Tonight, Bob Costas talks with extremely unlikeable Indianapolis Colts President Bill Polian and San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. Let’s take a look.
BOB COSTAS INTERVIEWS PHILIP RIVERS & BILL POLIAN“Nothing better than Sunday night.” – Philip Rivers to Bob Costas“There has to be a solution that deals with the two extra games.” – Bill Polian to Bob Costas on labor negotiations and an 18-game season“As long as we’ve got No. 18…the window is open.” – Polian to Costas on the Colts window of opportunity to win Super BowlsNEW YORK – November 28, 2010 – Bob Costas interviewed San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian for tonight’s Week 12 edition of “Football Night in America,” which will also include highlights, analysis and reaction to Week 12’s afternoon games.“Football Night” airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Costas, who won the outstanding studio host Emmy last year, hosting the program live from inside the stadium. In addition to his interviews, Costas is joined on site by SNF commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst) for reaction to the afternoon games.Dan Patrick co-hosts “Football Night” from NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach and Emmy-nominated Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. Alex Flanagan will report from Soldier Field in Chicago on the Eagles-Bears game.BEST VIEWERSHIP EVER: “Football Night” (7:30-8:15 pm) is averaging 8.3 million viewers through its first 11 weeks, its most ever for that time frame and up 11 percent vs. 2009’s 7.5 million viewers.INTERVIEW: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Rivers and Polian.PHILIP RIVERSRivers on Norv Turner’s detractors: He’s a lot of the reason why we have gotten out of the slow starts we have been in, and it’s carried us into the postseason. If there’s a guy that’s misunderstood maybe more than anybody as a head coach for lack of passion and lack of fire and lack of leadership; he’s just the opposite of how he’s portrayed on the outside.
Costas: What’s with the slow starts and the fast finishes?Rivers: We know how to do the fast finishes. We haven’t figured out how to change those slow starts. We seem to get a hold of it when it matters late, and able to make a run and push towards the postseason. We’re in the midst of one right now.
Costas: I’ve come across very few guys who wear their enthusiasm and their delight in being an NFL player on their sleeve the way you do.Rivers: Truly, living a dream. I remember ever since I was little, I wanted to be a quarterback in this league. When it stops being that way, like it was for me in the backyard in Alabama, then I don’t want to play anymore. It’s that way. It’s a combination of loving to play and hating to lose; wanting your team, our team, to win. That drive. There’s nothing better. Nothing better than Sunday night.BILL POLIANCostas: Do you fear the window may be closing?Polian: No. No. We were asked that seven years ago. As long as we’ve got No. 18 and he can go out there and play, and as long as we can continue to build a defense that’s competitive, I think the window is open. Once his time is over, then we have to approach it from a different perspective because he’s a once-in-a-lifetime quarterback. But as long as he’s here, the window’s wide open.
Costas: How optimistic are you that there may be a possible deal that could avert a work stoppage?Polian: I’ve always been optimistic because I believe that both Commissioner Goodell and (DeMaurice) Smith want the game to succeed and do well. We’ve been through this before in ’93. We can do it again this time. I’m hopeful.
Costas: What needs to happen for ownership to be happy?Polian: We have to get a deal that fairly distributes the revenue in the game to both parties. Now, finding that deal, finding that compromise that ultimately arrives at that conclusion is the hard part. The devil’s always in the details but that’s the essence of it.
Costas: You can certainly see from a financial standpoint how an 18-game season could be part of the solution but the more we learn about the toll the game takes on players, the more problematic an 18-game season becomes. How do you see it?Polian: If you have an 18-game season as the Commissioner has said, there have to be concomitant revisions for how we do things on the other side – on the offseason program, particularly, perhaps even training camp and the way training camp is conducted, especially for veterans who do a lot of playing.
Costas: Additional bye week, expanded rosters. Are all those things possibilities?
Polian: I don’t know that they’re possibilities but there has to be a solution that deals with the two extra games. I don’t think that that’s a difficult problem to solve.
And that is it.