Super Bowl: Media Day Experience

February 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Marissa Belske

Super Bowl Media Day has long been a time for reporters with a crazy side to express themselves.This year, four unsuspecting SMU journalists got to experience the fast-paced and unpredictable nature of Super Bowl Media Day.

SMU senior Kimmy Ryan interviewed former Mustang Emmanuel Sanders at the 2011 Super Bowl Media Day. (PHOTO BY MARISSA BELSKE / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

With a past history of interesting antics, such as marriage proposals and unique questions, I walked into Jerry’s palace expecting the unexpected. As we walked into the billion-dollar structure from the freezing cold outside, I was immediately aware of the magnitude of this event. We walked down on the soft turf of the Cowboys stadium and that is when the madness began.

One journalist from NickToons was dressed up as a superhero at the 2011 Super Bowl Media Day. (PHOTO BY MARISSA BELSKE / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

With the chance to see football greats such as Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers, I was slightly star struck. But I wasn’t the only one amazed at the magnitude of Media Day. Many of the athletes themselves were recording Media Day on their own personal electronic devices.

“Media Day is a lot of the same questions, but like everything is part of the process. You just have to go through it so I don’t mind it,” said Steelers offensive tackle and former Cowboy Flozell Adams.

Not only were the current stars of the Super Bowl at the event, but the all-time greats were also there. We had a chance to see and interview Deion Sanders and Warren Sapp. On the way out, we ran into Chad Ocho-Cinco. For a SMU student who has always had a passion for sports, it was very surreal.

While most of the media at Media Day were there to be professional, there were a few who drew attention to themselves. One reporter was in a blue cardboard box that looked like one of the players’ podiums. He went around the field asking players to interview him.

A Telemundo reporter went around asking players to interview him at the 2011 Super Bowl Media Day. (PHOTO BY MARISSA BELSKE / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

SMU's Kimmy Ryan interviews Vic the Brick from FOX Radio. Brick was one of the many journalists who showed up dressed in their own unique way. (PHOTO BY FERNANDO VALDES / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

Radio host Vic “The Brick” Jacobs, a host on the Fox Sports Radio network based in Los Angeles was dressed to impress as well. Vic “The Brick” sported a leopard shirt with fringe, three layers of vintage rabbit fur, a two-tone wig and oversized sunglasses.

“I rock a lot of fur,” said Vic.

There were many high-profile women that attended Media Day as well. Swimsuit model Brookyn Decker was there for Entertainment Tonight and Ines Sainz for Azteca TV. You may remember Sainz as the woman whose call to fame came after hearing catcalls in the New York Jets’ locker room earlier this year.

“It’s my first Media Day,” Decker said. “It’s a lot more intense and crazy than I expected. It is really fun to meet the guys that play the game.”

At the end of the day, Super Bowl Media Day was unlike anything I have ever experienced. What began in 1986 as Picture Day has transformed into a true spectacular of media life.

SMU junior Brittany Levine interiviewed many Steelers at the 2011 Super Bowl Media Day. (PHOTO BY MARISSA BELSKE / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

(Daily Mustang reporters Brittany Levine, Fernando Valdes and Kimmy Ryan contributed to this article.)

Video and Editing by Fernando Valdes

Super Bowl Media Day from on Vimeo.

Big D Blog: World AIDS Day

December 4, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Marissa Belske

Did you know that December 1st was World Aids Day? I almost missed out on this important day myself because I didn’t notice any special events going on around the SMU campus. An article from The Dallas Voice explains that this was the 23rd year that this event will draw attention to this pandemic that is greatly affecting the world.

Dallas has the right to be concerned about HIV. Today someone will be infected with HIV every 9.5 minutes. It’s not just those sobering numbers that come as shock, but on top of that Dallas retains the state’s worst HIV infection rate.

Whether you know someone who is affected by HIV/AIDS or not, World AIDS Day helps those around the world who are fighting this disease. Next year on December 1st go out and support this cause and wear red in remembrance to all those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS.

Big D Blog: Gay Couple Married in Dallas

November 12, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Marissa Belske

Texas has yet to join the likes of Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. on legalize marriage, but two determined locals are not letting that get in their way. While same-sex marriage is illegal in Texas, one gay Dallas couple managed to legally marry in this socially conservative state.

Mark Reed and Dante Walkup were married at the W Dallas Victory hotel on Oct. 10 in front of about 80 friends and family members. The only thing unusual about this wedding was the looming screen in the background. On the screen waited marriage quality activist Shelia Alexander-Reid ready to marry the couple.

This is called “e-marriage,” and it has been giving same-sex couples the opportunity to hold their marriages in their home city. Alexander-Reid married the couple via Skype from Washington D.C., where same-sex marriage is legal.

While the couple did have to visit D.C. beforehand to register, it was completely legal for the couple to marry though “e-marriage” right here in Dallas. Soon after the ceremony the couple received their license in the mail proving that they are legally married.

