Super Bowl: Seahawks, Patriots players perform at media day circus

Patriots' Wilfork says Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history

Ladies and gentlemen, start your microphones.

The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks converged on U.S. Airways Arena on Tuesday for the annual Super Bowl media day, with each team answering an hour of questions — many of them silly ones — while reporters crowded in to hear answers that often were equally goofy.

It was the typical circus, with some questioners dressed in costumes, and others just acting like clowns. Hundreds of spectators watched from the stands, paying $28.50 to witness the spectacle on video boards and listen in with radio earpieces that came with the price of admission.

Among the exchanges:

Talk show

With all the scrutiny on what Richard Sherman will say, and what Marshawn Lynch won't, perhaps the most entertaining Seahawks player is defensive end Michael Bennett, who doesn't have much of a filter after games and who clearly was having fun at media day.

Bennett proclaimed himself the second-handsomest man in the world behind Denzel Washington, and touted his own facial hair.

"I just love my beard," Bennett said. "Moses had one, Genghis Khan had one. Just good guys, man. Jesus had one, too."

The end game for Bennett?

"I really want to look like the richest homeless person you've ever seen," he said.

Fifty shades of Gronk

One of the more peculiar moments Tuesday was New England tight end Rob Gronkowski reading aloud an excerpt from an erotic novel written about him. He also sang along with the Katy Perry song "Roar," and revealed his celebrity crush is Pamela Anderson.

Asked whether he has any Super Bowl guarantees, Gronkowski delivered one no one can argue: "The game will be on Sunday."

Just don't get burned

Seattle's Doug Baldwin, who has complained he and his fellow receivers haven't gotten the media respect they deserve, said he's ready to test Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis.

"I'm going to bring my sunblock and my shades, my hat," Baldwin said. "And I'm going to go to Revis Island and see what I can do."

Bill backer

A day after Patriots owner Robert Kraft heaped praise on New England Coach Bill Belichick, several players did the same, and none more vehemently than defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.

"He's the best coach in the game — the best coach ever in the game," said Wilfork, who has spent his entire career with the Patriots. "When it's all over, I can say I was coached by the greatest."

Numbers-wise, Belichick ranks among the best. He has the most postseason victories in NFL history, and, if the Patriots were to win Sunday, Belichick would join Pittsburgh's Chuck Noll as the only head coaches to win four Lombardi Trophies.

Picture perfect

Seahawks kicker Steve Hauschka grew up in Needham, Mass., which is 20 miles north of the Patriots' home in Foxborough, and was in high school when the team started winning Super Bowls more than a decade ago.

"They're incredible, what they've done with different players every year, too," Hauschka said of the Patriots. "There's really only a couple key guys that have been there. It's impressive. It shows you how important those key guys are and just the environment that they have there."

His favorite New England player as a kid? Former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, naturally.

"I had a framed picture of him signed and stuff from the 'Snow Bowl' game," Hauschka said. "That was impressive."

The Whiz

Shortly after the Patriots arrived in Arizona, Sherman fired the first salvo of the week by saying he didn't expect much action from the NFL on "Deflate-gate" because of the close relationship between Commissioner Roger Goodell and Kraft.

"I think [Goodell] was just at Kraft's house last week for the AFC championship," he said. "You talk about conflict of interest. But as long as that happens it won't affect them at all."

The Patriots owner fired back Tuesday — or maybe just lobbed a snowball back in Sherman's direction.

"I think Richard Sherman is a very smart marketing whiz," Kraft said.

Kraft defended having Goodell over to his house recently, saying the commissioner was there to attend a party for league sponsors.

"We've been privileged to own the team for 21 years, and this was our 10th championship game," he said. "When the league stopped giving the parties, we started doing it."

Kraft, who got his MBA at Harvard Business School, also took a playful poke at Sherman's prestigious alma mater.

"I think Mr. Sherman understood that he's the biggest beneficiary, because they get over 50% of the revenues," he said. "So he didn't go to Harvard, but Stanford must be pretty good because he figured it out."

Sherman, meanwhile, took aim at the league's policy of fining players such as teammate Lynch for failing to talk to the media.

"Everyone of the NFL's personnel should be obligated to speak weekly," Sherman said, making specific mention of Goodell.

It will never happen, but it's an interesting suggestion.

Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter @LATimesfarmer

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