Mittwoch, Dezember 22, 2010

ESPN’s Monday Night Football Wins the Night

Bears-Vikings Game Scores 11.6 Rating and 17.1 Million Viewers

Last ESPN’s Monday Night Football – a lopsided 40-14 Chicago Bears’ victory over the Minnesota Vikings earned an 11.6 rating (9.9 US rating), representing an average of 11,573,000 households (17,094,000 viewers – P2+), according to Nielsen.

MNF won the night among all programs (broadcast or cable) in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos, helping ESPN win the night among all networks for the fifth time this season. In addition, MNF has won the night in the men 18-34, men 18-49, adult 18-34 and adult 18-49 demos each Monday this season (15 consecutive weeks).

Through the first 15 weeks (16 games), ESPN’s MNF is averaging a 10.4 household rating (8.9 US rating), 10,337,000 households (14,370,000 viewers), slightly ahead in all categories versus 2009. ESPN MNF games rank as the 15 biggest audiences among households and the 11 biggest among total viewers for cable television in 2010 (including the 2009 MNF season finale – Minnesota vs. Chicago, 12/28/09 – which falls within the Nielsen 2010 calendar). Last night’s Bears-Vikings game ranks as the ninth most-viewed program among viewers in cable television history (excluding breaking news), according to Nielsen. For the year, it ranks as cable television’s sixth most-viewed cable program among households and fourth most-watched among viewers. had 164 million page views (a 12 percent increase) and 237 million minutes (a 24 percent gain) generated with NFL content on Sunday and Monday. ESPN’s Mobile web site had 62 million page views (a 72 percent increase) and 105 million minutes (a 191 percent spike) spent with NFL content on the ESPN mobile web site and ScoreCenter App.


ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown (7-8:30 p.m.) also performed well Monday night, registering its most-viewed 90-minute show ever – 3,489,000 households and 5,046,000 viewers, based on a 3.5 household rating, the highest rating ever for a 90-minute Countdown. The Oct. 5, 2009 show, which preceded Brett Favre’s first game for the Vikings against his former Green Bay Packers team, also had a 3.5 rating and previously ranked as the most-viewed with 3,476,000 households and 4,540,000 viewers.


ESPN’s 2010 MNF season concludes next week (Dec. 27) with Matt Ryan and the NFC-leading Atlanta Falcons (12-2) hosting Drew Brees and the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints (10-4) at 8:30 p.m. ET in a game with major playoff implications for both teams. ESPN’s game around the game coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. with NFL Live and continues throughout the afternoon.

ESPN’s most-viewed MNF games

Top 15 Most-Viewed Monday Night Football Games on ESPN (Viewers):
Rank Date Program Viewers (000s) HHs (000s)
1. 10/05/2009 Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings 21,839 15,136
2. 11/30/2009 New England Patriots-New Orleans Saints 21,402 14,872
3. 09/15/2008   Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys 18,608 12,953
4. 10/25/2010 New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys 17,953 12,948
5. 12/03/2007  New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens 17,522 12,529
6. 09/27/2010   Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears 17,454 12,482
7. 10/11/2010 Minnesota Vikings-New York Jets 17,313 12,454
8. 12/20/2010 Chicago Bears-Minnesota Vikings 17,094 11,573
9. 12/28/2009     Minnesota Vikings-Chicago Bears 17,006 11,899
10. 12/06/2010 New York Jets-New England Patriots 16,533 11,597
11. 10/23/2006     New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys 16,028 11,807
12. 11/09/2009 Pittsburgh Steelers-Denver Broncos 16,002 11,358
13. 09/28/2009 Carolina Panthers-Dallas Cowboys 15,705 11,354
14. 09/20/2010 New Orleans Saints-San Francisco 49ers 15,120 10,904
15. 09/25/2006 Atlanta Falcons-New Orleans Saints 14,999 10,850
Top 10 Most-Viewed Programs in Cable Television History (Households):
Rank Date Program Network HHs (000s)
1. 10/05/2009 Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings ESPN 15,136
2. 11/30/2009 New England Patriots-New Orleans Saints ESPN 14,872
3. 09/15/2008      Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys ESPN 12,953
4. 10/25/2010 New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys ESPN 12,948
5. 12/03/2007      New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens ESPN 12,529
6. 09/27/2010      Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears ESPN 12,482
7. 10/11/2010 Minnesota Vikings-New York Jets ESPN 12,454
8. 12/28/2009      Minnesota Vikings-Chicago Bears ESPN 11,899
9. 10/23/2006      New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys ESPN 11,807
10. 12/06/2010 New York Jets-New England Patriots ESPN 11,597
Top 10 Most-Viewed Programs in Cable Television History (Viewers):
Rank Date Program Network Viewers (000s)
1. 10/05/2009 Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings ESPN 21,839
2. 11/30/2009 New England Patriots-New Orleans Saints ESPN 21,402
3. 09/15/2008      Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys ESPN 18,608
4. 10/25/2010 New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys ESPN 17,953
5. 12/03/2007      New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens ESPN 17,522
6. 09/27/2010      Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears ESPN 17,454
7. 10/11/2010 Minnesota Vikings-New York Jets ESPN 17,313
8. 08/17/2007 High School Musical 2 Disney 17,241
9. 12/20/2010 Chicago Bears-Minnesota Vikings ESPN 17,094
10. 12/28/2009      Minnesota Vikings-Chicago Bears ESPN 17,006
Note: excluding breaking news; live + same day
* all-time cable television viewership record (households and total viewers)
2010 MNF games in bold

