Tag:Super Bowl Scene
Posted on: February 8, 2011 4:21 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2011 5:24 pm

Behind the scenes at the Super Bowl

B. Roethlisberger couldn't lead his team to a last-minute victory (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you’re interested in a behind-the-scenes Super Bowl story, let me recount my night for you (and perhaps inadvertently pour salt in Steelers fans’ wounds).

Pete Prisco and Clark Judge were in the Cowboys Stadium main press box, and most of the rest of the writing crew were situated in the auxiliary press box. I, along with the CBSSports.com video personnel, was placed in the field-level media room.

This meant we were stationed directly in front of the Steelers locker room, but most importantly, we also were just a few feet away from both teams’ postgame interview spaces. My press pass didn’t allow me access to the locker rooms, but the NFL brought six to eight players from each team, so getting quotes was not a problem.

I watched the game in much the same way the vast majority of you did. I watched on a big-screen TV with plenty of free food and free drinks around (though, sadly, no beer).

I had a few different jobs during the game. Will was in charge of the chat, though I periodically took over when nature called, and Andy ran the Twitter account. I was in charge of writing up any breaking/injury news from the game, of which there was plenty, for the actual blog.

Then, most importantly, I was assigned to write the first lede story for CBSSports.com. That means, I was writing a quick game story/analysis that was supposed to be in by the time the game was over. Usually, when that happens, you’re rooting for a blowout by either team so you actually can hit ‘send’ once the final gun goes off.

Close games, after all, don't tend to be friends with reporters on tight deadlines.

That’s the direction we were heading when the Packers took a 21-3 lead in the first half, and at halftime, I began writing the story that eventually you saw here. Even though the Steelers drew closer and closer, I continued on with my original lede.

But I was getting nervous, and after the Packers kicked the field goal that gave them a 31-25 lead with about 2 minutes to go, I knew I needed to have a backup plan. This was the moment I dreaded. I had to start writing another “just in case” story, because if I stuck only with my original and the Steelers scored a touchdown and won the game late, I would have been completely screwed.

So, for the next few minutes (of real time, not game time), I furiously and ferociously tapped out a “Steelers win” lede. Here’s what the unedited version looked like:

DALLAS – Ben Roethlisberger, if he wanted, could retire tomorrow. He could walk away from the game on Monday, and he would be assured of one thing: a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

That’s what happens when you lead your team back from an 18-point halftime deficit – the previous Super Bowl record for come-from-behind wins was 10 points – and complete xx to lead the Steelers to the xx win vs. the Packers.

You know, for whatever reason, I had never really considered Roethlisberger to be a top-five quarterback in this league. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t have the prettiest game or it’s because he takes more sacks than perhaps he should (of course, he makes fantastic plays by holding onto the ball for an extra second or two, as well). I don’t know why.

But now that he’s earned his third Super Bowl ring, there’s no denying it. Roethlisberger isn’t the best quarterback in the league. But he’s most certainly a top-five player.

Aside from cutting and pasting about five paragraphs that were applicable no matter which team won the game, that’s pretty much what I had at the time the Steelers turned the ball over on downs to clinch the Packers win. A last-minute, come-from-behind victory is always exciting for the fans, but as you can see, those kinds of games are the bane of a sports writers’ existence.

Luckily for me, the worst-case scenario did not occur. Which – and this is the most important aspect of the entire night – made my life just a little bit easier.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: February 7, 2011 12:44 am
Edited on: February 7, 2011 11:17 am

Super Bowl Scene: Sunday night

Super Bowl XLV (US Presswire)Posted by Andy Benoit

DALLAS -- It’s all over. Super Bowl Week is in the books. It was one of those weeks that felt both short and long. I’m sitting in Section 327 at Cowboys Stadium in a row of über-focused writers trying to make deadline (tension, as always, is palpable). The field is still littered with piles – PILES – of confetti. The teams have left the building and a bunch of the media has gone home. The experience of being at the biggest sporting event of the year was marvelous.

This was my first Super Bowl. I had been told that the energy in the stadium would be bizarre. “For the first 10 minutes it’s incredible,” one NFL lifer told me. “But then it levels off and becomes somewhat flat because there are so many corporate folks and non-fans in the building”.