Big D Blog: DISD Responds To Recent Suicide Attempts

October 22, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted By Marissa Belske

Looks like Dallas is planning on responding to the recent loss of LGBT teens due to bullying. The Dallas Voice says that Dallas Independent School District trustee Lew Blackburn plans to introduce a bullying policy that would provide specific protections for LGBT students.

In the last few weeks teenage bullying has been put in the media spotlight. This follows the suicides of several teens around the country, especially those who experienced bullying and harassment due to their sexual orientation.

According to Jon Dahlander, a spokesman for DISD, Dallas was among the first school districts in the state to include sexual orientation in its harassment policy. Now the nine-member board of trustee is looking to initiate a new anti-bullying policy that will strengthen protection for LGBT students.

As currently written, the proposal doesn’t list what particular students will be protected. Blackburn told The Dallas Voice that he plans to introduce a proposal that would spell out those factors, including both sexual orientation and gender identity.

While talks about revising the current harassment policy are on the board, Blackburn told The Dallas Voice that they are not going to rush anything. He wants to take the time to do research and compare different policies around the nation.

“I would like for us to be consistent district-wide,” Blackburn told The Dallas Voice, “We need to start talking about it so that we have something in policy before the start of next school year. It’s new territory for us, and I think we need to take our time and do it right.”

Big D Blog: Dallas Cyclists Fight AIDS

September 30, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Marissa Belske

If there is one thing that I am truly passionate about it is HIV/AIDS prevention. An article I read last week from The Dallas Morning News shed light on how severe this issue has become within the young Dallas community. Officials report a 30 percent increase in HIV infections within the past five years among 13- to 24-year-olds in Dallas County.

The ones hit the hardest by the virus are members of the LGBT community. The Dallas Voice shows a recent study found that one in five sexually active gay and bisexual men are infected with the virus. What makes me happy is that Dallas is doing something to fight against this serious problem.

Last weekend Dallas showed support to those affected with HIV/AIDS and pedaled their way across the Metroplex to show AIDS whose boss. The 10th annual Lone Star Ride Fighting Aids is a two-day, 150-mile cycling adventure throughout the DFW area.

The Dallas Voice was on site to take pictures of the event. The Lone Star Ride has distributed more than $1.8 million to the AIDS Services of Dallas, Resource Center of Dallas and AIDS Outreach Center of Fort Worth since 2001. The money raised is to provide services in support of locals who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Be sure to expect the event next year in full force.

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Blockbuster Loss Grows as Sales Drop in Third Quarter

December 9, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Marissa Belske

Dallas-based Blockbuster Inc. released its third-quarter results on Nov. 12, showing a widened net loss and continued attempts to cut back on costs. The largest US movie rental company reported that revenue declined 21 percent to $910.5 million from $1.16 billion a year ago.

Blockbuster reported a net loss of $116.8 million, or 60 cents a share, in the third quarter ending on Oct. 4, compared with a net loss of $20.6 million, or 11 cents a share a year ago. Excluding one, time losses, the company lost 20 cents a share.

“These things are going to take awhile. These things are basically on trial purposes,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Keyes said on a webcast to investors.

“Give us time. Sorry I can’t give you much color.”

The lackluster results come after Blockbuster had spent most of the year trying to stimulate growth by cutting back on costs, closing stores, opening new kiosks, and expanding its online features. Keyes says that Blockbuster plans on making a small bump in advertising in the fourth quarter, putting more focus on in-store and mail customers.

“With the capital structure improvements behind us we are returning our focus to the operations of the business,” Keyes said in a press release about the third-quarter results.

“In the fourth quarter we are adding inventory, expanding product assortment, increasing advertising and reaching out to our customers in new and exciting ways.”

Blockbuster has already made some major changes in the past year. It announced a mobile integration deal with Motorola, rolled out Blockbuster On Demand to a wide assortment of Samsung and TiVo devices and completed an offering of $675 million in senior secured notes.

“With the addition of Blockbuster Express branded vending kiosks and the mass market deployment of Blockbuster On Demand on internet connected devices to millions of homes across the U.S., we have dramatically increased our points of presence and made it more convenient for our customers to access the latest movies and games the way they want,” Keyes said.

Third quarter 2009 domestic same-store sales decreased 18.3 percent, following decreases in rental and retail sales of 14.5 percent and 35.6 percent. Blockbuster plans to close 115 locations in the fourth quarter in addition to the 216 that have already been closed through the third quarter of 2009. It is on track to close as many as 960 unprofitable stores by the end of 2010 and install 10,000 kiosks in their place.

Many of Blockbuster’s failures have been blamed on the continually growing area of rental kiosks and online rentals with competitors like Redbox kiosks and the online renter Netflix Inc.

In the webcast, Keyes said that major revenue from new investments, such as the 2,500 rental kiosks that will be in place at the end of this year, would not show up just yet.

Next quarter Blockbuster pledges to spend more on advertising to reach new consumers, increase sales inside stores, and continue the new ventures of kiosks and Blockbuster On Demand.