XLIX After Dark: Glazerpalooza (2 a.m. MT)
There's Jay Glazer.
He's about five feet away and making quick gains toward my small piece of real estate on the red carpet at the Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale. Picture the side-view mirror scene in *Jurassic Park*, only instead of a T-Rex, it's a black-cladman built like an air conditioner unit turned on its side.
Before I can enjoy Glazerpalooza, it's important I speak with the man who willed one of the biggest parties of Super Bowl week into existence. Glazer's goal is that it one day becomes the biggest.
Glazer may look like he trains with Meathead Rob Lowe, but there's more to him than intense MMA workouts and reliably accurate NFL scoops. It's clear he's a business man: My first two questions receive answers that reference Jared Allen (the Bears pass rusher's veterans charity received proceeds from the event) and Mophie (a smart phone application that sponsored the party).
I ask Glazer what would happen if he were three hours deep in his own party and his phone pinged with the latest breaking news on DeflateGate.
"If I gotta walk away, I gotta walk away," he said. "It's like every relationship with a woman I've ever had."
I was at Glazer's party last year in Manhattan, a fun event best remembered for the host spending his entire night on the second level of the venue, calling up the worthy with a hand motion. You're not going to believe it, but I didn't get the invite.
This year was different. Ian Rapoport, hereinafter referred to as NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, pulled some strings and got us both a luxury SUV from our downtown Phoenix hotel as well as VIP wristbands and our own cordoned off area of the outdoor space. David Spade, a celebrity attendee chatting nearby, could only watch with envy.
The venue filled up gradually while we relaxed behind the velvet ropes, listening to "Uptown Funk" for the 400th time this week, sipping on cold beverages and toasting our sudden high-end lot in life. At one point, a beefy Canadian man slipped into our group and tried to make fast friends. His intentions were unpure (and he was the worst) so we nodded at a security member and had him whisked away.
Seconds later, he was gone. Banished to the cornfields (or at least the cash bar). Our thirst for power had grown to Frank Underwood levels. For one night, we rapped the oak table with the brass ring and the people listened.
I'm on a bus (3:50 p.m. MT)
Located next to the psychotic Skittles station (see Monday for more details) sits NBC's Sunday Night Football bus. The bus has traveled over 40,000 miles since September -- or 54,148,160 yards to be exact -- during the regular season and playoffs.
The bus carried some precious cargo this season. The Lombardi Trophy traveled to each city, protected behind glass and kept in a safe when not on display. Lombardi rules: Someone must be on the bus with the trophy at all times and it can only be touched with white gloves. Fancy.
My favorite feature on the bus are two iPads that are hooked up to display the Spotify pre-game playlists of various NFL stars. We really enjoyed Russell Wilson's mix, which included songs from Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson.
Much thanks to Jeremy Hammond and Erin McCarthy of NBC Sports, who gave me a personal tour of the inside of the great machine.
"Faux Doadles, University of Oregon" (2:30 p.m. MT)
If you're not watching Key & Peele, I implore you to alter that reality right now.
It's one of the best sketch comedy shows on television in an era when there are some great options to choose from. You can get a taste of their style in this player introduction sketch that mixes fake ridiculous player names with real ridiculous player names. Watch until the end for an excellent closing cameo.
Two minutes with Calais Campbell (1 p.m. MT)
Calais Campbell is coming off a great season for the Arizona Cardinals, posting seven sacks and earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
But when I saw Campbell step onto the set at NFL Live, all I could thing about was Darnell Dockett's glorious insane Twitter feed. More specifically, Dockett's live documentation of jury duty in December -- an event that may or may not have actually happened.
"I think to myself all the time, 'What is going on in this dude's head?'" Campbell said. "But I know what it is though. He's one of those guys that he's very funny and he likes to make people laugh, he wants to be on people's minds he loves attention and he knows when he says crazy things people are going to give him a good response. I know he's doing it for the love."
Soooooo ... was the jury duty story legit?
"You know, I don't know," Campbell said. "I low-key asked him, 'Man, you gotta be makin' that up, it can't be real,' but he made it seem like he was really in jury duty.
"He didn't really talk about it. It kind of changed the subject real quick, so I'm not sure yet. I know him well, so he could still be playing the role."
The mystery remains. But yeah, you should really follow @ddockett. And @campbell93, too. He seemed very nice.
The scene behind the scenes (11:25 a.m. MT)
NFL Network has an unusually expansive setup at the Super Bowl Media Center this year. There are three different sets, including the Super Bowl Live space with your hosts Matt "Money" Smith and Dave Dameshek (far right).
The 10-second clip gives you a pretty good idea of how the sausage gets made during Super Bowl week at Radio Row. That's Hall of Famer Mike Haynes in his gold jacket, being led away by a handler while someone trails behind him with a football to sign. Crew members are everywhere -- I'm not really sure what any of them do, though I assume they're all essential and good at not getting electrocuted. Extension cords and lighting rigs and electrical tape are everywhere. As are laptop bags and props and cans of soup and, wait, is that James Van Der Beek's head?
The whole operation is a well-oiled machine, where segments and guests are scheduled to the minute to keep things on course. I'm a mysterious journo lingering in the background hoping no one tells me they need the outlet that's juicing my laptop. There's a 44 percent chance I'll knock over something expensive in the next four days.
Let the parties begin (10 a.m. MT)
Above you'll find a short concert scene from the annual Media Party, which took place last night at the Arizona Host Committee Super Bowl XLIX Media Party. A group of talented women are playing 80s, 90s and 00s hits on violins. Their best performance was the evening closer, an inspired cover of "Uprising" by Muse.
The event was held in Scottsdale at a golf course named Birds Nest at Waste Management Phoenix Open. That is a mouthful, especially when you put it together: The Arizona Host Committee Super Bowl XLIX Media Party at the Birds Nest at Waste Management Phoenix Open. Whoa. I also have to question why a golf course would want literal garbage attached to its name, but hey, money talks.
Here was the weirdest attraction of the night:
So many questions. Who came up with this idea? How much are these people paid? Does it break labor laws? What's the oxygen situation? What if you have to go to the bathroom? For most of the evening, the humans inside the Arizona Host Committee Super Bowl XLIX Media Party at the Birds Nest at Waste Management Phoenix Open TouchZone® (my name) were ignored, a group of poor souls trapped in their little box waving their arms into the empty desert air.
I walked through the attraction because this is my job. It was uncomfortable and odd and unsettling. The touch of the hands felt feminine -- but let's be honest -- there was no way to tell if a guy named Carl was working my traps. I don't think I should tell my wife about it.
The rest of the party was pretty basic, with an open bar (always grand), a bunch of free food from local eateries (solid) and an army of attractive women serving drinks. Kid from House Party fame was there ... for reasons that are unclear. There was also this clown, failing to sink a putt in a big spot.
Screw that clown. I hope his clown son sees this and loses respect for his old clown man. Clowns are the worst.
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