This proved to be true, but only to a certain extent. Cowboys Stadium seats over 100,000, which is roughly 30,000 more than a typical Super Bowl venue. That meant 30,000 additional tickets for fans. And the type of fans that shell out the big bucks to attend a Super Bowl tend to be passionate. There was plenty of noise and enthusiasm throughout the game.

Personally, a tough adjustment was watching the game live. The media auxiliary press box was in the corner of the Packers end zone. It was great because it was out in the open and closer to the field. When the action was down on that end of the field, great. But when it was on the other end, the best option was watching the big screens (Yes, screens.) Only problem: the big screen on the left (the huge one) had the action going in one direction, while the big screen on the right had the action going in the opposite direction (like a mirror). It was obnoxiously confusing at times. And, not to complain, but the Cowboys Stadium broadcast had limited camera angles and a director who, for reasons unknown, thought it was better to show close-ups of the quarterback right up until the ball was snapped. Thus, in order to see the play, you’d have to look at the formation down on the field, then look up at the big screen after the snap. Again, I’m NOT complaining. Just saying it was a mildly confusing way to watch football.

The energy of the halftime show had that “leveled off” aura that I’d been told C. Woodson (US Presswire)about. Most of the people in the building enjoyed seeing the Black Eyed Peas, but they weren’t intense fans of the group. So the patrons were more inclined to clap than cheer. At least Usher’s arrival sparked the building a bit.

When the game ended, there was a stark contrast of contrasting energies in the stadium. Looking to the right and seeing the euphoric Packers sideline made the heart race; looking to the left and seeing the distraught Steelers sideline made it sink. Truly. There was a lot of emotion in the building.

After writing some postgame analysis I meandered down to the locker room area. I needed to go left down the concourse but instead I went right. I didn’t realize this until I got halfway around the stadium. Good mistake, though. Because I went the wrong way, I was fortunate enough to catch Charles Woodson walking down the hall…with the Lombardi Trophy in hand.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: February 5, 2011 6:05 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 6:15 pm

Super Bowl Scene: Saturday (Playboy party recap)

Posted by Andy Benoit
Snoop Dogg (US Presswire)
DALLAS -- It feels like the last day of exams in college here at Super Bowl headquarters. Most people have their work done and are not around. The few who are here are working intently on final projects. Crews are taking down the stages and cleaning up all around Radio Row. Every hour or so a fire alarm goes off (presumably because equipment is being hauled out through backdoors). The athletes have been scarce, as well (it’s mid-afternoon and I’ve only seen Michael Irvin and Kurt Warner outside the Sheraton today).

There’s also a subtle aura of fatigue floating around. Virtually everyone in Dallas was at a Super Bowl party until the wee hours last night. There was the Commissioner’s party, the ESPN party, the Sports Illustrated party, the GQ party and the Playboy party, to name a few. Those of you who follow @CBSSportsNFL on Twitter or read Friday’s Super Bowl Scene late edition (which, by the way, has a picture of a perfect Troy Polamalu Jr. that’s worth checking out) knows that Sir Will Brinson and I attended the Playboy party.

How was it? In a word, agonizing. In another word, amazing. We began the night as part of the red carpet media, which meant our role was to stand around and wait to have quick, flimsy conversations with famous people before they walk in.  It’s something neither Will nor I had ever done. Fortunately, one of the four Playboy PR reps would come by and whisper the name of the celebrity if need be. (Or, they’d come by and have us whisper to them the name of the athlete who was coming by.)

There was A LOT of standing and waiting involved. This was especially brutal because the entrance was in an enclosed tent that contained just one heater. The temperature inside the tent was in the mid-40s. The festivities began at 9:00; the celebrities started trickling in at 10:15. At 10:30, sensing that it could be hours before the event gained significant action, Will and I decided that if no one showed up by 10:35, we’d bolt. At around 10:32, Darrelle Revis came in. Not long after him was Phillies slugger Ryan Howard.

Will and I decided again at 10:55 that if no celebrities showed up by 11, we’d once again bolt. At 10:58 or so, Jeremy Maclin (see video), Josh Freeman and Brandon Lloyd came through.

Eventually, we got picky and decided that if the next celebrity was not an A-lister, we’d depart. When Maria Menounos showed up, Will declared her A-list caliber on the basis that she tends to draw a lot of internet traffic. (Wonder why that is.) B. Sanders (US Presswire)

Even though much of the night involved standing in the freezing cold and waiting around, time actually flew by. It helped that Sports Illustrated media guru Richard Deitsch was with us. Discussing the sports media industry is something most in the sports media LOVE to do (Will and I especially).

