About that Super Bowl babies commercial ... and my Seal Super Bowl story (3:30 p.m.)
My colleague Kevin Patra already wrote about this over at Around The NFL, but I feel like I have to address the "Super Bowl Babies Choir".
This is just ... wild. I'm pretty amazed the concept survived all the necessary channels to become a reality. I'm blown away by the sight of Seal wailing away in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. I won't be surprised if this is the commercial people are talking about on Monday morning.
Because, you know, this is a commercial by the NFL about people, um, doing it after the Super Bowl. Wild.
Randomly, I have a Seal Super Bowl story. Back in 2012, I was a young(ish) blogger covering my first Super Bowl for NFL.com. The Giants had just knocked off the Patriots for the second time in four years and it was my job to get a taste of the scene in the victorious locker room.
Perhaps I'd watched too many sports movies growing up, but I thought going into a winning locker room after the Super Bowl would be champagne-soaked jubilee of the highest order. What I found out is that a post-Super Bowl locker room is much different than a clubhouse following, say, a World Series title in baseball. Giants players were obviously in great spirits, but the scene was far more subdued than I imagined. It's been pretty similar in each of the subsequent Super Bowls I've attended.
So yes, the scene was already a bit jarring for a rookie and there was freakin' Seal walking around the Giants locker room snapping photos with a vintage camera with a big smile on his face. Nobody was paying much attention to the famed pop star, he was kind of in his own world documenting the moment for ... somebody. I'll never know why the "Kiss From A Rose" guy was in that locker room.
It remains one of the great unsolved mysteries in NFL history.
Media Party at the Exploratorium (11:30 a.m.)
The Media Party is traditionally a hit-or-miss venture during Super Bowl week. It was a big hit on the waterfront in San Francisco on Tuesday night.
The venue itself was the major reason why. The party was held at The Exploratorium, an innovative, popular and endlessly ingenious museum located at Piers 15 and 17 on San Francisco's Embarcadero. I spent the majority of the evening sipping on good wine, eating outrageous donuts with pink frosting and messing around with the hundreds of exhibits on display.
I cannot recommend this place highly enough if you're in town this week and are looking for something to do before The Big Game.
You can get a better idea of the scene at the Exploratorium in the video above. I'll try to include these vids with each of my party experiences this week. I apologize in advance for my failures as a cinematographer.
Nothing bad happens at a hotel bar (10:30 a.m.)
The morning sun is shining down upon beautiful San Francisco. We heard for weeks that El Niño could wreak havoc with Super Bowl week in the Bay Area, but every day has been crisp and blue so far. Owen Daniels is secretly disappointed.
We've reached the transition point of Super Bowl week where the energy in the host city really starts to build. The large majority of Broncos and Panthers fans won't arrive until Friday and Saturday, but you'll definitely start to see an uptick in activity around the city as we inch toward the weekend. The big parties start to kick off tonight. I'll be at Glazerpalooza this evening and will offer a dispatch on that popular industry party. It's always fun to hang out with prominent NFL types as they booze heavily and awkwardly bob their head to The Weeknd.
Last night was the annual Media Party, which I'll get into a little later. After the party, a group of us had a nightcap at our hotel bar. OK, multiple nightcaps. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport -- who, by law, must be referred to by his full title -- introduced me to former Jets and Browns coach Eric Mangini. Mangini, who was the DC in San Francisco last season, was very nice and friendly, humoring me as I asked him about his Jets days and that legendary cameo on *The Sopranos*.
Fun Sopranos nugget: In the original script for the Season 6 episode, Mangini and Tony were supposed to be good friends. But James Gandolfini knew it wouldn't be a good look for the Jets or Mangini -- playing himself -- to be presented as buddy-buddy with a sociopath gangster like Tony Soprano. Gandolfini shared this reservation with Mangini and the scene was tweaked to make the relationship between the two men a bit more nebulous.
Mangini was on set for nine hours for a scene that lasted seconds. He still gets a monthly residual check for a comically small amount of money. I wish I could tell you the exact amount, but this conversation happened in a hotel bar at 1 a.m. Please forgive your mortal correspondent.