In fairness to all the free publicity I'm going to be giving NBC in Sunday's newspaper, I should point out that ESPN has a long pregame show of its own before Super Bowl XLVI, including some stuff that sounds potentially worthwhile.
Here ya go, Bristol Stompers. You're welcome!
Sunday NFL Countdown will feature celebrity guest appearances at the Pan Am Plaza, including:
11:45 a.m. – Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, stars of the upcoming movie "That’s My Boy" will be on-set (Jets head coach Rex Ryan made a cameo appearance in the movie);
1:55 p.m. – IZOD IndyCar driver Graham Rahal will drive through downtown Indianapolis to deliver the Super Bowl XLVI picks to the set.
Planned Countdown features, in order of timing by quarter-hour (all times subject to change):
Bill Parcells on the Super Bowl coaches (10:30 a.m.)
Two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Parcells will offer his unique insight on this year’s Super Bowl coaches – Bill Belichick (Patriots) and Tom Coughlin (Giants) – both of whom he mentored and had on his former Giants staff.
Quarterback Eli Manning’s Elusiveness (11 a.m.)
Though quarterback Eli Manning has managed to trip, stumble and spin his way into making spectacular plays for his team this season, elusive is not the first word that comes to mind when describing the Giants signal-caller. While his inside-the-pocket play may not be pretty, Manning's unique ability to escape pressure has played a huge part in the Giants success this season. Nichols reports on the elusive side of Eli.
Chris and LaKeasha Draft (11:30 a.m.)
LaKeasha Draft, the 38 year-old wife of former NFL linebacker Chris Draft, lost her life to lung cancer one month after they were married last December. Reporter Jeremy Schaap tells the story of courage and true love shared by a dying wife and her loving husband, who played 12 years in the NFL.
Peyton Manning Conversation (12 p.m.)
In the first television interview this week after considerable recent speculation about his future, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning talks to NFL Live host Trey Wingo. He discusses his health, his future, and his younger brother Eli’s Super Bowl appearance this weekend in Indianapolis.
Introduced as a Team (12 p.m.)
Flashy, individual player introductions of high-profile players such as Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, and Ray Lewis had been part of the Super Bowl pre-game spectacle until Super Bowl XXXVI in 2001 when the New England Patriots demanded to be introduced as a team. Bruschi, a member of that first Patriots’ Super Bowl-winning team, reports how a united group of players changed a Super Bowl tradition.
Bill Belichick Conversation (12:15 p.m.)
In Bill Belichick’s 12 seasons as head coach, the Patriots have won three Super Bowls, gone undefeated in the regular season, and have set a number of offensive records. Countdown’s Keyshawn Johnson sits for a one-on-one interview where Belichick discusses his legacy as a five-time Super Bowl winner, quarterback Tom Brady, and New England’s 31st-ranked defense.
Tim Tebow Conversation (12:30 p.m.)
Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow became the season’s biggest story on the strength of an 8-5 record, turning the team’s 1-4 start into a playoff berth and Wild Card win at home over the favored Steelers. Tebow sits for an extensive conversation with ESPN’s Hannah Storm where he addresses the season, his performance and popularity.
“All In” (1 p.m.)
After 14 games the Giants were sitting at 7-7 and staring at the possibility of yet another late-season collapse. Then, a speech delivered by a local high school teacher during a chapel service on Friday night before their game against the Jets, changed the course of the season. In that speech, the speaker told them that in order to be committed to something you have to be “All In.” The last two words have become the team’s battle cry as the Giants have now won five straight games on their way to the Super Bowl, reports Rick Reilly.
Mayne Event – Motherly Love (1:15 p.m.)
Like most NFL players, Giants defensive end Dave Tollefson gets pumped up for battle by receiving a pregame speech. Unlike most NFL players, that speech comes in the form of an obscenity laced phone call from his mother. In a special Super Bowl edition of “Mayne Event,” Kenny Mayne goes behind the scenes to capture Tollefson's unique ritual and examines the impact it has had on the player’s Super Bowl preparations in Indy.
Wide Receiver Demo (1:15 p.m.)
ESPN’s trio of former NFL receivers – Carter, Johnson and Hall of Famer Rice – discuss the pass catchers who will have the biggest impact on Sunday’s game in a demo field segment.
Tedy Bruschi and Antonio Pierce On-Set (1:30 p.m.)
The day their former teams renew their Super Bowl rivalry, ESPN analysts Bruschi and Pierce – former linebackers for the Patriots and Giants, respectively -- discuss this year’s matchup and the experience of playing in Super Bowl XLII when New York upset previously unbeaten New England.
Tom Brady Super Bowl Soundtracks (1:30 p.m.)
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will lead his team to its fifth Super Bowl Sunday. In “Soundtracks,” Countdown features some of the best in-game audio of Brady from his past four Super Bowls.
Super Bowl Edition of C’mon Man (1:30 p.m.)
The Countdown crew offers a special edition of its popular weekly Monday Night Countdown segment C’Mon Man.