Inside Sports Illustrated 2.4.15


Tom Brady Does it Again – This Time In Comeback Fashion

NEW YORK, NY (February 4, 2015) ­– This week’s Sports Illustrated features Super Bowl Champions: The New England Patriots and QB Tom Brady with a recap by Greg Bishop. With the big game in the rearview, SI offers a look at the needs and wants of all 32 teams, plus a list of the 40 best free agents available in an NFL Off-Season Preview. Pete Thamel analyzes how Western Michigan’s coach P.J. Fleck excels in the cutthroat game of recruiting. Watch out, Billy Goat: Joe Maddon is ready to change things up. Tom Verducci profiles the new face of the Chicago Cubs.

Also in this issue, NASCAR’s Kyle Larson just might provide the fresh air that the all-American sport needs, while Alan Shipnuck dives into the brash and controversial life of professional golfer Patrick Reed. Luke Winn analyzes John Calipari’s efficient and top-ranked defense at Kentucky and Ben Reiter examines New York Rangers’ Rick Nash and his rediscovered puck luck. Shipnuck also introduces us to Toronto Raptors’ GM Masai Uriri who leads with perseverance, integrity and generosity thanks to the influence of his hero, Nelson Mandela, and SI presents Athletes to Watch in 2015, from tennis and soccer to swimming and track, they’re poised to grab our attention.

Greg Bishop: ELATED

The lead-up to the Patriots-Seahawks defied logic (and maybe science). The game itself reversed the laws of probability (and maybe play-calling). But after an instant-classic win, this can’t be questioned: the place Tom Brady and the Pats hold in history. A game full of suspense, fantastic performances and questionable calls stands as perhaps the biggest feather yet in New England’s cap.

Pete Thamel: No Grind, No Glory

A day in the life of Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck shows what is takes to excel at the game of recruiting – mounds of caffeine, deep connections and an unmatched enthusiasm for the sport. The youngest coach in the FBS has changed WMU from an afterthought school to one that is hot on the recruiting trail and a force on the field. Orchestrating the biggest turnaround in school history, Fleck knows that to capture a recruit he needs enthusiasm, sincerity and a routine that is anything but monotonous. Although it seems to be working so far, Fleck understands that every day is a new one and new tricks are required.

Tom Verducci: This Is the…

…Year?! Savior?! Last we’ll ever hear of Billy Goats?! Whatever it is, it’s exciting. Welcome to Joe Maddon’s Chicago. Optimism as big as Maddon’s is rare for a team that has been so bad for so long, but Maddon – along with Vegas oddsmakers – has the Cubs going far this year. There are many questions swirling around them and as the season approaches, some fans believe this could be the year they win it all. Armed with a solid core of returning players and a slew of free-agent signings, the time of wishful thinking is past. To Maddon, this is the season of winning.

“After he was hired, I went to dinner with him at his restaurant in Tampa. I was blown away. He flat-out told me, ‘The reason I’m coming here is to win the World Series. There’s no sense aiming for anything lower.’”- Anthony Rizzo, Cubs first baseman

“Maddon is so engaging, you find yourself sitting up a little more, leaning forward in your chair a little more, your mind is going a little faster and you want to make him laugh. You want to rise to his level of energy, intellect and accomplishment. I think he has that effect on players. They want to match his energy and offer him ideas.”- Marie Epstein, wife of Theo Epstein, president

Andrew Lawrence: Fresh Face in the Race

Poised to challenge racing’s reigning old guard, 22-year-old Kyle Larson is already attracting new fans to NASCAR – at a time when the sport badly needs a boost. With four DNF’s in the past, Larson has come a long way from where he was. Despite winning Rookie of the Year Honors, he knows there is a ways to go. NASCAR is in the midst of a changing of the guard and as it stands, Larson is set to lead the new crop of youngsters as they look to shake up the Sprint Cup ranks in the years to come.

Alan Shipnuck: Dream Team

Brash? Absolutely. Controversial? No doubt. Patrick Reed has been deemed the bad guy and has certainly paid for it. Putting aside past relationships, college controversies and a near-death experience involving his wife Justine, the 24-year-old golfer now looks to pair his maturation and internal drive to continue a winning resume that includes four Tour events – a feat accomplished by only an elite few. With the help of the fearless Justine, Reed battled for his Tour card the hard way and has already shown he has the game to back up his ambition.

“I don’t want to be the bad guy; I just want people to realize how passionate and how determined I am and how much love I have for the game of golf.” – Reed

“When he came out he was a little mean, he was a little too confident. He’s still confident, but now he does it in a nice way. I could learn a lot from him as a player and as a person.” – Bubba Watson

Luke Winn: The Deep Blue D

Kentucky is littered with NBA first-round talent, but the Wildcats aren’t focused on offense. Rather, coach John Calipari and the Cats have put together the best defensive team in the nation – possibly in history – en route to holding an undefeated record and a no.1 seed. As the Big Dance approaches Kentucky has mastered defensive schemes and formed a substitution method that sacrifices nothing while costing opponents everything. Their defense is oppressive, their energy is never ending, and as the season continues, we just might see history being made.

“[They are] the best defensive team I’ve seen in the last 20 years, in terms of the way they get over screens, and the physicality of the way they play, the way they block shots.”- Rick Pitino, Louisville head coach

“The only film we watch is 10 clips during the pregame meal. It’s all about effort and energy. It’s about you versus him, like, I’m not going to let him make his name off me.”- Calipari

Ben Reiter: Goals in Bulk

Rick Nash had the Rangers playing for their first Stanley Cup in 20 years, but lost his puck touch when it mattered most. Now the proven scorer, who combines small-man skills with a big-man frame, is working to put the Rangers back in the Cup discussion. Nash went scoreless in three of New York’s four playoff series and scored only three times in 25 postseason games last season. He was booed by New York fans as it seemed he may have lost his ability to score. This year, thanks to improved fitness and health he is on pace for his first 50-goal season and possibly an MVP award.

“He knew how to play in tight spots. Now, he’s 6’4” [but] playing a little man’s game, stickhandling in small areas. We watched him develop from not a very big kid into a monster.” – Mark Hunter, GM of the London Knights, Canadian Hockey League

“It’s unbelievably unique in the NHL, that combo. He is a power forward, but he’s a different type of power forward– a power forward with great skill. Usually [power forwards] will bull through you. He doesn’t. – Doug MacLean, Blue Jackets GM

Alan Shipnuck: ‘He Lifts Us All’

Like his hero, Nelson Mandela, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri leads by example, with perseverance, integrity and generosity. His approach has resulted in a team that has captured the Toronto fan base, as well as a brighter future for his fellow Africans. The Raptors have become the most beloved team in the staunchest of hockey towns and it’s not by accident; Ujiri commands respect and treats everyone in the organization with honesty. His players sing his praises as he has built chemistry like no other, while holding each player accountable for success. So far it’s working, as Ujiri’s team is playing before sellout crowds and is possibly a title contender.

“You can’t buy this kind of goodwill in the community. Masai is the perfect ambassador for what we’re trying to accomplish here. In many ways he’s become the face of the franchise.”- Ujiri’s boss, Tim Leiweke, CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment

“You don’t hear thank you a lot in this business, so I always remembered that. We had exchanged emails, but I assumed I would never hear from him. I was wrong. That’s one of Masai’s strengths: He reaches out.”- NBA Trainer David Thorpe

NBA Digital’s Comprehensive NBA All-Star Coverage to Include Exclusive One-on-One Interview with Kobe Bryant Exclusive One-on-One Interview with Kobe Bryant

NBA-TV-LogoBryant Says, “I Should Have Seven,” Championships During Interview Conducted by Ahmad Rashad

Interview Part of NBA TV’s All-Star Monday Primetime Lineup, Feb. 16;

More Than 140 Hours of NBA All-Star Content Across NBA TV, and NBA Mobile

The City Game, Hosted by Kenny Smith, to Highlight New York City’s Most Memorable Players and

Rich Basketball Tradition on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m.

NBA Digital, co-managed by Turner Sports and the NBA, will be home to the most expansive coverage of the NBA All-Star 2015 events in New York City with content spanning across a wide array of multimedia platforms.  NBA TV, and NBA Mobile will combine to deliver an immersive experience, reaching fans any way they choose to enjoy All-Star content.

Comprehensive coverage of NBA All-Star 2015 – available across multiple devices via NBA TV, and NBA Mobile – will feature inside access to practices, interviews with players and coaches, and highlights, news and information from all of the weekend’s signature events.

“NBA All-Star is one of the league’s tent pole events and our goal is to utilize every platform in our portfolio to provide the most compelling experiences for our fans,” said Albert “Scooter” Vertino, general manager of NBA Digital and SVP of programming, Turner Sports. “With extensive coverage of all the events, a deep commentator lineup, full slate of original programming and the breadth of our digital and social content, we’re looking forward to capturing all the festivities from New York.”

NBA Digital’s more than 140 hours of All-Star programming will be highlighted by NBA TV’s exclusive one-on-one interview with Kobe Bryant, a 17-time NBA All-Star, on Monday, Feb. 16, at 9 p.m.  Kobe: The Interview, conducted by Ahmad Rashad, covers a wide variety of topics including his thoughts on how he should have won a total of seven NBA championships – with a pair of missed opportunities against the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons – and how he’s transformed his game through the years, his motivation, and reflections on his former teammates and coaches.

Bryant on the goals he set when he started his career: “It was really simple for me, at the time, which is win as many championships as possible. That was it. You know, I watched Michael win six. I watched Magic win five. You know [Bill] Russell…growing up, I understood that to be the standard.”

Bryant on players he’s admired that he’s lined up against: “That is a really long list…I played against the golden greats…Michael [Jordan], [John] Stockton, [Gary] Payton, [Clyde] Drexler…All the way up to this generation of players – LeBron [James], D-Wade [Dwyane Wade] and KD [Kevin Durant] – to now the younger generation…[Stephen] Curry, James Harden, all these players…Klay Thompson, I admire all of them because they all bring soething different to the game and they all have their strengths that you can learn from.”

Bryant on whether he’s at the end: “I can’t say it is the end. I thought the Spurs were done 20 years ago. Those guys are still winning. So, to answer the question, I can’t say this is the end of my era because I thought their [era] was done and they’re still there. So I’m hoping I can have the same rebirth.”

The network’s NBA All-Star Monday primetime lineup on Feb. 16 will also feature Countdown to Kobe: The Interview at 8:30 p.m., hosted by Vince Cellini, a 30-minute show looking back at Bryant’s standout career and legacy, featuring interviews from current and former Lakers teammates, along with guests. Bryant’s former teammate and current NBA TV analyst Rick Fox will also join the show live from New York. The night will conclude with a special New York themed edition of NBA TV’s critically acclaimed Open Court at 10 p.m., with a cast of basketball greats talking about the influence of basketball in the city.

The Open Court panel discussion, hosted by Sports Emmy Award winner Ernie Johnson, will feature a collection of TNT and NBA TV analysts including Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, Grant Hill and Steve Smith, along with former New York Knicks guard John Starks as a guest on the show.

