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  • Media night was ridiculous as usual, but there were some snippets worth your attention
By Kalyn Kahler
January 29, 2019

ATLANTA — A dramatic string-music theme played as Jared Goff walked nonchalantly down the platform to meet the crowd assembled at media night. Patriots fans well outnumbered Rams fans in attendance, and shouted variations of “We Want Six! We Want Six!” as well as New England’s rallying cry, “We’re Still Here!”

The Super Bowl LIII media night in Atlanta was your typical circus. Rob Gronkowski told another 69 joke, players tried to solve Rubik’s Cubes and read fortunes from fortune cookies. A reporter offered players exotic food to eat (Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers actually ate a cricket), a man dressed as a clown wandered throughout the press conferences, and—predictably—there were many questions about how old Goff was when Tom Brady did [significant life event]. And in a strange wardrobe decision, most players were dressed in gray, short-sleeve Belichickian hooded sweatshirts with darker gray long sleeve shirts underneath. Many appeared to be overheating in the crowded room.

Media nights are ridiculous, but at the same time strangely entertaining. Here are the most interesting things we learned from opening night in Atlanta:

BRADY IS NOT HERE TO HELP YOUNG GOFF: When Brady was asked if he had any advice for his young Rams counterpart, he said, “I’m not giving him any advice!”

WADE PHILLIPS IS STILL THE BEST: Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips confirmed that Drake is indeed still his favorite rapper. Another good Phillips response, when asked about the best way to prepare for Brady: Get an earpiece with Tony Romo in it, so Romo can tell him what is going to happen before each play.

WHY MATTHEW SLATER ALWAYS CALLS HEADS: When asked why he always calls heads for coin tosses, Patriots captain Matthew Slater said it's a tribute to his dad, Jackie Slater, the Hall of Famer who spent his entire 20-year career with the Rams. Jackie would say that God is at the head of his life, and calling heads on a coin toss is a reminder that faith travels with you everywhere you go. A reporter even produced a quarter for a coin flip with Slater and, you guessed it, it landed heads up. A good omen for the Pats... 

BELICHICK HAS TROUBLE TELLING THE MCCOURTY TWINS APART: Devin McCourty said that he hasn’t tried to trick Belichick by switching places with his twin Jason McCourty, but that the head coach, “doesn’t know the difference between us.” And that once in training camp this season, Devin and Jason wore the same color undershirt to practice and Belichick asked them, did they really have to do that? From then on, they always wore the same color.

GRONK ON RETIREMENT: NFL Network's Michael Irvin asked Rob Gronkowski if he planned to retire after the Super Bowl. Gronk's answer: "I don't know."

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HOT READS

NOW ON THE MMQB: Michael Rosenberg on a relaxed Tom Brady, in his element at media night... Albert Breer on Alex Smith's future and Todd Gurley's benching...  In honor of SB LIII, Conor Orr found Brady's ex-teammates age 53 and older, and asked what they remember about playing with the then-young QB... and more.


PRESS COVERAGE

1. Nickell Robey-Coleman walked back his comments about Brady's age.

2. Josh Gordon is receiving treatment at an inpatient facility in Gainesville, Fla.

3. The Raiders are calling season ticket holders to say they do not know where they are playing next season.


THE KICKER

From Atlanta, an interview with MMQB staff writer Conor Orr.

HUDDLE: How would your rate the performance of the Super Bowl airport greeters in Atlanta?

ORR: 10 out of 10. These were the friendliest airport greeters, though it is tough to one-up Minnesota last year. Minnesota had the robot in the mall that showed you where to go.

HUDDLE: How many Super Bowls have you covered?

ORR: Seven.

HUDDLE: Favorite Super Bowl host city?

ORR: Scranton is my favorite city in America, Indianapolis is second. So I loved Giants-Patriots, 2012 in Indianapolis. It was a great Super Bowl, we had a great group of people. I got to drive there from New Jersey where I live and I got interviewed by my local paper for a story. The headline was, Area Man Goes To Super Bowl.

HUDDLE: Is this article still on the internet?

ORR: It is! [After several minutes of searching, Orr fails to find the article.]

HUDDLE: O.K., so we all know the Super Bowl is a lot of football but it’s also a lot of eating. What is your favorite restaurant in a Super Bowl host city?

ORR: Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis.

Question? Comment? Story idea? Let the team know at talkback@themmqb.com

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