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Super Bowl: Shooting from the lip

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones gets you ready for today's TV coverage.

Fox carries today's game, meaning we get Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on the broadcast. A strong crew. I prefer NBC's Al Michaels and Cris Collins­worth over all football broadcasters, but the team of Buck and Aikman is very good.

Each will be calling his fourth Super Bowl — all of them together.

Buck has established himself as America's big-game broadcaster. Not only does he call Fox's Super Bowls, but he has been on the microphone for 16 World Series, including the past 14. No game or moment is ever too big for him. You'll get a relaxed and professional call sprinkled with Buck's occasional wry sense of humor.

Aikman, a three-time Super Bowl winner with the Cowboys, has stepped up his broadcasting game of late, becoming more critical and in a no-nonsense, unapologetic way.

Pam Oliver and Erin Andrews will work the sidelines. And if we're lucky, Andrews will interview Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman about 10 p.m.

Biggest interview

Bill O'Reilly will interview President Barack Obama during Fox's pregame show. It is scheduled to air at about 4:30 p.m.

Meantime, Obama sat down with CNN's Jake Tapper and was given the choice to predict the winner of Seahawks vs. Broncos in the Super Bowl or Hillary Clinton vs. Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate for president in 2016. Obama chose to pick the Super Bowl.

"I think it's going to come down to the last play," Obama said. "I'm not going to pick because I don't want to offend any of the great cities participating."

Figures.

Fox NFL Sunday

Fox's four-hour pregame show, Fox NFL Sunday, kicks off at 2 p.m. with host Curt Menefee and analysts Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson.

Some things to watch:

• A feature on Vince Lombardi, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native and the winning coach of the first two Super Bowls with the Packers.

• A look back at, arguably, the greatest football game ever played: the 1958 NFL championship between the Giants and Colts at Yankee Stadium.

• As it has done with past Super Bowls, Fox will pay tribute to the military with a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Readers include several owners and current and former players including Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Jim Kelly, Art Shell and Adrian Peterson.

• A tribute to the late player/broadcaster Pat Summerall (right).

Sunday NFL Countdown

ESPN kicks off its four-hour pregame show, Sunday NFL Countdown, at 10 a.m.

It will feature the usual suspects with host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson. They will be at ESPN's main Super Bowl set at Herald Square in New York. So, too, will be NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter.

Meantime, host Suzy Kolber and the Monday Night Countdown crew of Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young will be at MetLife Stadium, site of the game. Reporters Sal Paolan­tonio will cover the Broncos, and Ed Werder will give us the lowdown on the Seahawks.

Some things to watch:

• An opening essay, narrated by actor Willem Dafoe, about the Super Bowl in New York-New Jersey.

• Berman chats with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson about how he escapes rushes and keeps plays alive; Mortensen talks to Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

• Brilliant impersonator Frank Caliendo does a "30 for 30" spoof about Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. It includes 11 characters, including four he has never done before. The new impressions include Patriots coach Bill Belichick and ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski.

• A conversation with Broncos vice president and former quarterback John Elway.

• What would pregame be without some good, old-fashioned — and irritating — crossover promoting. Kevin Costner (top right), Jennifer Garner (bottom) and Denis Leary will try to sell you on some NFL-themed movie called Draft Day. Apparently, Costner has run out of baseball scripts.

Big money

More than 100 million people in the United States will watch today's Super Bowl, which is why so many advertisers are willing to shell out the big bucks for a 30-second commercial to capture your fancy. It wasn't always that way. Check out how much ad rates for a 30-second commercial have changed over the years starting with the first Super Bowl in 1967.

1967:$42,000

1974:$103,000

1980:$222,000

1985:$525,000

1995:$1.15 million

2000:$2.2 million

2011:$3.1 million

2014:$4 million

Super Bowl: Shooting from the lip 02/01/14 [Last modified: Saturday, February 1, 2014 10:53pm]

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