What's missing from the Super Bowl? Trash talk

TAMPA — Three years ago, Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens‘ comments about Jerome Bettis agitated Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter at Super Bowl XL media day.

Last year, the New York Giants arrived at media day amid wide receiver Plaxico Burress‘ prediction that the Giants were going to beat the undefeated New England Patriots.

This year, the bulletin-board material and trash talking between the Arizona Cardinals and the Steelers appears almost non-existent, reminiscent of Super Bowl XLI, between the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts.

Under the glare of the Florida sun and spotlight at Tuesday’s Super Bowl XLIII media day, the comments from the Cardinals and Steelers about the opposition were respectful.

That they were missing Porter’s voice was not lost on Steelers players. “When guys think about saying stuff and really don’t want to say it and get in trouble, he would come out and say it anyway,” linebacker James Farrior says.

“We always loved him for that. He’s still doing it today for the Miami Dolphins, and he hasn’t changed one bit. I kind of wish we had him here to stir things up a little bit today, but we’ll do without him.”

Players are instructed to watch what they say this week. There are two more days of interviews before the big game, leaving plenty of opportunities for someone to utter inflammatory words.

Farrior wondered if Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor is a candidate. “It might be Ike, because he’s been getting a lot of questions,” Farrior said.

“So I’m sure all the media questions about (Cardinals wideout) Larry Fitzgerald are going to get to him by the end of the week. So you all just keep coming to him, and he’ll break.”