“I talk with Drew and tell him things that Rivers is working on, so that’s awesome, because he knows a thing or two about football.” – Gleason on conversations with Drew Brees, who coaches his son’s flag football team
Saints Host Falcons in NFC South Showdown in Sunday Night Football “Thanksgiving Special;” Coverage on Thursday Begins at 8 p.m. ET on NBC
Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy & Rodney Harrison Shift from Football Night in America to Booth to Call Falcons-Saints
STAMFORD, Conn. – November 21, 2018 – NBC Sports’ Thanksgiving night coverage of the NFC South matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons will include a halftime feature in which Football Morning in America columnist Peter King interviews former Saints safety Steve Gleason, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011 and notably blocked a punt as a member of the Saints in their first game back at the Superdome in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina.
King traveled to New Orleans and spoke with Gleason and his wife, Michel, about their newborn daughter, Gray. King also spent time with Gleason at the Saints practice facility watching his son, Rivers, practice with his flag football team, which is coached by Drew Brees. The feature also highlights Gleason’s recent trip to Seattle for the inaugural Game Changer Gala, which raised more than $3 million dollars to fund ALS research and technology.
Below are excerpts from King’s conversation with Gleason and his wife, Michel. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview from NBC Sports’ Thanksgiving night halftime coverage.”
Gleason on watching his son Rivers at flag football practice: “Parents get to yell and provide encouragement to their kids, but I don’t get to do much of that, which can be frustrating. I talk with Drew and tell him things Rivers is working on, so that’s awesome, because he knows a thing or two about football.”
King: “I would think that you probably would have really loved have been a coach of your son, and maybe your daughter as well.”
Gleason: “Yeah. I’m a coach in my own way. Not necessarily in the typical sense, but I think that in many ways, the things I’m coaching will be more valuable to Rivers and Gray.”
NBC Sports’ holiday week NFL coverage kicks off this Thursday with a special Thanksgiving night matchup between the Falcons and Saints from Mercedes-Benz Superdome, with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Tony Dungy (analyst) and Rodney Harrison (analyst) shift from Football Night in America – the most-watched weekly studio show in sports for 13 years running – into the broadcast booth to call Falcons-Saints. Two-time Emmy Award-winning reporter Michele Tafoya will report from the sidelines in New Orleans, and will award the traditional postgame turkey legs and game balls.
New Orleans-based master chef Emeril Lagasse and famed voodoo rocker Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews headline NBC Sports’ Thanksgiving night show open. Set at Emeril’s New Orleans, the special show open is highlighted by Emeril setting the table for Falcons-Saints by creating NFL-themed fare that could only be part of a Thanksgiving feast in the Big Easy. And as dinner is being prepared, Trombone Shorty gets into the act with his distinctive brand of New Orleans music capped by his own rendition of the Sunday Night Football theme song backed by New Breed Brass Band. Emeril will also prepare the traditional turkey that the winning team will enjoy postgame on the field. Click here for more information.