NBA TV original programming will also include All-Star episodes of NBA Inside Stuff presented by Samsung GALAXY, The Starters, NBA GameTime, The Beat presented by The All-New Chrysler 200 and a 30-minute look at basketball and New York City, The City Game, hosted by Kenny Smith.

NBA TV and live streaming daily content highlights for NBA All-Star 2015:

Wednesday, February 12

  • NBA TV’s The City Game, hosted by Kenny Smith, highlights the rich basketball history of New York City’s five boroughs, including interviews with Manhattan’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Brooklyn’s Bernard King and Chris Mullin, the Bronx’s Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Queens’ Smith and a look at Staten Island’s memorable 1983 St. Peter’s championship team. The 30-minute episode, which will also focus on the city’s tradition of talented point guards and celebrated playground basketball, premieres at 6 p.m.

Thursday, February 13

  • NBA TV will televise a “Dunk-A-Thon on Thursday, Feb. 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. The slate of events will include every Slam Dunk competition, including the first Slam Dunk contest ever held (during the 1976 ABA All-Star Game).
  • NBA TV’s live coverage of the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge Practice from Long Island University in Brooklyn will start at 5 p.m., with the two-hour telecast including All-Star previews and analysis from NBA TV’s Rick Fox and Isiah Thomas. (Live streamed via

Friday, February 14

  • NBA GameTime presented by State Farm will offer comprehensive coverage of NBA All-Star Media Day featuring live interviews with participants from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Live streamed via
  • The network will also provide live coverage of the NBA Fit press conference at 1:30 p.m.
  • NBA TV will air an All-Star edition of The Beat presented by The All-New Chrysler 200 at 5 p.m., with NBA TV’s Vince Cellini, Sekou Smith and David Aldridge.
  • The Starters will be televised from 6-7 p.m. with J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas and team talking hoops and providing their unique take on the league entering NBA All-Star weekend.
  • NBA GameTime presented by State Farm will be live at 11:30 p.m. recapping all the day’s highlights, news and information with host Rick Kamla and analysts Brent Barry and Rick Fox from Barclays Center.
  • will live stream BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge postgame press conferences following the event.  

Saturday, February 15

  • The network will televise exclusive coverage of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announcement at 10 a.m. (Live streamed via
  • NBA TV will present exclusive coverage of NBA All-Star Practice presented by Sean Jean at Macy’s from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on location at Madison Square Garden with NBA TV analysts, Hill and Webber, along with Marv Albert, David Aldridge, Rachel Nichols, Kristen Ledlow, Jared Greenberg and The Starters. The practice will also include the ‘Degree Battle of the Game Changers,’ with Stephen Curry and John Wall competing shot for shot to be named the “Ultimate Game Changer.” (Live streamed via
  • NBA Inside Stuff presented by Samsung GALAXY – premiering at 1 p.m., Hill and Ledlow will co-host a special episode highlighting NBA All-Star 2015 and the event’s backdrop, New York City. The 30-minute episode will be on location at various points across the city, including visiting the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, the NBA House presented by BBVA Compass in Brooklyn and Madison Square Garden.
  • The Starters: Top 20 NBA All-Star Moments at 1:30 p.m. will discuss the top 20 moments in NBA All-Star history.
  • NBA TV will air Commissioner Adam Silver’s All-Star Press Conference at 7 p.m., also streamed live prior to TNT’s exclusive presentation of State Farm NBA All-Star Saturday Night. (Live streamed via
  • An All-Star edition of NBA GameTime at All-Star 2015 presented by Kia will be televised at 11 p.m. recapping all the day’s highlights, news and information with Cellini, Dennis Scott and Steve Smith from Barclays Center.
  • will live stream coverage of post-event press conferences following State Farm All-Star Saturday Night.

Sunday, February 16

  • NBA TV will tip off the day with coverage of the NBA Legends Brunch at 12:30 p.m. from the Javits Center. (Live streamed via starting at 11 a.m.)
  • The network will televise the NBA D-League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tire at 2:30 p.m. with NBA TV’s Kamla, Scott, Barry and Greenberg calling the game.
  • A special NBA GameTime: All-Star Sunday starts at 5 p.m. from Madison Square Garden, with Winer, Steve Smith and Hill, followed by live coverage of the Sprint Pregame Concert at NBA All-Star at 6 p.m.
  • Following TNT’s exclusive presentation of the NBA All-Star Game, NBA TV will air Inside the NBA presented by Kia with Johnson, Charles Barkley, O’Neal and Kenny Smith live from New York City.
  • NY Heroes: Bravest vs. Finest, a basketball game featuring the NYPD and FDNY, will live stream via on Sunday starting at 12:15 p.m.
  • will also live stream postgame press conferences following the NBA All-Star Game.

Digital and social media highlights include:

  • is launching NBA Mt. Rushmore, a meme generator which allows fans to choose their own collection of the greatest NBA players of all time, similar to LeBron James selecting his list, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson, in an interview with NBA TV’s Steve Smith prior to last year’s NBA All-Star Game. Fans can search players by name, position or category, then choose their top four picks; categories include greatest forwards, greatest guards and best dunkers. Once selected, users can name their mountain and then share across Facebook and Twitter.
  • TNT Overtime will offer fans a unique video companion experience throughout All-Star weekend – including the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and the NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia Motors.
  • Social Spotlight will continuously keep fans up to speed on the latest social engagement by NBA players, teams and the conversations surrounding them throughout the weekend.
  • NBA All-Star Pulse will present updates, news, video and photos from All-Star festivities throughout the weekend. Featured on the home page, fans can follow tweets from NBA players and insiders, share user-generated video, check which topics and content are trending in real time and get behind-the-scenes video from players and celebrities.
  • Fan Voting – Fans will be able to vote for the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge MVP and Kia NBA All-Star MVP via online, mobile web, SMS text messaging, Twitter and via the NBA Game Time app.
  • All-Star SceneThe All-Star Scene goes mobile with NBA and NBA Digital cameras behind the velvet rope at All-Star events and activities. All-Star Scene will be sponsored by JBL, Ciroc and WB’s Focus.
  • NBA Style – Devoted to NBA All-Star style and presented by Samsung GALAXY, the microsite will feature enhanced content including interviews, photo collages and more, along with social engagement.
  •’s All-Star Online Coverage including desktop, mobile and the NBA Game Time app will be presented by JBL, Ciroc, Cisco and H&R Block.

NBA Mobile

  • NBA Game Time – The league’s signature mobile app will allow fans to track all the live event action with special features including audio from the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge and NBA All-Star Game, live coverage from State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and other behind-the-scenes content.
  • All-Star Dashboard – A fullevent display via NBA Game Time for the weekend including schedules, featured videos, live press conference streams, live video, social feeds and headlines.
  • Event Sections – Special sections on NBA Game Time for each of the All-Star festivities including event information, ticket links, venue maps, directions, video, live scoring and social feeds from events including Jam Session, the Celebrity Game, the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, the NBA D-League All Star Game presented by Kumho Tire, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, the Sprint Pregame Concert and the NBA All-Star Game.
  • All-Star Video Channels– Behind-the-scenes video from All Star Scene and highlights from the events.
  • NBA All-Star NYC App – A guide to navigating NBA All-Star Events in NYC, the NBA All-Star NYC App provides event schedules and ticket information, as well as point-to-point directions with maps and public transportation info to help fans get around New York City. It also includes links to content from NBA Game Time and exclusive in-arena content.

NBA TV is a part of NBA Digital, the NBA’s extensive cross-platform portfolio of digital assets jointly-managed by the NBA and Turner Sports including NBA TV,, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, NBA Mobile, and


Quotes From Super Bowl XLIX Editions of NFL Network’s ‘NFL GameDay First’ & ‘NFL GameDay Morning’

superbowl-xlix-49-logo-nfl-nbcQuick Quotes from NFL GameDay First & NFL GameDay Morning

“I think if [Tom Brady] wins this game, he’s the best quarterback to have ever played this game.” – Shaun O’Hara on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

“If he wins a fourth [Super Bowl], he’s the greatest ever in my book.” – Michael Irvin on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

“[Bill Belichick] is the best professional football coach I think ever lived. I’m upset that I played for a plethora of teams and never got an opportunity to play for Bill Belichick.” – Deion Sanders on New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

“I think it’s relatively easy to play defense against a team that can only do one thing. Unfortunately, that’s not what we’re talking about here with Seattle.” – New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the Seattle Seahawks

“You just never know with contract situations and the whole business side of it. I’m here now and I’m happy to be here now. The future will take care of itself.” – New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis on what next year holds

“It’s not just back-to-back Super Bowls – it’s back-to-back Super Bowls in his first three years, it’s back-to-back Super Bowls climbing over the backs of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning…If Russell Wilson wins back-to-back Super Bowls, there is no doubt it puts him amongst the top.” – Michael Irvin on Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson

“They don’t just want to just win one championship – they want to win three or four. They want to be a dynasty. They want to be known forever.” – Michael Robinson on the Seattle Seahawks

“I think [Marshawn Lynch] is the most important player in this football game.” – Kurt Warner on Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch

“These [Seattle Seahawks wide receivers] have been called pedestrian, they’ve been called no-namers, but they always come up with the big play.” – Nate Burleson on the Seattle Seahawks wide receivers

“Marshawn Lynch is going to get paid. I’m told the Seattle Seahawks have made him a monster contract extension offer that would keep him in a Seahawks uniform for the rest of his career.” – Ian Rapoport on Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch

***For complete quotes from ‘NFL GameDay First’ & ‘NFL GameDay Morning,’ see below***

Quotes from NFL GameDay First

“I think if [Tom Brady] wins this game, he’s the best quarterback to have ever played this game.” – Shaun O’Hara on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

“If Russell Wilson gets outside of the protection [and] can scramble around, New England loses. If [the Patriots] keep him in the pocket, New England wins.” – Brian Billick on Super Bowl XLIX

“Luke Willson…I believe will have as many catches and more yards than Rob Gronkowski.” – Sterling Sharpe on Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson

“What Pete Carroll and John Schneider did a great job of was collecting a group of players – core players – that were outliers. These guys, they don’t just want to just win one championship – they want to win three or four. They want to be a dynasty. They want to be known forever.” – Michael Robinson on what fuels the Seattle Seahawks

“I told my team before we walked out on to the field in Tampa, I wanted them to stop and look each other in the eye – I mean really look each other in the eye because 10 minutes after we we’re done beating the New York Giants, I knew that world would change; free agency, the business side of the business. I wanted them to appreciate this doesn’t come very often. It may be the last time you have that opportunity.” – Brian Billick on the mindset of players and coaches on Super Bowl Sunday

“I expect what you’ve seen from Marshawn Lynch all season long: fast, physical, aggressive Beast Mode running.” – Michael Robinson on what he expects from Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch

“[Rob Gronkowski] is a beast. I don’t know what else to say, I don’t know what other word to use. He dictates coverage, he’s a great run blocker and he’s a mismatch for anybody in the passing game.” – Michael Robinson on Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski

Quotes from NFL GameDay Morning

“I think [Marshawn Lynch] is the most important player in this football game.” – Kurt Warner on Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch

“Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are the masters of finding something that you didn’t suspect.” – Deion Sanders on what he expects from the New England Patriots today