Freitag, Dezember 17, 2010

Monday Night Football: Chicago & Minnesota in Vikings’ First Outdoor Home Game in 29 Years

Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings will host Jay Cutler and the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears in a matchup of longtime divisional rivals on ESPN’s Monday Night Football Dec. 20 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN, ESPN America and ESPN HD. Mike Tirico and analysts Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski will call the game, and Michele Tafoya and Suzy Kolber will provide updates on the teams throughout the day from TCF Bank Stadium In Minneapolis.

The MNF game is being played at the on-campus stadium at the University of Minnesota as a result of damage sustained to the roof of the Metrodome during last week’s major snowstorm. Coincidentally, Monday's game marks the 29th anniversary to the day (Dec. 20, 1981) that the Vikings played their last home NFL game outdoors, a 10-6 loss to the Chiefs in their final game at Metropolitan Stadium.

The Bears (9-4) have a one-game lead over the Packers and can secure a playoff spot with a Monday win. Chicago, 4-0 in the NFC North, is one of only three NFL teams with a perfect record divisional record this season.

Monday’s telecast will begin with a Frank Gifford MNF vignette highlighting the 2009 MNF season finale when the Bears defeated the playoff-bound Vikings 36-30 in overtime in frigid late-December conditions at Soldier Field in Chicago.

ESPN’s “game around the game” studio coverage will begin at noon on SportsCenter, followed by NFL Live (3:30 p.m.) and NFL PrimeTime (4 p.m.). The 90-minute Monday Night Countdown pregame will begin at 7 p.m. with host Chris Berman and analysts Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Chris Mortensen, and NFL Insider Adam Schefter.  Analyst Cris Carter, who will be honored as a member of the Vikings’ 50th anniversary team Monday night at the game, will make a special appearance from the stadium, joining Stuart Scott and analysts Matt Millen and Steve Young.

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Just Biko: 12 Unique Stadium

Just Biko: 12 Unique Stadium: "A lot of stadiums around the world have the finest design and they give pride to the countries where they are located. Yet there are some st..."

Sonntag, Dezember 12, 2010

Monday Night Football: Houston Texans Host Baltimore Ravens

Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans will host Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens in a battle of AFC playoff hopefuls on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on Dec. 13 at 8:30 p.m. ET (2:30 CET) on ESPN, ESPN America and ESPN HD. Mike Tirico and analysts Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski will call the game, and Michele Tafoya and Suzy Kolber will provide updates on the teams throughout the day.

Monday’s telecast will begin with a Frank Gifford MNF vignette highlighting the New England Patriots at Houston Oilers game from Nov. 10, 1980. Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell led the Oilers to a 38-34 victory in the Astrodome. That season, Campbell rushed for 1,934 yards, including four 200-yard rushing games, the most in his legendary career.

ESPN’s “game around the game” studio coverage will begin at noon on SportsCenter, followed by NFL Live at 3:30 p.m. and NFL PrimeTime at 4 p.m. The 90-minute Monday Night Countdown show will begin at 7 p.m. with host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Chris Mortensen, and NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Stuart Scott and analysts Matt Millen and Steve Young will contribute from the stadium.

Sonntag, Dezember 05, 2010

Monday Night Football: Jets at Patriots

In one of the marquee matchups of the entire NFL schedule, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (9-2) will host Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets (9-2) in a battle of the AFC’s top teams on Monday Night Football on Dec. 6 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN America, ESPN and ESPN HD. The winner of this critical game will take the lead in the AFC East with just a month left in the regular-season. Mike Tirico and analysts Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski will call the game, and Michele Tafoya and Suzy Kolber will provide updates on the teams from Gillette Stadium.

Monday’s telecast will begin with a Frank Gifford vignette highlighting then-Jets head coach Bill Parcells’ return to Foxboro Stadium Oct. 19, 1998, to face his former Patriots team for the first time on Monday night. Dubbed Tuna Bowl III, the Jets beat their AFC East rivals 24-14 and Parcells went on to lead New York to its first division title since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

Monday’s game marks just the fourth time two teams with 9-2 records or better are playing each other on MNF, and the first time since 1990. All three previous occasions featured the San Francisco 49ers under quarterback Joe Montana: Bears (10-2) vs. 49ers (10-2), 1987; Giants (9-2) vs. 49ers (9-2), 1989; and Giants (10-1) vs. 49ers (10-1), 1990.

Additionally, ESPN NFL analyst and former All-Pro Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi will be honored by his former team at halftime.  Bruschi’s 189 regular-season games played are the most by a Patriots linebacker.  He retired in 2009 after being part of nine postseason appearances, eight division titles, five conference championships, and three Super Bowl titles.

ESPN’s “game around the game” will begin with ESPN Radio/ESPN2’s Mike and Mike in the Morning live from Showcase Live at Patriot Place at 6 a.m.  Studio coverage will begin at noon on SportsCenter, followed by NFL Live at 3:30 p.m. and NFL PrimeTime at 4 p.m.  The 90-minute Monday Night Countdown pregame will begin at 7 p.m. with host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Chris Mortensen, and NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Stuart Scott and analysts Matt Millen and Steve Young will contribute from the stadium.

SEC Championship Game Interview /w SC Coach Steve Spurrier


COACH SPURRIER: Defense really struggled and offensively we had some opportunities the first half, and then there's the second half. And just didn't (indiscernible) different things that just give us much of a chance. But maybe it would not have mattered. Maybe if we played these guys ten times, they may win nine of them or more. Who knows.
So it didn't happen. It didn't happen for us. We needed to play a really, really good game. And we weren't very close to that.
But give Auburn credit. And so I think Auburn's got a chance to win it all, if they play like this. I think Oregon will play a lot better than we did, certainly. But they do have a chance to win it all in about a month or so.
But, anyway, Cam Newton, not only can he kick it and run, he's an excellent passer. We couldn't stop him (indiscernible) we knew we had to stay on the floor offensively (indiscernible).
Anyway, we got beat early. We had a good year. It wasn't a super year that we had all hoped for as Gamecocks. But it's a very good year. If we win a Bowl game, we win ten games and tie the school record (indiscernible). That's what we'll try to do.

Q. (Indiscernible) the end of the game?
COACH SPURRIER: You know, that was    at the time looked like a big play (indiscernible) beat us 49 to 17, or 56 to 17 as it turned out, and they only punted once. But, yeah, it was a strange play because our defensive end, every day in practice we try to rush wide, let the guy buy a little time and get outside. (Indiscernible) rushed inside, when he threw it I said, Oh, gosh, what's going to happen. I don't know what's going to happen. When it ricocheted up, they got a score on us.
As all people know, the best way to defend that (indiscernible) but we didn't do that. So we didn't do a lot of things very well today, offensively, defensively. And special teams we didn't do much either.
So just give Auburn credit. I apologize to Carolina fans that came. That was the loudest pregame I've ever been to in my life. And I thank the Gamecock fans. I wish we could have given you something to cheer about during the game, but we couldn't do it. Auburn was too good for us.
But I will say that pregame noise by both schools I think is the loudest I've ever heard. Unfortunately, didn't help our guys play, didn't help us coach, I guess. But our fans are super and I appreciate all of them coming in this game, and hopefully we'll be back here again someday and win this thing.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
COACH SPURRIER: That was a communication breakdown. We told him kick a line drive, and he decides to kick a one hopper. But he told me he was trying to kick a line drive. Now we wanted to kick that line drive, make it, get to the return there. At any rate, they started on the 4, actually hit it five yard out. 16 seconds. We didn't quite get the kickoff. But the last play, that should not have happened, but it did.
But, again, it was only seven points. We got beat by, what, 35 or more. So, anyway, that was just one thing. That didn't cost us the game.

