The average Super Bowl preview show tends to be a mixture of soft features, analysis and — let’s face it — a lot of filler.
NBC has six hours to kill this year. Six. Hours.
But this also wasn’t your average NFL season and it certainly isn’t your average Super Bowl. A conference call Wednesday with NBC executives, broadcasters and analysts illustrated how the pregame show will reflect that.
• Whether you’re tired of the Patriots’ ball-deflating story or you can’t get enough, there’s no denying it’s a story. Sam Flood, NBC’s Executive Producer for the Super Bowl pregame show, said the network won’t shy away from covering it.
“You prepare for every story. This is a unique one and obviously impacts that way we’re able to do the show because we have to touch it throughout the show,” Flood said. “It’s a relevant topic. We’ll adjust. I think more information will come out as we get closer to the game.”
Included in that is actual coverage of the Super Bowl footballs.
“Suddenly the footballs in this game are a story,” Flood said. “In another game, you don’t think about the footballs. Where are they before the game? How are they brought onto the field? How are these footballs different from the footballs used during a regular-season or playoff game?”
• Much has been made of Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and his media appearances this week, at which he has repeated some form of “I’m here so I won’t get fined” in response to questions.
Rodney Harrison, a former player and current NBC analyst who will work the pregame show, had this to say about Lynch’s strategy:
“It’s very frustrating to me when you have the type of opportunity he has, to not utilize it. … When you play in the National Football League, it’s not just about breaking tackles and scoring touchdowns. It’s about representing your culture and representing everything people before you worked for and struggled so you could have certain opportunities.”
• While it is mandated that players, including Lynch, speak to the media leading up to the Super Bowl, Commissioner Roger Goodell is apparently under no such obligation. Seahawks corner Richard Sherman brought up the double-standard earlier this week.
Flood confirmed that NBC had put in a request to have Goodell on the pregame show for an interview. “Right now it does not look like it’s going to happen,” Flood said.