Reporting Mark Viviano
NEW ORLEANS (WJZ) — Reporters from around the world questioned both Ravens and 49ers players Tuesday in the Superdome. It was Media Day, and WJZ was in the building.
Mark Viviano reports Media Day hit the Ravens full force.
It starts to get serious this week. The Ravens had a midnight curfew and practice will begin Wednesday.
Stepping onto the Super Bowl playing surface, the Ravens and 49ers got their first actual feel for the big stage.
Media Day isn’t a day for competition, but a day for communication. It’s a chance to tell their story to the world—and the world will be watching closely on Super Bowl Sunday.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke about his time as a Ravens quarterback back in 1998.
“My regret is that I didn’t play better,” he said.
WJZ also spoke to former Ravens linebacker Tavares Gooden, who now plays for the 49ers.
“This is crazy,” he said. “I’m in a Super Bowl playing against the Ravens.”
And the world will be watching closely on Super Bowl Sunday. We asked the Ravens how they will handle the heat in such an intense spotlight.
“You just gotta tell yourself that you played this game a million times,” said Joe Flacco. “It may not be this exact game in a Super Bowl with this many people, but we’ve all played 60 minutes of football before. You just gotta draw on that. I think people come into this game, and they want to win it so badly that they try to do so much and do something that they may not normally try to do. I think what we have to do is just continue to focus on the basics.”
“You’re always nervous,” said Terrell Suggs. “There’s not an athlete that would say ‘No, I’m not nervous.’ You’re nervous every time you line up. You just want to play well, and not only that, you want to win.”
The media session ended with a Super Bowl team photo, but it was less than a picture perfect day when news surfaced that a Sports Illustrator report suggested Ray Lewis may have used a banned substance in his torn triceps recovery.
“I won’t even speak about it because I’ve been in this business 17 years, and nobody has ever got up with me every morning and trained with me. Every test I have ever took in the NFL, there’s never been a question if I’ve ever even thought about using anything,” Lewis said.
In addition to Lewis’ response, the Ravens issued a statement denying those allegations.
The Ray Lewis report was the most newsworthy of an otherwise entertaining media day.
That was the serious side of media day, but Jessica Kartalija reported on the fun side. Click here to read her story.