The greatest tradition of Super Bowl Media Day is finding all sorts of colorful characters mixed in with the reporters who actually are looking for serious quotes for a particular feature story.
The funny thing is, many of these “characters” are doing the same thing but also want to draw some attention to themselves, their publication, or network.
The 2014 Super Bowl Media Day champion goes to Waldo.
A man dressed as Waldo walked around the Prudential Center taking photos with people and doing countless interviews.
No podium drew more attention than Peyton Manning’s, but Waldo easily had the second-most interview questions thrown his way.
Once he was “found,” Waldo would happily answer the same question over and over: “Why are you dressed as Waldo?”
The real story is “Waldo” was Danish reporter Tommy Kjaersgaard from TV3 Sport. Kjaersgaard is actually working the Super Bowl broadcast for Danish television.
While Waldo certainly drew plenty of attention, there also was a man dressed as an 18th-century American colonist wearing a UFC title belt and another man dressed as a superhero. He also answered lots of questions about his appearance, but also is here working for a television station.
“This is just about the thrill of being Waldo,” said Kjaersgaard. “I try to convince people that I’m not Waldo because I don’t really like to be found, but most people recognize me. So, I just pat them on the should and say, ‘Good job.’”
After the jokes and puns were over, everyone wanted to know who Waldo is picking Sunday night.
“The Seahawks,” said Kjaersgaard. “Because defense wins championships.”
Then you had actor Hank Azaria, perhaps known best for voice work on The Simpsons, who was interviewing Broncos kicker Matt Prater for the Rich Eisen Podcast on NFL.com.
Media Day is always a chaotic scene that goes by in a flash. It is one of the last times the media has the opportunity to speak to the players and coaches, while also brings out some weirdos. But that’s what it makes it so much fun.
There are always players who get larger media scrums than others. Peyton Manning easily had the biggest crowd during the Broncos session, while Richard Sherman — by about 12 miles — had the largest media crowd of any player from either team for obvious reasons.
Former Bills running back Marshawn Lynch, who never speaks to the media, showed up to the Seahawks’ session but walked off abruptly after only six-and-a-half minutes.
Paul Jannace is the sports editor of the Wellsville (N.Y.) Daily Reporter, a Gatehouse Media publication. He is covering his fourth Super Bowl and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/pjscribe.