NFL's Opening Night Madness Returns To Super Bowl For First Time Since Pandemic

PHOENIX -- Some idiot asked coach Nick Sirianni which of his Philadelphia Eagles players he wouldn't want his daughter dating.

"My daughter is five years old," Sirianni said.

And with that we kicked off one of the premier events that often gives journalism and journalists a bad name. (Aside, of course, from a White House press briefing.)

Welcome to Super Bowl LVII Opening Night.

NFL Returns To In-Person 'Media Day'

The NFL on Monday night returned this event, once known as Media Day, to the week of build-up for the big game for the first time since 2020.

The pandemic wiped out the in-person two-hour annual media scrum with the NFL's two best football teams the past two years. It was done virtually instead.

But because everyone missed the in-person so badly and the league loves money, which it collects from fans who attend, we all celebrated the event's return at the 18,422-seat Footprint Center.

And it was a gas watching credentialed "journalists" play pin-the-tale-on-the-donkey with some players and actually dance with others. This was serious investigative journalism stuff for sure.

It was interesting watching reporters from exotic parts of the world, such as Japan, Mexico, Germany and Philadelphia ask some hard-hitting and in-depth questions of both the Chiefs and Eagles.

Lots Of Food Questions For Andy Reid

I listened to 25 minutes of Andy Reid's hour-long press session. And he was asked no fewer than seven food question during that span. Some reporters apparently look at one of the most successful coaches in NFL postseason history and see nothing more than a fat guy.

Reid, by the way, wasn't asked about broccoli.

He was asked about burritos and German food and asked to pick between Five Guys, In-N-Out, and Shake Shack -- twice. Reid, for whatever reason, took the burger question seriously for a moment before returning to the fat-guy comedy skit.

"Listen, I like all three," he said. "I grew up on In-N-Out ... I don't turn any of them away."

Reid is at his fourth Super Bowl as a head coach and he's learned to have fun with these Q and A sessions. So when someone asked how he's different now compared to the 2020 Super Bowl, which the Chiefs won, Reid went into full self-deprecation mode.

"I have less hair," he said.

Dumbest Question Of The Super Bowl Week

Somebody asked Sirianni and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes if Sunday is a must-win game. The person asking the question apparently works for Omaha Productions, the Manning production company.

Sirianni looked at the person in disbelief before confirming that, yes, Sunday is a indeed a must-win game.

Food questions were not limited to Reid. His receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster may have created some major bulletin board material with this controversial remark:

"Honestly," Smith-Schuster said at one point from his podium, "the best Philly Cheesesteaks are not in Philly."

Smith-Schuster actually got booed by a couple of "journalists" who heard him say this. So, yes, advocacy journalism unmasked itself at Opening Night.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Reid revealed they have competing Patrick Mahomes impressions.

Kelce said the high-pitched sounds have to come from deep down in his chest. Mahomes said Reid easily does the best impersonation and "he doesn't do it in front of a lot of people, thankfully."

"You got to let the voice crack a little bit," Reid said. "That's a unique voice he has. And I know the next questions is are you going to do it? I'm not doing it."

Some Actual News About Patrick Mahomes

It wasn't all fun and games. There was actual information coming out of Opening Night.

Mahomes said the ankle sprain that limited him in the AFC Championship game victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, is "definitely better" than it was last week.

The injury isn't a non-factor for the Super Bowl but Reid clearly isn't too concerned about it after what he saw last week.

"He's so mentally tough," Reid said of his quarterback. "You weren't going to hold him out. That's just not where he was going to go. And that run he made at the end, that's the fastest he's run all year. So he did a great job."

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Armando Salguero is a national award-winning columnist and is OutKick's Senior NFL Writer. He has covered the NFL since 1990 and is a selector for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a voter for the Associated Press All-Pro Team and Awards. Salguero, selected a top 10 columnist by the APSE, has worked for the Miami Herald, Miami News, Palm Beach Post and ESPN as a national reporter. He has also hosted morning drive radio shows in South Florida.