Super Bowl 50, Media Day
Super Bowl 50 Media Day (photo: Jon Bauer)

Super Bowl Media Day, this year known as “Opening Night,” can best be described as organized cacophony. At the center of attention are the two NFL teams vying for the title during the most-watched television event of the year. But it’s also a gathering of thousands of journalists, bloggers, YouTubers, television actors, and weird personalities. Even crown-clad Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach walked the blue carpet at SAP Center, interviewing players from both sides.

There was a dancing leprechaun, several spandex bodysuit-clad gentlemen, a TV puppeteer/interviewer from Mexico City, a lady in a giant football costume, football legends like John Elway, Steve Young and Jerry Rice, ESPN talking heads, 49ers’ Arik Armstead (the team’s top draft pick last year, here working the microphone for a Sacramento news station), and an Austrian journalist dressed as a skier (yes, he had the skis). There were so many personalities that it was tough to wrap our heads around the entire event.

Opening Night was more than Peyton Manning and Cam Newton answering questions about their offenses and their teams’ chances of winning. Any question was fair game, even when asked by a puppet. The Bay Bridged joined the fray. Enjoy the video and photos. Q&A outtakes follow.

The Bay Bridged: What are you doing here?

49ers defensive end and Sacramento native Arik Armstead: I’m doing media things today and hopefully I’m on the other side of it in the future, playing in this game.

TBB: What have you done since flying into town yesterday? Do you have plans to visit San Francisco?

Broncos nose tackle Darius Kilgo: I actually went down to San Fran yesterday just to walk around and enjoy myself. That was fun.

Panthers’ backup quarterback Derek Anderson: Nah. I’m gonna stay away. My family, my mom and dad are gonna stay up there, but my wife and daughter are gonna stay down here. (This is) not a vacation. I’ve been to other Super Bowls and experienced the parties and chaos. This is a business trip for all of us. Hopefully at the end of the week we’ll have something to celebrate.

TBB: How does it feel to see all this Super Bowl hype and know it’s all for you and the other players?

Broncos center James Ferrentz: It’s really special and it didn’t really hit us until we landed that we were in the Super Bowl. All the bells and whistles, it’s really cool, really special and really humbling. We got to go eat in San Francisco last night at Harris’ Steakhouse. We’re looking to see more of the Bay Area as the week goes on.

Anderson: This is the culmination of a lot of hard work for everybody. A lot of us have been through a lot in our careers and to have this opportunity is very special for a lot of the older guys on our team. For the young guys, it hasn’t set in yet. They haven’t had to go through the struggles that most of us have.

TBBHow would you convince Bay Area fans to root for your team?

Broncos fan Maria Brooks, of Monterey: You can’t go wrong with Peyton Manning. He’s been in the game for so long, he’s got such a big heart, he plays with not only a lot of talent but a lot of smarts. Peyton Manning isn’t the kind of player that’s going to go off the field and be a diva and have problems with his moral character and decisions. San Francisco needs to be on-board with the Broncos, because, San Francisco, we’re winners here, baby.

Panthers cornerback Lou Young: We just gotta bring the juice. Hopefully the juice is contagious and is gonna go through the whole stadium, and it’ll be filled with Panther fans.

Follow writer Roman Gokhman at and

Photos by Jon Bauer.