You want more press release stuff? I’ll give it to you. Here’s another release from the NFL, giving excerpts of a conference call officially introducing Bob Papa as the new play-by-play voice of Thursday and Saturday Night Football. Steve Bornstein, President of NFL Network and analyst Cris Collinsworth were also on hand.
EXCERPTS FROM TODAY’S NFL NETWORK CONFERENCE CALL
WITH STEVE BORNSTEIN, BOB PAPA & CRIS COLLINSWORTH
NFL NETWORK PRESIDENT & CEO STEVE BORNSTEIN: We have very exciting news today. We’re announcing our new play?by?play announcer Bob Papa, who will be joining Cris Collinsworth, on our eight?game NFL package starting this November.
Bob has been a fixture in the
BOB PAPA: First of all, Steve, thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity. It’s just an honor and a privilege to be joining such a great group like those at the NFL Network and the team you’ve assembled. I am just so looking forward to working with the premiere football analyst in the National Football League in Cris Collinsworth.
I think we’re going to have a lot of fun during the season. I think we’re going to bring great information to the audience and we’re going to let the games play out and have a blast in the booth. I’m just so excited and honored to be a part of this family.
CRIS COLLINSWORTH: I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of great play?by?play announcers over the years, but Bob Papa is the first that ever paid for dinner when we went out to enjoy a meal. So we got off to a great start.
My only problem when I work with Bob is by the end of dinner, typically I end up with a little bit of a
But here is a guy that I’ve worked with at HBO, and they absolutely adore him there. I’ve worked with him and will be working with him on the Olympics coming up for NBC. I think this is his seventh Olympics and he’s a pro’s pro. He’s a guy that works it every day. He’s on Sirius radio going over the issues of the NFL. He was part of a world championship broadcast with the Giants.
All you have to do is spend five minutes with the guy and you understand that he’s all in for the game of football and the National Football League. He studies it. He lives it. He breathes it. It’s something that I feel like I like to do, as well.
It’s interesting when as a group you’re around people who the NFL is not only their vocation, it’s their avocation, as well. I think that’s what Bob is all about and I’m excited to work with him.
Q. Steve, now that you have an accomplished play?by?play man like Bob, have you decided to move away from the more conversational style that Bryant Gumbel was brought in for? And, Bob, from your standpoint, what is the most exciting part of being on this new team?
STEVE BORNSTEIN: First off, we’re just trying to put the best team together. Bob Papa is an accomplished announcer and well?known to the NFL Network. He worked on NFL Europa games the past few seasons for us and we think he’s going to be a great complement to the Emmy award winning Cris Collinsworth. So I am pretty pleased that we are going to be putting the best announce team out there we possibly can.
BOB PAPA: Just to follow up and answer my part of the question, the thing that’s most exciting is this is a standalone Thursday night game. This is a national package. All eyes of the NFL are on these games. To have a chance to work with Cris and be a part of this is tremendous.
I mean, I’ve been a subscriber and a fan of NFL Network since its inception. It’s always on in my house. Now to be a part of that team, to be a part of the wonderful product they put on 24/7 is really just an honor.
It’s kind of a natural progression for me with the amount of time that I’ve spent in the National Football League working in various capacities as a broadcaster, to now be a part of the premiere package of the NFL Network is just tremendous.
Q. Steve, obviously you took a chance at trying to do something a little different with Bryant the first time around. Were you specifically looking this time for more of a hardcore football guy with a long background at this thing? In terms of Bob’s national visibility, the Giants’ Super Bowl run, you respected his work before that, but do you think that helped introduce him to more people nationally, hearing his voice on highlights?
STEVE BORNSTEIN: I think the answer to the question is we tried and experimented with Bryant, and I think we had some successes there. He’s a class broadcaster, and he elected not to come back this season. That allowed us an opportunity to explore different options.
We think Bob’s profile in
Q. Cris, obviously the Bryant thing was a bit of an experiment. The dynamic between the two of you was not necessarily a normal veteran play?by?play guy with a veteran analyst. Do you think working with Bob will be a little bit more of a traditional role for you where you just kind of do your analysis thing and know he can take care of the nuts and bolts stuff?
CRIS COLLINSWORTH: With Bryant I was always interested in his take on the games because Bryant has a way of seeing a very broad picture of the NFL and big picture of where the NFL fits in the world, obviously with all his news background and such. So that was an interesting dynamic for me all the way through.
But I think with Bob, he lives the minutia the way that I do, if that makes sense. He lives the day?to?day grinding of the Brett Favre issue from the first day it was a rumor all the way through and all the nuances of that. So I think it will be a different dynamic.
Now, I think it will be one of those that we will get into discussions of the details of what’s going on in the league. And for me that’s probably what I enjoy most about doing the games themselves. When you do studio work, you’re always talking about the Brett Favre situations of the world; you’re always talking about the same four or five topics that sort of are the headlines in the newspapers. But when you’re doing the games, you get to talk about the left guard and the running backs coach.
The details that I think make the National Football League and these individual teams so interesting is because there are so many different dynamics between the ownership and the general managers and the coaches and the defensive coordinators and the players, who’s happy, who’s not happy, things that you just can never get into in a studio show type of setting, that I think Bob will really be able to bring out in a broadcast.
Q. Steve, are there any other changes coming up with regard to the pregame shows and the things that you’re doing?
STEVE BORNSTEIN: We’re going to be announcing probably in a few weeks our new fall programming schedule. I think you’ll be seeing a lot of additional both programming that we’re going to be adding and how we’re working with the NFL.com side of the story. So it will be a more integrated experience on NFL Network and NFL.com as well.