SUPER BOWL MEMORIES OF NBC’S BROADCASTERS

AL MICHAELS:

MICHAELS ON SUPER BOWL III, 40 YEARS AGO ON NBC:”I was in Hawaii starting my career and was watching it with a friend of mine, early in the morning. I was an AFL fan and thought the AFL had been given short shrift and loved the way they played football and was very excited when the Jets won the game. I thought it was neat to have this upstart league come in and say to the NFL, ‘hey, we’re as good as you are.'”

MICHAELS ON THE FIRST SUPER BOWL:”I was there in the Los Angeles Coliseum with my brother David. It was a beautiful day in the middle of January and we had really good seats on the northern side of the Coliseum. There were only about 60,000 people in the staduim and about 30,000 empty seats but I thought it was cool. I had always followed the AFL as a kid and I loved the AFL. You had no idea what was going to happen; would Kansas City even remotely be able to stay in the game or was the NFL so superior and dominant. Even though Green Bay won, and they won it going away, it was a close game at halftime and I remember thinking at halftime, ‘hey this is pretty neat, the AFL can stay with the NFL.’ It was a lot of fun but I had no idea that 43 years later it would evolve into anything like this.”

JOHN MADDEN:

“I’ve done so many Super Bowls and have enjoyed them all.”

MADDEN ON HIS FIRST SUPER BOWL AS A BROADCASTER: “The first one as a broadcaster was in Detroit and it was my first year working with Pat Summerall. It was the first cold-weather Super Bowl, in a dome with the cold and the traffic and all and that was really the start of the 49ers dynasty. It was Bill Walsh’s first Super Bowl win as a head coach and was the start of the 49er era.”

MADDEN ON FINDING OUT HE WAS VOTED TO HALL OF FAME: “The last Super Bowl I did was memorable. It was Seattle-Pittsburgh and the day before the game we went to practice at the stadium in Detroit, and I got the call that I was voted into the Hall of Fame. That was a pretty doggone good weekend. It’s the day before the Super Bowl and I was just voted into the Hall of Fame, so I’ll never forget that. Weekends don’t get any better than that.”

MADDEN ON HIS FIRST SUPER BOWL AS A COACH: “We were in Super Bowl II and we had a good young team and it was my first year as a coach. Not only was I an assistant coach but I was a first-year assistant coach and we went and lost to the Green Bay Packers and it was Vince Lombardi’s last game.

“They didn’t even call it the Super Bowl then. It was the AFL-NFL Championship and I’d just come from college coaching and I thought that was a bowl game. We’d won the AFL and I thought that’s what happens – when you win the AFL you get to go to a bowl game. And you get double your salary. We got $12,500 and that’s about what my salary was. I thought this was pretty good and we have a good team so we should be back here every year. I started out young and dumb, taking something for granted and I didn’t get back there again until Super Bowl XI.”

MADDEN ON WINNING OR LOSING A SUPER BOWL: “You really appreciate it when you realize how hard it is to get to. The gap between winning and losing in the Super Bowl is probably the biggest gap there is in sports. The winner is Super Bowl champion forever and they can never take that away from you.

“I always want to correct people when I hear them say, ‘our goal this year is to get to the Super Bowl.’ I always want to say, ‘no no no, your goal is to WIN the Super Bowl.’ Getting to a Super Bowl is A thing but it’s not THE thing. Winning it is THE thing.

MADDEN ON WINNING SUPER BOWL XI: “Winning that Super Bowl in Pasadena, against the Minnesota Vikings was probably the biggest thrill of my life.”

ANDREA KREMER:

KREMER ON GIVING BIRTH AT THE SUPER BOWL: “My top Super Bowl memory is a bit off the field. My son Will was born in Atlanta on Jan. 26, 2000 four days before Super Bowl XXXIV, where I was working for ABC and ESPN. Many people have noted he was in such shock that the Rams were about to win the championship he had to see it first hand. I worked the pre-game show that day but watched the actual game with Will from Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta and gave the infant his first taste of football when I animatedly reacted to Mike Jones’ tackle of Kevin Dyson at the one yard line as the clock expired to preserved the Rams win. For the first few years of his life he thought the Super Bowl was held to celebrate his birthday.”