“These [Seattle Seahawks wide receivers] have been called pedestrian, they’ve been called no-namers but they always come up with the big play.” – Nate Burleson on the Seattle Seahawks wide receivers

“[Rob Gronkowski] is different. He dictates coverage. He sets the tone for your entire team. But you can’t stop this guy; let’s just be honest you can’t stop him. You can only hope to contain him.” – Michael Robinson on how the Seattle Seahawks stop Rob Gronkowski

“It’s not just back-to-back Super Bowls – it’s back-to-back Super Bowls in his first three years, it’s back-to-back Super Bowls climbing over the backs of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning…If Russell Wilson wins back-to-back Super Bowls, there is no doubt it puts him amongst the top and right where he belongs because he hasn’t gotten all of the credit he deserves for the kind of quarterback [he is].” – Michael Irvin on what a win in this game would mean for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson

“If [Russell Wilson] wins this game…He starts to creep into the conversation of how we talk about Tom Brady, how we talk about Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, [and] Aaron Rodgers.” – Marshall Faulk on Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson

“Marshawn Lynch is the heart of this team. If he’s not going, [the Seahawks] aren’t going.” – Deion Sanders on Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch

“I don’t think anybody in the game over the last several years has made more plays than Richard Sherman.” – Deion Sanders on Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman

“If he wins a fourth [Super Bowl], he’s the greatest ever in my book.” – Michael Irvin on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

“I think he supersedes Peyton Manning but let’s not throw [Tom Brady] in the category with Joe Montana, who was 4-for-4. He’s royalty.” – Deion Sanders on the impact of a fourth Super Bowl win or a third straight Super Bowl loss on Tom Brady’s legacy

“[Bill Belichick] is the best professional football coach I think ever lived. I’m upset that I played for a plethora of teams and never got an opportunity to play for Bill Belichick.” – Deion Sanders on New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

“Why do we always have to put running dual-threat quarterback next to [Russell Wilson’s] name? Why can’t he just be one of the greatest quarterbacks?” – Terrell Davis on Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport

On Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s contract status:

“There have been no negotiations yet between Seattle and Russell Wilson’s agent Mark Rodgers, a baseball agent. No one wants any distractions as the Seahawks make another Super Bowl run but as soon as the Super Bowl ends, negotiations are set to begin. They are expected to make Russell Wilson the highest-paid player in NFL history. If you’re wondering the ballpark figure, Aaron Rodgers makes about $22 million per year. That is where negotiations will begin for Russell Wilson…He is among the winningest young quarterbacks out there. That’s going to be one of his big talking points. Everything the Seahawks have done this offseason has been to build for this Russell Wilson extension; they traded Percy Harvin, they got Cliff Avril done, [and] they got K.J. Wright done all to set up a deal for Russell Wilson this offseason.”

On Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch:

“Marshawn Lynch is going to get paid. I’m told the Seattle Seahawks have made him a monster contract extension offer that would keep him in a Seahawks uniform for the rest of his career. This is the culmination of several weeks of negotiations between Doug Hendrickson, his agent, and the Seattle Seahawks. As far as some specifics on his looming contract extension, I’m told that in 2015 Lynch would earn more than $10 million. This would pay him as much as any running back not named Adrian Peterson. A huge extension and a stunning turnaround. We know earlier this year, the Seahawks were ready to get rid of Marshawn Lynch; move on because of his age, because of his attitude and his hefty salary so I asked a member of the Seahawks, ‘Why are you making this commitment?’ What I was told simply, ‘He has earned it with his play.’”

On the deflated footballs:

“There is video evidence of an elderly game day operator – someone employed by the Patriots only on game day – walking into the bathroom with two bags of balls: 12 from the Patriots and 12 from the Colts, spending 98 seconds in there and then heading back onto the field. This was discovered by the Patriots and handed over to Ted Wells very quickly. I spoke with someone who was with Tom Brady when he found out about these allegations and Brady seemed confused and a little miffed and said he works on the balls all week but does not know what happened to them on game day. As far as the 11 footballs that I’m told were below the 12.5 PSI, one was about two pounds under – that’s the one that is in the league’s possession – several were about a pound under and several more were just a tick below 12.5 PSI. By the way, the Patriots still have most of those footballs. They were put back into circulation before the investigation started.”

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick with NFL Media’s Melissa Stark

NFL Media’s Melissa Stark sat down with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick for an interview on NFL Network’s NFL GameDay First and NFL GameDay Morning.

On how much having his integrity questioned this week has bothered him:

“Well this week’s all about Seattle, so we’ve been doing our best to prepare for the Seahawks. I’m doing that, our team’s doing that and we’ll be ready to go Sunday. That’s our focus.”

On how he plans on shutting down Marshawn Lynch:

“I think it’s relatively easy to play defense against a team that can only do one thing. Unfortunately, that’s not what we’re talking about here with Seattle. They have a great running back – they have a great group of running backs – but [Marshawn] Lynch obviously is really kind of in a class by himself. The quarterback’s a problem, the receivers are a problem, they have a good offensive line.”

To view the entire interview with Belichick, visit:

Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson with NFL Network’s Kurt Warner

NFL Network’s Kurt Warner sat down with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson for an interview on NFL Network’s NFL GameDay First and NFL GameDay Morning.

On whether or not there was a moment where he said, ‘That’s where it changed’ during the season trying to repeat as Super Bowl champions:

“We were 6-4 and everybody doubted us. We lost to the Kansas City Chiefs and that week we had a players meeting and really talked about where we really want to go. It’s not about the record. At the end of the day it comes down to are we going to keep focusing on each other and are we going to keep getting better day by day? We ignored the noise, we ignored all the talk from the outside.”

On playing against Peyton Manning in last year’s Super Bowl and Tom Brady in this year’s Super Bowl:

“Well you always want to play against the best. That’s what you’re going to get in the Super Bowl. To go against guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady who I have tons of respect for; I watch their games, I study their games, I try to learn from them. It gets you excited, but hopefully not too excited. Just focus on the game. Then when my career is done then I can look back at it.”

On his vision:

“In terms of professionally what I want to do, I want to play 15-plus more years, get to the Hall of Fame, and win a lot of championships and all that. I’d love to be the owner of a team one day. But it’s way bigger than that. For me, my vision is how can I affect somebody positively every day? When you focus on other people, somehow good things happen to you. I think that’s my goal. That’s my vision.”

To view the entire interview with Wilson, visit:

Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll with NFL Media’s Michael Silver

NFL Media’s Michael Silver sat down with Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll for an interview on NFL Network’s NFL GameDay Morning.

On how important the year off from coaching after he was fired by the New England Patriots was to him:

“I had no plan for that year but it wound up being one of the most important years of my football coaching career. It hit me along the way that I needed to really get at the heart of what’s really true to myself. And then I was able to mold it and shape it in the years at SC to become the approach and the concept and the culture that we try to create here at Seattle.”

On the success of the New England Patriots:

“I really admire the job that not just coach Belichick has done but that Robert Kraft and his family have done, and the decisions that they made to let Bill do what he’s capable of doing. I think it’s a great illustration of a way to structure an NFL organization when you let the coach really run the thing.”

To view the entire interview with Carroll, visit:

New England Patriots Cornerback Darrelle Revis with NFL Media’s Andrea Kremer

NFL Media’s Andrea Kremer sat down with New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis for an interview on NFL Network’s NFL GameDay Morning.

On what went through his mind when he realized he was finally going to the Super Bowl:

“Just relief of trying to get there for eight years. It’s finally here and I’m very excited. It’s just great. It’s been a long ride.”

On how he evaluates his play now:

“Actually I feel I’m a better player; more mentally. I guess you get better with age people say. You have a lot more wisdom.”

On ways in which he feels a greater appreciation for where he is:

“I’ve always been humble and this even humbled me even more to definitely get a second chance at my career. There are still chapters I’m writing in this legacy.”

On what next year holds:

“You just never know with contract situations and the whole business side of it. I’m here now and I’m happy to be here now. The future will take care of itself.”

To view the entire interview, visit:

New England Patriots Chairman & CEO Robert Kraft with NFL Media’s Melissa Stark

NFL Media’s Melissa Stark sat down with New England Patriots Chairman & CEO Robert Kraft for an interview on NFL Network’s NFL GameDay Morning.

On what he learned from firing Pete Carroll and what needed to change within the organization to support the head coach:

“To be fair to Pete [Carroll], I had just come off a very difficult owner relationship with my then head coach and I was looking for a different style. So I didn’t give Pete all the power he should have had. I don’t think there’s any exact formula for how it’s done. It’s really what fits each individual system.”

On if he thought Bill Belichick was capable of this when he hired him:

“The greatest decisions I’ve made in my life are by instinct. I remember when I hired Bill I had a lot of people telling me it was a mistake. But he and I had established a rapport in ’96 when he coached the secondary. You need a coach that understands economics, that understands the impact of the salary cap and how to make those difficult decisions that allow you to sustain success over the long term. I don’t think there’s anyone better than Bill at doing that.”

On where his passionate speech he gave Monday in Arizona came from:

“I just didn’t like the way we were, in my opinion, being unfairly attacked. I just decided to do what was right for our family.”

On what the Patriot family stands for:

“We play by the rules, we play hard and we prepare hard. The work ethic of our team and preparation is like no other in my opinion and we try to make our fans in America proud.”

To view the entire interview, visit:

On the following video clips from NFL GameDay First & NFL GameDay Morning are available for viewing:

- Super Bowl XLIX Bold Predictions NFL GameDay Morning provides Super Bowl XLIX Bold Predictions:

- Marshawn Lynch’s Oakland Roots – NFL Media’s Michael Silver travels to Oakland to profile Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s roots:

- The Evolution of Gronk – NFL Media’s Andrea Kremer sat down with New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski:

- Adriana Lima Joins NFL GameDay Morning – Model Adriana Lima joined the NFL GameDay Morning set at the University of Phoenix Stadium:

- NFL GameDay Morning: Super Bowl Shout-Outs – The NFL GameDay Morning crew gives the Super Bowl shout-outs:

- Seattle Sound – Notable Seattle residents discuss the city and its football team:

- Compton Seahawks – NFL Media’s Mark Kriegel visits Compton, California for a feature on Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman:

- The Good Luck Barber NFL GameDay Morning profiles the Seattle Seahawks’ lucky barber:

- The Quarterback-Head Coach Relationship – NFL Media’s Andrea Kremer speaks with quarterbacks and coaches to analyze the quarterback-head coach relationship:

- NFL GameDay Morning: Breaking Down the 2015 Hall of Fame Class – The NFL GameDay Morning crew discuss this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class:

- What Would Back-To-Back Super Bowls Mean for Russell Wilson? – Host Rich Eisen and analysts Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner, Warren Sapp and Michael Irvin talk about the legacy of Russell Wilson if he wins Super Bowl XLIX:

- More Important Today, Marshawn Lynch or LeGarrette Blount? – Who is more important today: Marshawn Lynch or LeGarrette Blount? LaDainian Tomlinson and Terrell Davis discuss:

- Who Could be the Surprise Super Bowl MVP? NFL GameDay Morning discusses which players could be the surprise Super Bowl MVP:

- Ian Rapoport: ‘Lynch is Going to Get Paid’ – NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport provides the latest on Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch:

- Ian Rapoport on the Latest Regarding the Deflated Footballs – NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport with the latest on the deflated footballs:

- Dan Quinn Expected to be Named Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Monday – NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is expected to be named Atlanta Falcons head coach on Monday:

- Best of Mini Mooch 2014 – The best from Mini Mooch throughout the season:



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For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can also be streamed live on the NFL Mobile from Verizon app (, the NFL app delivered on XBOX from Microsoft, and through Watch NFL Network (, with participating cable and satellite providers. For more information, log on to is the exclusive internet home of NFL Network.


