Super Bowl Media Day was relatively uneventful for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Patrick Bailey, but he did get one surprise question. “There were some media people who asked the same question,” Bailey, whose grandparents Donna and Jim Bailey reside in Dalton, said during a telephone conversation Wednesday evening when asked if he’d received any marriage proposals at his first Media Day.
No marriage proposals. Not even the hint of a wedding dress. Although a dress-wearing dude from Telemundo — the American television network based out of a suburb of Miami — nearly took care of that.
Super Bowl Media Day was relatively uneventful for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Patrick Bailey, but he did get one surprise question.
“There were some media people who asked the same question,” Bailey, whose grandparents Donna and Jim Bailey reside in Dalton, said during a telephone conversation Wednesday evening when asked if he’d received any marriage proposals at his first Media Day. “I just think it’s weird that it’s almost become an expected question at Media Day.
“I guess they’re just trying to find some silly things out about the players — who do you think is the biggest ladies man, fun little facts such as that.”
So who is the lucky Steeler able to charm the ladies? “I’ve got to give a fellow rookie some love,” Bailey said. “The first guy that came to mind was Bruce Davis. I?guess it was just one of those things.”
While Bailey and his teammates are certainly enjoying Super Week 2009, they realize the task at hand — bringing home an NFL?record sixth Super Bowl for the Steelers.
“It’s been an awesome experience,” Bailey said. “One of the greatest times of my life. The weather has been great over the past two days, nice and sunny. Its been amazing. It’s another practice week, but there’s also tons of media. I don’t know if it’s really been all that uneventful. I guess the really, really interesting part was when we walked out the field and the stadium was kind of empty. The all of a sudden the media runs out; just a waterfall of reporters that kind of covered up the entire sideline. It was a?really neat sight to see for me.
“Practice went well. We’re treating it like any other work week, a game week. And the weather was great so it went well. This is a?great situation, the biggest game in the sport of football. I?feel really blessed to be here.”
Much like Hornell’s Mike Waufle predicted prior to last year’s Super Bowl, the Steelers believe XLIII?will come down to pressure. Arizona Cardinals’ signal caller Kurt Warner suffered less than 20 sacks during the regular season and just one over the last three games.
“I believe good things happen when we you force your opponent to do things it’s not normally accustomed to doing,” Bailey said. “We have linebackers and a defensive line that can apply pressure and a great secondary. When all those parts are working well good things happen for yor defense. We’re going to do what we need to do.”
Primarily a component of the Steelers’ special teams, the Steelers’ rookie linebacker has collected 16 tackles this season, including one against the San Diego Chargers in the opening round of the NFL?playoffs. Bailey is a member of all four of the Pittsburgh special teams — punt, punt return, kickoff and kickoff return.
“Special teams here are just that — a special part of the team,”?Bailey said. “They can be a?huge factor in the game. There are a number of skill position battles that go into special teams. They are definitely one of the unique parts of the game. It’s pure hustle. That is what makes it enjoyable — flying down the field and running into somebody, that’s just fun for me.”
While Bailey’s roots are found deep in the heart of Elmendorf, Texas, he recalls fond times of visiting his grandparents in Dalton.
“We went up to Dalton, N.Y.,?twice a year — once in the summer and once at Christmas,” Bailey said. “In the summer it was a break in terms of the heat of Texas. It was always fun; we always went to the corner store, the local post office and the Out of Towner for lunch. Then we go to grandpa’s garage. He’d let me play with the jack for the cars — I’d press the button when it was time to lift them up and then pull it down when they were all through.
“We would always pray for a white Christmas since we were coming up from San Antonio,”?he added. “It’s always good to see the family.”
Bailey credits his grandfather as the major influence in his life.
“He is a?very, very strong individual. The kind of?guy who will help you out no matter what,” Bailey said. “I’ve respected him since I was a boy. He’s been a role model and someone that I’ve always admired.”
While Bailey’s parents were both athletes — his father an avid runner and his mother a gymnast — the 6-4, 235-pound?Bailey choose to partake in team-oriented athletics as a youngster.
“He played junior soccer and all that stuff,” Jim Bailey said. “But in the seventh grade he decided he was going to play I-A?football. And when he was a freshman he was only weighing 128 pounds. He’s certainly spent a lot of time in the weight room. He’s definitely put the time and hard work into what he’s accomplished.”
“I don't really know how it all started,” Bailey, a Duke graduate, said. “I just loved throwing a ball. Dad got us into soccer when my two brothers and I were really, really young. We all really liked sports and mom and dad respected what we wanted to do and they let us do it.
“You try to take care of the little things, that’s how I’ve kind of gone about my entire career,”
Bailey added when asked to talk about his Division I?football aspirations as a youngster. “I tried to set goals and make sure they were attainable or at least on the cusp of attainable and unattainable. You have to push yourself to go out and give it your all. You can’t be looking back; you have to take each day for what it is, take what God put in front of you. I just tried to play every snap to the best of my ability and I?still do that today.”
As for Sunday’s big game, Bailey stopped short of making any bold, Joe Namath-like predictions.
“I don’t make predictions,” he said. “I just say I’m gonna go out and play my best. That’s all I can do, the rest will take care of itself.”
The Evening Tribune