KREMER ON HER TOP SUPER BOWL MOMENT: “This will be the 20th Super Bowl I have covered and while I have witnessed many thrilling moments such as Adam Vinatieri’s game winning kicks to win Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII, respectively, for the Patriots, I consider the best Super Bowl I’ve covered to be Super Bowl XXXII, Denver over Green Bay 31-24 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. This was John Elway’s first Super Bowl win and while Terrell Davis was the MVP of this game, the enormity of Elway finally winning a championship was quite memorable. I remember him telling me after the game that he thought his career wouldn’t be incomplete without a ring but he realized that was not true and the emotions of the moment were very intense.”

KREMER ON WHAT MAKES THE SUPER BOWL SPECIAL: “Unlike the championship games in the other major sports, this is one and done, a single event to determine the best and there is nothing like it in terms of drama, excitement and the panoply surrounding the event. I am most looking forward to what I hope will be another down-to-the-wire, ultra competitive game. For me personally, after all the years of covering the NFL, it is the highlight of my career to be part of the team broadcasting the game.”

BOB COSTAS:

COSTAS ON HIS MEMORY OF SUPER BOWL I:”I was a couple months shy of my sixteenth birthday and I think, like most fans, although I liked the old AFL and I liked Hank Stram’s Kansas City Chiefs, I really thought that the real NFL title game had taken place between the Cowboys and the Packers. When it was only 14-10 at halftime, I was a little bit surprised. I remember Max McGee’s two touchdowns, and Willie Wood with the interception that kind of broke Kansas City’s back in the second half. I remember Fred “The Hammer” Williamson getting laid out. He had been very talkative before the game and he got carted out off unconscious. I remember that the game was on two networks. I remember that it was on NBC and CBS simultaneously which I thought was really weird.”

COSTAS ON HIS FAVORITE SUPER BOWL MEMORY AS A BROADCASTER:
“The last Super Bowl prior to this one that NBC did was the one where the Broncos upset the heavily favored Packers. John Elway finally got his Super Bowl Championship. I remember from that game the famous Elway run and kind of whirly bird finish. He was brought down at the goal line and kind of whirly birded his way from the ground. Then, the Packers in effect letting Terrell Davis score, so they would have some time remaining. I thought that was a very good move on Mike Holmgren’s part. Although it didn’t work out for them they did drive inside Bronco’s territory. That was a historic game because Elway broke through, because the Packers were denied consecutive Super Bowl wins which would have taken Favre to yet another level and because the game was so close.”

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:

COLLINSWORTH ON HIS MEMORIES OF SUPER BOWL XVI IN PONTIAC: “The two Super Bowls I played in were completely different. The first one it was freezing in Pontiac – it was like zero degrees. A few of us rented a car and I remember us spinning donuts in the parking lot. That was the most fun we had. Forrest Gregg didn’t believe in having us do anything. He just wanted us focused on football. Diana Ross sang the anthem. She looked great. And then we came out and played as horribly as we’d ever played. I fumbled, we fell behind 20-0…”

COLLINSWORTH ON HIS MEMORIES OF SUPER BOWL XXIII IN MIAMI: “I remember having the opposite experience in Miami – we had a lot of fun. At the game, there were celebrities everywhere, Billy Joel sang the anthem, Christie Brinkley was with him. You can’t help but notice that stuff. The 49ers winning drive, we were all hoping they would score quickly. We knew if we got the ball back with enough time on the clock, we would win.”

KEITH OLBERMANN:

OLBERMANN ON HIS FIRST SUPER BOWL MEMORY: “I watched the first game, and remember principally my confusion that it was on two channels at the same time, given that even in New York we only had seven channels. The majesty of Lombardi’s Packers was a little lost on me, but the principle ancillary benefit of sports to kids (it teaches you geography) was in play that Sunday: I had to try to figure out exactly where ‘Green Bay’ was, and why it might be green.”

