New York – While much focus has been devoted to the weather at Super Bowl XLVIII, the first NFL championship game in the Super Bowl era played in a northern, open-air stadium, perhaps not enough attention has been placed on the football-rich tradition of the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area itself and its link to America’s strong passion for football. That changes when the FOX SUPER BOWL SUNDAY pregame show airs Sunday, Feb. 2 (2:00 – 6:00 PM ET).
FOX SUPER BOWL SUNDAY is the super-sized Super Bowl edition of FOX NFL SUNDAY, America’s highest-rated and most-watched NFL pregame show for 20 straight seasons. Co-hosts Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee and analysts Howie Long, Michael Strahan, Jimmy Johnson, along with NFL Insider Jay Glazer and others set the stage like no one else can in the hours directly leading up to kick-off. Included in the four-hour football extravaganza, the first bi-state Super Bowl pregame show which begins in New York’s Times Square and concludes in New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, are several compelling features and storylines that demonstrate how connected the nation’s No. 1 media market is to one of the nation’s top sports. While much is still being planned, highlights of what’s already on tap include:
– LOMBARDI – A Brooklyn native, the renowned head coach and general manager Vince Lombardi’s name is synonymous with passion for the game, respect from his players and winning on the gridiron. Rightfully, much attention is paid to legendary Lombardi’s success as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, guiding them to victory in Super Bowl I and II, but few outside the New York region recall his deep local roots, from his playing days at Fordham, to coaching at St. Cecilia’s in New Jersey and the Cadets at West Point, to the NFL sidelines in 1954 during the New York Giants’ mid-20th Century glory days. His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, hosts the feature on Lombardi, a man of faith who considered joining the priesthood early in his life and was laid to rest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.
– NEW YORK TITLE GAMES – The 1958 NFL Championship Game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants has been dubbed The Greatest Game Ever Played, and it’s credited with vaulting the NFL into the nation’s consciousness like never before. This game is the centerpiece of a feature dedicated to New York-based football title games with commentary from NFL Hall of Famers and players from past generations who recount their experiences playing for it all on the nation’s biggest stage.
– WICKED WEATHER – No one knows whether it will be 45 degrees with light winds or 10 degrees and snowing on Super Bowl Sunday, but while cold temperatures and snowy conditions could play a role in this year’s contest, many of the NFL’s most memorable games have been played in inclement weather. Stories of these unique and unforgettable games are packaged and told as never before.
– DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE - In a Super Bowl tradition that began in 2002, during the post-9/11 Super Bowl pregame, FOX Sports again pays tribute to America’s active military troops and veterans with a reading of the Declaration of Independence, the cornerstone document upon which America was built. An original musical composition entitled “Heart of Independence” underscores the reading of the document’s eloquent and enduring words, with contributions from prominent NFL owners, past and present NFL superstars including: Robert Kraft; Joe Andruzzi; Matt Chatham with members of the Boston Police Department; Chuck Bednarik; London Fletcher and Art Monk; John Mara; Steve Tisch and Woody Johnson; Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews; Chuck Pagano, Andrew Luck and Raymond Berry; Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas; Art Shell; Tony Gonzalez; JJ Watt, the Watt Family and the Houston Fire Dept.; and Adrian Peterson.
– SUMMERALL TRIBUTE – George Allen “Pat” Summerall, who passed away in April, was one of America’s most beloved broadcasters. Best known for his work first as an NFL analyst and then as a play-by-play announcer, his partnerships with Tom Brookshire and John Madden are legendary. FOX Sports spotlights Summerall’s on-field contributions as a member of the New York Giants in the 1950s and those he made in the broadcast booth. Twenty seasons ago, Summerall and Madden gave a fledgling NFL on FOX instant credibility with the public, so it is more than fitting that FOX Sports honors and remembers Summerall this day.
– RED CARPET – As we’ve come to know, the Super Bowl isn’t just about who’s playing, but also about who’s attending. As has become a FOX Sports custom, FOX SUPER BOWL SUNDAY covers the red carpet-arrival of the sports and entertainment celebrities attending Super Bowl XLVIII in a manner befitting a major Hollywood event. FOX NFL SUNDAY’s Michael Strahan and FOX SPORTS LIVE’s Charissa Thompson chat with the big name celebrities right outside MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, as they arrive for the big game. Strahan and Thompson also host the pregame musical performances carried throughout the show.
Once the game is underway, play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and analyst, NFL Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, television’s premier NFL broadcast team, call the action with Pam Oliver and Erin Andrews reporting from the sidelines. For Buck and Aikman, it is their fourth Super Bowl assignment, while Oliver is working her seventh, having patrolled the sidelines for the first six FOX Sports has carried. This is the first time Andrews has worked the Super Bowl for the broadcasting network. Rules and officiating expert Mike Pereira also is available in the booth during the game to offer insight into the controversial plays and penalties. At halftime, Menefee, Bradshaw, Long, Strahan and Johnson have first-half highlights and commentary before turning it over to musical pop sensation Bruno Mars, who headlines the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show with special guest The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Once a Super Bowl champion is crowned, Bradshaw guides the postgame festivities as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell presents the Lombardi Trophy to the winning team at MetLife Stadium’s 50-yard line. Then, just as the day began, Menefee, Bradshaw, Long, Strahan and Johnson close the big day with final thoughts.
The FOX SUPER BOWL SUNDAY pregame, halftime and postgame coverage is produced by Bill Richards and directed by Stephanie Medina. FOX Sports’ exclusive game coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII is produced by Richie Zyontz and directed by Rich Russo. David Neal is Coordinating Producer, Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX. John Entz is Executive Producer, FOX Sports. Eric Shanks is President, COO and Executive Producer of FOX Sports
– FOX SPORTS –