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The Baltimore Sun

Glendale, Ariz.-- --I'm a sucker for a wedding dress.

Apparently, however, that is one of the many things I don't have in common with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Inez Gomez-Mont, a reporter from TV Azteca in Mexico, showed up at Super Bowl media day yesterday in a sexy wedding getup and proposed marriage to the best-looking Patriot since Mel Gibson won the Revolutionary War.

"I'm better than Gisele," she said, referring to the terminally attractive Tom's supermodel girlfriend, Gisele Bundchen.

Brady was not impressed, but Inez had me at "TV Azteca." If this is what passes for great sports coverage in Mexico, I'm with Tony Romo. Next stop, Cabo San Lucas.

Another Super Bowl correspondent from the same network, Ines Sainz, has become a YouTube legend with her skimpy outfits and million-dollar smile, and all the righteous indignation I can muster about that after a couple decades of practicing serious sports journalism is this:

Thanks.

We also sell sex appeal along with our sports here in the states, but then we turn up our noses at it and disavow any knowledge of the fact that it sells slightly better than sabermetrics.

So, today, I have decided to stop being a hypocrite. If this is the new "New Journalism," where do I sign up?

(Of course, I should be more careful about signing up for things. I signed up for the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge and ended up on the same WBAL team with morning sports guy Keith Mills, who plunged in a Speedo to raise $50,000 for Special Olympics Maryland. It wasn't pretty.)

Just a hunch, but I'm guessing the carnival atmosphere at the annual Super Bowl media extravaganza is no accident. How else does a woman in a strip-club wedding costume get through the gate at an event that has more layers of security than the White House? If Gomez-Mont wasn't welcome yesterday, she would have had an easier time crashing the next Middle East peace summit and proposing to Hosni Mubarak.

The NFL loves this stuff because it helps the Super Bowl transcend mere sport and spill over into the world of entertainment and - in the case of TV Azteca - the world where they don't play pro football yet.

The Super Bowl is a circus where the nutty fringe of the mainstream media is happy to provide a free sideshow.

There's comedy, suspense and even the irony of New York Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan playing reporter (quite badly) at this event last year and showing up as one of the players at center stage yesterday at University of Phoenix Stadium.

By the way, the guy who interviewed Tony Dungy with a hand puppet last year was back stalking Randy Moss, or at least I assume it was the same guy. It's not like anybody would be fighting over that journalistic niche.

There also was a reporter dressed like some kind of swami, complete with gold turban, a moon-and-stars robe and heavy eye makeup. I can't imagine there was a lot of competition for that job, either, but the way the media industry is going these days, the guy probably has a masters in broadcast journalism from Northwestern.

Don't laugh. By next year, I'll probably be the one assigned to ask Tom to marry me.

Some of us already have to multitask, so I was also shooting video clips of the Super Bowl interviews. OK, I was mostly shooting video of Ines and Inez, but you can see some of the players in the background if you go to The Sun's Web site.

There's still a small part of me that thinks all this goofiness is a sign of the coming apocalypse, but mostly I think the NFL gets a bad rap when it's referred to as the No Fun League.

It's just possible that, beneath all the glitz and hype, the Super Bowl is the last honest sporting event. The league doesn't really hide from the fact that it's printing money and selling everything from Silly Putty to Cialis.

And no one should be the least bit surprised that the biggest media event heading up to the biggest single game in sports is awash in sexy women and various other attention-grabbing television types.

That's what the Super Bowl is all about ... though I suppose it's also about football, but only if you're a compulsive gambler or some kind of fantasy geek.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon most Saturdays and Sundays.

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