We’re at Super Bowl Media Day, bitches! Part I

Tank Johnson was busy at Super Bowl Media Day…at least I assume so. I gather the assumption is fairly safe since media types tend to be drawn to Human Interest stories when it comes to athletes. And if anything qualifies in that realm, it’s multiple charges of gun possession and the need to have judicial permission to attend the Super Bowl.

So, Tank got some obvious attention on Media Day and reporters got to use OBVIOUSLY WITTY AND OH SO FUN AND NEVER GET OLD lines like “Tank left his arsenal in Chi-Town” in their ledes. Tank spoke with the media and mentioned how he was considering going to Subway for dinner and then turned to the company that he keeps.

“I’ve just got to keep my circle tight with the people who care about me and keep good people around me,” Tank said.

He continued to speak about how the arrest has changed his life, like Barbaro’s injury and the world we live in, for the better. Tank mentioned that the arrest “opened my eyes”, which I’m sure makes him a better person these days.

We may or may not have any reporters on the ground in Miami to cover Super Bowl week (we filed for a Media Day Press Pass, but were damn near denied when the NFL discovered that arleen removed us from her blogroll), but we do have this story to file about things that may or may not have been said regarding Tank’s eyes now being opened…And other general media day comments.

“The thing you notice about Tank, after the arrest, is his compassion,” Bears head coach Lovie Smith said from his media day perch that happened to be a royal thrown donated by the Egyptians. “Ptolemy XII sat in this shit…I don’t think Denny crowned him personally, but you get the idea.”

His laugh was boisterous, but the mood would quickly turn somber when Lovie was asked to speak of the implications of the game of football, life and Tank Johnson.

“Tank definitely has changed and seen life from a new perspective,” Lovie said. “He says he has opened his eyes since the arrest. I believe him. Why? Not just because I have a trust for my players and want to establish a family type bond with the guys, but because he said to me this week, ‘Coach, you realize that you’re a black man…and that Tony Dungy is one as well?”

Lovie let out another big time laugh from the podium and I was definitely lying about the somber attitude thing. Lovie lit a cigar and kicked his feet up as a young Egyptian boy (came with the throne) slid a footrest underneath his feet.

“Nah, I’m just fuckin’ with ya’ll. Like you waste of time fools are going to be the only ones to get some miles over that lameass storybook bullshit,” Lovie continued before turning his attention back to Tank. “Here’s the thing with Tank…when he opened his eyes, we noticed it. The locker room food spreads? They noticed it. Said something like ‘damn, ya’ll sprung for silverware finally?’ And Alex Brown looked at him like he was making predictions for Joboo.”

As Media Day rolled on, Bears players continued to speak of Tank’s resurrection of character. They spoke about a new Tank Johnson. A Tank Johnson that realized that you did not simply have to choose between handing a homeless person money or not handing a homeless person money. You could reach into the cup and grab a couple of dollars as well.

“You know that whole Good Rex and Bad Rex thing the media are overblowing?” Kyle Orton said to me as I ducked into a men’s room at the stadium. I told him obviously and he said, “yeah, yeah” and snickered a couple times as if I had just told him that a bridge post was indeed a good spot for his stoned ass to place a light up Cartoon Network character that looks like a bomb. There was a fairly awkward silence before Brian Griese came in and started yelling, “you’re fucking it up, you’re fucking it up” and slammed Kyle into the bathroom wall.

I took this as my cue to exit, but Griese pulled me back in.

“Tank figured out this Good-Bad Rex thing,” Griese told me. I was not persuaded. “Yeah. The thing about the thing is this…Rex ain’t that good. But, sometimes he’s really good. Tank…Tank figured that out. So, so I…”

He gets interrupted by Kyle making an awkward “grrrr” sound.

“Excuse me…we…” Griese continued. “Wanted Tank to explain this. Explain it to Rex. You know, but opposite. That way, he would always be Bad Rex, and we’d be playing.”

I attempted to tell Griese that opposite of Tank’s scenario was still Rex being really good sometimes and not so good on other occasions, but I’m not sure if he has slept in two weeks. Plus, I laid off out of respect for papa Griese, who no doubt would be dismayed that his son is an awful schemer.

I left the bathroom. Tank saw me. Granted, he was walking in as I was walking out, but would this have been the case before the arrest? Maybe. Or maybe I would have had to talk my way out of Tank shooting me with a handgun and then propping me up for sniper rifle target practice.

