- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2009

POSTCARD FROM TAMPA, FLA.

A timeline of Sir Scribble’s fourth Super Bowl Media Day:

10:04 a.m. - Cardinals running back Tim Hightower is asked how it feels to be in the Super Bowl as a rookie. The questioner is none other than Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce, holding a “Best Damn Sports Show, Period” microphone.

10:14 a.m. - Actor Jerry O’Connell interviews reserve players wearing a No. 32 Edgerrin James jersey.

10:22 a.m. - Coach-turned-talking head Steve Mariucci waits to talk to Cardinals general manager Rod Graves. He greets another person and says, “I’ve got a horse for sale. You interested?”

10:25 a.m. - Scrib is looking for the Cardinals’ receivers coach. An assistant coach says, “You looking for Pete or John?” Scrib replies, “Nah, Mike Miller.” The coach says, “That’s me.” Sometimes, luck comes into play.

10:34 a.m. - A man dressed in drag - red dress, blond wig, full makeup - makes his way to the field.

10:44 a.m. - Approximately 44 minutes after he started, ESPN’s Chris Berman continues to give interviews.

12:08 p.m. - It wouldn’t be an NBC-televised sporting event without Ross the Intern from “The Tonight Show.”

12:25 p.m.;Entertainment Tonight” asks Steelers players to take quick dance lessons from professionals on a hardwood floor in the corner of the end zone.

12:45 p.m. - Maria Menounos from “Access Hollywood” plays catch with a Steelers practice squad player. As you can deduce, several of the television reporters on hand don’t ask questions as much as get seen with players.

1 p.m. - Another spectacle complete.

MATCHUP TO WATCH

CARDINALS LEFT TACKLE MIKE GANDY vs. STEELERS LINEBACKER JAMES HARRISON

The Cardinals’ best chance of beating the Steelers lies in keeping quarterback Kurt Warner upright because Arizona isn’t expected to establish much of a running game. Enter Gandy, Warner’s blindside protector.

The veteran left tackle has been Arizona’s best offensive lineman this season, and he’s a big reason the Cardinals scored at least 30 points in all three of their playoff games. But he may need help from running backs Edgerrin James or Tim Hightower against Harrison.

The 242-pound linebacker has 111 tackles and 17 sacks this year, including the playoffs. The Steelers ranked second in sacks per pass attempt during the regular season with 51. If Harrison can establish the pass rush early, things will open up for the Steelers’ front three linemen.

THREE QUESTIONS WITH CARDINALS RUNNING BACK EDGERRIN JAMES

1. Even after losing 47-7 at New England, did the Cardinals expect to make it this far?

A: I always knew the talent was there. It was just a matter of putting it together and seeing which team was going to show up. If you go up and down our roster and compare us with any team in the NFL, you’ll know that we have the potential to do things.

2. Has your outlook for your future with the Cardinals changed at all during the playoffs?

A: The thing I said in the beginning was that I didn’t want to think about playing anything beyond now. That’s all I want to think about. I want to put all my energy into playing now.

3. Does coach Ken Whisenhunt’s knowledge of the Steelers give Arizona an advantage?

A: Not really because you have to go out and play. I think every team in the league knows each other. There really are no secrets.

PROP BET

Pittsburgh’s first scoring play

Field goal: 5-2

Touchdown pass: 7-2

Touchdown run: 4-1

Touchdown other: 20-1

Safety: 50-1

UP-DOWNS

STEELERS INTEREST

Many more reporters were present for availability with the Steelers on Tuesday than for the Cardinals.

NFL NETWORK

Memo to most of the on-air “talent” at the Super Bowl: It’s about the game, not you.

POLICE ESCORT

So far, they aren’t really effective in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

”I love Media Day. It beats the alternative.”

- Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians on answering questions for 60 minutes

NUMBER OF THE DAY

$78,000

Winning share for each player in this year’s Super Bowl.

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