Thursday, January 27, 2011

NFL on Fox previews Packers/Steelers Super Bowl XLV

From Fox Sports -


Four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Terry Bradshaw, two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach Jimmy Johnson, Super Bowl Sunday pregame host Curt Menefee, FOX NFL SUNDAY coordinating producer Scott Ackerson and FOX Sports Media Group Chairman David Hill participated in a media conference call today to preview Super Bowl XLV between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers and FOX SUPER BOWL SUNDAY pregame show coverage. Excerpts of today’s call are below.

Bradshaw on how he approaches broadcasting a Super Bowl that involves the Steelers:
“I’m thrilled to be doing the Super Bowl and certainly to have the Steelers in it. I know the organization and the passion is there. I’m good at setting my feelings aside and say how I really feel no matter who is playing. I’ve already thought about what it would be like to stand in the middle of Cowboys Stadium and present the Lombardi Trophy to Steelers owner Dan Rooney. I’ve already thought about that and how cool it would be since I was a part of the first Super Bowl team that saw Art Rooney get the Lombardi Trophy after Super Bowl IX in the dressing room. That trophy presentation is done a little bit different now. I’m excited for Pittsburgh but if Green Bay were to win it I’d be excited for them. We just know that I’m a Steelers guy. I have no problem doing the show and answering questions about anything pertaining to the football game whether it’s negative or positive for Pittsburgh. Where is my heart? You know where it is. It’s with the Steelers.”

Hill points to reasons for this year’s record NFL ratings and viewership: “I think the public is getting smarter about the sport. All the pregame shows have instilled the football knowledge and an understanding about the sport. Our addition of Mike Pereira to explain the rules and regulations was done because the more you understand something, the more you enjoy it and the more you can see what’s likely to happen. The spread of HD and widescreen TV’s has made the sport look fantastic and the spread of 5.1 audio surround sound and home theaters has helped. Not just us but our friends at NBC, CBS and ESPN all do a fantastic job with their broadcasts. Also we’re seeing the results of the recession of two years ago where people were saving and not traveling as much so they were home. A lot of people may have discovered football that hadn’t seen it before. There are a myriad of reasons but the secret weapon is Howard Katz, the NFL’s scheduler. If you’re not getting the right matchups in the right markets then you are not putting the most appealing thing in front of people. If you look at the matchups he’s put together week in and week out and year in and year out, his hard work is shining. The athleticism of the players themselves is truly remarkable. It’s like Cirque Du Soleil with violence, it’s a beautiful thing.”

Ackerson on the game plan for this year FOX SUPER BOWL SUNDAY pregame show: “One of the things that we’re going to try to do a little differently this time are the red carpet segments. It’s amazing the amount of stars who want to be a part of it now that they’ve seen how it’s gone as opposed to the first time when it was really hard to get people to show up. We’re going to have some segments where we’ll bring in some old Steelers and some 49ers, Cowboys, and hopefully some Packers as well, and tell stories about the Super Bowl in more of a talk show type of format. That really hasn’t been done in the past. There will be plenty of features about the teams but I’ve found that when people watch a Super Bowl, they always notice stuff that’s out of the ordinary. They really don’t sit down and watch the piece on Player A or Player B. A big part of that is because the coverage is so saturated in the week leading up to the Super Bowl that they look at it as same-old same-old. We’re trying to get stories that fans haven’t heard before.”

Hill on the possibility of Super Bowl XLV being the NFL’s last game for a while due to a possible work stoppage: “I hope and pray fervently that it isn’t. With the sport reaching heights that Pete Rozelle would never dreamed of, we want to keep it that way. We know what happens to sports after a strike or a lockout; people turn away and it takes a while for them to come back. It would be a great tragedy if both sides weren’t able to reach an agreement. I fervently hope that an agreement is possible, that there’s no lockout, no industry dispute and games go on as scheduled next September.”

Bradshaw on Aaron Rodgers: “You go back to his reaction when he thought he was the starter in Green Bay and then out of retirement came Brett and he handled everything with class and dignity. He had won his football team over without taking a snap on the football field. He’s just a classy guy. He was the perfect person to be behind Brett Favre and take that job over. Absolutely perfect.”

Johnson on Rodgers: “Mike McCarthy has designed an offense that utilizes his skills. Aaron is great in the shotgun with the open set and he’s great with the spread set. He has the ability to scramble and move around; they even run the quarterback draw on occasion. He’s got such a great delivery and he’s so accurate throwing the football.”

Bradshaw on Ben Roethlisberger: “Ben does it with strength. He’s very strong with great presence in the pocket and only moves when he has pressure. Last week against the Jets, he did a spin move that I would show to young quarterbacks and say, ‘you either have this or you don’t.’ It’s basically a feel and great quarterbacks have it. We know about Ben’s off the field problems and that can hurt you with your football team. He seems to have been able to mend that. After he had his suspension, he came back and played rejuvenated and rededicated. He appears to have really straightened himself out. That’s good for him. He’s a superstar in this league and we need our superstars to be held accountable. Hopefully that’s what’s happening with him.”

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