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TIDBITS FROM SUPER BOWL MEDIA DAY: IRON MIKE FIRES BACK
Published January 25, 1996
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).