As we neared midnight, Will and I gave in and just committed to waiting for Snoop Dogg’s arrival (the logic was, “hell, it’s already late anyway”). Many of the expected guests on Playboy’s list were no-shows (which was fine because plenty of big names who were not on the list showed up). By that point we had already encountered Landon Donovan, Craig Robinson (Daryl from The Office), Knowshon Moreno (Broncos), Flo Rida (rapper), Barry Sanders, the White House Crashers, Paul Scheer (TV Show The Leage), Vince Neil (Motley Crue…he was wasted out of his mind, by the way), Lawyer Milloy (Seahawks), Marcus Allen, Jared Fogle (Subway), Ryan Kwanten (actor), Phil Hellmuth (gambler), James Laurinaitis (Rams), Kyle Busch, Ryan Cabrera (rock star), Aubrey O’Day (singer/dancer/actress…i.e. hot girl), Hunter Parrish (actor), Dave Annable (Brothers and Sisters) and Sarah Ramos (actress). And maybe more.

Snoop was guaranteed to show because, as the headline entertainment, he was a big reason 2,500 people shelled out $1,000 to be there. (Plus, his dad, Papa Snoop had arrived earlier.)

Shockingly, Snoop Dogg is not the most punctual guy. He was expected at midnight. At 12:30 someone from his crew called to say that they were five minutes out. At 1:06, he arrived.

Will and I have seen and spoken with loads of celebrities this week. Either fortunately or unfortunately, you become somewhat immune to the excitement of it all. But admittedly, a conversation with Snoop was something we both craved and loved. After some photo ops he strolled over to us smelling exactly how you’d expect him to smell. We asked the standard red carpet questions (the simple, soft-hitting stuff is more appropriate and effective for events like these). The quality of Snoop’s answers was very solid – probably better than everyone save for Brandon Lloyd (by far the most engaging and entertaining star on the night), gambler Phil Hellmuth and maybe Lawyer Milloy.

From there we went into the party and watched Snoop tear down the house. The behavior of the patrons was what’d you’d expect at a Playboy gathering (we’ll leave it at that). Plenty of A-list sports media faces were there having a good time (again, we’ll leave it at that). And a handful of players –including Steelers left tackle Max Starks, who, remember, is on IR – were reveling in it all.

By the time it ended and we got back to the Media Center, it was 2:00 a.m. Poor Josh Katzowitz was sitting in the empty media workroom waiting for us. We had told him we’d be back no later than 9:30.

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Posted on: February 5, 2011 2:55 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 3:02 pm

Marisa Miller talks Super Bowl, Niners, NFL

By Josh Katzowitz

Marisa Miller is your dream girl. She’s beautiful – a supermodel who’s been a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl and a Victoria’s Secret angel – and she’s funny and sweet, and when she laughs and touches your arm, it makes you want to put on the pads and go out looking to smash James Harrison.

Plus, she’s a huge football fan. She’s been making the rounds at the Super Bowl this week for Captain Morgan’s First Mate Fund, and for every pose collected this week, Captain Morgan will donate $1 to help retired NFL players. We caught up with her late Friday afternoon, as publicists and her boyfriend buzzed around, and we talked about her favorite team, what sports meant to her growing up and how tough she thinks the Steelers are.

CBSSports.com: Tell me about doing Radio Row.

Marisa Miller: It’s pretty crazy.

CBS: I’m in the Media Center and trying to go out through Radio Row, and I’m tripping over The Situation, and it’s a crazy thing out there. I guess you’re constantly being moved here and there.

MM: I am.

CBS: What’s the experience like?

MM: Honestly, it’s actually kind of nice having everybody in the same room. It does give you the freedom to go to the next person, and there’s the energy of the room. It’s fun doing radio. I really like it.

CBS: More so then video or TV?

MM: It’s a different vibe doing radio. Obviously, it’s just your voice. It’s all about the conversation. It’s fun to talk football. I grew up watching football, since I was about 9 or 10 years old in NorCal. I was a big 49ers fans. That’s something my dad and I did growing up. That was like our bonding time. And this is my sixth Super Bowl.

CBS: None with the 49ers, though.

MM: [makes a sad face] No.

CBS: How did your dad get you into the game?

MM: I’m really close with my dad, and I was always really athletic, so naturally, I gravitated toward sports. I always wanted to hang out with my dad. I played volleyball and basketball in high school. I was just very active. I think football is such a great spectator sport. It’s so intense. It’s such a big part of my family’s social life on the weekend. On Sunday, everybody comes over, I cook a big meal, we scream at the TV. It’s really important to have that healthy competition in your life. I was a pretty shy, sensitive girl growing up. When I started playing sports, it gave me that support system in junior high and high school. That’s a really hard time in anybody’s life. It was nice to have that support.

CBS: The 49ers must have been good when you were growing up. Was that the era of Montana and Rice?

MM: Yep, one of my most vivid memories was watching Super Bowl XXIII with Cincinnati and the 49ers. It was the first time I was watching a game in a public space and not just with my family.

We went to our favorite family restaurant, and they have an upstairs restaurant/bar area with the big screen. It was my first time being in a room with other fans, not just my family. It was a really fun environment. I just remember it was 34 seconds left, Montana to Taylor wins the game and adults were on tables and jumping up and down. I thought it was the funniest thing, because I thought, ‘Wow, these adults can act like kids.’ It was like your license to go crazy and cheer for your team.

It was funny because after that Super Bowl, I was walking through the mall with my friend in San Jose and I passed by Jerry Rice, my childhood hero. I turn around and I had to stop him. I knew exactly who he was. I think he tripped out a little bit, because I was like 11 and he’s like, “How does she know who I am?” He was so gracious. I tore off a piece of my shopping bag, and he signed it. You always hope your childhood hero is as cool as you think they are. He really was.

CBS: What do you think about Jim Harbaugh?

MM: We need something (laugh). We need change. We have a lot of talent on the team. It’s always about working the dynamics, having the right leadership and having it come together. This is going to be a fresh start. I think it’s going to come together.

CBS: They still need a quarterback, though.

MM: (Laughs)

CBS: I don’t think anybody on the team is that guy.

MM: Yeah, we’ll see if anybody on the team steps up. But definitely. Now that we have the coach, it’d be nice to see someone … hey, they passed on Aaron Rodgers. Man, my dad and I talk about that all the time. I don’t think we’re ever going to let that one go.

CBS: Give me your prediction for the Super Bowl. I know you’re buddies with Aaron Rodgers, so don’t let that be a bias.

MM: The great thing about this Super Bowl is that we have two teams that have so much history in the NFL. Pittsburgh has won more Super Bowls than anybody, and they obviously have the experience on their side. They’re tough as s---. But having said that, there’s something about Green Bay that I really like, and they’ve had to win some tough games to get here. And they got some momentum. I don’t know. I really think they’re going to do well.

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Posted on: February 5, 2011 3:02 am
Edited on: February 5, 2011 8:11 pm

Super Bowl Scene: Friday night

Posted by Andy Benoit
Reebok (US Presswire)
DALLAS -- A quiet morning at the Super Bowl media center turned into spirited afternoon thanks to some Hollywood star power. Jersey’s Shore The Situation was back on radio row, but he was barely noticed next to the mobs that gathered around Jaime Fox, Adam Sandler and Hugh Jackman. (Fox was on Sirius Radio with Sugar Ray Leonard.)

The biggest crowd gathering around an athlete this week has been for either Jerry Rice or Joe Montana. They’ve attracted maybe 10 gawkers at any given time. The movie stars attracted upwards of 40. Hard to say if they’re just that much more popular than the athletes, or if their notoriety stems from the fact that their presence is less expected here.

Early in the afternoon, Will Brinson and I went across the street to the Reebok Reezig event, which featured the Manning brothers, their father Archie, DeMarcus Ware, Chad Ochocinco, MMA fighter Randy Couture and new Reebok spokeswoman Erin Andrews. The event was a complete promotional ordeal, but still, entertaining.

To attract media buffoons like us over to the building, Reebok had Peyton and Ochocinco run on treadmills that were hooked up to a mechanical bull that Couture was riding. The faster the treadmill went, the harder the mechanical bull mechanically bucked. Couture fell off after a few seconds. But whatever, that wasn’t the point. The point was to get people like us to write about the shoes the athletes were wearing. That’s understandable. (Side note: All of the athletes were in shorts, so we were able to see that Ware has arguably the fiercest calf muscles of anyone alive.)
Wanting to see if the Super Bowl buzz had picked up around town, I ventured out in the late afternoon to the NFL Experience at the Dallas Convention Center. Thousands of fans flocked to the 30,000-square foot facility, and a vast majority of them were more than willing to purchase some of the 200,000 pieces of NFL merchandise they have there. (And 200,000 is an accurate number, according to FOX 11 Sports).

The passion of the fans is remarkable (the NFL’s brand power is off the charts). I saw there what was by far the coolest fan I’ll see all week: Sulaiman Ismail (who, as it turns out, is the nephew of Rocket and Qadry). The young guy is from Pennsylvania; look at his picture and guess who his favorite player is. (Brinson suggested a separate article for this photo with the headline “Honey, I Shrunk Troy Polamalu.)

Riding back from the Convention Center to the Sheraton, a small group was kind enough to invite me to share their cab (cabs are a little hard to come by because the drivers are still on strike this week). When I got in, I was told that I was riding with the “Never Miss a Super Bowl club.” I figured it was a catchy name they had given themselves, but then I realized that in the cab were Don Crisman and Larry Jacobson, the two guys from the VISA commercials. (I admitted to having thought they were actors.) Very friendly bunch.

That’s all for now, but we’ll have more tomorrow: Brinson and I are headed to the Playboy party. (Seriously!) And don’t feel too bad for our buddy Josh Katzowitz for not getting to go; Josh got to visit with swimsuit model Marissa Miller earlier today.

[More Super Bowl coverage]

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Category: NFL
Posted on: February 4, 2011 4:59 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 7:59 pm

Podcast: Super Bowl scene

Posted by Will Brinson

The "Super Bowl Scene" is so fascinating that it deserves its own discussion. Fortunately, Andy's been killing it on that front vis-a-vis his frequent updates.

However, it also deserves it's own podcast, so Andy and I hopped on the old recording machine and fired up the football podcast, breaking down the off-field action that's been going down thru Thursday.

Just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

[More Super Bowl coverage]

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: February 4, 2011 12:12 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 12:23 pm

Super Bowl Scene: Friday morning

Posted by Andy Benoit
Dallas (US Presswire)
DALLAS -- Overnight snow has put a freeze on a lot of the buzz around Dallas. There are gripes about the city’s lack of preparation and poor for the inclement weather, though it’s hard to fault a Texas town for not having set aside tax dollars for snow removal. This is a once-in-a-decade type occurrence for Dallas.

The occurrence has made for a somewhat quiet morning at the media center (compared to yesterday afternoon, anyway). Jim Kelly, CBS’s James Brown, Tony Gonzalez, Eli Manning, Dallas Clark and Josh Freeman have been around. The room came to a screeching halt when Teresa Scanlan, aka Miss America, came in wearing a short blue dress and her shimmering crown. Earlier in the week the NFL handed out a flyer warning about the dangers of drinking and driving. Whoever printed that flyer needs to print another one reminding everyone that Teresa Scanlan is 17.

The head coaches both gave press conferences this morning, and thank goodness they came to Sheraton for a change (no more long bus rides). Nothing of substance was said, of course (after the pressers were over, Mike Freeman tweeted that he wants an hour of his life back). Roger Goodell will be upstairs for his media session at 11:30. He has another presser with Barack Obama’s BFF Arne Duncan (Secretary of Education) this afternoon. We’ll check back later.

In the meantime, enjoy this video of yesterday's appearance by The Situation:

[More Super Bowl coverage]

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Category: NFL
Posted on: February 3, 2011 6:30 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 6:36 pm

And now itís time for something ridiculous

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

DALLAS – The Situation (from the Jersey Shore, naturally) made waves across the Media Center today, and even though Jerry Rice, Papa John, Jonathan Ogden, Miss America, and the Black Eyed Peas strode around Radio Row – I’m not making up any of those names, by the way; I saw them all with my own two eyes – The Situation owned the room.

Luckily for CBSSports.com (I suppose), Will Brinson caught up with The Situation to interview him about only God knows what.

The Situation, by the way, is the guy on the right, though immediately after the interview, Will got the exact same haircut.

Caution: your IQ could drop by as much as 10 points if you watch this video.

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Category: NFL
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com