SBD/25/Sports Media

TIDBITS FROM SUPER BOWL MEDIA DAY: IRON MIKE FIRES BACK

     After Deion Sanders refused to be interviewed by NBC's Mike
Ditka because of the former coach's past criticisms, Ditka fired
back yesterday.  Ditka, speaking from home:  "I'm watching
television right now, and I just saw three of his commercials.
That's three products I won't use anymore."  Ditka also chastised
the media:  "You guys make heroes and bums out of whoever you
want.  Unfortunately, you sometimes pick the wrong guys to make
heroes.  I just think the game of football deserves more dignity
and class than what some of these guys are giving it" (HOUSTON
CHRONICLE, 1/25)....The Steelers could face a reprimand by the
league after nearly half the team failed to show up at the
required media session yesterday.  As many as 20 Steelers missed
the session, prompting an NFL investigation.  NFL Dir of
Communications Greg Aiello:  "It was a miscommunication
internally.  It was not a boycott. ... But the league is looking
into it" (Gerald Eskenazi, N.Y. TIMES, 1/25).... NBC Super Bowl
Exec Producer John Faratzis told the N.Y. POST that they are
projecting a 45 rating or about 130 million viewers....NBC's
"Today" show goes live from Sun Devil Stadium tomorrow (Michael
Starr, N.Y. POST, 1/25)....David Letterman prepared 9-year-old
Sparky Mortimer for his role as the show's Super Bowl reporter.
Letterman gave Mortimer several items he will need, including
Breathe Right strips and a microphone that has the CBS symbol on
one side, and the NBC logo on the other --  just in case the CBS
symbol "doesn't do you much good" ("Late Show," CBS, 1/24).
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CBS, NBC, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Media, Viacom

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