Reporters will tell you it's unethical to ask interview subjects for a kiss, but excuse Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy after his brush with the greatness known as Madonna.
McCoy, working as a reporter for OCNN – Chad Ochocinco's network – showed a lack of fear that would impress Bucs fans during the music legend's Super Bowl news conference Thursday in Indianapolis.
He asked Madonna for a smooch, and was quickly shot down.
The back-and-forth began when a bold McCoy, sitting among hundreds of media members, told Madonna, "I'm only 23, but I love you."
She jokingly replied, "I have love for 23-year-olds," but begged, "Please don't ask a stupid question."
McCoy then told Madonna she was "the definition of greatness" and asked:
"Can you give advice to guy in his young career?"
Madonna tried to give a legitimate answer:
"If you don't believe in what you are doing and don't have passion for what you are doing, quit right now," Madonna replied.
"Anything that is worth having and accomplishing is going to be hard. There is going to be a lot of people trying to bring you down and telling you, 'You can't.' So have faith in yourself. That's No. 1. And No. 2, don't take anything personally."
McCoy then popped the big one: "So I'm assuming no kiss after this?"
Shaking her head, Madonna replied, "No."
McCoy, the Bucs' first-round pick in 2010, later tweeted: "The only woman to ever make me sweat. Madonna!!! I was sweating so hard when I asked my question. It was great though."
As far as Sunday's game, Madonna won't explicitly tell reporters who she would root for, but her spot-on salsa dance in honor of the New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz may have revealed where her allegiance lies.
She was asked what she thought of the Cruz's touchdown celebration dance and if she had any criticisms of his moves.
"I have no criticism ... actually, he's inspired me. I've been practicing," said Madonna, who lives in New York, before busting a move in front of the few hundred media members in attendance.
"Do you think he'd approve?" she asked after her brief performance. Madonna also leaned toward the Giants when pressed on which quarterback she'd rather have dinner with, the New England Patriots' Tom Brady or the Giants' Eli Manning. While she protested the question was unfair, she allowed: "I'd have to say Eli because he lives in New York and I don't want him to waste gas."
Madonna's salsa dance was her only performance of the day; she declined to follow the footsteps of other halftime acts who have given a tease of their performance with a mini concert.
Madonna gave few details about Sunday's show, which is being "imagined" Cirque du Soleil and may feature white-hot rapper Nicki Minaj, who is featured on Madonna's new single "Give Me All Your Luvin'." (She promoted her song by announcing it would be available on iTunes Friday, and for those who may not have known her film "W.E." opens this week, a press kit was placed on seats for reporters).
""I really don't want to blow the surprises," said Madonna, who only promised to sing three old songs and one new one. "I want people to be knocked off their feet.'"
Madonna is perhaps the most edgy Super Bowl performer since 2004, the halftime show that will live in infamy, as Justin Timberlake revealed Janet Jackson's breast during a "wardrobe malfunction." Madonna, who is as defined by sometimes racy antics as her music, once again promised no flesh would be seen during her set, and when asked if she was going to be "pushing the envelope," she said: "The envelope I am pushing is for a spectacular show which will, I think, entertain all age groups and will be a feast for the eyes and ears."
Madonna fielded several questions from reporters, some softball, some staid, and a couple bizarre. One person asked if she could confirm that her former companion and rumored boyfriend Alex Rodriguez had a painting in his house featuring himself as a half-man centaur.
"If he does, I haven't seen it but I'm pretty sure he has a rather large painting of me," she said.
Someone else asked Madonna, who admitted that she rarely watches TV let alone games, about the ankle injury to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, and whether she'd be able to perform with such an ailment.
"Well, a lot of people would say I'm a bit of a masochist," said Madonna, who said ibuprofen and tape would have her ready to go.
The superstar said she stared rehearsals for the halftime show in December. She also said preparing for her set, which will likely be around 10 minutes, was the most arduous time of her long career, and perhaps made her the most nervous. While Madonna, who has lived in Britain, sometimes affects a British accent, she stressed her Midwestern roots and expressed her love for Indianapolis as well.
"This is a Midwestern girl's dream to perform at the Super Bowl," she said. She added that she'd dedicate her performance to her father.
"I was raised in the Midwest and he is the personification of Midwestern values," she said. "He gave me the work ethic I have so if I am a hard working girl that never stops it is because of him. I am sure of all of the things I have ever done in my life this will be the thing he is most excited about. "