Super Bowl Week officially kicked off Tuesday with Media Day and there were plenty of highlights.
Strangely enough, hair seemed to be one of the biggest issues of Media Day, with questions about Steelers safety Troy Polamalu's and Packers linebacker A.J. Hawks' locks being some of the most prevalent. Polamalu was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year for his work this season and he was honored by teammates Hines Ward and Brett Keisel--himself quite hirsute--who wore novelty wigs in an attempt to look more like their teammate.
Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji, who rumbled for a touchdown after a fumble recovery and capped it off with a memorable celebration dance in the NFC Championship Game, conducted all of his interviews wearing a Cheesehead hat, a longtime symbol of the Green Bay Packers. Raji also said he was definitely ready to show off his dance moves again should the opportunity arise in the big game and emulate William The Fridge Perry, the rotund Chicago Bears defensive tackle who rushed for a touchdown in Super Bowl XX.
Steelers linebacker James Harrison was the subject of much criticism this season for his style of play that was seen by some as reckless. Harrison responded to NFL Commission Roger Goodell's attempts to make player safety a bigger issue in the league by saying he had suffered concussions during games and hadn't missed time. Regarding his style of play, Harrison sarcastically said, I just want to tackle them softly on the ground. If you can, can you lay a pillow down where I'm going to tackle them so they don't hit the ground too hard ... Mr. Goodell? While his statements were met with laughter by the assembled media, Harrison's attitude is in line with the majority of NFL players and fans who want to be able to continue playing the game their way. This will be one of the many issues that the league has to investigate in upcoming labor negotiations.
One of the biggest storylines of the Super Bowl will be how both teams' quarterback play, and both the Packers' Aaron Rodgers and the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger were on hand to give their thoughts. Roethlisberger avoided questions about his controversial suspension, instead choosing to praise the other players in the game and talk about the weather. Rodgers also brought up the weather, saying it would not be as big a deal back in Green Bay--a tongue in cheek response to media members that had complained about the cool weather in North Texas.
However, the main story is still the game, and Rodgers is looking forward to it and hopes to etch his name into the log of Green Bay legends. When he was asked if he felt this was his time to win a Super Bowl since prior Packers quarterbacks Bart Starr and Brett Favre won Superbowls at the same age Rodgers is currently, he said, I hope I can keep that tradition going.
If you weren't already excited about the Super Bowl, now would be a good time to start.