NFL’s EVP Football Operations Troy Vincent Says He’s Never Seen A Worse Year For The NFL, 60 Minutes Sports Tuesday on SHOWTIME

60-Minutes-Sports-showtimeVincent IDs Colts GM Ryan Grigson as the one who Set Off “Deflategate”

NEW YORK (Feb. 2, 2015) – One of the most exciting Super Bowls in history is over, and the repair work on the NFL’s image is just beginning.  One of the league’s top executives says the recent year of scandals in the league is the worst he has seen in his 22 years as an NFL player and executive.  NFL EVP Football Operations Troy Vincent addresses the NFL’s problems and its responses to them, including the origin of “Deflategate” and the antics of Marshawn Lynch, in an interview with Armen Keteyian on the next edition of 60 MINUTES SPORTS, premiering Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT only on SHOWTIME.

Asked by Keteyian if he has ever seen such a bad year for the NFL, Vincent replies, “To answer your question, no.”  Over the past year the league has been saddled with scandals and criticized for its response to them.  Among the problems faced by the NFL was the class action concussion lawsuit, the Adrian Peterson child-abuse story, the Ray Rice domestic abuse charges and then “Deflategate.”

The NFL was accused of dragging its feet in its investigation and discipline of Rice when the world saw him violently punching his girlfriend.  The harshest criticism came from an independent report from former FBI Director Robert Mueller revealing that the NFL’s own investigator did little more than read newspaper accounts of the Rice affair.  Asked about Mueller’s report, Vincent says he did not read it.

Asked why he didn’t read the report, Vincent replies, “The crime had already been committed…We acknowledge we made a mistake. We didn’t apply the proper discipline.”  Pressed by Keteyian that it was more than inadequately disciplining Rice that the report exposed, but the league’s incompetence, Vincent says, “We failed. From that exercise, and that horrific situation, we got better.  Our processes are better. We have now experts who—true experts and investigators working alongside our staff…We can’t go back in time.”

On “Deflategate,” Vincent confirmed that the Indianapolis Colts GM Ryan Grigson told the NFL in the second quarter of the AFC Championship Game that the New England Patriots might be tampering with the footballs.

On Marshawn Lynch, whose crotch-grabbing end zone antics and appearances at Super Bowl Media Day have embarrassed the league, Vincent says “Well, we try. We communicate. There’s been discipline.”  But it hasn’t worked Keteyian points out.  “Right,” says Vincent. “But you…can’t stop trying. I take full responsibility that I have to do a better job of educating.”

# # #



superbowl_nbc-nfl114.4 Million Watched Patriots-Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on NBC, Tops Last Year’s Super Bowl by 2.2 Million

47.5 Household Rating is Best in 30 Seasons, Since Super Bowl XX in January 1986

NBC Sports Live Extra Sets Super Bowl Record Averaging 800,000 Viewers per Minute

Post-Super Bowl Episodes of “The Blacklist” and “Tonight Show” Post Big Numbers

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Feb. 2, 2015 Super Bowl XLIX on NBC, featuring the New England Patriots’ history-making comeback from 10 points behind in the fourth quarter to defeat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24, is the most-watched television program in U.S. history and the highest-rated Super Bowl in 30 seasons, according to fast national data released today by The Nielsen Company.

The game was seen by a record 114.4 million viewers (6:31-10:10 p.m. ET), topping by 2.2 million viewers last year’s Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX and is the biggest audience to watch a television program in U.S. history.

“Last night’s Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl ranks among the most exciting sporting events in U.S. history,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “Super Bowl XLIX delivered for all of our partners, proving once again that the Super Bowl is the most dominant and consistent property on television.”


1. 114.4 Million – Super Bowl XLIX, NBC (Last Night’s Game)

2. 112.2 Million – Super Bowl XLVIII, FOX (Feb. 2014)

3. 111.3 Million – Super Bowl XLVI, NBC (Feb. 2012)

4. 111.0 Million – Super Bowl XLV, FOX (Feb. 2011)

5. 108.7 Million – Super Bowl XLVII, CBS (Feb. 2013)

6. 106.5 Million – Super Bowl XLIV, CBS (Feb. 2010)

7. 106.0 Million – M.A.S.H. Finale, CBS (Feb. 1983)

8. 98.7 Million – Super Bowl XLIII, NBC (Feb. 2009)

*for Super Bowls, includes only full game telecasts

HIGHEST-RATED SUPER BOWL IN 30 SEASONS: The game earned a 47.5 rating and a 71 share, a gain of two percent from last year’s 46.7/69 for Super Bowl XLVIII and is the highest-rated Super Bowl since 1986 (Bears-Patriots, Super Bowl XX, 48.3/70). The 47.5 rating is the 4th highest in Super Bowl history and ranks as 9th highest rated program in television history.


1. 49.1/73 – Super Bowl XVI, CBS (Jan. 1982)

2. 48.6/69 – Super Bowl XVII, NBC (Jan. 1983)

3. 48.3/70 – Super Bowl XX, NBC (Jan. 1986)

4. 47.5/71 – Super Bowl XLIX, NBC (Last Night’s Game)

5. 47.2/67 – Super Bowl XII, CBS (Jan. 1978)

6. 47.1/74 – Super Bowl XIII, NBC (Jan. 1979)

7. 47.0/71 – Super Bowl XLVI, NBC (Feb. 2012)

8. 46.7/69 – Super Bowl XLVIII, FOX (Feb. 2014)

T9. 46.4/71 – Super Bowl XVIII, CBS (Jan. 1984)

T9. 46.4/63 – Super Bowl XIX, ABC (Jan. 1985)

T9. 46.4/69 – Super Bowl XLVII, CBS (Feb. 2013)

VIEWERSHIP PEAKS DURING PATRIOTS’ GAME-WINNING DRIVE: The viewership peaked at 120.8 million viewers from9:45-10 p.m. ET during the fourth quarter, when Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady completed 13 of 15 pass attempts for 124 yards and two touchdowns.


6:31-7, 99.5 million

7-7:30, 109.7 million

7:30-8, 116.6 million

8-8:30, 118.5 million

8:30-9, 118.1 million

9-9:30, 116.9 million

9:30-10, 119.2 million

10-10:10, 120.3 million


6:31-7, 42.7/68

7-7:30, 45.9/71

7:30-8, 48.0/72

8-8:30, 48.2/72

8:30-9, 48.2/71

9-9:30, 48.2/70

9:30-10, 50.2/72

10-10:10, 51.3/74

FINAL HALF HOUR OF PRE-GAME SHOW MOST-WATCHED ON RECORD: From 6-6:30 p.m. ET, the Super Bowl XLIX Pre-Game show averaged 72.7 million viewers, ranking as the most watched pre-kickoff segment on record (since the advent of the People Meter in 1988), and a six percent increase from the similar time period last year (68.6 million).

  • The Super Bowl XLIX Post-Game Show (10:10-10:38) averaged 72.5 million viewers – up 10% from last year’s 65.8 million viewers for Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX.

NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA SETS SUPER BOWL RECORD: NBC Sports Live Extra’s live stream of Super Bowl XLIX to desktops and tablets delivered record traffic and a high-quality experience for consumers. The live stream of the game set Super Bowl records for average viewers per minute (800,000), concurrent users (1.3 million) and total minutes (213 million), according to Adobe Analytics.

In addition to the record traffic, NBC Sports Live Extra delivered a high-quality stream with a long engagement of 84.2 minute per viewer. According to Akamai, the live stream was the highest quality throughput for any Super Bowl.

“The Super Bowl stream on the NBC Sports Live Extra platform went fantastically well,” said Rick Cordella, SVP and General Manager, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “We were excited, not only by the record-breaking consumption, but also the quality of the streams we delivered to football fans.”

The 800,000 average viewers per minute was up 52% when compared to FOX’s stream of Super Bowl XLVIII last year, which was believed to be the previous record and averaged 528,000 viewers per minute. Concurrent users peaked at 1.3 million at the moment when Patriots CB Malcolm Butler made his game-winning interception in the final seconds, and is up 18% vs. FOX last year (1.1 million).

Viewers of the live stream consumed 213 million minutes, besting by 86% the previous Super Bowl record set by CBS for Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 (114.4 million minutes). The live stream also produced 2.5 million uniques, up 9% vs. FOX last year and up 19% compared to NBC’s live stream in 2012 (2.1 million), which was the first-ever live stream of a Super Bowl.

NOTE: NBC Sports Digital does not have NFL mobile streaming rights. It streams its NFL content through NBC Sports Live Extra to desktops and tablets only.

HALFTIME SHOW FEATURING KATY PERRY IS MOST-WATCHED & HIGHEST RATED EVER: The halftime performance by Katy Perry during the 8-8:30 p.m. ET half hour, was seen by 118.5 million viewers, 3 million+ viewers more than last year’s halftime featuring Bruno Mars (115.3 million), and is the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show featuring entertainment ever (dating back to 1991).

  • The halftime show earned a 48.2/72 household rating, two percent higher than last year (47.2/70) and is the highest-rated halftime show featuring entertainment ever.

“THE BLACKLIST” AND “TONIGHT SHOW” DELIVER DOMINANT NUMBERS: NBC’s post-Super Bowl telecast of “The Blacklist” set series records of 26.5 million viewers overall and an 8.7 rating in adults 18-49, making it the highest-scoring primetime entertainment telecast on the Big 4 networks in both measures since the Academy Awards last March.  It was also NBC’s most-watched scripted program in more than 10 years, since “ER” averaged 28.3 million viewers on May 6, 2004, the night of the “Friends” finale.

Last night’s special post-Super Bowl edition of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” delivered 9.8 million viewers overall and a 3.6 rating in adults 18-49, the show’s second-best results to date behind only last February’s series premiere following an Olympics telecast. The 9.8 million viewers makes it the most-watched post-Super Bowl late-night talk show in the history of People Meters (dating back to September 1987).

Note that these preliminary “Blacklist” and “Tonight” ratings are subject to slight change with official nationals to adjust for late starts in the Boston market due to local post-game coverage.

In preliminary results for the night, NBC averaged 104.0 million viewers in primetime (7-11 p.m.) and a 35.8 rating in adults 18-49, making it NBC’s most-watched night in the history of People Meters.

NBC UNIVERSO DEBUTS & TELEVISES ITS FIRST SUPER BOWL: The newly relaunched NBC UNIVERSO (formerly mun2), which debuted yesterday, peaked at 457,000 viewers (with 368,000 average viewers throughout the telecast) for its exclusive Spanish-language telecast of Super Bowl XLIX. This marks its most-viewed program outside of soccer in the channel’s history.

