12:40 PM EST, February 1, 2012
He's almost as popular as some of the players.
From giving long, enthusiastic answers to even adding a quote from Oscar Wilde, Rick Reilly's speech at times can be just as good as his ESPN.com prose.
So when a number of media decended upon the longtime scribe at media day to hear his thoughts on Indianapolis' first go at hosting America's biggest sporting event, Reilly wasn't shy.
"This just kicks hell out of Dallas," said Reilly of the Circle City. "This is just so much better than Dallas."
The writer is referring to the ice and snow storm that brought unseasonably cold weather to the Texas city duringSuper Bowl XLV, which left many without powers and made getting around an adventure.
While Indianapolis has benefitted from some unseasonably warm weather, its proximity that has caught the eye and saved the feet of Reilly. Both team hotels are within a mile walk with the NFL Experience and the Super Bowl venue itself are even connected to the JW Marriott, the site of the media center for the next week.
"I haven't had to get in a cab yet," said Reilly. "Everything is right here."
For veteran ESPN NFL reporter John Clayton, however, success for Indianapolis may have been sealed long before the thousands of credentialed media decended into town. Add in some cheery personalities and Clayton says its a perfect fit.
"How close everthing is, how well everyones handling everything. Everybody comes to you and says 'Have a Super Day'," said Clayton, who has covered numerous Colts games and NFL Combines here before.
Convenience aside, the atmosphere surrounding the downtown area has found away to surpass those of other, bigger city. Having seen this during his work on one of ESPN's mulitple sets around downtown, Steve Levy believes the enthusiasm around Indianapolis before the big game ranks among the best.
"When I landed at the airport-what a beautiful airport you guys have-when I landed I got a text message that said 'Downtown was already like a Friday of most Super Bowl weeks,'" said Levy-and he can expect that to grow when Friday actually arrives.
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