“INSIDE THE NFL” FROM SUPER BOWL XLIII
Warren Sapp on a Tour of Tampa; Phil Simms on Kurt Warner’s Gloves and Lombardi’s Report from Around the League
Special Guests Mike Ditka, Conrad Dobler and Larry Fitzgerald, Sr. on Set
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 – at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Only On SHOWTIME
NEW YORK (Jan 28, 2009)—INSIDE THE NFL on SHOWTIME travels to Tampa, Fla., this week for coverage of Super Bowl XLIII – Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The show originates from its set at the NFL Experience.
Mike Ditka and Conrad Dobler join host James Brown and analyst Cris Collinsworth on set to discuss Gridiron Greats Retired Players Fund and Larry Fitzgerald, Sr., reporter from the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and father of Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Jr., talks about his son’s big day and his journalistic integrity.
Phil Simms hits the field to breakdown Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner’s use of a glove on his throwing hand.
Plus SHOWTIME analyst Warren Sapp, and former Buccaneer, hits the road to tour all of Tampa’s hot spots. In addition, INSIDE THE NFL provides detailed analysis of the Super Bowl XLIII match-up between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers including reports from Media Day with Jenn Brown.
Host Brown anchors INSIDE THE NFL on SHOWTIME with All Pro NFL greats Collinsworth, Simms and Sapp serving as expert analysts. INSIDE THE NFL is being produced by CBS Sports and NFL Films with new shows airing on SHOWTIME every Wednesday during the NFL season through February 11, 2009. The executive producers are Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports, and NFL Films President Steve Sabol.
# # #
NEWS FROM INSIDE THE NFL INSIDER MICHAEL LOMBARDI
LOMBARDI: LT (LaDainian Tomlinson) is in a particular situation out there (in San Diego). The Chargers want to insist on him taking a pay cut from 6 million down to 4 million. They’re going to hold him to the fire and make sure he does that. They feel like they can sign Darren Sproles. He’s going to be the back of their future and unless LT takes a pay cut, he won’t be there.
(On Jets and new coach Rex Ryan interested in Brett Favre returning to the team)
LOMBARDI: I think, guys, that actions speak louder than words. And I think if you get a new coach the first thing you would think that the new coach would call you on the phone or at least fly to Mississippi and have a sit down with you. That has not happened. Rex Ryan said he would like to have Brett Favre back but he has shown no impetus to go to Mississippi to sit down and talk with him.
PHIL SIMMS DEMONSTRATION OF KURT WARNER’S THROWING GLOVES
(On what the gloves do for Warner)
SIMMS: When you put them on, you right away you just go, ‘Wow, I feel pretty good’…What it has done for Kurt Warner, it has eliminated a lot of issues, gripping the football too hard, letting it get away from you. It just gives him confidence in what he is doing throwing the football and his location has been spectacular.
As I throw these footballs it is amazing…If I was playing again, I would have to think about it because it does give you tremendous security, even handing the football off to the running backs in a tight situation. When guys come in, guys like Warren…just think of the extra protection I have when they try to strip the football.
(On Cardinals beating the Steelers defense)
COLLINSWORTH: If they’re going to win this game, Kurt Warner is going to have to be the MVP, the best player, and play one of the best games of his life.
INTERVIEW WITH MIKE DITKA AND CONRAD DOBLER
(On the Gridiron Greats Retired Players Fund)
DITKA: We have a group called the Gridiron Greats. It’s an offspring of a thing I did years ago at a golf tournament called the Hall of Fame Golf Tournament to raise money for some guys who needed help… And, I am not blaming the league and I am not blaming the players association. But they need help. They were part of this league. They helped make this league what it is and they have been ignored.
(On potential of every retired player coming for “hand-outs”)
DOBLER: Everyone always thinks that way… but retired players are not asking for handouts. We are not asking for something as a gift. I think we put the time in…. There is a simple solution. If they took care of the pension plan, 95% of the retired players could afford it.
(On eligibility for disability)
DOBLER: Unless you are on a gurney or blowing through a tube, the possibility of you ever getting disability is very slim. In fact, I believe there are only 118 players in the entire history of the NFL who have ever gotten total and permanent disability.
DITKA: You’ve got a panel of six people, three from the NFL owners and three from the NFL Players Association. The panel that rules on the disability of a former NFL player should strictly be independent physicians, period, independent. Not team physicians, not league physicians. Now, if they rule and say that the disability was not caused from football, fine. Then you’ve got to live with it. But you can’t stack the deck and say, “Ok, you’re not disabled from football.”
COLLINSWORTH: The current players don’t understand that they are going to be a former player at some point and they’re going to be… walking around with a cane and with your limp. It’s part of the process. And it’s really unfortunate because even if they don’t care about you, or you, or me, or anybody else, that they have to see themselves where they’re going to be in 25-30 years. And if it’s not funded for us, it won’t be funded for them.
DITKA: It’s crazy. Just take care of it. Fix it. It can be fixed. Nobody’s going to miss it. The owners can’t miss it. The Players Association won’t miss it. The present players will not be hurt at all by it. Take care of these guys. There’s not that many of them… Take care of them and I’ll go away. I don’t want to do this stuff.
Larry Fitzgerald, Sr.
(On being critical of his son’s play in newspaper columns)
FITZGERALD: I have been critical of his play and he knows about it. The thing about it is I’ve been in this position before. I’ve been covering him since he was 10 years old. I’ve seen him progress, develop and turn into a star.
(On covering his son on the biggest stage of the sport)
FITZGERALD: I am enjoying it. It’s really been something that you have got to pinch yourself and say how could this possibly happen. After all these years since 1981 covering the Super Bowl and now my son is going to be playing in it. And some people will challenge you on whether or not you can be objective. Or whether or not you are going to be sitting there with a half-a-father’s hat on or half-a-journalists hat on, but I am a father and I am always going to be a father, but I am there to do a job and I am going to do it.