BETTIS, SHARPE MAKE DEBUT AS 'NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL' MOVES TO CINCY FOR PRESEASON CLASH BETWEEN REDSKINS AND BENGALS
NBC's Madden: "This feels like an all-star team...this feels like home already."
NEW YORK -� August 9, 2006 -� Jerome Bettis and Sterling Sharpe will make their NBC debuts during halftime of the "NBC Sunday Night Football" broadcast of the Washington Redskins at Cincinnati Bengals preseason game, Sunday at 8 p.m. ET from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) will call the action, joined at halftime by Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth, who starred for the Bengals for eight seasons in the 1980s, Sharpe and "The Bus."
"This just feels like a team, an all-star team," said Madden of his NBC colleagues. "I get the chance to work with Bob and Cris, two guys who I admired and also Jerome and Sterling, two guys I covered and have a lot of respect for. And Al is one of the best ever who does what he does. I know it's early, but this feels like home already."
In 2005, the Bengals reached the postseason for the first time since 1990, winning the AFC North division title on the strength of an 11-5 record. They were defeated in the playoffs by the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-17, after losing starting QB Carson Palmer to injury on the Bengals second offensive play of the game. The Bengals had five players earn the Pro Bowl last season, including dynamic WR Chad Johnson, who led the AFC with 97 receptions.
The Redskins finished the regular season with five consecutive victories to earn a wild card berth. After defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Wild Card Game, Washington fell to the Seattle Seahawks in the Division Round. The Redskins are led by RB Clinton Portis, who in 2005 set the team's single season rushing mark, and WR Santana Moss, who set a franchise mark for most receiving yards.
During last Sunday's inaugural "NBC Sunday Night Football" broadcast, viewers got a taste of some of the things they'll see during the regular season. During the fourth quarter of the Hall of Fame Game, Costas and Collinsworth joined Madden and Michaels to discuss the key storylines in the NFL, including how Terrell Owens will fit in with Bill Parcells and the Dallas Cowboys. Collinsworth and Madden also engaged in a debate as to which era was the best in NFL history, with Madden saying the 1970s and Collinsworth the 90s. Earlier in the day during NBC's NASCAR coverage, Andrea Kremer was the first to report Brian Dawkins re-signing with the Eagles.
"NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"
"NBC Sunday Night Football," the premier primetime game of the week, will be preceded by the "Football Night in America" studio show, which kicks off NBC's regular season coverage each Sunday at 7 p.m. NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol negotiated the unprecedented six-year NFL deal, which includes innovative flexible scheduling, and continues through the 2011 season with Super Bowls in 2009 and 2012. Following the completion of the deal, he assembled the most honored broadcast team ever. Joining Al Michaels, the commentator called "TV's best play-by-play announcer" by the Associated Press, and John Madden, the most honored NFL broadcaster of all time with 15 Emmy Awards, are: Bob Costas, the most honored studio host of all time with 19 Emmy Awards, who will host NBC's "Football Night in America" studio show alongside co-host Cris Collinsworth, the most honored studio analyst in history with six Emmy Awards; and analysts Sterling Sharpe, a five-time Pro Bowler and Jerome Bettis, one of the most popular players in recent NFL history. "NBC Sunday Night Football" coverage also includes sideline and feature reporter Andrea Kremer, whom the Los Angeles Times has called "the best TV interviewer in the business of covering the NFL." Peter King, who covers the NFL for Sports Illustrated and is considered one of the country's foremost NFL reporters, serves as a reporter for the "Football Night in America" studio show.
NBC's 2006 NFL Schedule
Remaining Preseason Schedule
Sunday, Aug. 13 � Washington at Cincinnati
Sunday, Aug. 20 � Seattle at Indianapolis
Thursday, Sept. 7 � NFL Kickoff 2006: Miami at Pittsburgh (Sunday coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET with "Football Night in America" studio show)
Sunday, Sept. 10 � Indianapolis at NY Giants
Sunday, Sept. 17 � Washington at Dallas
Sunday, Sept. 24 � Denver at New England
Sunday, Oct. 1 � Seattle at Chicago
Sunday, Oct. 8 � Pittsburgh at San Diego
Sunday, Oct. 15 � Oakland at Denver
Sunday, Oct. 29 � Dallas at Carolina
Sunday, Nov. 5 � Indianapolis at New England
Flexible Scheduling Weeks 10-15
Monday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day) � Philadelphia at Dallas
Flexible Scheduling Week 17