I spoke with an offensive lineman. Some white dude who went to Nebraska. Actually, I didn’t check where he went to school…or if he was white. Just heard offensive lineman and assumed the Bears have one from Nebraska. Insert some Big Ten school if not. Anyway, what this guy told me about Tank’s eye opening is that Tank has become very good at playing Pac-Man during team meetings.

“It’s as if he paid SO MUCH attention to the meetings now that his eyes were open, that he just had to start playing Pac-Man to level things off,” the lineman told me. Tank now has the top score at Pac Man all time and is getting a Real Life I’m a Pac-Man addict MTV special. Would this have happened with his eyes closed? Doubtful.

I finally caught up with Rex Grossman and decided not to tell him that his backups were trying to scheme their way into his job. In retrospect, I’m not sure why, because I think I could have sent Rex down a spiral of alcoholism that could have led to Good Rex shining through come Sunday. Because, frankly, it’s not going out on a limb to make a prediction that Rex quarterbacks better drunk. Did not work for Tony Romo (might have made that up), but he’s a bitch. Rex has a little Jeff George in him.

“Man, you know how good super bowl parties are,” Rex said to me. He didn’t ask. Man knows that I know. Felt like we connected on some level right there. “Well, here’s the thing…I kind of did NOT focus on that New Year’s game. But you know this. I was waiting in eager anticipation of all those liquors. Can not play like that. Who can?”

I agreed. But, I told him that I was sure he was going to drink lots of liquors after the Super Bowl, win or lose. To this, he agreed, but he had a plan.

“OK…so I’m playing football. Can’t focus. Want the liquors. Right? Right. So, what if I have the liquors before the game?” Rex and I were on the same wave length on this one. “If I go to a Super Bowl party at Noon…I get the liquors…I might even get to yell “THAT’S ME!!” at a television…and I get focused.”

Sounded like a genius plan, but I asked him what this had to do with Tank Johnson’s newfound levels of clarity. He asked me if Tank was a wide receiver. I told him he wasn’t. Rex shrugged the shrug of a man who did not give a damn. He walked off, grabbed a football and yelled at a repoter from the Des Moines Register, “THINK I CAN’T THROW THIS THING DEEP? TRIPLE COVERAGE. HUH? WHAT. GONE.” He threw the football. Far.

And smiled.

I figured, hey, is it not time to interview Tank himself and get a good bit of knowledge on this eye opening thing personally?

It was. But, the Tank Gods did not oblige. Tank was not there. Instead, I settled to speak with Tank’s bookie. A man by the name of BlackHawk. I asked the obvious question first and felt like some fool from the Manchester Daily Record. But, in this instance, I really did not know what else to ask. What sort of prop bets was Tank laying?

“Well, you know, Tank likes to keep things simple. Colts to win the coin toss. Devin Hester to…” I interrupted him and pulled out a tape recorder to make a mental note to interview Devin Hester at this media day. “Hester to run a punt back. Hester NOT to run a field goal back. Don’t print that. Surprisingly, he went with Dallas Clark as ‘first dude Tank Johnson will shoot if things get out of hand and Peyton Manning tries to talk trash but comes off like an arrogant ass’ and finally, he got really good odds on ‘A non-African-American coach to lead his team to victory’ and rolled with it.”

I hustled BlackHawk away, but was still wondering…where the hell is Tank?

So, I went to someone who would know.

Miami Heat Guard-Forward James Posey. He was at media day at my request, just to tie up that loose end. He was a bit surprised when I told him this over the phone the day before the Bears left for Miami, but I informed him that he was Tank’s bodyguard for the week in Miami and he seemed content. He was a bit taken aback when I told him that he was filling the role not because I thought the Heat could cut him at any moment, but because Tank’s last bodyguard was named James Posey as well.

Posey said that when Tank first arrived in Miami, there was a bit of tension. Posey was decidedly against taking a bullet for Tank in this process, but loosened up quickly. I asked Posey where Tank was. He told me Tank was in…wait for it…Venezuela.

Why, praytell James, was Tank in Venezuela?

“Leading a coup d’Etat,” Posey said.

A coup d’etat? Tank Johnson?

This is something I had to see…but first…An Interview with Devin Hester was calling my name.

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1 comment
  1. I have only one question. Judging from the media day festivities so far, were the Bears what you thought they were?

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