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Prince Is King

Best NFL event ever. Best press conference in the history of mankind.

Prince did us all a favor and took no questions, just tore up the stage. Unbelievable.
First of all, his guitar skills are ridiculous, and he was showing off his chops for the world's media. The man came correct. Full ensamble on the stage. Three back-up dancers - two of whome appeared to be gorgeous identical twins with supreme dancing ability, wearing vintage 1970s Tina Turner outfits - a full horn section, the next Sheila E pounding the skins.

It was was sick.

The word was going around that Prince - who is doing the halftime show - would be giving an unusual presser. An NFL suit came up and explained the man would not be taking questions. "We think the trade-off will be pretty good." Bingo.
So the whole entourage goes to the stage set up in a conference room in the South Beach Convention Center, where the Media Center is. Prince - just my latest brush with vertically-challenged greateness this season, after Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx - had on an outrageous orange suit. He got the stage, told us to brace for an auditory assault, then said. "Contrary to rumor, I'd like to take a few questions now."

We all went silent, stunned, that the mystery man would actually do an interview. Then, when the first bozo tried to blurt out the inevitable trite question abotu how it feels to perform at the Super Bowl, the band kicked into a furious rendition of "Johnny B Goode."

He was shredding on the guitar, the dancers were gyrating all over the place. It was crazy. He played two more songs and performed for about 15 minutes in all. By the third song everyone was on their feet and it actually felt like a concert. Those of us close enough even have ringing ears right now, which in my mind is the only way to rock.

My boy Ohm, a DC-area native who writes for the New York Daily News, was in the second row and got a few shots on his cell phone. He's emailing them to me, and we'll try to get them up.

Emilio, our sports editor, called me cell and asked me to request "Freebird" - the editors were watching on the NFL Network from the office back home - but alas, I did not get the message until after the show. That would have been genius to actually shout that between songs.

Given the locale, the mix was a little off and the vocals were kind of garbled, but so what. I had goosebumps going by the end of it, and Prince made sure to give us plenty of guitar licks, which came through plenty clear. The dude is a natural showman, what can I say.

Okay, still have a ton of stuff to post from the DirtecTV flag football game (I gotta play ball a little bit here and plug these guys, they put on an awesome event, and I also am a longtime DirecTV subscriber and would be lost without Fox Soccer Channel and Gol TV). I have to get to an NFLPA press conference in a minute (Skins DC Troy Vincent, head of the players association, will be part of the shindig), but as soon as that's over I'll get you cauvght up on our celebrity mingling.


By Jason La Canfora  |  February 1, 2007; 3:01 PM ET
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