For the second year in a row, Super Bowl media day was open to fans for the price of a $25 ticket. They were allowed to sit in sections of seats along the sideline with good views of players on the field, and paid attendance was 5,479, according to NFL spokesman Michael Signora.
When fans walked in, they were given gift bags that included small radios so they could listen to interviews. Other items were mostly product samples from sponsors, including chips and laundry detergent.
Among the fans were John Grimsley and Lisa Wyatt of Baltimore, sitting together a few rows from the field wearing purple jerseys with the No. 52 of star Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. They said the ticket price was worth it.
"This is a very rare experience," said Grimsley, who has Ravens season tickets and tickets to Sunday's big game. "I've never been to anything like this. To be able to see all the Ravens being interviewed, to see some of these guys up close, you don't really get to see that when you go to the games. They're there and then they're gone."
The NFL says 5,205 reporters from 24 countries have credentials for the game, and some chose to work in costume at media day.
There was a correspondent from the Nickelodeon television network dressed as a super hero called Pick Boy, wearing black tights with a cape and trim of fluorescent orange and green.
Pick Boy approached 49ers practice squad linebacker Nate Stupar, asking him if he wanted to race. Stupar declined, saying he wasn't about to risk pulling any muscles for something like that.
"I would say that's the first time I got interviewed by a guy with a cape on," Stupar said. "It's entertainment and it's going to be fun to be around the entire week."
Univision radio play-by-play announcer Rafael Hernandez Brito wore a Spanish-style wrestling mask for part of the session.
TV Azteca reporter Jose Marquez Zamora looked like a rodeo clown, with his painted face, round rubber nose and long, pointy shoes covered with light blue sequins. He said he was, in fact, dressed as a typical clown in Monterrey, Mexico, and wasn't concerned about whether his interview subjects took him seriously.
"I don't make interviews about serious stuff," he said. "I only have fun with the players, so our viewers in Mexico get interesting stuff and also get entertained."
Niners offensive lineman Alex Boone was asked about his hair style, which looks similar to a mohawk — Boone calls it a rhino hawk — and whether he had the best hair on the team.
"Absolutely. I think I get it from my mom's side," Boone said. "My mom's got great hair."
He added that he never in his career had been asked about his hair in a football interview, and then reflected on how the range of questions on media day truly sets it apart from a typical NFL interview session.
"Weird. Very weird. A lot of questions coming this way and some of them aren't football-related, which creeps me out a little bit," Boone said. "But it's a trip, and I'm excited to be here."