- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2006

• Day 1, or wher’s the snow?

Think of Michigan in general and Detroit in particular at this time of year, and you think of snow, ice, biting wind and freezing temperatures. In other words, if my first Super Bowl was going to be spent in a cold-weather city, I was all for a taste of my home state, North Dakota.

Instead, the midday temperature was 46 degrees — which made you wonder why volunteers were handing out Super Bowl XL hand warmers at baggage claim — and there isn’t any snow. The downtown area’s winter carnival-type event this weekend likely will feature trucked-in snow.

• The Seahawks arrived Sunday in owner Paul Allen’s airplane, and the Steelers flew into town yesterday morning and went straight to the Silverdome for practice. I arrived around 11:30 a.m., and the bus ride downtown featured a debate between a Detroit-based volunteer and a Windsor, Ontario-based volunteer about which city is safer.

• The teams had media sessions an hour apart, each sending five players and its coach downtown. Here’s the thing you instantly realize about the Super Bowl: Everything has been written already. So the goal is to find a different angle to why Shaun Alexander is a stud, why Jerome Bettis is a leader, etc.

• That leaves some people — not me — to ask Steelers defensive lineman Casey Hampton about the team’s following in Mexico and still others to gravitate toward … Chris Berman? Yep, Berman parked himself at the entrance to the interview room and held court with every microphone and tape recorder that was turned on. Some guys just love the limelight.

• Today brings Media Day at Ford Field, the famous (or infamous) event that brings out talking heads from MTV, Nickelodeon and, of course, ESPN.

Ryan O’Halloran

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