VIDEO — From SMU to the Super Bowl: Emmanuel Sanders

February 1, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Video by Fernando Valdes
jvaldes@smu.edu

Emmanuel Sanders Interview from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

By Kimmy Ryan
kryan@smu.edu

Click here to seeThe Daily Mustang’s coverage of Super Bowl Media Day

Emmanuel Sanders spent his college career helping turn around the SMU football program, culminating in an incredible victory at the Hawaii Bowl. Now, almost a year later, Sanders’ rookie year in the NFL is finishing on another high note, playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 45.

Sanders was surrounded by reporters during Media Day at the Cowboys stadium Tuesday. The press was curious about everything from June Jones’ coaching style, to practicing at TCU this next week, to what life as a Steeler is like. All in all though, Sanders said, “It’s just good to be back in Dallas.”

Although Sanders is glad to be back home, practicing at TCU’s stadium will be a change. Sanders said he just might have to “punch a horned frog or two while he’s there.”

Sanders seemed most excited about getting out there and playing hard Steeler Football on Sunday.

Steeler Football is “hard core, smash mouth football,” Sanders said. “Every play you’re trying to knock some guy’s knees out, and we actually get awarded if we do it.”

Toward the second half of the season, Sanders received sufficient amounts of playing time as a receiver and on kickoffs, and proved himself by knocking out a few knees of his own. But, the transition to the big leagues has not been without bumps.

“He came in, and he was real hard headed. He didn’t want to listen,” said fellow teammate Arnaz Battle. “But, as the season went on, he developed into a nice rookie on and off the field. We appreciate having him. He’s a great player, and his future is very bright.”

Whether adjusting to NFL life or not, Sanders’ feelings about his new profession have stayed the same.

“Sometimes I wake up and pinch myself. Am I really in the National Football League coming from a small school, Southern Methodist University? I’m just trying to make the most of it.”

He described the biggest difference between SMU and the NFL as the crowd. But instead of getting more nervous in front of huge crowds, he gets more excited and is ready to perform even more.

Sanders credits his preparedness to SMU Coach June Jones.

“It’s a blessing,” Sanders said about having Jones in his life.

With the help of Coach Jones, Sanders accomplished a lot his senior year at SMU. As captain, he led the team to a bowl game, caught over 100 balls, went over a thousand yards and was drafted to the NFL in the third round.

“Thanks to Coach Jones,” Sanders said. “If it wasn’t for him, I honestly wouldn’t have been drafted that high. He brought in a great offense and passed on a lot of knowledge to me, so kudos to him.”

Sanders will not only be the pride of the Mustangs on Super Bowl Sunday, but he is also a role model for many.

Joshua Harvey, a reporter at Media Day, said that young players are coming to SMU saying, “I’m going to be the next Emmanuel Sanders.”

It was evident that Sanders was truly touched by the reactions he has gotten from his friends and fans.

With such great support, this week Sanders will be focused on only one thing, Sunday’s game. And with all the hype, Sanders hopes to revert to what he does best.

“When I’m out there with Ben Roethlisberger, it’s like I’m a ten-year-old kid again playing throw-and-catch backyard football.”

Super Bowl: Media Day Experience

February 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Marissa Belske
msbelske@smu.edu

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
jvaldes@smu.edu

Super Bowl Media Day from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.