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Phil Simms, Jim Nantz enjoyed calling 30 NFL games this season

CBS Sports announcers Jim Nantz, left, and Phil

CBS Sports announcers Jim Nantz, left, and Phil Simms speak with the media at a CBS Super Bowl XLVII broadcasters press conference at the New Orleans Convention Center on Jan. 29, 2013. Credit: Getty

Sunday's AFC Championship Game will mark the end of an unprecedented road this season for CBS' lead NFL announcing team, which will work its 30th game when the Colts visit the Patriots.

The marathon is a function of the new Thursday night slate CBS shared with the NFL Network, requiring Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and friends to double up many weeks with a Thursday game and another on Sunday.

Not that anyone is complaining.

"I loved it," Nantz said. "It was exhilarating."

Said Simms, "I found it kind of fun, and when I was tired it would always leave me the day of the game because it's almost like being a player: You were excited you were going to get a chance to talk about football that night."

The NFL has an option to partner with CBS again in 2015 or re-open the Thursday night package to other bidders. No announcement has been made, but the crew wants another turn.

"It's not easy, but it's not [operating] heavy machinery," Nantz said. "I loved it and would love to have the chance to do it again . . . We'd take it again in a minute. I hope there are more chances to come, I really do."

Sean McManus, CBS Sports' chairman, said after the initial meeting to discuss logistics for this season, everyone agreed it would not be an easy task. But he told the group, "This is a really, really good problem to have, and if we didn't have this problem somebody else would and this is a much, much better alternative."

Simms said the only thing he found difficult about the new schedule was the travel, not the preparation.

"I was able to get everything I wanted to get done for every single week this year," he said. "All of the coaches and players are very courteous to us give us all the time we need.

"I was happy with it. Most of all, going into the games I thought Jim and I would look at each and say, 'Wow, we're really ready to do this.'"

Nantz said that while Simms' preparation focuses primarily on video study, his is centered on reading hundreds of pages of material about the teams involved. But he didn't mind, because "you're reading about something you enjoy."

"How hard can it be when you're sitting at a big game not once a week but twice a week?" Nantz said. "Every sports fan would love to be handed that opportunity."

New York Sports