NBC Sports held a major media conference call on Wednesday to tout its Sunday Super Bowl pregame show. It will last six hours — twice as long as the game itself — and will be hosted by Bob Costas, unless he suddenly is knocked off the air with viral conjunctivitis (pink eye) like he was for a week during the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The pregame show has grown to be as popular as the game itself, according to a recent national poll of current and former pregame-show producers.
NBC’s marathon preamble will include (what follows is all true) interviews with President Barack Obama and halftime performer Katy Perry; skaters Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski interviewing celebrities; live musical performances; nostalgic visits to six players’ hometowns; game predictions by puppies; a feature on the only three fans to have attended every Super Bowl; a piece on Super Bowl wives; a remembrance of hero Pat Tillman that is sure to include softly tinkling pianos; and, of course, Brian Williams driving a race car.
Cannot confirm there also will be an exclusive interview with a Wilson football on how it feels to be deflated.
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They would have included stuff about the Seahawks and Patriots — you know, the actual game — but they ran out of time.
NBC’s 10 hours of Sunday Super Bowl coverage in all, by the numbers: 500 network employees on-site, 100 microphones, 82 cameras, 33 miles of cable and approximately 300 million Americans ignoring most or all of the preamble because all they care about is the damned game.
▪ Major Super Bowl news broke Wednesday with reports Tom Brady has a cold. Fortunately, the NFL agreed to postpone the game indefinitely.
▪ Brady Sr. predicted in an interview his son’s time with the Patriots would “end badly,” because Tom, 37, will want to keep playing beyond the club’s wishes. Dadgate!
▪ NFL held a Security News Briefing for the media Wednesday. However, for security reasons, the site of the meeting was kept secret and so no media attended.
▪ A petition at change.org titled, “Immediately disqualify Patriots and replay AFC Championship between Colts and Ravens” had 63,000 signatures by Wednesday. Smirk plans a new petition: “Immediately eliminate pointless, silly petitions.”
▪ Ecuador is spending $3.8 million to be first foreign country to have a tourism ad play during Super Bowl. As a gesture of reciprocity, the NFL quietly announced that next season’s Super Bowl would be played on the Galapagos Islands.
▪ As if to say, “Hey, sorry about that whole ‘Redskins’ thing!’ official NFL events beginning Thursday include a festival by the Arizona American Indian Tourism Association.
▪ Just ate a bag of Skittles. Made me feel really surly and rude and not want to answer even the simplest question.
▪ Boston ranks as the ninth-best city for football fans, edging Seattle (13th), according to ranking of 142 U.S. cities by WalletHub, a personal finance social media site. As for Miami? Hold up those giant foam fingers and start a chant: “We’re No. 35!”
▪ NFL held its kids’ flag-football championships in Phoenix and winners included the Ryan Football team from Miami in the age 9-10 division. Cannot confirm the NFL is interested in flag football because — thanks to concussions and rules changes mandating less violence — someday the NFL will BE flag football.
▪ GoDaddy pulled its Super Bowl ad after a preview online caused a public backlash. Ad depicts a lost puppy finding his way back home only to be immediately sold by his owner. Outraged animal-rights groups apparently were unaware that — spoiler alert! — actors were involved and no puppy actually was sold.
▪ Dueling propaganda: NFL’s “No More” anti-domestic violence PSA will air during Super Bowl. Not to be outdone, the women’s advocacy group UltraViolet will have four #GoodellMustGo rolling billboards riding around Phoenix starting Thursday.
▪ No-duh headline of the day, courtesy ABC News: “Super Bowl parties hike calorie counts.”
▪ Finally, Showtime’s Inside the NFL had a Deflategate-inspired feature on how NFL footballs are made. What they didn’t tell you but Smirk will: Wilson harvests 10 footballs on average from the hide of one adult cow, and that cow leaves behind three mewling, doe-eyed calves who never get over the pain of being suddenly orphaned.