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Change of Scenery Would Do This Reporter Good


SAN DIEGO — The top story on the front page of the San Diego Union-Tribune on the second day of Super Bowl week with the World-Is-About-To-End-sized headline Tuesday screamed: IS L.A. ENVIOUS?

Below that in small-town print: Franchise-less Fans Forced To Look To San Diego.

There's no question that the shopper nailed it: You must admit, there isn't a minute that goes by in your dreary, lifeless do-nothing Los Angeles day that you aren't saying to yourself: Geez, I wonder what's going on at the Super Bowl today in lucky-old San Diego?

Of course, if the game were in Los Angeles, you would never get close to it, never even get the chance to be ripped off for the $275 a ticket that it will cost to stand in line waiting to pay $7 for a beer.

But even you, a loser living in Los Angeles, could have been a part of Media Day at Jack Murphy Stadium--sorry--that's Qualcomm Stadium because the San Diego city fathers sold out one of their community-minded pioneers for $18 million to remain in business. Los Angeles city fathers would never do that: They'd demand a lot more.

Anybody can come to Media Day at the Super Bowl. The NFL will even provide press credentials to allow you to blend in with household names like Chris Berman, Jim Murray and Fritz Quindt.

For example, the Cowboy from "The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show" was here, one vertical half of his body dressed as a Bronco and the other as a Packer, thereby spelling out "Faway" on his back. He didn't have a notebook, tape recorder, mini-cam, microphone or question to ask, but he looked good dancing, and that's all the NFL required in admitting him.

Beth Littleford represented "The Daily Show," and while she had a microphone, it's a cable TV show and obviously lacks a wardrobe budget, forcing her to appear wearing a black shrunken cocktail dress that seemed to distract the players.

A KFMB-TV, Channel 8 cameraman, probably the same guy who was in that unauthorized helicopter filming the Bronco practice Monday, seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time aiming his camera at the shrunken black cocktail dress.

"How old are you?" Littleford wanted to know, after pushing aside a reporter from the San Francisco Examiner who had been interviewing Packer kicker Ryan Longwell.

"Twenty-three," said Longwell after giving it some thought.

And you could tell by the look on the face of the San Francisco Examiner reporter that he had never thought to ask Longwell that question, and how silly was he feeling now?

"You're a young one," Littleford said. "What kind of cheese?"

"Gouda's where it's at," replied Longwell, and the San Francisco Examiner reporter was scribbling furiously to keep up.

After climbing over a railing in her shrunken black cocktail dress--KFMB-TV, Channel 8 has it all on tape--Littleford asked Packer offensive lineman John Michels to lift her high above his head six times because some Bronco player had done it five times.

This was just fine for Michels, because the former USC star probably won't even be in uniform for the Super Bowl since he can't play a lick, but at least he could get his picture in every paper in the country and look as though he was really an important part of the Packers' drive to the Super Bowl.

And so Michels lifted Littleford high above his head six times, the cameras clicking as if Dorsey Levens had just scored the Super Bowl's first touchdown, and Littleford laughing so irritatingly that it even distracted the KFMB-TV, Channel 8 cameraman.

"One more time," squealed Littleford, and how would she have reacted if somebody like Brett Favre, who is going to play in the Super Bowl, had hoisted her into the air?

At the same time, former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Rebecca Romijn was on the prowl for MTV, wanting to know how much water or lemonade the players drank during the game, and how they kept it down. A glance at the quote sheets provided by the NFL later indicated that the NFL apparently prefers to keep this information secret because there was no mention of the answer.

Romijn, who has replaced Cindy Crawford as the host of "House of Style," was wearing a finely cut charcoal pinstripe suit, smart shoes, a revealing but particularly tasteful blouse and a huge rock on her left hand, which apparently was given to her by John Stamos, of "General Hospital" and "Full House" fame.

"Not my type," said Steve Serby, columnist for the New York Post, and as the NFL has repeated so often, there's no pleasing the New York Post.

Romijn, however, seemed to have no trouble getting interviews with players, and while there appeared to be plenty of players to go around for everybody, noted journalist Van Earl Wright of Fox asked Romijn to work closely with him on a little skit, and then persisted in doing it over and over again. No doubt to get it just right.

"That's the hottest woman I have ever been around," said a married reporter from the San Diego Union-Tribune, pleading for anonymity and now owing his life to the Los Angeles Times for as long as he lives or remains married.

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