OLBERMANN ON HIS FAVORITE SUPER BOWL: “To this day, my favorite is Super Bowl III, the first played while I was a fully cognizant sports fan. Today’s fans got a touch of the sense of disparity during that stretch when the AFL was pretty dominant, but only a touch. The perception going into that week in Miami was that the Jets were the top team – and maybe not even the top team – in something that might almost be akin to arena football today. There was genuine fear in football that the NFL would be ‘diluting’ itself by going through with the merger. And Namath! Namath was a braggard, a phony, a party boy with no real interest in football other than for what it could get him, while the Colts were a football team. I mean, the outcome was so startling, that thirteen or fourteen years after that game, Bubba Smith still couldn’t shake the idea that the game had been somehow fixed. That’s a ballgame.”

DAN PATRICK:

PATRICK ON HIS FIRST SUPER BOWL MEMORY: “I remember watching the Packers against the Chiefs during the first Super Bowl. I had this fascination to see how the AFL with its wide-open offense was going to fair against a Packer team that seemed blue collar working with two legendary coaches. Looking back on it you had two legendary Hall of Fame coaches, two Hall of Fame quarterbacks and just the fascination of would the AFL be able to stand up to the big bad Green Bay Packers. It didn’t take long to realize that the Packers were a lot better than Kansas City that day.”

PATRICK ON HIS FAVORITE SUPER BOWL MEMORY: “The Giants beating the Buffalo Bills. The feeling was it was sort of like the tortoise and the hare — that the Buffalo Bills with that offense, would the Giants be able to take the air out of the game, literally and figuratively, to slow the game down. I thought it was one of the great coaching strategies of Belichick and Parcells that I’d ever seen. And to go in the locker room after the game and see Hostetler come back from the press conference and his teammates had taken razor blades and sliced up his suit so he would have to wear his uniform home. He got punked by his teammates that night when he came back. I was there as he walked to his locker, and saw him as he looked at his suit and realized they had taken razor blades and sliced it all up. I was fascinated by the game plan by Belichick. That’s why that defensive game plan is in the Hall of Fame. To be able to do that with losing Phil Simms and having Jeff Hostetler step in and then Hostetler going back and having his suit sliced to shreds by his teammates. To see somebody who just won the Super Bowl be angry after a game is an interesting dynamic.”

TIKI BARBER:

BARBER ON HIS MEMORIES OF SUPER BOWL XXXV IN TAMPA: “The thing I remember most is standing near to Ray Charles during ‘America the Beautiful.’ That was pretty cool. It was all down hill from there though. The power of selective memory allows me to forget everything after that other than Ray Lewis breathing down my neck every time I touched the ball.”

JEROME BETTIS:

BETTIS ON SUPER BOWL XL: “My favorite memory is when they called the team out of the tunnel and onto the field, Joey Porter told me to lead the team out there. So I ran out there but Joey held the rest of the team back so I could have that moment to myself. I didn’t even realize it until I ran on the field, looked back and they weren’t there. It was really special.”

PETER KING:

KING ON HIS FAVORITE SUPER BOWL STORY: “My favorite Super Bowl story came after the Packers beat New England in Super Bowl XXXI. I was assigned to find Brett Favre in the crush of the Green Bay Super Bowl party back at the Fairmount Hotel, a few blocks from the Superdome in New Orleans. There were 4,000 people in the hotel ballroom and I spied Favre. I mouthed the words, ‘Five minutes?’ He nodded, and we found a stairwell with a luggage cart and sat on it … for 45 minutes. This was after he’d been to rehab for his Vicodin addiction, and after the death of his best friend in a car accident with his brother, Scott, driving. ‘Trouble never seems to be far away,’ he said that night. ‘The future won’t be all rosy, but they can’t take this away from me. Thirty years from now, kids will be getting ready to watch the Super Bowl, and NFL Films will drag out Steve Sabol — he’ll be about 102 then — and he’ll talk about how Brett Favre fought through such adversity. There will be other players and coaches, and other games, but I know this: We etched our place in history today.’
The great thing about my job is being able to be at the front lines with the biggest players at the biggest games. There’s nothing more fun.”

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: