In-depth interviews with Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Ndamukong Suh and Jim Irsay; Airs Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Before the 2011 NFL season culminates with Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, SportsCenter Special: NFL Face to Face with Hannah Storm (Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2) will highlight some of the biggest newsmakers of the year in pro football. The one-hour special’s long-format interviews will offer a personal look inside some of the sport’s biggest stars, as well as the team owner hosting Super Bowl XLVI, who is also facing the biggest decision of the NFL offseason:
- Aaron Rodgers – The Green Bay Packers star quarterback and favorite for the 2011 NFL MVP takes Storm to historic Lambeau Field and to the local restaurant where he has eaten every week since his rookie season. During their far-ranging conversation, Rodgers discusses how his life has changed since last year’s Super Bowl title, how he handled the Brett Favre transition, his pranks, his personal life and what he wants his legacy to be.
- Cam Newton – The Carolina Panthers quarterback and leading candidate for NFL Rookie of the Year in his only national television interview of the season visits Welcome All Park in the Atlanta area where he played football during his childhood. Newton talks about the difficulties he encountered this season and apologizes for his behavior after a loss to the divisional rival Falcons, his hometown team. He also discusses at length the criticism aimed at him prior to the 2011 NFL Draft, as well as the pay-for-play investigation of his father during his final season at Auburn.
- Ndamukong Suh – The Detroit Lions dominating defensive lineman tours his alma mater, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with Storm, where he shows her the weight room facility he funded. In the only in-depth one-on-one interview since his Thanksgiving Day stomping incident, Suh discusses what happened in detail that day and in other incidents involving Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler. He speaks openly about his private meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and addresses the criticism directed towards him. He talks about being labeled ‘the NFL’s dirtiest player’ and how he plans to change that image by bringing the Lions back to prominence and by continuing to be among the most charitable athletes in sports.
- Jim Irsay – In a rare sit-down, the Colts owner and CEO shares his personal collection with Storm, which is on display at the Indiana State Museum through Super Bowl. Items include Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” scroll and a collection of rare guitars – including one given to him by Steve Stills that he plays a rendition of Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page.” The outspoken Irsay talks about the franchise’s decisions regarding Peyton Manning’s future and how the team will handle the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. He also delves into his often painful childhood, the relationship with his father, Bob Irsay, and his own battle with addiction.
“This is a project I’m very passionate about and one I’ve wanted to do for several years; it’s a classic format that offers fans a more intimate look at their favorite sports stars beyond the statistics and labels that are often used to define them,” said Storm. “It was revealing to see some of the biggest names in the NFL open themselves up, both in our interviews and by taking our ESPN cameras to places that were very personal to them. I think that viewers will walk away understanding how complex and fascinating each of these highly accomplished four men are.”
– 30 –