangers in an outdoor game at Yankee Stadium. Who knows what NFL players might venture outside.
8 p.m.: MIDTOWN — The Super Comedy Jam at the Hammerstein Ballroom, featuring standup comedians Jay Mohr, Dave Attell and Jeff Norris. Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton will host.
About Last Night
NEW YORK — “You think you guys are healthy?” Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is saying to the owner of a trendy juice shop in the Flatiron District. “You gotta get to Seattle. Those are the healthiest people I’ve ever seen in my life. They don’t drive cars, they ride bikes. They only drink water. Here people say, ‘Oh for a good time, we’re going to go to the club?’ There they go hiking. I’m dead serious.”
And so continued Bennett and teammate Cliff Avril’s two-hour visit to Juice Press on Tuesday evening, a tiny juice boutique on West 22nd with mint green walls and shelves stocked with pre-bottled smoothies, raw nuts and dry fruits.
It wasn’t a promotional event; neither Avril or Bennett have financial ties to the company. The appearance was lightly publicized.
Bennett and Avril simply stopped by to learn about juice, cleansing and the raw diet fad.
“My wife is into juicing,” Bennett told The Snaffler. “Not steroids, obviously. But the fresh juice craze.”
“My lady is into it, too,” Avril said. “She’d love this place.”
Mrs. Bennett’s concoctions include carrots, green apples, strawberries … “Everything,” he said. “You wouldn’t believe the stuff she puts in there.”
Avril’s lady prefers green juice. “They really should open a new location in Seattle,” he said. “They’d do real well.”
The Three-Question Interview
…with Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin.
THE SNAFFLER: What is one way you have grown as a receiver from working with Russell Wilson?
BALDWIN: Being patient. There were times when we were struggling on offense, and I think Russell will admit it had a lot to do with the chemistry he had between the receivers and himself. Patience was one of those things we had to work on. … Growing together with him was probably the most difficult thing—or not difficult, but the thing we had to improve on the most.
THE SNAFFLER: What was going through your mind when you went back to the locker room with a hip injury during the NFC Championship Game?
BALDWIN: There was nothing that was going to stop me from coming back out. It was actually a significant injury, however, at that point it was the most important game I’d ever played in and there was nothing that was going to stop me from coming back out and helping my teammates get the victory.
THE SNAFFLER: When did you start to think the Seahawks could make it to the Super Bowl?
BALDWIN: It was last year, after the loss to Atlanta (in the playoffs). After watching the film, and watching our progression through that season, we realized how talented we really were. We just had to put it all together. The execution wasn’t always there but the effort was there; the enthusiasm, the passion for the game. I always say “the passion for the game” because the guys here, they just love to play football. When you have a genuine love for the guys around you, the sky’s the limit. So it was after the Atlanta game when I realized we had a special team.
Broncos Fan of the Day
Meandering around the Prudential Center on Tuesday afternoon was a familiar, yet unexpected face: Regis Philbin.
The former host of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” looked sharp in a dark, windowpane suit and glowing tan. He was a bit slow to move through the crowd—the New York native is now 82—and was trailed by an entourage of handlers and television crews.
“I really want to go see Peyton,” Philbin told a man in his crew. As TV reporters plead for interviews, Philbin instead made a beeline for the quarterback’s table. He watched Manning field questions from reporters for about five minutes.
The Snaffler secured a few minutes of one-on-one time with Philbin, and he offered this as his Super Bowl prediction: “Denver’s going to win, absolutely. When you have a guy who can throw 55 touchdowns, and an offense that has eight receivers who are threats, they are not to be stopped.”
Philbin’s best soundbite came when he encountered Terrance Knighton and shouted, “C’mon, Pot Roast, gimme a nickname?”
Knighton paused, perhaps wondering if he should phone a friend.
- Broncos fan of the day, runner-up: Television personality (and husband to Mariah Carey) Nick Cannon. The 33-year-old California native roamed Media Day sporting a bright orange Broncos flat-brim and a Peyton Manning jersey. “Peyton, that’s my boy,” Cannon told The Snaffler. “I love Peyton Manning. How could you not?”
Here are five NFL stories you’ll be taking about today:
1. Marshawn Lynch’s quiet power behind Seahawks’ Super run (By Michael Silver, NFL.com)
Lynch, who rarely talks to the media, spoke in-depth with his fellow Cal alum Silver.
2. In Las Vegas, Putting a Lot on the Line for the Super Bowl (By Joe Drape, The New York Times)
Meet some of the point spread Dons of Las Vegas.
3. In the Beginning, There Was A Nipple (By Marin Cogan, ESPN the Magazine)
The lasting impact of Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction.
4. Pot grower’s ‘Beast Mode’ strain packs punch (By Bob Young, Seattle Times)
A Washington State pot grower has come up with a strain called “Beast Mode,” in tribute to Marshawn Lynch’s nickname.
5. Quarterback Postseason Drive Stats (By Scott Kacsmar, Football Outsiders)
Some serious number-crunching for the sabermetrically-inclined.
More coverage from The MMQB including:
An Intimate Gathering of Seemingly Everyone on Earth (By Peter King)
When Randy Moss, Slovenian television and the Middlebury College magazine are covering the same event, you just have to wonder if things have gone too far
The Tricks of Kicking at MetLife, from the Men Who Know (By Jenny Vrentas)
Giants punter Steve Weatherford and Jets kicker Nick Folk have some words of advice for their Seattle and Denver counterparts on how to handle MetLife conditions
How Manning Can Get the Seahawks Right Where He Wants Them (By Andy Benoit)
Seattle’s secondary might seem like an impossible matchup, but Peyton Manning is a master manipulator. And there’s one formation, in particular, he can utilize to put Richard Sherman & Co. in an unenviable position
10 Things I Learned After America Learned About Me (By Richard Sherman)
‘If I could pass a lesson on to the kids it would be this: Don’t attack anybody. I shouldn’t have attacked Michael Crabtree the way I did. You don’t have to put anybody else down to make yourself bigger.’
Sights and Sounds
She’s 4-foot-11, 18 years old and has one of the biggest television reporting assignments in America: covering the Super Bowl.
Remember Gabby Douglas? You might recall her from the Olympics. She was the golden girl, after all, becoming the first African-American to capture the individual women’s gymnastic title and lead Team USA to gold. On Super Sunday, Douglas will work as a special correspondent for “Inside Edition.”
The Snaffler caught up with Douglas, a self-proclaimed “huge, huge, huge New England Patriots fan.” She says her job description includes interviews and a few behind-the scenes pieces. On how she will prepare, Douglas laughed. “Bundle up, of course!” she said, flashing a wide smile. (Douglas hasn’t decided on an outfit yet, but said “Whatever it is, it will include lots and lots of layers.)
Transitioning from superstar athlete to media member can be tricky, but Douglas passed her first test in journalistic ethics: When asked which team she will root for, Douglas said: “I’m going to root for both teams. I want them both to do well.”