Tonight, NBC will air the AFC North Division blood rivalry game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. In advance of the game, Bob Costas will conduct three interviews on Football Night in America, aired from 7 p.m. until 8:15 p.m. ET.
Bob will talk with Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich and former Steelers running back Franco Harris. Not sure what relevance Franco has for tonight’s game, but NBC will find a way to make him so.
Here’s a partial transcript of tonight’s three interviews on NBC’s Football Night in America. Everything is included in black and white below for you.
BOB COSTAS INTERVIEWS RAVENS LB TERRELL SUGGS & STEELERS HALL OF FAME RB FRANCO HARRIS
“I’m starting to get a little itch.” – Terrell Suggs to Bob Costas on wanting to win a Super Bowl
“I ran to the ball every time in practice not knowing that something like this was going to happen.” – Franco Harris to Bob Costas on the Immaculate Reception
“Why on Earth would I try and go do something I know I can’t do?” – Byron Leftwich on trying to duplicate Ben Roethlisberger
NEW YORK – November 18, 2012 – Bob Costas interviewed Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell Suggs and Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame RB Franco Harris for tonight’s Week 11 edition of Football Night in America, which will preview Ravens-Steelers, and will also include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 11 games. Football Night also interviewed Steelers QB Byron Leftwich.
Football Night In America, the most-watched pre-game studio show in sports, airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Costas hosting the program live from inside the stadium. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst) as well as NBC NFL analyst and former Steelers WR Hines Ward for reaction to the afternoon games and to preview tonight’s match-up.
Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from Studio 8G at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com. Carolyn Manno will report on Colts-Patriots, from Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.
INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Suggs and Harris, as well as Football Night’s interview with Leftwich.
TERRELL SUGGS WITH BOB COSTAS
On his disappointment that Hines Ward (retired) and Ben Roethlisberger (injured) won’t be playing: “I’m a little bummed. If you’re going to throw on a performance, you need the players. I’m going to be a little bummed not to see 86 (Ward) and, to be totally honest with you, 7 (Roethlisberger). But once the whistle blows, it’ll be business as usual.”
On what he said to the doctor when he was told he wouldn’t play in 2012 after an Achilles tear last year: “I’m not going to accept that. He could be wrong, and then I got a second opinion and they told me nine-12 months. I said, “You’re wrong. You don’t know me.” I said I was going to do something and I did it. My whole life I lived by the motto, if I can’t do it, it can’t be done. So I went out there and did it.”
On if he feels like the window to win a championship is narrowing now that he’s 30: “Not really, because I don’t feel like I’m 30. I don’t feel like I’m 30, I feel like a young kid feels just playing football. For my first two years in the league, I was the youngest guy in the NFL. But I don’t feel that way, my body feels great. Do I feel the window closing? No, but I’m starting to get a little itch. I’m starting to get a little draft…We better get this done and soon, if we’re not only going to win multiples, but we’ve got to get the first one very soon.”
FRANCO HARRIS WITH BOB COSTAS
Costas on the Immaculate Reception and reports that Harris would regularly “go to the ball” in practice: “Even though there’s a huge element of chance in this play, part of it is not chance, because you went to the ball.”
On why he practiced ‘going to the ball’: “That part I credit Joe Paterno with because at practice he’d be hollering, ‘Harris, go to the ball.’ From that first pass in practice where the ball was caught, I ran to the ball, and I ran to the ball every time in practice not knowing that something like this was going to happen.”
On the impact of losing Ben Roethlisberger: “I understand that when you lose Ben, a guy who’s been to three Super Bowls in nine years, that that’s a special football player.”
On trying to duplicate Roethlisberger: “Why on Earth would I try and go do something I know I can’t do? At that the same time, I feel as though I can play a little bit. I feel as though I can go out here and execute this offense well.”
We’re now on evening break until Football Night in America quotage.