HOUSTON — During Super Bowl week, you often hear about the revelry that goes on between the football pros and the press during media day. Well on Thursday (January 29), MTV had its own media day at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Most of the stars participating in the halftime show, which the network is producing, took center stage to discuss the big game, their own aspirations about being gridiron icons and their love for H-Town.
Another spot that P. Diddy has love for is North Carolina. Shortly after Kid Rock told reporters that he was swaying toward the New England Patriots to win the championship, Puff told everyone that his money — and he meant it literally — was on the Carolina Panthers.
"I heard gambling was illegal, but maybe a little side bet for dinner or something?" Kid called out to Puff.
"A friendly wager?" The dancing CEO responded with an eyebrow raised. "I got $10,000 on it. That's friendly. You've got two arena shows this weekend. Where are those at?"
"West Virginia and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania," an amused Kid hollered back. "I'm only getting five grand a night, but I'll bet it all."
Diddy later joked that he would be keeping close tabs on Kid's tour schedule if Rock loses the bet and doesn't pay up. "That's $10,000," he laughed. "I'mma get my money. I'mma be right there at your show in the front row, like, 'Come down.' "
The three guys also told stories about how as kids they came to realize they wouldn't be fulfilling their dreams of making it to the NFL.
"I wanted to play so bad, my mom tried to convince me to take ballet lessons because [hall of fame NFL receiver] Lynn Swan did," Kid said. He also remembered quitting his football team in junior high school after fighting with a teammate and defying his coach's orders to run laps. Nelly said he was too small to play, and Diddy, who grew up a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, stopped pursuing football when he broke his leg as a youth.
The three superstars said even though all eyes will be on them during the halftime show, all the props go to Sunday night's real stars, the football players.
"No, the game is still about the players," Nelly said to a reporter who asked whether the Super Bowl is star-starved. "They're the ones who worked so hard to get here. They're the ones who busted their tails. This is their job. I think we're just happy to be here."
"It's definitely about the players," Diddy concurred. "This is their day. We're just here to support them and fill some time while they get ready for the second half."
The halftime show will commence with a short Choose or Lose film. Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, John Elway, Toby Keith, Chris Rock, Tony Hawk, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez and Muhammad Ali have all lent their star power to the clip, which focuses on the freedom to make choices. The celebrities will be commenting on empowerment, involvement and voting.
MTV reps also hinted there might be a surprise guest joining their already announced lineup.
Later in the afternoon, Janet Jackson, accompanied by Jermaine Dupri, met up with her fellow performers in the green room after the press conferences. Kid Rock signed footballs while Nelly did interviews. Meanwhile, Diddy was inconspicuous, eating a Bennigan's Caesar salad. All three ended the afternoon by posing for photos before heading over to Reliant Stadium for Thursday night's dress rehearsal.
Super Bowl XXXVIII will air live from Houston's Reliant Stadium on Sunday. Coverage begins at 9 a.m. ET with the special "MTV's TRL at the Super Bowl."
For more on the weekend festivities, check out MTV Super Bowl Weekend.