By Anthony Galloway, NBC News producer
By the looks on some of the players' faces, "What are you doing to be green?" might have been one of the strangest questions asked during Super Bowl media day. (Although when another reporter asked, "What are your biggest pet peeves?" we didn't feel so bad.)
Correspondent Simran Sethi and I traveled to the University of Phoenix stadium to talk to players and the NFL's environmental coordinator about the Super Bowl's expanded effort to be more environmentally conscious.
The NFL says they've been incorporating eco-friendly practices into the Super Bowl for the past 15 years, but this year they've made serious improvements. They've purchased renewable energy, planted 10,000 trees, plan to recycle 700 tons of garbage and are even using ethanol-powered vehicles to transport players and staff. Today we learned that Expedia will purchase carbon offsets from Terra Pass to balance the CO2 impact of both teams, as well as the NFL staff working on the Super Bowl. (Greenhouse gas emissions for team and staff travel add up to an estimated 571 tons.)
Earlier this week, famed New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told us he drove a hybrid and suggested we should all go see Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" because "it's the truth." Brady's backup quarterback Matt Cassel says he's going to buy a Toyota Prius after his team wins the game.
If the Patriots do win the game, they'll have finished a record-setting perfect season. And if the NFL's environmental team achieves its goals, they'll have set a different kind of standard for games to come.