A few standout moments from what the NFL Network and ESPN News showed us from media day at Ford Field:
* NFL Network did a quick stand-up with Seahawks backup offensive lineman Floyd Womack. Why? Apparently because his nickname is Pork Chop. Understandably so, since he's 6-4, 330, easily the biggest lineman on the roster. Every question asked for the three-minute segment involved food. How'd you get the nickname? (His mother gave it to him. Hope the Seahawks gave him a therapy bonus in his last contract.) Is that your favorite food? (Nope, he's pretty diverse in his tastes.) What about lobster, crab, a nice Chilean sea bass, do you like those? (Nope, he's a meat guy, even though he plays in a pretty good seafood city.) Riveting stuff, especially for someone who might not even play Sunday.
* Bill Cowher was asked about the difference between American football and what the rest of the world calls football, by a Brazilian reporter. Give big-time pro athletes credit: at events like this, the international media shows up in big numbers and ask questions players and coaches never hear, and they handle them with real grace and professionalism. During Michael Jordan's peak, every year at the NBA All-Star Game and Finals he would be asked if he's ever dreamed of playing in Serbia, if he hopes the NBA expands to Paris, if he'd like to say hello to all his fans in Osaka - and he'd happily cooperate. We American dopes would then ask him if he's sick of putting up with Dennis Rodman yet, or if he really spent all night playing blackjack in Atlantic City before a playoff game, and the smile would fall away and he'd get testy right back at us. This, of course, after we'd groan and roll our eyes at the fawning foreigners, like the bad hosts we are. Anyway, Cowher talked about how good it was that the football players here wore helmets, mainly because it disguised their identity, kept players from getting too caught up in individuality, and fosters a focus on the team. Then the reporter made a joke about soccer players not needing helmets, and Cowher responded that with the way they play football here, everyone's glad to have helmets. He did it all good-naturedly, with a smile. They really can all be classy when the moment fits.
* Then there was Ben Roethlisberger, who was asked about the dual-disrespect angle both teams have been shoving down everyone's throats. No, he said, that's "you guys in the media'' perpetuating that. Suuuuure it is. Thanks, Ben. Where's Freddie Mitchell when you need him?
* At one point, I swear I saw Gilbert Gottfried at a podium. Was I hallucinating? I am still feeling a little ill. It wasn't until yesterday that I realized that I wasn't having feverish visions of a sequel to "Big Momma's House.'' Turns out there really is one. And yes, it turns out that Gottfried is working the game for ESPN's Cold Pizza. That figures. Of course, he's continuing the tradition of "zany'' interviewers sent out by the various shows and networks, who are legitimately annoying and eye-roll-inducing. You know Arsenio Hall is going to pop up somewhere soon.
Jamison, Ken and Peter are sure to give a much broader perspective on the scene in tomorrow's paper, so take the above glimpses for what they are. Meanwhile, I've got the sickness again. I'm gonna end up watching Kobe tonight. I tried to resist, but he's playing the Knicks, and they're begging to have at least 60 dropped on them. Check out the back pages from the tabs today: the Post, Daily News and Newsday.