Q. Now that you played them twice, what advice would you like to give to Oregon?
COACH SPURRIER: I don't give advice. They'll play their game. They're dang good. They're good and I really think the two best offensive spread coaches in the country are going at it. So it will be heck of a game. Might be 60 to 55, something like that. Maybe. I don't know. Maybe somebody will rise up and play a lot of great defense. Auburn was tough today. They were tough on us. Give them credit. Didn't have many yards.

Q. Obviously Cam Newton is the Heisman favorite. Is he that good at what you showed today?
COACH SPURRIER: Yeah, he really is. I mean, not only can    you can't tackle him. He's got about four or five, six seconds back there. Auburn's offensive line is one of the best in the nation. They really are. They're good. I mean, you ought to go interview some of those guys also.
Cam, he's almost a one man show. But those guys really, really helped. And the receivers are pretty good. Very good. But with that offensive line and him it's hard to stop them. Very hard for us to stop them, that's for sure.

Q. Looked like earlier in the game you guys might be able to match them offensively?
COACH SPURRIER: First drive.

Q. First couple of drives, seemed like. Did Auburn just start playing better defensively? Did they adjust to anything, did you guys get out of rhythm?
COACH SPURRIER: No, we just didn't play well. We got sacked and we should have thrown it here. But, anyway, we're just    we're not a great passing team. We haven't been a great passing team pretty much all year. So if we get to where we gotta try to come from behind two, three touchdowns it's just a struggle for us.
And we had some opportunities there in the first half. The second half trying to put a little screen pass and I guess Steven got hit while he was trying to throw to their DB. And that really almost put us out of reach.
But, I mean, the way they were moving the ball they had one punt. We got one turnover. One fumble. We got one turnover. And we had to play a lot better. So it was    give Auburn credit. They're a lot better than us especially tonight.

Q. They seemed pretty determined, Auburn did, to stop Marcus Lattimore.
COACH SPURRIER: Actually, Marcus averaged 5.2 a carry. He got 85 yards. And just got to where we were behind and got behind and didn't have an opportunity to give it to him that much. 16 carries for 85. I wish we could have run him 35 or 40. But the game didn't turn out like that.

Q. You won the Heisman. You coached Heisman winners, coached against them. Have you ever seen a better player than Cam Newton?
COACH SPURRIER: That's a good question. I don't like to put anybody at the top. But he's certainly one of the best quarterbacks, runners probably ever come through college ball. And it will be interesting to watch him in pro ball. He doesn't take hard hits. Keep thinking somebody's going to put a helmet on his ribs or something, but they can't do it. Jump him, he knows how to get down, get out of bounds after he gets about 20 or 30 yards. So he's a very good player.
I know the division (indiscernible).

Q. Offensive line?
COACH SPURRIER: About like always. It wasn't that bad.

Q. Obviously the second half, the end of the first half touchdown was huge, but even that first drive that you guys failed to come away with the field goal and they answer, if you look at that touchdown at the end of the first half and what happened at the beginning of the second half, where the game got away from you?
COACH SPURRIER: They got away from us. We're like 21 14. It was a ballgame. And then 28. Then they scored    we didn't score. We tried the field goal. I can't remember the last time he missed two in a row. In fact, he makes usually all of them. We tried about a 51 or  2 yarder there, but he said, I can reach from there, end of that dome, just pulled it a little left, and then he pushed the other one a little right.
But that's just the way we had trouble stopping them. I don't know. It may have made the game a little closer, but it was a struggle for us to beat Auburn tonight. They were 9 of 12 on third down. That's why they're first in the conference. We were only 5 of 12. Couple of years ago that would be pretty good for us.

