Saturday night at the Super Bowl venue is one of those bittersweet deals. You know the circus will be coming to an end soon, but this night is a good time to party and get your head right for Sunday's big game.
At least that's what most people in Tampa, Fla., tonight are thinking about now. However, our intern, Tim Carlson, is probably about ready to crash in his shared hotel room after working his butt off for the last week.
Tim went to the Super Bowl as part of the NFL's volunteer army of interns who do all the stuff you know nothing about behind the scenes. They help check in all the reporters, attend all the events big and small, tape interviews on media day and the following three days and then turn all that audio into page after page of transcripts.
TC was busy with the NFL's business but he also kept his eye out for the Jets who wandered by his post this week. I know Nick Mangold was part of a three-player midweek media event regarding the Pro Bowl. Old Nos. 12 and 13, Joe Namath and Don Maynard were around the town this week as well.
And Tim caught up with fullback Tony Richardson in between doing interviews on Radio Row. T-Rich also participated in the Football 101 Clinic at the NFL Experience. And Tony chatted with Tim on some topics that Jets fans will be interested in. Here is a transcript of his remarks from late this week:
On returning to the Jets for the 2009 season...
*Yeah, you know what, I'd have to say it's not on me. I mean, I think I know the organization knows my stance on that. I love that team. I love my teammates. I really thought we had something special and really still do. *
I just hope I'm a part of it, having a chance to work with TJ and Leon, two guys represented in the Pro Bowl, and our offensive line and what we've been able to do, and just to see what happens with our guy Favre. I thought we had something special and I'd like to be a part of that.
On if he caught new head coach Rex Ryan's introductory news conference...
I did. I haven't had a chance to talk to Coach Ryan yet. I am definitely going to reach out to him when things kind of slow down after the Super Bowl and just let him know where my heart is and where I want to be.
But I'll tell you what, from listening to him, he made me want to go and put a defensive uniform on, so the fans might see Tony Richardson in maybe a 52 jersey playing defense. But his intensity, his passion and really what he said — the fact that he wants to run the football, pound the football — as a fullback, that's what you want to hear and that's music to my ears. And the fact that Schotty [O-coordinator Brian Schottenheimer] is coming back. So I just want to be a part of that because I think I've still got a lot of gas in the tank.
On losing RBs coach Jimmy Raye, who has become the 49ers' offensive coordinator …
Coach Raye was somebody who was really, really close to me, not only as a football coach but as a mentor and as a friend. I'm glad that I know we built a special bond with our running back room with Coach Raye. You can't help but wish him well. I know he's going to be successful. He's been successful at every level and everything he's done. So I wish him well out in San Francisco.
We also wish Jimmy Raye well, and Tony Richardson, and Tim Carlson, not to mention all you NFL fans who have been waiting for the Big Dance to start. It's less than 24 hours away. And as an AFC fan and a guy who has seen the city of Pittsburgh up close and personal several times over the years (thanks, Dougie), I'll say this just once and I'll say it now: Go, Stillers.