Sometimes, a half-hour is all you need for a pregame show. Before Fox came on the NFL scene in 1994, CBS’ The NFL Today and NBC’s NFL Live were just a half-hour. ESPN’s NFL GameDay (that’s what it was called into the 1990′s) was an hour. Then Fox changed it all with its hour-long Fox NFL Sunday. Eventually, NBC followed suit. ESPN went to 90 minutes, then two hours. CBS’ return to the NFL in 1998 meant that its pregame show had to be an hour.
NFL Network decided to a four hour pregame show. Then ESPN expanded to three hours. And it’s been like this forever.
So Football Night in America which has done a half-hour edition for Wild Card Saturday since NBC returned to the NFL in 2006, had a very nice show and brought in Friend of Fang’s Bites Michelle Beadle for an interview with Houston’s J.J. Watt. And it was well-done like a steak. Why not have Michelle on every week on FNIA?
Here’s the transcript.
Michelle Beadle Interviews Texans DT J.J. Watt
Bob Costas Interviews Vikings RB Adrian Peterson and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
“When I’m in the off-season, in the gym, and nobody’s watching, you’re working for these moments when you’re on national television and the whole world is watching.” – J.J. Watt
“In my mind, I’m the MVP whether I win it or not.” – Adrian Peterson
“We are kind of tired of hearing about it. We want to see our defense shut him down… He’s fun to watch if he’s playing someone else.” – Aaron Rodgers on Adrian Peterson
Michelle Beadle interviewed Houston Texans DT J.J. Watt for today’s special Wild Card Saturday edition of Football Night. Bob Costas interviewed Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson for an interview that will appearerd at halftime of today’s Bengals-Texans Wild Card game and Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers for an interview that is scheduled to air in between Wild Card games.
INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Beadle’s interview of Watt and Costas’ interviews with Peterson and Rodgers.
J.J. WATT WITH MICHELLE BEADLE
On being considered a ‘freak’ and a ‘physical specimen:’ “It’s pretty cool. It’s an honor. This is what I’ve been working my whole life for. When I’m in the off-season, in the gym, and nobody’s watching, you’re working for these moments when you’re on national television and the whole world is watching.”
On seeing people wearing his No. 99 jersey: “Christmas Day was one of the coolest days ever, because I just got to see pictures of kids opening up these gifts. And you see grandmas and grandpas with No. 99 jerseys. Everybody, all ages, so it’s one of the coolest things ever.”
On Head Coach Gary Kubiak saying he wants the Texans to play with ‘reckless abandon:’ “That’s the favorite thing I could ever hear. Because that’s when I play my best…Off the field, I’m a real nice guy, and I’m like a big teddy bear. But as soon as I step across those white lines, you turn into beast mode. You turn into monster mode. And it’s time to go.”
ADRIAN PETERSON WITH BOB COSTAS
On coming back so quickly from his torn ACL and MCL: “My mind works differently. I already feel like just genetically, from my family, that my body heals quicker than others. And most importantly, just my mindset is a lot different from other people. So I didn’t base my recovery on what everyone else had to say about it.”
On if he should win the NFL MVP: “Why should I win? I don’t really want to just plead a case for myself. In my mind, I’m the MVP whether I win it or not.”
On Packers LB Clay Matthews saying they will do a better job of stopping the run: “That’ll be fine with me. I’m going out trying to win. I’m not trying to break no records. I’m not worried about yardage. I’m worried about getting a ‘W’ when that last second went off the clock in the fourth quarter.”
AARON RODGERS WITH BOB COSTAS
On what changes for him in the post-season: “I really believe that you earn your paycheck during the season, and play at a high level, and get your team to the playoffs. And then the post-season is all about creating your legacy. The great quarterbacks are remembered for their playoff successes and triumphs and Super Bowl championships and Super Bowl MVPs. We’ve got one here and we want to add to that.”
On Adrian Peterson: “As far as we’re concerned, we are kind of tired of hearing about it. We want to see our defense shut him down. We’ve played him twice and he had, I believe, 210 yards in the first game and 199 last week. He’s fun to watch if he’s playing someone else.”
That’s it. Wild Card Sunday previews will be posted tonight.