The questions can range from the serious to the silly to the ridiculous to the inane. Most players try to have fun with the experience, be entertaining or just be entertained. That was the Packers’ approach for the most part on Tuesday at Cowboys Stadium, the site of Sunday’s big game.
Here’s another sampling of some of the more interesting chatter and banter from Tuesday:
Even though running back John Kuhn came to Green Bay after being claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh, he said he doesn’t have any hard feelings about being released by the Steelers back in 2007.
“When I left Pittsburgh I always just tried to focus on where I am going next and how can I be the best player that I could be there,” Kuhn said. “I don’t really look into what I could have done at Pittsburgh because honestly I am just thankful that they gave me the opportunity they did.
“Looking back, they have done pretty well with what they have done. They have won a lot of football games, so I’m not going to sit here and say I would make their team better than they are.”
Kuhn was on the Steelers’ practice squad in 2005-06 and their active roster for part of the ’06 campaign, and he has a Super Bowl ring from the ’05 season when the Steelers beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. Kuhn said he is still friendly with several Pittsburgh players, including linebacker James Harrison, who he was seen chatting with between the Packers’ and Steelers’ media sessions on Tuesday.
“I’m not super-tight with anybody, but James Harrison, Chris Kemoeatu, I bounce a text off them every now and then,” Kuhn said. “I still root for them to do well. I don’t hold any grudges on anybody. Obviously this Sunday I am going to root for us to do well, but when they are playing and they are not playing us, I always root for them to win.”
Tackle Chad Clifton and some of his Packer teammates will be looking to accomplish a rare feat on Sunday: win a national championship as a collegian and a Super Bowl as a pro.
Clifton started all 13 games at left tackle at the University of Tennessee as a junior in 1998 when the Volunteers went 13-0 and captured the ’98 national title.
“In the NFL, this is the ultimate, this is the pinnacle,” Clifton said. “This is why we play this game. Yeah, the comparison (between the two championships) is there, but in football, professional and college, college players want to get here. They want to get to the Super Bowl and it’s no different for the NFL players. To finally make it, it’s a special feeling.
“I’m not going to lie, that’s a goal, to say that I have won the national championship and to get a Super Bowl ring as well, that would be a great feeling.”
Other Green Bay players that also were part of national championship teams in college include quarterback Matt Flynn and fullback Quinn Johnson (LSU, 2007), linebackers A.J. Hawk and Matt Wilhelm (Ohio State, 2002) and cornerback Charles Woodson (Michigan, 1997).
“It feels like a bowl game, definitely, but it feels like the national championship times 100,” Hawk said. “This is a little bigger deal. I’m really lucky to have played in that and this, too.”
What a difference
At this time last year, punter Tim Masthay had only been a Green Bay Packer for a couple of weeks.
Masthay signed with the Packers as a free agent on Jan. 14, 2010, after being out of the NFL for several months following his release by the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 training camp.
“During that time I was working out on my own and tutoring about 20 hours a week at the local university,” Masthay said. “I tutored student-athletes at the University of Kentucky in finance and economics. That’s what I studied (in college).
“It was an interesting time. It hit me that this was the first time in my life that I wasn’t involved in organized sports. That was tough to swallow because sports have always been a big part of my life. Anyone in the league who has been a free agent will tell you that you really appreciate the opportunity to get back in the league and you want badly to stick around.”
Masthay stayed in shape in case a call from another team came, with his wife Amanda holding a full-time job to help support them during his time out of the league.
“We didn’t put a timeline on things or decide what we do,” Masthay said. “I have an interest in the Peace Corps. If I didn’t get picked up by another team, I’d probably be doing that right now.”
Facing off again
General Manager Ted Thompson has some experience going against Pittsburgh in big games from his playing days with the Houston Oilers.
Thompson played linebacker for 10 seasons with the Oilers (1975-84), and twice went against the Steelers in the playoffs. Houston advanced to the AFC Championship Game in 1978 and 1979, losing both title games at Three Rivers Stadium as Pittsburgh went on to win Super Bowls XIII and XIV.
“While the structures of the organizations are different, I think the Packers and the Steelers are a lot alike,” Thompson said. “It’s more hometown, it’s more family-oriented. I’m very knowledgeable of all the things they have done in Pittsburgh.
“I was with the Houston Oilers in the '70s and '80s, so they were the ones that always beat us. But they beat us with class. It was almost like you got beat and you hated it, but it wasn’t like you hated them or the organization because they carried themselves well.”
Green Bay’s players got their first opportunity to see Cowboys Stadium, arriving early for Media Day on Tuesday morning to get a look at the locker room and the field.
“This is ridiculous,” wide receiver James Jones said. “Jerry’s (Jones) World is crazy. When we walked in here we were like kids in a candy store. We were recording all types of stuff. It’s unbelievable. I am glad the Super Bowl is here and we get a chance to enjoy this and play in it.”
Jones was one of many players to be documenting Tuesday’s festivities with a camera of his own.
“I was actually joking with some of the players and interviewing them,” Jones said. “You’ve got to take advantage of this. Who knows how many more Media Days you’re going to be at? I’m trying to have some fun and get some footage so I can show my son when he’s older.”
Meanwhile some were kicking themselves that they weren't recording all the moments for posterity.
"I’m actually not, because I was stupid and I gave my wife the camera to come to the game with, and I forgot to record all this stuff," guard Daryn Colledge said. "But I figure there’s enough of you professionals out here with nice quality cameras and people talking good pictures, I’ll be able to find some video if I need it."
Rookie center/guard Nick McDonald played the role of reporter at Media Day as he asked a few questions of Clifton with a television crew. Here was the brief exchange between the linemates that had both laughing:
McDonald: Mr. Clifton, what did you eat for dinner last night? You look uber-chubby.
Clifton: No comment.
McDonald: Are you going to make weigh-in on Thursday?
McDonald: How much do you weigh right now?
Clifton: None of your business.
Additional coverage - Feb. 1