by Scott Benson

The Pats have landed in Arizona and Super Bowl week has started.

The day began with a Gillette Stadium rally straight out of Currier and Ives, as lightly falling snow and a boisterous crowd evoked memories of some of the team’s signature victories. It ended with the team negotiating a slick airport runway as an unexpected rain fell on Pheonix.

From there, team principals met with the press. Thanks to the NFL Network, we were able to watch.

*Tom Brady bounded down the steps of the airplane with little sign of The Limp. Later, he told questioners that the injury occured in the third quarter of the Jacksonville game (I think we all remember that quick camera shot of Brady getting attention on the sideline, which the CBS announcers talked right over) and that – despite missing practice last week – he tried some footwork drills and threw a few passes anyway. As expected, he pronounced himself fit for the game.

*I don’t know what it costs to send a media member for a week in Scottsdale, but whatever it is, if the question he’s going to ask is “Will Giselle be coming to the game?”, it isn’t worth it. Probably some dink from the New York Post.

*Bill Belichick is having a great time. He must be, because he sat with the press for what seemed like forever. He even told a questioner he respected the job the media has to do. Who is this guy? Actually, followers of the team know that the coach will always engage a thoughtful question – which leaves you out, Bob Lobel. But Alice Cook of WBZ got things off to a good start with a question on pacing a team during Super Bowl week, and Belichick was off, pausing only on a question about Brady’s personal life. Look, if you Post people are going to be in here, you have to take off those Bridget masks.

*I don’t know who came off worse in that session, Lobel or the New York writers who oozed entitlement with every question. On the plus side, both Mike Reiss and Michael Holley acquitted themselves well in on camera apprearences with the NFLN’s Adam Schefter.

*My dad, who we’ve spoken about before, worked for the Hood milk company in the 60’s, and his job included some community relations work that often brought him into contact with the sports celebrities of the day. For example, Dad thought Bob Cousy was one of the nicest people he’d ever met, but he thought coach Mike Holovak of the Patriots hung the moon. I’m pretty sure we’re Pats fans today because of the team’s second winningest coach, who passed yesterday at the age of 88. Gino Cappeletti, another guy that Dad thought was pretty special, reflects on the loss of one of the Patriots founding fathers.