With so many different networks trying to grab our attention this week – clear winner, of course, has been the OCNN – it's impossible to know what to watch on Sunday. Sure we'll all tune to CBS for the game, but what about all those hours between getting out of bed and gametime?
The NFL Network has an interesting lead up to the game. NFL Total Access is on at 6:30 a.m. ET, which is likely a replay of Saturday's coverage, followed by Playbook Saturday, shown on Sunday. The real coverage for NFLN starts at 9 a.m. with NFL Gameday Morning. Now, the Gameday Morning crew looks to be covering the entire day with one long show, whipping around from set to stadium to team hotel to film rooms and everywhere in between. The next listing on the NFLN schedule isn't until 5:30 p.m., with the "2009 Cowboys Cheerleaders" show. If you really don't like the pregame introductions, I guess that show is for you. Just don't forget to click back over for the 6:28 p.m. kickoff.
After the game, NFLN has Gameday Final with Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Steve Mariucci and, I'm sure, a host of others talking about the game and cutting to interviews and press conferences.
ESPN has coverage starting at 10 a.m. with their cast of more than 15 different on-air people, from Chris Berman and his gang to the MNF guys to reporters at both hotels up until the teams leave for the stadium, ESPN really does try and have everything covered. The ESPN coverage actually starts even earlier than that, with the NFL Matchup show running at 6:30 a.m., the Sports Reporters live from Miami at 8:30 a.m. and copious amounts of SportsCenter throughout the morning.
ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown runs until 2 p.m. when CBS begins their coverage in earnest. ESPN also has their own postgame coverage as soon as the game ends.
At Noon, CBS will run Road to the Super Bowl, which is a recap of the 2009 season, produced by NFL Films. And they do mean Films:
â‡¥Culled by NFL Films producers from more than 1.7 million feet of game footage to 980 feet, the one-hour special also includes audio from more than 400 hours captured from 133 exclusive coach and player on-field wirings.At 1 p.m., CBS will show the Phil Simms All-Iron Team, which I guess is a better idea than FOX doing red-carpet pregame lead-in hosted by Ryan Seacrest, but not by much. The show will have features on Simms' All-Time Super Bowl team, including Miami Dolphin Jake Scott's first interview on TV in two decades, as well as a feature on Buddy Ryan. I really hope Simms tries to hand Ryan one of those small clothes iron-shaped trophies just to see if the old coach smashes it into bits for not being tough enough.
The real coverage starts at 2 p.m. with James Brown, Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher with a host of others, including Katie Couric, contributing to the pregame show. Over/Under on the number of references by Esiason to Marino for never winning a Super Bowl – "Drew Brees needs to know that he may never get another chance to win this game, right Dan?" – set at three.
Interesting that CBS has sold their pregame show in blocks this year, almost like an international soccer match:
â‡¥Sponsors of the pre-game show include: Ritz (2-3 p.m., ET); Doritos (3-3:30 p.m., ET); Monster.com (3:30-4 p.m., ET); Pizza Hut (4-5 p.m., ET); Callaway (5-5:30 p.m., ET) and Vizio (5:30-6 p.m., ET).CBS then has the Kick-off Show at 6 p.m., which is just another way for them to sell more sponsorships, this time to Hyundai.
Oh, and for those who aren't interested in all football all the time on Sunday, you can always turn over to Animal Planet, where they'll be running the sixth-annual Puppy Bowl from 3-5 p.m. It won't be the same without Harry Kalas narrating, but it's still cute puppies on a football field to somewhat hilarious returns.
Super Bowl – 6:28 PM
Jim Nantz is calling just his second Super Bowl game, with the other coming the last time the Colts were in the game in 2007. Simms is doing his sixth Super Bowl, the fourth for CBS. Steve Tasker and Solomon Wilcots will handle the sidelines.
The radio booth for this game might be, without hyperbole, the best booth in the business. Marv Albert, Mark Malone and Esiason – toggling between his TV and radio responsibilities – will be in the booth, with James Lofton down on the sidelines. With no disrespect to Nantz and Simms, who do a capable job, this might be one of those TV sound down-radio up situations.
And there's no reason to show this video other than the fact that it’s the greatest Super Bowl-related video ever. Enjoy the game.â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.