BOSTON & HOST MARKET PHOENIX SET LOCAL MARKET RECORDS: The rating in Boston was the best ever for a Super Bowl in the market (61.0/85), topping the previous high of 56.7/81 for the N.Y. Giants-Patriots Super Bowl XLVI on NBC.

  • The host market of Phoenix registered a 55.6/82 rating, the highest for a Super Bowl in the market, topping the prior Phoenix mark of 51.1 for Packers-Steelers in Super Bowl XLV in Feb. 2011.


1. Boston, 61.0/85

2. New Orleans, 55.7/72

3. Phoenix, 55.6/82

T4. Detroit, 55.0/71

T4. Norfolk, 55.0/76

6. Chicago, 54.9/72

7. Kansas City, 54.5/75

T8. Denver, 53.7/79

T8. Indianapolis, 53.7/74

10. Buffalo, 53.6/75

*Seattle tied for 17th with a 52.1/89


ESPN’s Postseason NFL Countdown Super Bowl XLIX Features

Sunday NFL Countdown logo

  • Chris Berman and Analysts Live at Scottsdale Fashion Square for Special Four-Hour Show;
  • Suzy Kolber with Super Bowl Champions Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale
  • Reporters Sal Paolantonio (Patriots) and Ed Werder (Seahawks) with Team Reports
ESPN will present a special four-hour edition of Postseason NFL Countdown on Sunday, Feb. 1, at 10 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. MT, previewing Super Bowl XLIX from two primary locations in Arizona – Scottsdale Fashion Square (main set), and University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
Host Chris Berman, covering his 33rd Super Bowl, will be joined by analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson on the main set in Scottsdale, along with NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, and segment host Wendi Nix. Suzy Kolber will host coverage from the stadium with a trio of Super Bowl champions: Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young. Reporters Sal Paolantonio (covering the Patriots) and Ed Werder (Seahawks) will also provide live team updates throughout the program.
ESPN’s roster of Countdown analysts – with a combined 10 Super Bowl rings in 15 appearances in the NFL’s biggest game – will preview the New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLIX game, analyzing the players, teams, key matchups and more.
Planned Countdown features, in order of timing by quarter-hour (all times subject to change):
Opening Tease: The Drive (10 a.m. ET)
Actor Michael Madsen voices Countdown’s opening tease about “The Drive” – a metaphor for the hard-fought journey to Super Bowl XLIX for the teams and the players.
Russell Wilson Visualization (10:30)
On Sunday, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will be the youngest quarterback in league history to take a team to back-to-back Super Bowl games, about four months younger than Tom Brady was when he led the Patriots to consecutive Super Bowls a decade ago. Wilson also has the most wins in the first three seasons of any quarterback – regular or postseason. Countdown’s Chris Berman highlights how Wilson’s success on the field is a byproduct of his ability to visualize every situation of a game in his mind before the first snap.
Depression in the NFL (10:30)
Beyond the glitz and glamor of the National Football League are former players who struggle daily to cope with life as the cheering stops and the demands of a regimented professional career slowly turn into a distant memory. Some become depressed. On the 20th anniversary of Junior Seau’s first Super Bowl appearance, ESPN’s Jim Trotter offers in-depth piece on how former pro football players cope with depression and the impact on their family members. Seau’s wife, Gina Seau, former players Boo Williams, Eddie George and George’s wife, Taj, were interviewed for the story.
Bobby Wagner’s Motivation (11:00)
Coming out of Colony High School in Ontario, Calif., in 2008, Bobby Wagner was underrated by recruiters. He was deemed too slight of frame for a linebacker and unrefined in his play to be recruited by any major college football program. Utah State University was the only program willing to grant him a scholarship. Four years later, when Seattle selected Wagner with the 47th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, many draft experts questioned the team’s choice. Countdown’s Michelle Beisner reports how the young Pro Bowl linebacker uses the doubts about his ability to play in the NFL as a motivation to excel.
Frank Caliendo on Bill Belichick’s Legacy (11:30)
In a faux SC Featured, ESPN’s long-form feature segment that airs on SportsCenter, Countdown comedian and impersonator Frank Caliendo delves into the legacy of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. In the piece, Caliendo plays several characters including quarterback Andrew Luck, ESPN’s Lou Holtz, Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells and ESPN’s Chris Berman, while comedian Aries Spears plays the role of Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs.
The Kansas City Turning Point (11:30)
The defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks lost 20-24 to the Chiefs in Kansas City in week 11 on November 16, 2014, falling to a 6-4 record. The team called a players-only meeting where an impassioned Kam Chancellor addressed the team. Since that meeting, Seattle has yet to lose another game and is now playing in its second straight Super Bowl. Countdown’s Chris Berman travelled to Seattle ahead of the team’s NFC Championship Game to hear more about Chancellor’s speech, which became the turning point for the ’Hawks season.
Julian Edelman (12:00)
SportsCenter anchor Jade McCarthy travelled to Woodside, Calif., Julian Edelman’s hometown, to tell the story of how Edelman developed from an undersized high school quarterback to a diminutive, go-to NFL wide receiver on the cusp of becoming a Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots. McCarthy interviewed Edelman’s former coaches and parents who offered insight on the upbringing that helped shape the receivers career in the NFL after the Patriots selected him with the 232nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. 
Gronk’s Spikes (12:00) senior writer Greg Garber takes a closer look at the ground-shaking, on-field celebrations that occur every time Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski scores a touchdown.
Marysville-Pilchuck (12:30)
A shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in October 2014 that killed two students and severely wounded four others rocked a small, close-knit community an hour outside Seattle. After the tragic event, the Seahawks organization offered the school’s football team a momentary respite from its grief. Head coach Pete Carroll invited them to practice at the Seahawks facility and several Seattle players – running back Marshawn Lynch, linebacker Bobby Wagner and tight end Luke Wilson – attended the school’s pep rallies. At the Seahawks’ home game on Nov. 2, the Seahawks wore “MP” decals on their helmets in support of the Marysville-Pilchuck community. Countdown’s Beisner story focuses on the special bond forged between the Seahawks and Marysville-Pilchuck High School in the aftermath of this tragedy.
The Bill Belichick-Tom Brady Marriage (12:30)
In their 15th season together as the New England Patriots coach and quarterback, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have won 160 regular-season and 20 postseason games – the most wins in each category by a coach-quarterback team in the NFL. As the head coach and quarterback prepare to play in a record sixth Super Bowl together, Patriots owner Robert Kraft narrates the story of the relationship between the tutor and his pupil, and highlights reasons for their success.
I am Confetti (1:00)
A first-person narrative of what it feels like to be a piece of confetti in the postgame Super Bowl celebration, written by Countdown producer Johann Castillo.
Additional Content on ESPN’s Super Bowl XLIX Sunday Shows:
NFL Matchup – Super Bowl XLIX Edition
In a special Super Bowl XLIX edition, ESPN’s NFL Matchup (ESPN2, 7 a.m. ET) with host Trey Wingo and analysts Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski will preview the Patriots-Seahawks game. Highlights:
  • Factor Back – Marshawn Lynch Read Option Run: Hoge breaks down the Seahawks running game, which goes through running back Marshawn Lynch in a zone-read.
  • X and O Files – Russell Wilson Read Option: Hoge continues the breakdown of the Seahawks run game, describing the option Russell Wilson has as a runner when the defense overcommits to stopping Lynch.
  • Hoge Breakdown – Seahawks Foundational ‘Cover 3’: Hoge takes a deep dive at the Seahawks defense, and shows how and why their simple “Cover 3” scheme is so effective against opposing offenses.
  • Passing Thought – Antonio Gates’ Success vs. Seattle: Jaworski shows how the Chargers used tight end Antonio Gates for some successful plays in week 2 against the Seahawks, and says the offensive scheme from that matchup bodes well for a big day from Patriots Rob Gronkowski.
  • Let’s See it Hoge – Eddie Royal Beats Richard Sherman: Staying with the week 2 game vs. the Chargers, Hoge walks the viewer through a play where Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was exploited by a great play design and argues the Patriots will look to replicate the play same offensive scheme in Super Bowl XLIX.
  • Money Down – Doug Baldwin’s Third Down Efficiency: Hoge explains why wide receiver Doug Baldwin is quarterback Russell Wilson’s favorite target in the most critical down and distance situations for the Seahawks offense.
  • Jaworski Covers the Field – The Gronkowski Threat: Jaworski describes a staple play from the Patriots offense that puts opposing defenses in a bind as they attempt to account for tight end Rob Gronkowski.
  • Game Within the Game – Attacking the Seahawks ‘Cover 3’: Jaworski explains a play the Eagles offense used against the Seahawks base coverage that resulted in a touchdown and argues it is one example of a successful scheme against the tough Seattle defense.
  • Eye in the Sky – Patriots Spy Defense: Hoge details how the Patriots defense will try to account for quarterback Russell Wilson’s threat as a scrambling quarterback by assigning a player to spy him on all passing downs.
ESPN’s Super Bowl Sunday coverage:
Sun, Feb 1 1-1:30 a.m. NFL Matchup ESPN2
7-7:30 a.m. NFL Matchup ESPN2
8-10 a.m. SportsCenter (from Arizona) ESPN
8-8:30 a.m. Outside the Lines ESPN2
8:30-9 a.m. The Sports Reporters (Arizona) ESPN2
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Postseason NFL Countdown (Arizona) ESPN
10:30-11:30 p.m. NFL PrimeTime (Arizona) ESPN
11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. SportsCenter (Arizona) ESPN
11:30 p.m.-12 a.m. NFL Countdown: Best of Countdown ESPN2
- 30 -

FOX Sports Programming Highlights: NFL, UFC, Soccer & More



NFL: Live Super Bowl Coverage from Arizona on FOX Sports 1’s AMERICA’S PREGAME and FOX SPORTS LIVE

UFC: UFC 183 PRELIMS Feature No. 2 Ranked Tate vs. No. 3 Ranked McMann in Key Women’s Bantamweight Bout Saturday on FOX Sports 1

SOCCER: Celtic-Rangers Face Off in Scottish League Cup Semis; FA Cup Fourth Round Replays Set on FOX Sports 1

#ICYMI: FOX SPORTS LIVE’s Brett Favre Interview:



  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, nightly (11:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Jay Onrait, Dan O’Toole, Charissa Thompson, Don Bell, Ryan Field, Jay Glazer, Casey Jacobsen, Joel Klatt, John Lynch, Donovan McNabb, Randy Moss, Petros Papadakis, Gary Payton, Bill Reiter, Ephraim Salaam.
  • This Week: The NFL season draws to its dramatic close this week with Super Bowl XLIX from University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona. The Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots face off in a tremendous matchup of each conference’s No. 1 seed. FOX SPORTS LIVE has the game covered with breakdowns of all of the biggest storylines surrounding the game. Embedded reporters Mike Garafolo (Seahawks) and Peter Schrager (Patriots) provide updates from the teams’ compounds as they continue preparations for the big game. The show’s presence is enhanced by a set inside the DirecTV compound outside the stadium in Glendale, as host Joel Klatt is flanked by analysts Donovan McNabb, Randy Moss and Dave Wannstedt for nightly analysis and insights. Additionally, current and former NFL stars make appearances throughout the week as Jared Allen, Jim Kelly and Patrick Peterson are among those joining the crew on set. FOX SPORTS LIVE also offers immediate postgame coverage and reaction, with Garafolo and Schrager feeding interviews with players and coaches, while the guys break down all of the critical plays in the game. In Case You Missed It: Three-time NFL MVP and future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre was interviewed Monday night, weighing in on the Patriots’ deflated ball controversy, while also revealing who he thinks is currently the NFL’s best quarterback and his choice for the 2014 MVP award:


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, weekdays (5:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Mike Hill, Molly McGrath, Jay Glazer, Joel Klatt, Kirk Morrison, Mike Garafolo, Casey Jacobsen, Corey Maggette, Ephraim Salaam
  • This Week: AMERICA’S PREGAME has airs at its new time – 5:00 PM ET – and hasn’t missed a beat, staying up to speed on all of the day’s biggest games and stories during throughout the week. This week, Mike and Molly toss to Joel Klatt and the FOX Sports 1 football analysts live outside of University of Phoenix stadium for extended segments focusing on all of the critical matchups entering Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX. The show is boosted by special guest visits during the week that include San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Thursday and NFL on FOX analysts Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long on Friday. With both the NBA and NHL regular seasons at or near their respective halfway points, APG also has live satellite interviews from various sites with local correspondents and insiders who provide up-to-the-minute information in previewing all of the nightly action.



