The NFL would like us to call it “Opening Night.” That’s the official name now, but everyone who’s ever covered the Super Bowl, still calls it “media day.”

The new name does seem appropriate, however, as there are some undeniable truths that come along with the new moniker. First, “Opening” seems about right, since this event generally seems to kick off Super Bowl week. Second, it’s no longer done during the day; now it’s done at night (see what they did there?). And lastly, and perhaps most importantly…

…this event is hardly intended for media.

And that brings me to my list: 10 observations – the sights and sounds – from media day, err, “Opening Night.”

No. 1: Media has been redefined. Sure, there are media members – writers, reporters, television folk – in attendance. But let’s be honest, this is a circus. I’m not sure how credentials are awarded, but having journalistic qualities, or any intention of reporting on football, are clearly not mandatory criteria. That might sound stuffy – although it’s not meant to – but it’s really true. The zanier the better. Costumes, themes, silly questions about anything and everything other than football, and Miss Universe, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who was hired by “Inside Edition” – all of that and then some. Hey, I’ve got no problem with it, but again, omitting the word “media” is definitely appropriate.

No. 2: Phil Simms doesn’t hate Denver. In truth, I learned this before departing for “Opening Night.” I found Simms to not only be engaging and insightful, but also kind and generous with his time. Simms was even asked if he didn’t like certain places – like Denver, for example – and he basically said he valued his job too much to sway too far from “unbiased.” In a side conversation, CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson alluded to the fact that every city believes that her co-worker hates them too. Why does Phil Simms hate Denver? He doesn’t; he just has an amazing, unintentional ability to make every fan think that he hates them, their team and their city. Call it a rare quality.

No. 3: Like everyone else, Mike Carey, has trouble with NFL rules. Yesterday, CBS trotted out its full lineup of talent, which includes former official Mike Carey. His job, as we hear during practically every big game on CBS, is to interpret an on-field ruling or try to predict whether or not a challenge will be overruled. Carey seems like a real nice fellow, but he was under fire yesterday, being peppered with questions about the rules. He did his best to answer them, and I suppose he did so proficiently, but it’s pretty obvious that America has some questions about how the game is governed these days. Don’t shoot the messenger though (i.e. don’t be mad at Carey). It’s not his fault the game’s rules are so convoluted that zero armchair quarterbacks understand them. Someone asked Cam Newton what rule he would change, if any. He told them he’d change the rule that dictated the kind (and color) of cleats players could wear. Really? I’m with him (let’s make it fun, Roger), but my guess is that Cam doesn’t understand the “real” rules any more than you or me or Mike Carey.

No. 4: Peyton Manning is a cool dude. No, really. Not in the sense that “Von Miller is cool in his sweet glasses” cool, but – like – really cool. How do I know this? Because of what Jordan Taylor told Mile High Sports reporter Robin Carlin Monday. If you don’t know Taylor, he’s Manning’s “favorite” receiver; it was Taylor, a member of the Broncos practice squad, who worked out with Manning while he was recovering from a foot injury this season. Anyway, Taylor supposedly asked Manning if he happened to have an “old” suit he might borrow, because, you know, the Super Bowl is kind of a big deal, so he wanted to look sharper than his salary might allow. Well, Manning did him one better. He had Taylor measured for a custom suit, had it made and picked up the tab. (Pretty damn cool, right?) Taylor never played a down for the Broncos during the regular season, but perhaps his contributions during Manning’s time of need will make the difference in the old man riding off into the sunset with a new ring. Hey, that’d be worth a new slick, custom, grey suit.

