TWO OF THE NFC'S TOP TEAMS CLASH ON 'NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL' AS THE BEARS HOST THE COWBOYS
Madden: "The Dallas Cowboys lead the league in hotel lobbies"
Madden: "Dallas at Chicago, that says NFL Football, that says tradition and that says two of America's teams"
NEW YORK � Sept. 20, 2007 � The reigning NFC Champion Chicago Bears (1-1) led by All-Pro LB Brian Urlacher host QB Tony Romo and the undefeated Dallas Cowboys (2-0) on "NBC Sunday Night Football" from Soldier Field in Chicago. Coverage begins Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET with the "Football Night in America" studio show.
Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) will call all the action. Bob Costas (host) and Cris Collinsworth (co-host), Keith Olbermann (co-host), analysts Tiki Barber and Jerome "The Bus" Bettis, and reporter Peter King of Sports Illustrated, comprise the "Football Night in America" studio team.
NBC Sports today conducted a media conference call with Michaels, Madden and Tiki to preview the highly anticipated match-up. For a complete replay, dial 719-457-0820 and enter passcode 5721294.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CONFERENCE CALL:
MADDEN ON THE POPULARITY OF THE BEARS:
"I'm always excited and feel good about coming to Chicago. There's something about the history and tradition of the Chicago Bears and you just think of George Halas and all those great Bear teams. I always go back to the most fun I've ever had in a football season,1985, and the Bears were truly that year, America's team. Everyone jumped on that and it was not only true in Chicago, but all over the country. If you didn't have a team, the Bears became your team."
MADDEN ON THE COWBOYS BEING AMERICA'S TEAM:
"I would say 'Oh that's just a bunch of baloney.' America's team. That's just Tex Schram making that stuff up". But it's not; it's one of those things that the Dallas Cowboys have more fans than any team in the country. When you go on the road and you go to the visiting team hotel, the Dallas Cowboys lead the league in hotel lobbies. You go to some teams and there'll be like ten people in the lobby. You go to the Dallas Cowboys and there will be like 1,000. It's just that wherever the Cowboys go they are stars."
MICHAELS ON POPULARITY OF COWBOYS AND BEARS:
"The Cowboys probably engender more emotion than any other team in the National Football League, whether you love them or hate them, around the country people pay a lot of attention to the Dallas Cowboys. The Chicago Bears are one of the NFL's original franchises, and a team that just has a tremendous following and backing."
MICHAELS ON WHAT THE GAME MEANS TO THE COWBOYS:
"If Dallas wins this one, they're 3-0 with two road wins, probably establishing themselves as the team to beat."
TIKI ON THE CONTRASTING STYLES OF THE TWO TEAMS:
"What's a particularly striking story for this weekend is the contrast that these two teams present. With Dallas, their defense plays so horribly in week one, compared to Chicago's. Then you look at their offenses. With Dallas' offense being a powerhouse, scoring 82 points in the first two weeks and Chicago not even scoring an offensive touchdown."
MADDEN ON TIKI RETIRING AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME:
"It surprises me. Had he been injured, had he been beaten up, had he not had a good year, where, you know, his talent was dwindling, I could see it. But he's such a good player and sometimes made it look pretty easy out there. I know the finality of retiring, I mean, that's it. As a player, you can't retire and in three or four years say, I was just kidding, I want to go back. It's too late, you can't. Tiki may still have something there, and the Giants would have to want him, because here's a guy you can bring in, give him a couple weeks and he's ready to go, and not only not lose any steps."
TIKI'S RESPONSE: "It'll probably take me two days."
MADDEN ON TERRELL OWENS:
"I talked to TO when I was down there in Dallas a couple weeks ago, and he really is happy, I mean he's a different guy this year from what he was last year, and I think that he really feels part of the team, part of the organization, a big part of helping the team win, when they're winning that's fine."
MADDEN ON TONY ROMO:
Tony Romo, right now, is on top of the heap as a quarterback. I mean, he's doing everything darn near perfectly, but when you play this Bears defense, believe me, this defense is for real and they don't give you anything. I think this game is a measuring stick for Tony Romo."
