NBC’s NFL announcing crews were part of a media conference call on Monday to preview the upcoming season. As usual, Al Michaels tries too hard to get that witty one-liner in.
Highlights are below.
MICHAELS, COLLINSWORTH, DUNGY, HARRISON, GAUDELLI PREVIEW 2010 NFL SEASON
“As compelling a story as any in the NFL this season.” – SNF’s Michaels on Favre“I can’t wait for somebody to get smacked in the mouth.” – Football Night’s Harrison“I don’t want to come back in a next life because I’ll be in Mongolia in a sulfur mine working the night shift.” – SNF’s Michaels on how lucky he feels about working his 25th NFL seasonNEW YORK – Aug. 30, 2010 – Marquee teams and storied rivalries highlight NBC’s 2010 NFL schedule, which begins next Thursday night in primetime with the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints hosting Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game. Coverage on NBC begins at 7:30 p.m. ET. The first “Sunday Night Football” contest of the season is a classic NFC East rivalry as the Washington Redskins with their new QB Donovan McNabb and head coach Mike Shanahan host Tony Romo and the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys. Coverage starts with “Football Night in America” at 7 p.m. ET.NBC Sports previewed the season on a conference call with “Sunday Night Football” duo Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth along with “Football Night in America” studio analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and SNF producer Fred Gaudelli.Highlights of the call follow:MICHAELS ON THE POWER OF THE NFL ON TV: “Everybody is stoked about the beginning of football. It’s a spectacle on television. The NFL is the king of television these days. Look at the ratings, we’ve done two preseason games and they’ve both won the week.”COLLINSWORTH ON NFL KICKOFF GAME: “Probably the top four players in the league are (Drew) Brees, (Peyton) Manning, Chris Johnson and Brett Favre. We get two of the four in the opening night game.”HARRISON ON GETTING THE SEASON STARTED: “There has been a lot of speculation, a lot of trash talking this off-season. I’m tired of the talking; it’s time to hit. I can’t wait for somebody to get smacked in the mouth.”ON BRETT FAVRE, THE YEAR HE HAD LAST YEAR AND COMING BACK FROM AN ANKLE INJURY:MICHAELS: “One of the things he said that struck me was the fact that he’s given people a lot of ammunition to shoot arrows at him, because of all the procrastination. I think he’s concerned about some things, but, to me, if he felt the ankle was going to be such an issue that he couldn’t do or didn’t have the potential to do what he’s capable of, I think he would have walked away. I got the feeling that the ankle is good enough. It’s not great. He’s 40-years-old, he’ll be 41 in October, but again that’s one of the key questions this year. What happens when he does take a hit? What happens if he twists the ankle? Brett Favre, here we go again, is going to be at least as compelling a story as any in the NFL this season.”COLLINSWORTH: “What surprised me most watching him on tape getting ready for this game and watching all of the playoff stuff from last year, is that I was just amazed at age 40 how quick his feet were…he looked like he was 25 years old. That was my concern (with the ankle injury). When I was watching the (preseason) game, and, of course, he only played four plays in the game that we saw, so we didn’t get to see a lot of it, but will his feet be what they were a season ago which were pretty impressive?”HARRISON: “The one thing that impressed me was not only his feet, but his ability to keep his eyes down the field and keep plays alive. I looked at film on the guy and he looked like he was a 26-27-28-year-old quarterback and it was amazing to me, because I know towards the end of my career how sore it would feel to get out of bed and to recover from games. That’s the thing that really concerns me with Brett Favre because before it could be the ribs, it could be the shoulder, the neck, the lower back, now all of a sudden he has something wrong with his ankle which really causes a whole host of other problems and concerns.”DUNGY: “I think Brett is going to be fine physically, but 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions, he probably hasn’t had a year like that since ’96 or ’97. To think that he’s going to duplicate that, I just don’t think that is going to happen. I think he’ll come out and play well for them, but I would not expect to see that type of year. Last year was just a magical year.”COLLINSWORTH ON DUNGY’S COMMENTS: “Tony, I thought that was almost the reason that he didn’t come back this year, more so than the ankle or the age or anything else, it was his own expectations and his own sort of fear. This guy has paranoia almost of letting somebody down and having a down year after his best year, as he called it. It was almost enough to make him stay home. It was a pretty remarkable conversation, almost like listening to Jerry Rice at the Hall of Fame Game talking about what a motivator fear was in his career and fear of failure and fear of letting somebody down. Brett was