NFC Divisional Playoff Doubleheader Weekend on FOX
Packers Battle 49ers in San Francisco Saturday – Coverage at 7:30 PM ET
Seahawks & Falcons Square-Off at Georgia Dome Sunday – Coverage at 12:00 PM ET
Aikman & Johnson Breakdown Playoff Picture
NFL on FOX Playoff Press Call Quotes & Replay Info
McCarver: No Controversy in Baseball Hall of Fame Voting, Most Expected This
NFL ON FOX: NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS – The NFL on FOX rolls into the divisional weekend with two exciting matchups. On Saturday, Jan. 12 (8:00 PM ET), quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and the high-powered Packers travel out west to take on Colin Kaepernick, Patrick Willis and the hard-hitting 49ers. Lead NFL on FOX broadcast crew of Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver are joined by Erin Andrews to call the action from Candlestick Park.
On Sunday, Jan. 13 (1:00 PM ET), FOX’s playoff coverage shifts south to Atlanta as Matt Ryan and the top-seeded Falcons look to defend their home turf against Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks. Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick and Laura Okmin are joined by Chris Myers to call the action from the Georgia Dome.
FOX NFL SUNDAY – NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF EDITIONS
Coverage begins on Saturday at 7:30 PM ET and Sunday at 12:00 PM ET with America’s No. 1 pregame show, FOX NFL SUNDAY. On Saturday’s FOX NFL pregame show, two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks talk playoffs as Terry Bradshaw sits down with the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers. Also, reporter Andrews talks with Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree to see how the 49ers plan to get one step further than last year and make it to the Super Bowl. Jaime Maggio provides a live report from Denver on the Ravens-Broncos matchup.
On Sunday’s FOX NFL pregame show, Myers talks with Seattle’s Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman and Head Coach Pete Carroll as they head to Atlanta. Also, we hear from the Falcons’ Matt Ryan, head coach Mike Smith and Sean Weatherspoon on their recent playoff losses and their “do or die” stakes as they face the Seahawks. John Lynch provides a live report and preview from Foxborough on the Texans-Patriots matchup.
Both special FOX NFL pregame programs feature Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee co-hosting the Emmy Award-winning program with analysis from Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson. NFL Insider Jay Glazer breaks the latest league news and scoops from the FOX NFL SUNDAY studio while NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira discusses the week’s important impactful calls and points of emphasis in officiating. Comedic prognosticator Rob Riggle provides his playoff picks segment.
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FOX SPORTS NQ&A – PAGE 2
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Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012
FOX NFL SPECIAL 7:30 PM ET
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
Candlestick Park – San Francisco, CA
Sunday, Jan. 13, 2012
FOX NFL SPECIAL 12:00 PM ET
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons
Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA
AIKMAN, JOHNSON & SHANKS PREVIEW 2013 PLAYOFF PICTURE – NFL on FOX lead analyst and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach Jimmy Johnson and FOX Sports Media Group Co-President & CEO Eric Shanks previewed the Divisional Playoff weekend in a conference call earlier today. Below are transcribed highlights of today’s call.
Aikman on 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick: “What has impressed me with him, and a lot of other young quarterbacks this season, is the way he has protected the ball. He’s doing all the right things, moving around in the pocket and protecting the ball like you’d expect him to do.”
Johnson on quarterbacks being drafted into the league now versus several years ago: “A lot of coaches have had to change their way of thinking over the last three or four years because of the rule changes and the players coming in. Before, you always aimed to run the football and play defense. Now, the only thing that matters is if you get a great quarterback. If you have a great quarterback, regardless of what you do with the rest of your football team you have a shot.”
Aikman on the 49ers head coach naming quarterback Colin Kaepernick the starter over Alex Smith during the regular season: “I applauded Jim Harbaugh for making the decision when he did because it wasn’t an easy decision to make. The easy thing to do would have been to go back to Alex Smith and it wouldn’t have necessarily been the wrong decision because Alex was playing really good football. In the back of your mind as the coach, if you think ‘this gives our team the best chance to win’ then you have to do that.”
Aikman on the importance of the quarterback position in today’s game: “You don’t need to look any further than at the guys that came in this year; Russell Wilson, RGIII, Andrew Luck and last year Cam Newton. There seems to be an influx of these young, talented guys and you still have the old guard of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. It’s more of a quarterback league than at any other time. I marvel at how prepared these guys are. Not only on the field, but the exposure they get off it. Whether it’s through social networks or different platforms, they are given the opportunity to talk to the press and are much more well-rounded and prepared for all that comes with the scrutiny of the position than ever before. If you’re on Park Avenue in New York, you’re pretty happy with the new representatives that will be the ambassadors for the league for the years to come.”
Johnson on Aaron Rodger’s play this season: “He’s had an absolutely fabulous year. As far as taking all of those sacks and being ready for the playoffs; that was exactly my thinking when I had Troy in there as a rookie and he was sacked 11 times in one game. It toughened him up for our Super Bowl runs.”
Aikman on Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll naming Russell Wilson the Week 1 starter despite giving a big contract to Matt Flynn in the offseason: “The willingness to go with the rookie right from the start and knowing that there are usually some real growing pains that come with that, said a lot about the organization. For him to go on and do what he’s done was really impressive to me. This wasn’t Andrew Luck, this wasn’t Robert Griffin III. This was a third round pick that overcame tremendous odds to be afforded the opportunity to play in the first game of the season. Then he plays well. When I met him, I got it. Now I understand it. This guy is the real deal. Now they have that guy they can build everything around. Seattle is going to be good for a long time.”
MCCARVER: NO CONTROVERSY IN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME VOTING. IT WAS EXPECTED MLB on FOX lead analyst and Ford C. Frick award recipient Tim McCarver joined Fox Sports Radio’s “Loose Cannons” to discuss today’s news that no baseball player was voted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame this year due to, in some cases, suspected performance enhancing drug use. “It illustrates the power of suspicion,” said McCarver. “Even guys who aren’t remotely suspected like Jack Morris and Craig Biggio, fall under the same umbrella as the guys like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and that’s unfair but that’s the way things are. This is not a controversy to me because what happened was expected to happen.” Co-host Steve Hartman then noted that 17 names on this year’s list will be back on the ballot next year plus names like Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, and Mike Mussina. Current Hall of Fame voting rules state that voters can only cast ballots for up to ten nominees. To Hartman’s point McCarver added, “It’s going to be a quagmire. If so many guys are eligible perhaps only those guys will be voted for and guys like Clemens and Bonds will be not even considered.”
JAY GLAZER AND TOP UFC TV ANALYSTS REVEAL JOB CHALLENGES:In a revealing and insightful discussion, Jay Glazer interviews the top UFC TV analysts about their fights and how fighters feel about their critiques in the FUEL TV original UFC ROUNDTABLE: THE ANALYSTSairing Friday, January 11 (10:00 PM ET). Current and former UFC fighters including Kenny Florian (UFC TONIGHT analyst), UFC Light Heavyweight Brian Stann (UFC ON FOX/UFC ON FUEL TV analyst), former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans (UFC ON FUEL TV analyst), and UFC Light Heavyweight number-one contender Chael Sonnen (UFC ON FUEL TV analyst) discuss balancing careers as fighters while serving as analysts for UFC shows across FUEL TV, FX and FOX Sports in a candid, light-hearted and humorous conversation. Evans admits that being in front of TV cameras can be as nerve-wracking as stepping into the Octagon: “The first chance I got to work as an analyst, I was like, ‘it looks so easy,’ but when I got in front of the cameras the words just didn’t come out. I started stuttering. I had all kinds of speech impediments I didn’t even know I had.”