No. 5: That said, Nick Kasa is “the most popular practice squad player in the history of the Super Bowl.” And that’s a quote – from him. The Legacy High School and University of Colorado product was joking of course, but there’s some truth to this claim. He’s got a great story – from being a fan at the AFC Championship Game to getting a call from the Broncos requesting his presence at the Super Bowl. The media picked up on that storyline and Kasa became somewhat of a media day darling. But let’s get something straight: Kasa is no charity case. The Denver defense wanted someone who could closely resemble Panthers tight end Greg Olsen – one of the game’s very best – so they called Kasa. He’s big and he’s fast and he looks like he hasn’t taken a snap off since 6th grade. Kasa has overcome a lot in his career – a serious knee injury at CU, switching from defensive end (he was recruited as one of the very best pass-rushing preps in the country) to tight end, then sitting out the entire 2014 season after tearing his ACL in camp with the Cowboys. Personally, I think Owen Daniels should buy him a suit.

No. 6: Oh, and speaking of tight ends, former Chief and Falcon Tony Gonzalez dissed the Denver tight ends (sort of). When asked about the matchup of tight ends, Gonzalez told Carlin, “There’s only one,” referring of course, to Greg Olsen. Sure, Olsen is the one of the best tight ends in the game (we wouldn’t argue with Gonzalez there), but “only one?” I guess Gonzalez missed Owen Daniels – the human highlight reel himself – in the AFC Championship Game. Daniels was pretty damn good, good enough to draw a comparison to Olsen. Our guy is just “different” – like our offense, he’s not as flashy, but he’s very effective. Broncos fans can live with that. As we learned in Super Bowl XLVIII, “flash” is overrated.

No. 7: The Panthers are likeable. I hate to say it – I’d so much rather not like them (see Seattle) – but it’s true. If the Broncos weren’t in the Super Bowl, us folk from Denver might very well be rooting for Carolina. They’ve got likable veterans like Thomas Davis and Ryan Kalil, and a fun quarterback in Cam Newton. Their coach has an intriguing story (he was nearly canned not that long ago). And players talk about ownership much like the Broncos talk about Mr. Bowlen. So, today’s mission? Find a Panther who’s a total jerk; that way we have someone to root against.

No. 8: Jerry Rice is still the GOAT. The crowd on hand at the SAP Center in San Jose made a lot of noise, but the loudest arrived when former 49er (and Bronco… remember that?) swiped a throwback ‘Niners jersey from a fan and ran around like a crazy man pumping up the crowd. Think about it this way, Denver: Rice is their Elway. The guy is gold and still beloved like the days when he ruled Candlestick. And, like the aforementioned Kasa, Rice – at age 53 – also looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. I’d bet $5 he can still run a post route that would juke most safeties, and I’d bet my life he hasn’t had to pay for dinner in San Francisco since he retired.

No. 9: Denver won the bling game. Is bling still a thing? Someone on the bus ride home said the Broncos were “icier.” That works, too. Tom Shane might need to get back to Antwerp, because it would appear the Broncos raided him of all his diamonds and gold before departing. From thick gold chains (“Cuban Links” if you’d rather) to boulder-sized rock studs, Denver was blinged out – far more than the Panthers. There was so much jewelry on hand, that Wade Phillips donned Aqib Talib’s gold chain for a bit; the only thing shinier on Phillips was his silver hair.

No. 10: And that brings me to my most important observation: The Broncos are far more “loose” than they were in New York. And that’s a good thing. One of my most vivid memories of covering Super Bowl 48 was how out of sorts the Denver Broncos were. They seemed tighter than a fiddle string. That team was built on perfection. They shattered a bevy of NFL offensive records behind a quarterback that was the tightest of them all. But this year, it looks like even Manning is having fun. He’s joking around and keeping things light. He looks like the guy in the Nationwide commercials, not like a guy who’s queasy from either having to answer questions about retiring after the greatest statistical season ever or from having to answer them on a boat. Manning is getting the “retirement” question as expected, but oddly, that’s not much of a story this time around. Manning dismisses it and gets back to being his fun-loving self. And it looks as if that’s rubbing off on his team. The Broncos are a team that looks as if it has a sincere appreciation for being here this time around. Oddly, the roles have been reversed from Super Bowl 48. Denver comes in as the underdog (no pressure, they’re not supposed to win, right?) behind a physical defense with plenty of swagger. Sounds like the 2013 Seahawks to me. And we all know what the Seahawks went on to do.