Live from Tampa…minus the purple!


The reality of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl visit has finally set upon the land here in Tampa, as we’ve spent the day setting up our Radio Row coverage for the week from here at the Convention Center. Downtown Tampa has changed dramatically over the past eight years since the purple Gasparilla Festival here in January 2001. Lots of buildings, new hotels and empty-looking condos sitting dormant on the open market.

Ray and Drew on Radio Row in Tampa

Our Coors Light coverage will begin at 6 a.m. Monday morning with Drew Forrester doing the Comcast Morning Show until 10 a.m. and I’ll be live from 2 til 6 each weekday this week with one exception. Forrester and I have already alerted Ray Bachman that he’ll be the special “guest host” during the 2 p.m. hour on Thursday when Bruce Springsteen holds his special pre-halftime press conference here in the Media Center.

We expect well over 100 guests during the week here in Tampa, including Brian Billick’s co-hosting duties on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Virtually every NFL star in town drops by the Radio Row setup, which is noticeably smaller and more compact this year with the down economy in national media. There just aren’t as many media outlets who can afford to send a staff here for the week to chatter up the NFL and Super Bowl hype. It will be interesting to see the Tuesday “Media Day” madness and if it looks smaller. That’s the day when EVERYONE converges on Raymond James Stadium and asks all of the goofy questions.

One thing we won’t have to worry about is sunshine. It’s 80 degrees and stunningly beautiful here in Tampa today. It’s our favorite week of the year, even when we’re stuck in Detroit or Jacksonville.

More to come all week, including an audio vault here at chock full of cool interviews that are available on demand. We’ll also be rolling the wnsTV cameras all week so keep checking back for fresh stuff.

Without question this entire experience might’ve been a lot different save for one Darren Stone penalty and one Joe Flacco pass to Troy Polamalu. I’m going to do my best to not think about it so much this week but I’ll have my moments of weakness and anger and wistfulness for sure. And I’ll be bellied up to the bar this Sunday at Whiskey Joe’s thinking about what “might’ve been.”

The theme for the week? Go Cardinals…