Let’s see if there’ll be some heat in an otherwise cold Super Week
It’s another manic Monday.
But it’s not like the others. It is the Monday of Super Bowl Week.
Now, things begin to get serious for the New England Patriots and their fans. They will have their big send off at Gillette Stadium Monday morning, which is as good excuse as any for the fandom to skip work. After all, it is flu season.
And then the Patriots will be off to Minneapolis. They can leave the shorts and flip-flops at home. Brink the parka, although the team was reportedly informed all the practices will be indoors this week, using the Vikings practice facility. No reason to go outside since the game will be indoors. In fact, all of the Patriots Super Bowls except one have been under a roof – the 24-21 win over the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville. That city was not really able to host a Super Bowl; it was a promise given to ownership for getting a new stadium built. Which is why this will be the second Super Bowl at a cold weather location in the last five years, the other being in the Meadowlands. That was outdoors.
What’s in store for this week? The fun begins with Media Night at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis. The NFL is cashing in on an event that has always produced bizarre results, moving it to a nighttime event and selling tickets to it for fans to watch and hear some of the questions/responses. Before it used to be held during the day.
Everyone’s available, the Patriots will be on the floor at 9 p.m. eastern time, (8 p.m. central if you’re going to be in Minneapolis then). The Philadelphia Eagles have the floor at 7 p.m. eastern.
The last time the Eagles were in the Super Bowl, of course, was against the Patriots in Jacksonville and flamboyant Terrell Owens stole the Media Day show. At one podium station surrounded by at least a hundred media (and pseudo media members), he declared God had healed his badly injured ankle so he would be able to play in the game.
And you know what? Perhaps modern science and something called a needle helped with that divine intervention as Owens shocked everyone five days later by incredibly coming down with nine receptions for 122 yards. But, most important for the Patriots, no touchdowns.
The week will continue with the team having limited media availability (only Bill Belichick and 10 players)s a dozen players) late Tuesday morning. The Patriots then will hold their remaining two media sessions on Wednesday and Thursday with the entire team available late in the afternoon (5:15 p.m. eastern), while the Eagles grabbed the morning (11:15 eastern). Everything will be done at the Mall of America in Bloomington, interestingly enough, rather than in the team hotels.
Good thing. Who is going to want to go outside? Wednesday will be a like a heat wave in the Twin Cities with a high of 34 degrees. Then that’s it; the forecasted high temperatures for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Super Bowl Sunday: 8, 9, 10 and 13 degrees, respectively. Why is this area getting the Super Bowl again?
Tom vs. Time – the second installment came out on Sunday – will be topic, one that Brady will refuse to discuss. Heck, he already has.
Belichick’s “Two Bills” ESPN documentary is aired for the first time Thursay night, but media availability will be done at that point. No longer do the two head coaches have a pow-wow together with the media on Friday.
Then what will be the hot topics? Brady could care less.
“I’m glad we’re still playing,” he said the other day. “I think, more importantly than anything, to be working this week is pretty special for al of us and it’s a great environment we’re about to go into.
“We’re right at the finish line, I think. It’s one game to play and there’s a finality to this game.”
One game, with now one week leading up to it. It’s going to be a cold week; let’s see if either of these two teams can stir up enough controversy to heat things up.
Doubt it, but you never know.
Tom King can be reached at 594-1251, firstname.lastname@example.org., or @Telegraph_TomK.