By RICK FREEMAN
2014-01-29 09:22 AM
NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) -- Both teams in the Super Bowl come from states that recently legalized marijuana. Advocates are capitalizing on that to make their case for doing it in the other 48 states too.
The Marijuana Policy Project paid for five billboards to go up in New Jersey close to the site of the Super Bowl. They all attempt to make the case that the NFL's pot policy is hypocritical in a league where players regularly suffer serious injury.
"Taking a big hit of marijuana poses far less harm to an adult than taking a big hit from a linebacker or a big shot of vodka," MPP spokesman Mason Tvert said. "It's irrational to punish those players who make the choice to use marijuana."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that the league could consider medicinal marijuana as a treatment if science proved it could be beneficial for players who have suffered concussions.
Carroll says regardless of the stigmas involved, the medicinal value should be examined, "because the world of medicine is trying to do the exact same thing and figure it out and they're coming to some conclusions."
The billboards are located between the Lincoln Tunnel and MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, near the New Jersey Turnpike toll plaza in Newark, on Interstate 80 in Teaneck north of the stadium and in Sayreville near Staten Island.
Tvert says he is optimistic that the NFL will change its policy because the American public has adopted so quickly to legalization.
"The rate at which public attitudes are shifting on this suggests that change is coming sooner rather than later," Tvert said.
OK GLASS, LET'S CATCH A FOOTBALL: Seahawks receiver Golden Tate was big into turning the tables on the assembled media horde and taking Seattle fans where they can't go. On Tuesday for Super Bowl media day, he wore a digital video camera clipped to the brim of his ballcap. He also showed off some technologically advanced eyewear.
"Yeah, huge shout-out to Google Glass for hooking me up with these and my agency taking care of me and reaching out to those guys," Tate said. "They gave me these Google Glass and I thought it would be a good idea to share my experience, which is very rare for an athlete, of being in the Super Bowl. The whole week, the media, everything, even the pictures and the hotel. I think it's a great reward to give back to the 12's that support us all year.
"This is just a small way of saying thank you and giving them what I see."
WHAT'S DANISH FOR WALDO AGAIN?: Super Bowl media day is pretty well known for some of its more attention-getting sideshows. It's not uncommon to see members of the media dressing to get attention. Spanish-language reporters in sprayed-on dresses are almost a fixture.
But there was a newcomer this year -- Danish Waldo.
TV3 Denmark reporter Tommy Kjaersgaard wore a red-and-white striped shirt, round spectacle frames and blue pants in costume as the titular character of the "Where's Waldo?" franchise of children's books. He would lurk in the background while his two-man crew asked players to find him.
"At the previous Super Bowls, I was just a normal journalist," Kjaersgaard said. "We kind of experienced all these goofy types that were here and then we just decided why not try to be goofy ourselves."
Kjaersgaard has covered Wimbledon, several Champions League soccer games and other European sports popular in Denmark. The NFL is among those.
"It's actually really huge in Denmark. The whole NFL is really huge. We show four games each weekend. We of course show all the playoff games and the Super Bowl too."
Without Waldo, presumably.
"I have a pretty awesome job. When I don't have to be Waldo," Kjaersgaard said with a laugh. "This is kind of weird."
NO KISSES: Seattle DT Brandon Mebane said a female reporter asked if he could give her a kiss on the cheek. His reply was pure comedy.
"I can't kiss you, I'm married," he said. "The only kisses go to my wife and my daughter about to be born. I don't even kiss my mom that way. I'm not trying to get a divorce. I want a happy home, happy life."
DON'T MISS IT: If the NFL got rid of extra points, Denver kicker Matt Prater would be just fine with that. They're so easy that kickers perversely feel a lot of pressure to make them all.
"There are some stressful extra points there sometimes, like to tie the game at the end where if you make it they expect you 'Oh it's an extra point you should've made it,' but if you miss it everyone is all over you. It's one those types of deals," Prater said. "I wouldn't say it's the easiest part, but it's just one day I'm sure they're going to get kickers out of the game completely in the direction it looks like they are going. The extra point thing is outside of my control. I don't mind kicking them."
AP Sports Writers Tim Booth and Dennis Waszak Jr. contributed to this report.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
Follow Rick Freeman at http://twitter.com/RWFreeman