The UFC returns to Las Vegas Saturday, Jan. 31 for UFC 183: SILVA VS. DIAZ, featuring the return of one of the greatest UFC champions of all time, Anderson Silva, who suffered a gruesome broken leg at UFC 168 against Chris Weidman. He faces one of the most popular fighters of the generation, Nick Diaz, who’s making his own return to the Octagon after a two-year absence. UFC on FOX analyst Brian Stann is excited for the fight, and believes many questions will be answered: “Anderson Silva is the most creative striker ever seen in the Octagon. The big question mark is how will he return from such an injury? Will he kick again? How will he look? Then with Nick Diaz, it’s been over two years since he’s fought. What will he be like?” FOX Sports 1 telecasts the PREFIGHT, PRELIMS and POSTFIGHT SHOWS that evening. Watch a complete breakdown of the main event here:


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Friday, Jan. 30 (7:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, Michael Bisping, Ariel Helwani
  • This Week: The UFC WEIGH-IN features host Jon Anik, with analysts Daniel Cormier and Michael Bisping breaking down the fighters on the card as they attempt to make weight. Ariel Helwani interviews fighters during the show.


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, Jan. 31 (7:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, Michael Bisping, Ariel Helwani
  • This Week: Host Jon Anik and analysts Daniel Cormier and Michael Bisping preview the exciting night including the much anticipated return of two greats – former UFC champ Anderson Silva and Strikeforce Champion Nick Diaz. Anki, Cormier and Bisping also analyze the other matchups on the main card and prelims.


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, Jan. 31 (8:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Mike Goldberg, Joe Rogan, Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, Michael Bisping, Ariel Helwani (Victor Dávila and Fabricio Werdum on FOX Deportes)
  • This Week: The two-hour FOX SPORTS 1 UFC 183 PRELIMS features four exciting fights, as No. 2 ranked Miesha Tate (15-5) faces No. 3 Sara McMann (8-1) in a key women’s bantamweight matchup. Ed Herman (23-10, 1NC) takes on Derek Brunson (12-3) in a middleweight bout. Top-ranked flyweights face off when No. 3 Ian McCall (13-4-1) battles No. 6 John Lineker (24-7), while middleweights Rafael Natal (18-6-1) and Tom Watson (17-7) open the PRELIMS. Watch the promo of the FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS here:


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, Jan. 31 (1:00 AM ET)
  • Talent: Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, Michael Bisping, Ariel Helwani
  • This Week: Watch the recap of UFC 183 with host Anik and analysts Cormier and Bisping breaking down the return of Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz. The group interviews winners and highlights the most exciting action of the evening.


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Sunday, Feb. 1 (7:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Kenda Perez
  • This Week: Watch head kicks and flying fists galore as Kenda Perez presents some of the most spectacular knockouts from the WEC vault, including UFC stars Anthony Pettis, Jamie Varner, Mike Brown and more.


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Monday, Feb. 2 (8:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Joe Rogan, Mike Goldberg
  • This Week: After pulling off the upset of the year to capture the bantamweight crown, T.J. Dillashaw makes his first title defense against Joe Soto, a fellow Californian who earned gold in two other MMA organizations. Plus, several other exciting fights from the action-filled night.


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 2 & FOX Sports GO, Wednesday, Feb. 4 (9:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Brian Stann, Nicole Dabeau
  • This Week: The most glamorous night on the mixed martial arts calendar returns to Las Vegas, when the Seventh Annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards ceremony rolls out the red carpet. MMA’s leading athletes, executives and personalities are once again joined by a host of celebrity fans and iconic sports stars to celebrate the greatest moments and achievements in mixed martial arts from 2014.



  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, Jan. 31 (10:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Ralph Sheheen, Jeff Emig, Jenny Taft
  • This Week: With three winners in the first four races of the season, Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, heads into the season’s third and final appearance at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, with the preseason mantra of #WhosNext firmly in place. Former champion Ryan Dungey leads the standings with 82 points, followed by Ken Roczen (78) and last weekend’s winner, Trey Canard (68). The top five riders are separated by just 20 points and host Ralph Sheheen questions how Roczen recovers from last week’s wreck “The big storyline for Anaheim 3 is how does Ken Roczen bounce back from his big crash in Oakland? He cased a massive jump and crashed hard while leading. That opened the door and gave some of his title challengers new life. Will he be able to get back on pace and sweep all three races at Anaheim?”



  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Sunday, Feb. 1 (8:00 AM ET)
  • Talent: Rob Stone hosts pregame, halftime and postgame coverage alongside analysts Warren Barton and guest Maurice Edu
  • This Week: FOX Sports 1 airs the Scottish League Cup semifinal between longtime rivals Celtic and Rangers. Coverage begins in studio with a 30-minute pregame show at 8:00 AM ET hosted by Rob Stone alongside analysts Warren Barton and former Rangers and current Philadelphia Union midfielder Maurice Edu.


  • Matchup/Network/When:
    • Manchester United vs. Cambridge United, FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Tuesday, Feb. 3 (2:30 PM ET)
    • Bolton Wanderers vs. Liverpool, FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Wednesday, Feb. 4 (2:30 PM ET)
  • Talent: FOX Sports 1’s coverage begins with the 30-minute FA CUP MATCH DAY pregame show at 2:30 PM ET. Rob Stone hosts pregame, halftime and postgame coverage on Tuesday alongside analysts Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Alexi Lalas. Former USMNT and current Bolton Wanderers midfielder Stuart Holden joins the crew for Bolton’s match against Liverpool on Wednesday.
  • This Week: FOX Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the FA Cup, the world’s oldest soccer competition and England’s main domestic cup tournament, continues on FOX Sports 1 with fourth round replay action. Premier League sides Manchester United and Liverpool are in action again against lower division teams on Tuesday and Wednesday.



  • Network/When/Talent:
    • Wednesday, Jan. 28:
      • Seton Hall at Marquette
      • FOX Sports 2 & FOX Sports GO (7:00 PM ET)
      • Brian Anderson and Nick Bahe
      • St. John’s at Creighton
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (9:00 PM ET)
      • Kevin Kugler and Bob Wenzel
    • Thursday, Jan. 29:
      • DePaul at Providence
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (2:00 PM ET)
      • Rich Ackerman and Vin Parise
      • No. 24 Oklahoma at No. 14 Texas (W)
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (7:00 PM ET)
      • Ron Thulin and Brenda VanLengen
      • Colorado at USC
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (9:30 PM ET)
      • Kevin Burkhardt and Sean Elliott
    • Saturday, Jan. 31:
      • Providence at St. John’s
      • FOX & FOX Sports GO (12:00 PM ET)
      • Gus Johnson and Jim Jackson
      • Xavier at Seton Hall
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (12:00 PM ET)
      • Justin Kutcher and Bill Raftery
      • UTEP at Middle Tennessee (W)
      • FOX Sports Regional Networks & FOX Sports GO (12:00 PM ET)
      • Ron Thulin and Christy Winters Scott
      • No. 7 Villanova at DePaul
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (2:00 PM ET)
      • Joe Davis and Tarik Turner
      • No. 25 Butler at Marquette
      • FOX Sports Regional Networks & FOX Sports GO (2:00 PM ET)
      • Brian Anderson and Ron Thompson
    • Sunday, Feb. 1:
      • Kansas at No. 3 Baylor (W)
      • FOX Sports Regional Networks & FOX Sports GO (2:00 PM ET)
      • Ron Thulin and Brenda VanLengen
    • Tuesday, Feb. 3:
      • St. John’s at No. 25 Butler
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (7:00 PM ET)
      • Eric Collins and Bob Wenzel
      • Seton Hall at DePaul
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (9:00 PM ET)
      • Cory Provus and Tarik Turner
    • Wednesday, Feb. 4:
      • Marquette at No. 7 Villanova
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (7:00 PM ET)
      • Joe Davis and Bill Raftery
      • Creighton at Xavier
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (9:00 PM ET)
      • Justin Kutcher and Donny Marshall

This Week: Afternoon hoops comes to FOX Sports 1 this week, as DePaul at Providence, originally scheduled for Tuesday evening, is rescheduled due to the blizzard that hit the Northeast and tips off Thursday, Jan. 29 at 2:00 PM ET. This weekend, BIG EAST basketball returns to the FOX broadcast network as St. John’s hosts Providence at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Jan. 31 (12:00 PM ET) with Gus Johnson and Jim Jackson on the call. According to FOX Sports college basketball insider Stewart Mandel’s latest Bracket Watch, Providence sits in solid position for an NCAA Tournament bid with a projected No. 5 seed, while St. John’s is on the bubble.


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Sunday, Feb. 1 (4:30 PM ET)
  • Talent: Rob Stone, Kevin O’Neill and Donny Marshall
  • This Week: This week’s INSIDE THE BIG EAST examines the longtime relationship between St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin and assistant coach Gene Keady. Host Rob Stone and analysts Kevin O’Neill and Donny Marshall break down the week’s top plays and present the best of the previous week’s all-access audio.


NASCAR RACE HUB WRAPS WEEKLONG CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY MEDIA TOUR ON THURSDAY: NASCAR RACE HUB wraps its first week back on the air in 2015 with comprehensive coverage from the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, N.C. The nightly, one-hour news and information program is on the scene for each NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES team’s session on the tour, delivering interviews with the sport’s biggest stars and the latest news.


