By Ross Tucker, SI.com
Depending upon which player you talk to, the frenzied circus that is Media Day at the Super Bowl can either be a huge marketing and exposure opportunity or a lot like being the last kid picked in gym class in middle school.
Nearly every recognizable media outlet -- and a bunch that aren't recognizable -- descends on the players the Tuesday before the Super Bowl in an annual rite of passage that looks like it belongs in the movies. The spectacle represents the ultimate in overexposure and it goes far beyond sports, let alone a single game.
Some players with whom I've spoken relish the opportunity to let their voices be heard and their faces be seen. Any player interested in a career in the media after his playing days have ended realizes this is basically an audition of sorts. Even if a player doesn't have broadcasting aspirations, the opportunity to spread any message -- from corporate to religious -- is abundant. Brian Urlacher was famously fined $100,000 a couple of years ago for wearing a Vitamin Water hat, a no-no given the NFL's sensitivity to its existing corporate partners. There is no doubt that Kurt Warner will use this obvious platform to remind people of his faith's influence on his life and career.
For any player looking to make a statement of some kind, I say more power to them as long as it doesn't distract from the team, game, or the task at hand. They've earned the right to handle the exposure in the matter they see fit.
Then, there are the players that nobody wants to speak with or interview. They get to the biggest stage in the sport of football yet feel like the girl in junior high who never gets asked to dance. Though it's somewhat embarrassing, these guys aren't interviewed on a frequent basis in their respective citie and know their place by this stage of the season.
On Media Day, however, there is nowhere to hide. No player's lounge. No training room. Just a big open stadium with thousands of reporters who have no interest in you or your story.
Check SI.com's Super Blog regularly for more dispatches from Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa.