Interest in the Super Bowl this weekend is at fever pitch, but for New Orleans Saints star Reggie Bush, not all the attention is focusing on what will be happening on the field.
In fact, as the running back faced the world’s press at Tuesday’s Super Bowl XLIV media day, he had a hard time keeping commentators’ minds on the upcoming clash with the Indianapolis Colts at Florida’s Sun Life Stadium. The reason? This year the showpiece of professional football is also entwined in a great showbiz story: the star's romance with socialite and reality TV star Kim Kardashian.
The player attempted to talk about the importance of the Saints’ first-ever final in light of the impact of Hurricane Katrina. "I think if we're able to bring a Super Bowl trophy to the city of New Orleans, it would be huge,” said Bush. “It would be more than just about football, just as the reopening of the [Louisiana] Super Dome was more than that game. It was about Hurricane Katrina, the thousands of lives that were lost during that storm.
“The same thing applies to this game. We're going to try to do the best we can to bring it back home to New Orleans and give the city something to be proud about."
"I don't want to say it's the biggest game of my life, but it is."
Then he answered the usual questions about his physical condition: "I'm 100%. It's probably the healthiest I've been all year.” And his mental preparations: "It's a huge game. I don't want to say it's the biggest game of my life, but it is.” Then came the inevitable questions about his very public private life.
Rumors have been flying that Kardashian wants to tie the knot in 2010; is it true he’s going to propose if the Saints win? “There’s no truth to that,” he replied calmly.
What if she pops the question instead? "I think it would be backwards if I were getting the ring from her," he said. "I'd rather get a [Super Bowl] ring from Roger Goodell."
As they persisted, Bush countered: “It’s easy to be labelled as a bit too Hollywood, not being focused because I have a high-profile relationship, because I do commercials and sometimes I do TV shows. This year, I cut out a lot of stuff and focused on football because obviously football is paying the bills. It’s where my passion is.”
Kardashian is at least attempting to keep attention somewhere near the field. "I am so proud of Reggie and the New Orleans Saints!" she said. "They deserve it, New Orleans deserves it!"
For more on Reggie, check his official site and follow him on Twitter. Check out his Facebook page for his "Who Dat Fan?" photo contest, where you can enter for a chance to win a custom, limited-edition Red Bull "rally bat" autographed by the man himself. Click here for details.
Super Bowl XLIV, with a half-time show by The Who, kicks off at 6.30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 7.