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Monday – Fridays (6:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Co-hosts Adam Alexander and Danielle Trotta; analysts Jeff Hammond, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds; reporters Alan Cavanna and Kaitlyn Vincie
  • This Week: Reports and interviews from the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour with drivers and officials from Roush Fenway Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Wood Bros. Racing, Team Penske and Leavine Family Racing on Wednesday, Jan. 28; Reporter updates and interviews with Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Furniture Row Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates on Thursday, Jan. 29. On Friday, Jan. 30, Alexander and Trotta welcome FOX NASCAR play-by-play announcer and Hall of Fame Voting Panel member Mike Joy to break down the week’s news and discuss the evening’s NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremon



  • Network/When: FOX Sports 2 & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, Jan. 31 (8:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Ed Leigh
  • This Week: The Burton European Open Women’s Slopestyle takes place in Laax, Switzerland and features the world’s best women slopestyle riders including Olympians like Jamie Anderson (USA), plus international stars including Kjersti Buaas (NOR) and Spencer O’Brien (JPN).


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 2 & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, Jan. 31 (9:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Ed Leigh
  • This Week: The Burton European Open Men’s Slopestyle is held in Laax, Switzerland and features some of the world’s best riders, including Mark McMorris (CAN) who just won a gold medal at the X Games. He’s joined by international stars like Alek Oestreng, Stale Sandbech (both NOR), Roope Tonteri (FIN) and Chas Guldemond (USA).


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 2 & FOX Sports GO, Sunday, Feb. 1 (8:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Ed Leigh
  • This Week: Following their epic duel at the X Games, upstart Chloe Kim looks to upset the winningest women’s halfpipe rider of all time, Kelly Clark, once again at the Burton European Open Women’s Halfpipe. The event takes place in Laax, Switzerland at the resort’s brand new superpipe. The top-notch field of riders includes Olympians and X Games gold medalists including Americans Clark and Kim.


  • Network/When: FOX Sports 2 & FOX Sports GO, Sunday, Feb. 1 (9:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Ed Leigh
  • This Week: The Burton European Open Men’s Halfpipe takes place at the brand new superpipe in Laax, Switzerland. The top-notch field includes Olympians, World champions and past BEO champions including Ayumu Hirano (JPN), Christian Haller and David Hablützel (both SUI). After winning at the X Games, American Danny Davis is the favorite going into this international competition.

Notes from NBA on TNT Coverage ­ Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

nba-on-tntNotes from TNT’s NBA Tip-Off Presented by – Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

2015 NBA All-Star Reserves Exclusively Announced on TNT

TNT is the exclusive home of extensive live NBA All-Star coverage including all of the marquee events from New York. Programming highlights include the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 13; State Farm All-Star Saturday Night featuring the Degree Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and Sprite Slam Dunk on Saturday, Feb. 14; and the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 15.

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith

Western Conference All-Star reserves:

James Harden Houston Rockets
Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder
LaMarcus Aldridge

Tim Duncan

Chris Paul

Portland Trail Blazers

San Antonio Spurs

Los Angeles Clippers

Barkley on Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins being left off the Western Conference All-Star team: “DeMarcus Cousins deserved to make the All-Star team…the kid is a hell of a player.”

Barkley on Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard: “I have a serious problem with Damian Lillard not making this team. That’s really not fair. I love [Thunder forward] Kevin Durant, but he hasn’t played enough games. This isn’t a lifetime achievement award. Lillard is having a terrific year.”

Barkley on Thunder forward Kevin Durant making the All-Star team: “Kevin Durant is the second best player in the world, but he has not played enough games to be an All-Star.”

Smith on Durant: “We all know he’s an All-Star. He’s an MVP. However, there is validity to [basing All-Star selections] off of the amount of games they’ve played and the type of season they are having to this point. Damian Lillard and DeMarcus Cousins have played well enough in the games that they’ve played this season to be on this list. I believe in Kevin Durant, but 21 games isn’t enough.”

Barkley on the two Thunder players, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, making the All-Star team: “If the playoffs started today, the Thunder wouldn’t be in it…and they get two All-Stars? That’s not right.”

O’Neal on choosing All-Stars based on individual accomplishments: “All-Star is singular. [Kings center DeMarcus] Cousins is an All-Star, he’s playing like an All-Star, and like the best center in the league. His feelings are hurt and my feelings are hurt for him. He definitely got snubbed today.”

Smith on choosing between Western Conference point guards Damian Lillard and Chris Paul: “Damian Lillard is having a better year than Chris Paul. Lillard got snubbed when he was left off of the USA Men’s Basketball team, and now the All-Star team.”

Smith on Rockets center Dwight Howard missing the All-Star team for the first time in eight years: “It’s because of injuries. He’s been hurt, and hasn’t played enough games consistently to say he’s an All-Star. He is arguably one of the top two centers in the league. For the same reason we said ‘no Kevin Durant,’ they said ‘no Dwight Howard.’ Also, the Rockets won games while Howard wasn’t there.”

Eastern Conference All-Star reserves:

Kyrie Irving Cleveland Cavaliers
Chris Bosh Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler Chicago Bulls
Al Horford Atlanta Hawks
Paul Millsap

Jeff Teague

Dwyane Wade

Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks

Miami Heat

Smith on who was snubbed in the East: “The guys I feel for in the East are [Milwaukee Bucks point guard] Brandon Knight and [Atlanta Hawks shooting guard] Kyle Korver.”

Barkley on Heat veteran Dwyane Wade as an Eastern Conference All-Star: “Dwyane Wade shouldn’t have made the All-Star team. He is a Hall of Famer, but he didn’t deserve to be an All-Star this year. [Heat center Chris] Bosh has been the best player for Miami this year.  Brandon Knight in Milwaukee, Brandon Jennings in Detroit or Kyle Korver in Atlanta should have been rewarded for having good seasons. This might be the only time Knight, Jennings or Korver have a chance to make the All-Star team. I always give the edge to guys who are winning. Dwyane Wade is not having an All-Star year.”

Barkley on why Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver deserves to be an All-Star: “I always give the edge to guys who are winning. I would fine guys who left him wide open if I coached a team. Even if you have to hold his hand, don’t leave him shoot.”

O’Neal on Wizards center Marcin Gortat: “I think Marcin Gortat got snubbed. I think he is having a wonderful year. Washington is playing very well, and he is a vital part of that.”

Barkley on naming veteran stars to the All-Star teams over players having better years: “We all know who used to be great, but you can’t keep rewarding guys for what they used to be.”

Barkley on whether Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving or Bucks point guard Brandon Knight deserved to be an All-Star more: “Kyrie is incredible. Irving is a better all-around player, but for the first half of the season, Brandon Knight was better. He lifted his team to greater heights.”

Notes from NBA on TNT Coverage – Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

TNT’s NBA coverage will continue on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. ET with a doubleheader featuring the Los Angeles Clippers @ Cleveland Cavaliers followed by the Phoenix Suns @ Portland Trail Blazers at 10:30 p.m.


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Denver Nuggets (69) @ Memphis Grizzlies (99)
Brian Anderson (play-by-play) and Reggie Miller (analyst) with David Aldridge (reporter)


Miller on the Memphis Grizzlies: “Even before they went out and got [forward] Jeff Green, I thought this team was the best in the West. They have a great floor general in [point guard] Mike Conley and two bigs down low in [center] Marc Gasol and [power forward] Zach Randolph who pound the paint. They are tough to beat.”

Miller on Grizzlies All-Star center Marc Gasol: “I think what Marc Gasol does at both ends, as well as his passing ability, really separates him from the other centers in the league.”

Miller on Memphis forward Tony Allen: “This is why the Memphis Grizzlies are a special team. Tony Allen had been the starter on this team for the past few years, through all their success. When they went out and got Jeff Green, this young man basically gave up his starting position. Allen is all about grit, hard work and toughness at the defensive end. That is a selfless player. It makes the Grizzlies bench that much better.”

Miller on the positive effect the Jeff Green trade has had on the Grizzlies: “[Memphis forward] Jeff Green brings a level of athleticism that this team has not seen. No disrespect to [Grizzlies guard] Courtney Lee or Tony Allen, but at 6’9” Green has an ability to both stretch the floor and knock down threes.”

Miller on how the Grizzlies get it done on the defensive end: “They don’t put you on the free-throw line a lot. They don’t foul you, so you have to make shots against their stingy defense. That has always been the mark of a championship team.”

Miller on the frontcourt duo of Marc Gazol and Zach Randolph: “We always get into the great debate of the best backcourt. We talk about the Splash Brothers, John Wall and Bradley Beal…but what about the best big man duos in the game today? I would certainly pick Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol as the best frontcourt duo.”

Miller on Green replacing Allen in the Grizzlies’ starting lineup: “This is a team that is going to go much further with Jeff Green on the floor than it would with Tony Allen. That’s not to say anything bad about Allen. His minutes will be very valuable in the starting unit.”

   Miller on Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried: “There is no way Faried is going to be able to handle [Grizzlies power forward] Zach Randolph down low.”

Miller on Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson: “Lawson leads the nuggets in scoring, assists and steals, but his game has been very inconsistent. If he wants to be the floor general on this team, he has to be consistent every night.”

Miller on Faried: “He’s a high energy guy. When he is able to get the guy off the glass and go coast to coast, you can see that athleticism.”

Miller on Nuggets guard Jameer Nelson: “Take away what he does on the court, his most valuable contribution has been in the locker room. His leadership and veteran savvy have really rubbed off on the young players on the Nuggets.”

Miller on the future of the Denver Nuggets: “How are the Nuggets doing? I just don’t know what direction or path they want to take. Before the season started, they were supposed to be one of those teams fighting for that eighth spot. They have kind of been a rollercoaster team all season.”

Miller on Faried: “I was expecting a bigger and better season from Kenneth Faried. I thought coming off that gold medal this summer and playing with USA Men’s Basketball, being that energy guy off the bench for Coach K, that confidence wise, he would come in and play like gangbusters. He hasn’t done that. His numbers are the same, but he’s not quite the same player confidence wise.”

Miller on Nuggets center JaVale McGee: “He has loads of talent and great athleticism.”

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Chicago Bulls (118) @ Los Angeles Lakers (123)
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Brent Barry (analyst) with Lewis Johnson (reporter)

  Barry on newly named All-Star guard Jimmy Butler:  “He is absolutely remarkable this year. The things that he has been able to do and show regarding the growth of his game are great. He can post up at the 2-guard position. He can defend the best player on the opposing team whether that is a two or three man…well deserved All-Star appearance with many more to come. This guy works and goes about his business.”

Barry on guard Derrick Rose learning how to be a great player: “The greatest players in our league motivate themselves just because they are out here competing.”

 Barry on shooting guard Mike Dunleavy: “He doesn’t stop on the offensive end of the floor but is constantly moving…he’s one of the better three-point shooters in the league.”

   Barry on Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson’s athleticism: “I saw him play last summer in Las Vegas and there were signs of what Jordan Clarkson can do on the court where you raised an eyebrow to his potential. Can he find his way to be a point guard in this league where most of them dominate the game? I’m not sure if he is ready for that test but this season will pay some dividends.

Barry on the Lakers’ bench: “The Lakers have guys coming off the bench that have started in the league: Carlos Boozer, Jeremy Lin…these guys are capable of putting points on the board.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Smith

Barkley on Bulls guard Derrick Rose: “Derrick Rose is still playing like the old Derrick Rose. He’s got to learn that he is not the same guy. He has to learn to play with Jimmy Butler. You are a great player when you play with other great players. You shouldn’t try to do too much.”

