Personal profiles help counter excess of Pregame Show - Ingles

>There were moments — well, some were much longer than moments — on Sunday when NBC’s Super Bowl pregame show felt as if it were headed into a quality abyss.

It is an abyss that other networks have stepped into because of the nature of these bloated, moneymaking entities. Without enough concrete material — or enough to supposedly please both casual and hard-core viewers for five or six hours — Super Bowl networks veer into red-carpet nutsiness and sponsor kowtowing. The formula has been described thusly: if we can sell it, we’ll program it, even if it stinks.

So, yes, NBC was headed into the abyss, with celebrity interviews by Nick Cannon, who acted overwhelmed, overmatched and overexcited. Like his predecessors at other networks, Cannon had a dreadful task: asking vapid questions to stars with little to do or say but promote their projects, like Danny DeVito hyping “The Lorax.”

And NBC hyperpromoted its programming in myriad ways, including an inexplicably bizarre song-and-dance production number that starred nearly everyone the network has ever employed save Bob Hope and Lorne Greene. But it had no humorous payoff, despite the presence of comedy habitués like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Alec Baldwin. The song-and-dance salute to the departing “Today” anchor Meredith Vieira last year was better.

And, yes, NBC slipped into a box of Ritz crackers, a sponsor, as the “Top Chef” host Tom Colicchio oversaw the making of Ritz snacks. Fox and CBS did the same thing the last two years. Ritz executives must be too scary for a network to say, “No more.”

Brian Williams, the anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” showed up next to Bob Costas, to display the Giants jersey under his blazer. Why? He’s a Jersey guy and he’s the face of evening news domination. And his show “Rock Center” is moving to Wednesdays!

But NBC’s missteps were balanced by a pacing that never let football stray too far from the viewers’ attention. If we had to endure the silliness of Adam Sandler talking to Cannon, NBC kept shuttling back to its season-long studio analysts Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy; to its hired guns for the day, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Pittsburgh’s Hines Ward; and to the hosts Costas and Dan Patrick.

Harrison was at his best, bringing emotion to the broadcast, especially his lingering disappointment that his former team, the New England Patriots, lost to the Giants four years ago in the Super Bowl. An on-field segment paired Harrison with David Tyree, the former Giants receiver who made that epic, side-of-the-head catch late in that game.

“I’ve seen that play maybe 500 times this week, and sitting next to David right now, I’m still emotional,” Harrison said, sounding as if he might need counseling. “I blamed myself for six months, and it was devastating to the point where I felt like walking away.”

Each time Harrison appeared onscreen — in the Patriots’ locker room or on the field to show how to defend New England tight end Aaron Hernandez — he demonstrated an electric personality that contrasts nicely with Dungy’s calm, even priestly demeanor.

There were times in the five hours when I felt as if NBC’s Olympic unit had taken over the pregame show — and not just because of the overlong promotion for the Games this summer in London. A bunch of heart-tugging features, short and long, were reminders of the ones NBC does for Winter and Summer Games athletes.

In no particular order, NBC told the story of the Patriots owner Robert K. Kraft’s adjustment to life without his wife, Myra, who died in July; of Tom Martinez, the New England star Tom Brady’s quarterback mentor, who needs a kidney transplant; and of Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko’s escape from Communist Romania, with his family, in the late 1990s.

Also: Giants receiver Victor Cruz’s desire to inspire youths who have difficult lives, as he did in Paterson, N.J.; and the legacy of Benedicto Kiwanuka, the slain prime minister of Uganda, which can be seen in part in his grandson, Mathias, a Giants linebacker, who grew up with his family in Indianapolis.

But of most significance was Peter King’s feature about Steve Gleason, a former New Orleans Saint, who has A.L.S. Just two years after the diagnosis, Gleason can barely speak. His wife, Michel, memorably said: “I pray for him to keep his voice. I want him to talk to me all the time and to talk to Rivers,” their son.

Perhaps I will never be satisfied until each network adopts a pregame manifesto that excludes devotions to shameless self-promotion and excessive doses of “Access Hollywood”-ism. Will it happen? Probably not. The template is set in stone.

But maybe NBC’s better moments offer a guidepost for a better future.

This article was written by Richard Sandomir and appeared in the New York Times.

Posted by Necesitamos Mas Football on 12:47. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

0 comentarios for Personal profiles help counter excess of Pregame Show - Ingles

Publicar un comentario

Recent Entries

Recent Comments

Photo Gallery