[2 February 2009]
Where the heck were the “Deal or No Deal” models?
During Sunday’s Super Bowl pregame extravaganza, NBC trotted out personalities from pretty much every other show in its lineup - not to mention other channels owned by its parent company, such as Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and even the Weather Channel.
I lost track somewhere between Hayden Panettiere of “Heroes,” who said she is a Jets fan but never had attended an NFL game, and Conan O’Brien taking kicking lessons from the Gramatica brothers.
Matt Lauer even sat down at the White House with history-making President Matt Santos of “The West Wing.”
Hey, wait, actually that was Barack Obama, the real deal, even though he is more apt to plug universal health care than NBC Universal. (He took the Steelers, but hinted they would not cover the spread.)
To be fair, NBC’s relentless promotion - even a weird product placement for Gatorade - and parade of what-are-they-doing-here celebrities was par for the pregame course. And to their credit, the Peacocks got increasingly serious as kickoff neared.
As promised, NBC kept it moving with short segments, an exception being a lengthy look back at David Tyree’s catch in Super Bowl XLII. The victimized Patriot, Rodney Harrison, said, “It hurts every time I see it.”
Later, Harrison said this in making a game prediction: “Unlike last year’s Super Bowl, this year’s Super Bowl will be won by the best team, and that’s the Pittsburgh Steelers.” Ouch!
Other highlights included an X’s-and-O’s session with Pats coach Bill Belichick, Tiki Barber’s sitdowns with Larry Fitzgerald Sr. and Jr., and CNBC’s Darren Rovell debunking the myth that Harry Carson of the Giants invented the Gatorade bath. (The Bears beat him by two years.)
NBC knocked off two show promotions in one when Nightly News’ Brian Williams told of running into Bruce Springsteen at a Jersey Shore gas station in the mid-1970s. He sat in the seats of the “Saturday Night Live” studio as he recounted the tale.
Speaking of Springsteen, Bob Costas had a two-part interview with the Boss, who said he is a Giants fan by default but doesn’t know much about football.
So why did he finally agree to play the Super Bowl?
“I have an album to promote, dummy!” he said. “C’mon. It’s not rocket science.”