almost regurgitating the same kind of speech.”GAUDELLI ON PACKERS: “The Green Bay Packers are a magical sounding team…when you look at them, there aren’t many more entertaining teams on television. That’s an offensive juggernaut up there. Especially when you do the games from Lambeau, the greatest setting in the National Football League. They’re a real attraction.”DUNGY ON BROADCASTING: “I’m looking forward to this year as much as I’ve ever looked forward to coaching, because it’s a team effort putting these games together and trying to come up with a great broadcast. I feel like I’m with a great team with the whole Sunday Night crew.”GAUDELLI ON NBC SPORTS FOOTBALL COVERAGE: “My philosophy is pretty simple. It’s to do what the moment calls for. If you’re sitting at home and something happens, you pretty much have in mind what you think should come next. Or, if you’re confused, you’re hoping someone’s going to come on and either explain it to you verbally, like Al or Cris would, or show you a picture that immediately clears it up. And just remember that it’s a broad audience out there. There are a lot of people really into the X’s and O’s of football and we want to service them and then there are others who are into the personalities and the stories and we want to service them. But really just to do what the moment calls for and to do the right thing as much as you possibly can…our goal is to do it better than we did it the year before.”MICHAELS ON GAUDELLI AND DIRECTOR DREW ESOCOFF: “The essence of this business is working with a group of people like Fred Gaudelli and (director) Drew Esocoff. When we did the Arizona-Pittsburgh Super Bowl a couple of years ago, and Pittsburgh wins the game on an amazing catch by Santonio Holmes, who is the No. 4 receiver in Roethlisberger’s tree at that point, and our guys have every angle, whether he’s in bounds, whether he’s out of bounds, whether he’s caught the ball. Everything. All of the drama, the excitement of it, and I think the fact that we are able to do that, and we have people who can do that is what makes this so exciting.HARRISON ON TOM BRADY AND THE JETS-PATS RIVALRY: “Tom Brady is an honest guy, but Tom really never comes out and blatantly says how much he hates a particular team, so obviously they are very tired and fed up with all the trash talking. You better believe the Patriots have that game circled. They’ve always hated the Jets, but they hate them even more now.”DUNGY ON BEING OPINIONATED: “A lot of people have opinions. I don’t think I’m an overly opinionated person. I guess some of the things I do have opinions about touched a nerve with people. That particular thing wasn’t directed at Rex Ryan, it was directed at language that goes across television. I’ve had those kinds of opinions in the past. I wouldn’t call myself controversial in the least, but apparently some people think so.”MICHAELS ON 25th YEAR OF PLAY-BY-PLAY VOICE OF NFL’S PREMIER PRIMETIME PACKAGE: “I’m lucky, I love what I do. I have a job that people would die for and I understand that. I work with some phenomenal people. It’s a wonderful thing to go to work every week and be in an environment where the stadium is always full, the lights are on, and you know that a lot of people are watching. I’m like a fan. I’m excited for the season to start. I love sports, I love football, I love the strategy, I love when we get down to the final two minutes of a half or the end of the game when you’re trying to think along with the coach and all of that. That to me is what drives me and I’m still a kid at heart in that regard. I don’t want to come back in a next life because I’ll be in Mongolia in a sulfur mine working the night shift.”GAUDELLI ON MICHAELS: “To do it and get better every year, that’s quite an achievement. There have been some great broadcasters, but to do all the different sports that Al has done, obviously the NFL, Major League Baseball, the Olympics, the NBA Finals, the National Hockey League Stanley Cup Final. When you listen to Al Michaels, you know you’re listening to a big event and that is what makes it great to have him on our team.”COLLINSWORTH ON MICHAELS: “It’s pretty remarkable that sometimes when the game does come down to the last two minutes or there is a controversial call by the referees, I’m even looking at Al. I’ll ask ‘Al what do you think the coach should do here or what do you think this referees call should be?’ He’s been on top of the details of the game in such a way that I think he’s unmatched…there is nobody better in the moment than what Al Michaels does. That’s probably why he’s been the lead announcer in all these sports for so long.”
MICHAELS ON CHANGES IN THE BUSINESS: “Technologically, it’s been phenomenal through the years. When I started Monday Night Football in 1986, there was no such thing as Cable Cam or SkyCam. There was no HD. I think those are two of the contributing factors right now. Football is such a visual treat. The images are so sharp. The camera above the huddle is incredible and the way we have the ability to isolate almost everything and anything.”
And that concludes are work for today.