KEITH OLBERMANN ON BEING OUT LAST WEEK'S SHOW AFTER HAVING HIS APPENDIX REMOVED:
"In place of my appendix I had them put in some extra spleen."
PRODUCER MICHAEL WEISMAN ON OLBERMANN'S CONDITION:
"I've upgraded Keith from questionable to probable so expect him to be there on Sunday. Of course, he may name me the 'worst person in the NFL.'"
"NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" TOP TV DRAW:
"NBC Sunday Night Football" is the No. 1 show in primetime for the past two weeks. Last year, " NBC Sunday Night Football" finished the television season as the No. 6 primetime program.
SUNDAY NIGHT 'HEROES':
"NBC Sunday Night Football" open for this Sunday Night's Cowboys/Bears game will feature Cowboy's wide receiver Terrell Owens and "Heroes" star Masi Oka. The "Heroes" open will air before Faith Hill's performance of the "NBC Sunday Night Football" opening theme "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night." The opening, collaboration between The NBC Agency and NBC Sports, will also run as on-air promotional spots for "NBC Sunday Night Football" and "Heroes" throughout the season. "Heroes" was the No. 1 first-year series of the 2006-07 television season in all key ratings categories.
DALLAS AND CHICAGO ON PRIMETIME:
This is the Cowboys second appearance this season on "NBC Sunday Night Football" having defeated the Giants 45-35 in Week 1 in Dallas.
Each of these teams appeared three times last year on the inaugural season of "NBC Sunday Night Football" and both went 2-1. The Cowboys defeated the Redskins 27-10 in week 2 and beat Carolina 35-14 in week 7 before losing to New Orleans 42-17 in week 13. The Cowboys hold a 42-29 all-time record on the NFL's premiere primetime network package (MNF 1970-2005, "NBC Sunday Night Football" 2006-Present).
The Bears defeated the Seahawks 37-6 in Week 4 last season and beat the Giants 38-20 in Week 9 before falling to the Packers 26-7 in the season's final week. Chicago has an overall record of 18-33 playing on the NFL's premiere primetime network package.
WAITING ALL DAY FOR SUNDAY NIGHT:
Five-time Grammy Award-winner and multi-platinum recording artist, Faith Hill, performs the opening theme each week for "NBC Sunday Night Football," "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night." The song is set to the original Joan Jett song, "I Hate Myself for Loving You" was recorded with her longtime producer Byron Gallimore at Legacy Recording Studios in New York City. The video was shot at The Wiltern theatre in Los Angeles.
"NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL":
"NBC Sunday Night Football" the premier primetime game of the week, is preceded by the "Football Night in America" studio show, which kicks off NBC's regular season coverage each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. NBC has 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 hosts NBC's "Football Night in America" studio show alongside co-host Cris Collinsworth, the most honored studio analyst in history with eight Emmy Awards; co-host Keith Olbermann, named one of the Top Ten Most Powerful People in TV News for 2007 by Television Week; and analysts Tiki Barber, a three-time NFL Pro Bowler for the New York Giants, 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 SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" REMAINING 2007 NFL SCHEDULE:
Sunday, Sept. 23 � Dallas at Chicago
Sunday, Sept. 30 � Philadelphia at New York Giants
Sunday, Oct. 7 � Chicago at Green Bay
Sunday, Oct. 14 � New Orleans at Seattle
Sunday, Oct. 21 � Pittsburgh at Denver
Sunday, Oct. 28 � No game scheduled due to World Series Game 5 (FNIA airs 7-8 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 4 � Dallas at Philadelphia
Sunday, Nov. 11 � Indianapolis at San Diego
Sunday, Nov. 18 � Chicago at Seattle (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Nov. 25 � Philadelphia at New England (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 2 � Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 9 � Indianapolis at Baltimore (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 16 � Washington at NY Giants (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 23 � Tampa Bay at San Francisco (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 30 � Kansas City at New York Jets (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
CREDITS: Fred Gaudelli is the producer of "NBC Sunday Night Football" and Drew Esocoff is the director. This is Gaudelli and Esocoff's second season at the helm of "Sunday Night Football." The Emmy Award winning duo came from ABC where they worked together for five seasons on "Monday Night Football."