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Observations of Super Bowl telecast — minus commercials

Ed Sherman
Chicago Tribune
Observations of Super Bowl broadcast — minus the commercials

Observations of the stuff that aired in between commercials Sunday:

* The big number for NBC is 111.5 million: The number of viewers who watched last year's Super Bowl, the largest TV audience of all time. So the network wasn't upset that a huge snowstorm hit large pockets of the country Sunday, giving people even more incentive to stay home to watch the big game. A close game also means NBC likely will set a record.

* Al Michaels opened the game by saying, "The footballs have been weighed and measured, I guarantee it." The NFL, though, denied NBC's request to film the actual process. Now that would have been good television, but apparently the league didn't want to add to the sideshow.

* Michaels, who worked his ninth Super Bowl, knows how to drive the telecast in the big game. He is a pro who hits all the right notes. He will be 73 when he does his 10th Super Bowl in 2018. It won't be his last.

* Leave it to Bob Costas to pin down Tom Brady on "deflategate." The Patriots QB sure sounded guilty based on his non-answers to Costas' pointed questions.

Cris Collinsworth clearly wasn't buying, saying the interview raised doubts about Brady's innocence.

* Collinsworth lived up to his status as the NFL's most blunt TV analyst by being incredulous about the Seahawks' fatal interception at the end of the game. "I can't believe the call," he said repeatedly.

* A controversial call on the Patriots' first punt makes you wonder why NBC still doesn't use a Mike Pereira-type for its telecasts. A ref in the booth definitely is needed for a big game.

* Was there a prop bet for the number of times NBC and Michaels were going to tell viewers Katy Perry was doing the halftime show? Felt like it was around 100, as if everyone didn't know.

* Yes, the NFL Network programs the NFL 24/7. However, it still is staggering that the network managed to generate 12½ hours of fresh pregame coverage Sunday. Any viewer who watched every minute should get the world's best lounge chair from the NFL Network.

* Best thing about NFL Network's coverage was being able to switch over for football talk when NBC opted to promote one of its shows or sports properties during its Super Bowl pregame show. Is there anything NBC didn't promote?

* Not sure who is giving PR advice to Commissioner Roger Goodell, but he deserves to be pounded for refusing to grant NBC an interview Sunday. It takes a lot of nerve to tell Marshawn Lynch he has to talk and then duck a TV partner that pays the league billions.

* Speaking of not talking, NFL Network's Michael Silver showed a side of Lynch and his work in his hometown of Oakland. Rich Eisen wondered, "Why couldn't he talk about that?"

* Aside from deflategate, after six Super Bowls, is there a story about Brady that hasn't been told?

* How long before Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski replace Brian Williams as co-anchors of NBC's Nightly News?

* Still think there's nothing more awkward than the requisite interview with the president on Super Bowl Sunday. But President Barack Obama saying he's the first president to make "booze" in the White House since George Washington should provide fodder for Jon Stewart and Fox News for a week.

* Once again, Frank Caliendo was a highlight of ESPN's pregame opus. Dead-on impersonations of Bill Belichick, Lou Holtz and Bill Parcells. Make sure to view it.

* On deck: CBS will air next year's Super Bowl. Preparations already are in full force.

Special contributor Ed Sherman writes about sports media at shermanreport.com. Follow him @Sherman_Report.

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