Barkley on Derrick Rose: “He has to realize he’s not the MVP anymore.”

Barkley on Rose sharing the field: “You have to adjust. He can’t shoot 33 times. It was like when he was a one-man crew…but, in my opinion, Jimmy Butler is the best player on the team and he is also playing with the best offensive big man he’s ever had.”

O’Neal on what the Bulls need to work on: “They need to get their identity back on defense and create easy shots. Offense is not the problem, defense is.”

   Barkley on Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol: “The best power forward center combination in the NBA.”
  Barkley on Denver Nuggets: “We blame the coaches all the time and these players never take responsibility. It’s hard to lose an NBA game by 30 points. I feel bad because Brian is a really nice guy and a good coach. It’s a players league and sometimes the coach gets thrown under the bus.”

Smith on how the Nuggets lack effort: “They have to beat you one way.  If they don’t play you that way, they are going to lose.”

Visit the Turner Sports online press room for additional press materials; follow Turner Sports on Twitter at @TurnerSportsPR



Quotes From NFL Network’s ‘Super Bowl Live,’ ‘NFL Total Access’ & ‘Super Bowl Tonight’ — Thursday, January 29

NFL_Network_2012_LogoQuotes from Thursday’s Editions of Super Bowl Live, NFL Total Access & Super Bowl Tonight

“[Seahawks GM John Schneider] said the moment they traded Percy Harvin was really something that galvanized this team…So they took a leap and they admitted a bigtime mistake: the trade of Percy Harvin giving up a first rounder, paying him all that money and they decided to simply move on.” – Ian Rapoport on how the Percy Harvin trade changed the season for the Seattle Seahawks

“If [the Seattle Seahawks] don’t get pressure on [Tom] Brady, it’s going to be a long day because you just can’t matchup with [Rob Gronkowski] if Tom has time.” – Heath Evans on the Seattle Seahawks matching up with New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski

“[The Seattle Seahawks] go out there and they play hard and they finish. That’s what this team does is they finish.” – Michael Robinson on the Seattle Seahawks

“If [Marshawn Lynch] talked to the media, he wouldn’t be the back that he is today.” – Michael Robinson on Marshawn Lynch

“[Marshawn Lynch] is a fantastic performer and I guess he has to do what’s right for him. There are a lot of fans, including myself, we’d love to hear what he has to say. Until then we’ll just hope that he comes around.” – Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders on Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch

“Tom [Brady] is one of the best in this era, no question about it.” – Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

“[Matt] Forte is the best running back in the league.” – Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett on Matt Forte

“We’re very close. Our relationship is never going to change. That’s my little brother right there. I think the world of him and he thinks the world of me. We’ve been doing a lot of great things together over the course of the time we were at LSU, and now that we are in the NFL the sky is the limit for us.” – Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson on teammate Tyrann Mathieu

“I know my talents, I know how hard I play and I know what I bring to the table so I’m not worried about it and I don’t hear it.” – Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray on the rumors of the Cowboys bringing in a different running back and assuming he’ll have the same success

“If you ask me, I feel like [Peyton Manning] could still come back and play another year.” – Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas on Peyton Manning

“I would love to be back in Denver.” – Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas on his contract situation

“The only thing I listen to is what Chip [Kelly] decides and that’s all I care about.” – Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles on the trade rumors

On the following video clips from NFL AM, Super Bowl Live, NFL Total Access & Super Bowl Tonight are available for viewing:

- Terrell Davis Surprises Katy Perry with Girl Scout Cookies – NFL Network’s Terrell Davis surprises Katy Perry on Super Bowl Live:

- How Can the Seahawks Stop Gronk? – Host Amber Theoharis and analysts Heath Evans and Willie McGinest analyze what the Seahawks will need to do to stop Rob Gronkowski:

- Robinson: If Lynch Had Talked, He’d be a Different Back – Host Scott Hanson and analysts Steve Mariucci and Michael Robinson discuss Marshawn Lynch:

- Ryan Tannehill Joins Super Bowl Live – Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill joined Matt “Money” Smith and Dave Dameshek on Super Bowl Live:

- Sanders on Lynch: ‘He Has to do What he Believes is Best’ – Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders joined Michael Irvin on Super Bowl Live:

- Moon: Seattle Can Be Good For a Long Time – Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon joined Michael Irvin on Super Bowl Live:

- Bennett on Forte: ‘Best Running Back in the League’ – Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett joined Super Bowl Live:

- Is the Seahawks Defense the Best of All Time? – Host Marc Istook and analysts Jamie Dukes and Curtis Conway discuss the best defense of all time from the Social Media Command Center:

- Peterson on Mathieu: He’s My Little Brother – Arizona Cardinals Patrick Peterson joined Super Bowl Live:

- Murray: ‘I Know What I Bring to the Table’ – Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray joins Michael Irvin on Super Bowl Live:

- Aikman: I’m a Big Fan of Lynch and Wilson – NFL Hall of Fame member Troy Aikman joins Michael Irvin on Super Bowl Live:

- Montana: I’ve Liked Wilson from the Beginning – NFL Hall of Fame member Joe Montana joins Michael Irvin on Super Bowl Live:

- Thomas: ‘I Would Love to be Back in Denver’ – Denver Broncos wide receiver DeMaryius Thomas joins Michael Irvin on Super Bowl Live:

- Brees Joins the Social Media Command Center – New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees joins the Social Media Command Center:

- Green: Dalton Can’t Win by Himself – Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver AJ Green joins Michael Irvin on Super Bowl Live:

- Foles: My Teammates Believe in Me – Philadelphia Eagles Nick Foles joins Michael Irvin on Super Bowl Live:

- Snoop Dogg Joins NFL Total Access – Rapper Snoop Dogg joined NFL Total Access to preview Super Bowl XLIX:

- Drew Brees Joins NFL AM – New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees joins NFL AM:

- Blake Bortles Joins NFL AM – Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles joins NFL AM in Arizona:

Coming up on Friday, January 30

– The following guests will appear on NFL AM at 6:00 AM ET:

  • Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera
  • Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett
  • Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach
  • Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks
  • Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings
  • Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers
  • Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis
  • San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin
  • Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan
  • Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith

–  Super Bowl Live provides live coverage on NFL Network from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM ET. The following guests will appear:

  • San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York
  • Former St. Louis Rams wide receiver Torry Holt
  • New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson
  • Former New England Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch
  • Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett
  • New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham
  • Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton
  • Pittsburgh Steelers safety Will Allen
  • Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas
  • Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater
  • Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders

– From 1:00 – 4:00 PM ET, Super Bowl Live airs from the Fan Gallery at the Super Bowl Media Center in Arizona on, hosted by Matt “Money” Smith along with Dave Dameshek, Adam Rank and Molly Qerim. The following guests will appear:

  • Houston Texans running back Arian Foster
  • Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings
  • Former UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley
  • New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham
  • Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett
  • Former New England Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch
  • Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas
  • Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton
  • Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater

– At 7:00 PM ET, NFL Total Access airs from the NFL Experience and Super Bowl Central in Arizona with hosts Dan Hellie and Amber Theoharis, and analysts Willie McGinest, Heath Evans, LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Robinson, and NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy joins the show

– Break down Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks with Playbook Primetime: Super Bowl XLIX Preview at 8:00 PM ET. Sterling Sharpe, Shaun O’Hara and Brian Billick take viewers inside the matchup and lets you know who will win Super Bowl XLIX

– NFL Network’s series A Football Life continues with a two-part edition on Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath starting at 9:00 PM ET

ESPN’s Super Bowl XLIX Coverage for Friday

espn-nfl-liveHouston Texans’ J.J. Watt Joins Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic as Co-Host of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike; Cardinals QB Carson Palmer and Musician Lenny Kravitz on Early SportsCenter

ESPN’s coverage of Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona continues Friday, Jan. 30, from set locations at Scottsdale Fashion Square (7014-590 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale) and The McCormick Hotel in Scottsdale, site of the two-hour First Take (ESPN2, 8-10 a.m. MT) and His & Hers (ESPN2, 10-11 a.m.) programs.

Texans Pro Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt will join Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic as guest host at Scottsdale Fashion Square in the 6 a.m. MT hour of tomorrow’s Mike & Mike morning show (ESPN Radio and ESPN2).

The early SportsCenter will welcome Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (8:40 a.m.) and musician Lenny Kravitz (10:40), who will perform with Katy Perry during this weekend’s Super Bowl halftime, and ESPN’s Ron Jaworski will join Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon on Pardon the Interruption’s (3:30 p.m. MT, ESPN) Five Good Minutes segment for a Xs and Os preview of Super Bowl XLIX.

ESPN television and radio shows at Scottsdale Fashion Square are open for public viewing all week. Friday’s schedule:

Time (MT) Show Network(s)
4-8 a.m. Mike & Mike

Hosts: Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic

Guests: Texans DE J.J. Watt (6:00) and Fox Sports announcer Joe Buck (7:00)

8-11 a.m. SportsCenter

Hosts: Hannah Storm and Jay Crawford

ESPN Analysts: Herm Edwards; Ryan Clark (Redskins S); Merril Hoge; Ron Jaworski and NFL Insider Adam Schefter

Guests: Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (8:40); Saints TE Jimmy Graham (9:20); Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (9:40) and Musician Lenny Kravitz (10:40)

8-10 a.m. First Take (The McCormick Hotel in Scottsdale)

Host: Cari Champion; Lead Commentators: Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith

Guests: Bears TE Martellus Bennett (8:15); McCoy (8:30) and Hall of Fame NFL RB Eric Dickerson (9:00)

10-11 a.m. His & Hers (The McCormick Hotel in Scottsdale)

Hosts: Michael Smith and Jemele Hill

Guest: Graham (10:20)

8-11 a.m. The Herd with Colin Cowherd

Host: Colin Cowherd

Guests: Buffalo Bills new HC Rex Ryan (8:30); Palmer (9:15); ESPN’s Trent Dilfer (9:45); NFL Live’s Trey Wingo and Mark Schlereth (10:15)

11 a.m.-2 p.m. SVP & Russillo

Hosts: Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo

Guests: ESPN’s Tedy Bruschi (12:30) and Fox Sports NFL Analyst John Lynch (1:00)

1-2 p.m. NFL Insiders

Host: Suzy Kolber. Insiders: Adam Schefter, Mortensen and Bill Polian.

2-3 p.m. NFL Live presented by Golden Corral

Host: Trey Wingo. Analysts: Mark Schlereth and Tedy Bruschi.

3-3:30 p.m. Around the Horn

Panelist (from Scottsdale):’s Jackie MacMullan

3:30-4 p.m. PTI

Hosts: Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.

“Five Good Minutes” Guest: ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski

4-5 p.m. SportsCenter

Hosts: John Anderson and Lindsay Czarniak.

Analysts: Steve Young and Trent Dilfer

4-5 p.m. NFL Semanal

Hosts: Ciro Procuna. Analysts: Alvaro Martin, Raul Allegre, John Sutcliffe, Mauricio Pedroza and Pablo Viruega

ESPN in Latin America
5-8 p.m. Sedano & Stink

Hosts: Jorge Sedano and Schlereth.

ESPN Radio

Note: Commentator and guest schedules subject to change

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