Q. You mentioned the pregame atmosphere. I'm wondering for you being back in this game after 10 years, did you find your emotions to be any different than in all the times you came with Florida and, if so, how?
COACH SPURRIER: A little bit. But again the noise that our Gamecocks made, it was something else. I've never heard it in pregame. I just, again, wish we could have given them a lot better performance to continue that yelling as the game went on.
They were here. They were looking for something; it just never happened. It didn't happen. And we can still tell recruits you can be on that first SEC championship team. So we can still say that. Going into my seventh year, I can still say that. Maybe we can make it happen here one day.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

SEC Championship Game Interview /w UA Coach Gene Chizik & QB Cam Newton


THE MODERATOR: If everyone will retake your seats we'll continue on with Auburn. Coach Chizik will have an opening statement, his comments on the game, Cam will do the same, and we'll take questions for both Coach and Cam.
Coach, begin with your thoughts on the game, please.
COACH CHIZIK: I couldn't be more proud of our football team, and our fans deserve this. The Auburn family deserves it. Our football team has been probably one of the most resilient group of young men I've seen in 25 years of doing this.
Everything they got tonight they deserved. They worked extremely hard over the last four months to be able to get to this point. It's a team that again, as I've said before, they're brothers and they have a lot of love in that locker room between them. I think that's one of the huge reasons we're sitting where we're at.
I feel like    as I told them before the game, I felt like this was going to be our finest hour tonight. I felt like we were going to play great. They were prepared. They were focused. They were locked in.
And I think they played like it. So, again, very proud of our football team. Very proud for the Auburn family and everything that I feel like they deserve.
And when we get done with this, obviously we'll take questions that have to do with this football game and any of the previous games. And, again, we'd like this to stay football related.

THE MODERATOR: Cam, comments from you.
CAM NEWTON: All right. I want to thank my teammates, my family, my coaches, and my Auburn family for their support. It means a lot to me to be on this team and be a part of the Auburn family. As I said before, I've done nothing wrong.
I'm only going to answer questions about football in this game. So I ask that you please respect that, and thank you so much.

Q. Coach, you're 13 0 now. I'm wondering if you remember now two years ago when the guy had the video running on YouTube about we need a winner here, we don't    Cam, sounds like you remember that    where that guy is, what message you would have for him and how amazing it is, the path you've had since that video? And maybe Cam wants to talk about it too.
COACH CHIZIK: I don't know exactly what you're talking about. But I know this: We're the SEC champions.

Q. Cam, have you seen it?
CAM NEWTON: Nope. (Laughter).

Q. Cam, could you describe that pass play, the hail Mary, at the end of the half, did you feel pretty good about it when you let it fly?
CAM NEWTON: No. We've been in that situation before in practice, and repetition is the key to success. Coach Malzahn, Brian watches us in what we're supposed to do in different situations, and when the time came for us to make a play for that, Darvin did an excellent job in kicking the ball in the air. The offensive line did an excellent job protecting, so it gave me time to throw the football.

Q. Cam, a year ago junior college and you're the SEC champion and you won it in your hometown. How does that feel?
CAM NEWTON: It feels    words can't explain how I feel right now. 365 days ago from this date I was at Blinn College, winning a junior college national championship. It's a wonder what God can do in a person's life, in such quick fashion.
I thank him every single day before I    as soon as my feet touch, my knees touch, thanking him and blessing me with so many guys that's influential in my life, directing me in the right ways. And I can't even be more happier than I am right now.

Q. You seem to utilize the fan support a lot today. Could you describe how much that meant to you today?
COACH CHIZIK: It meant a lot. Anything that I could do to show my gratitude to these fans, I'm willing to do. And at the time I felt like, you know, nobody was going around the field and giving those fans that was on the other side their credit and what they've done today, because without those fans, it's no wonder where we would be right now.
Because, as we say as a team, that's our edge, having the Auburn Nation right behind us and screaming fans, that's what we build off of.

Q. Cam, you guys could talk about the difference between converting nine of 12 third downs and holding them to five of 12, I believe.
COACH CHIZIK: Are you talking to me? Are you talking about third down conversions? I couldn't hear you. I think the third down conversions were huge today. And they're one of the tops in the leagues in being able to convert third downs. That was one of our goals going in.
I thought Coach Roof did a good job third down planning tonight. Always the key is to get pressure on the quarterback. I thought he did a great job mixing in different blends of blitzes and four man pressures, and I think that was a huge part of the ballgame.
And then, conversely, I think offensively we were big in the third down arena. So, again, it was a great team deal.

Q. Cam, talk a little bit about Darvin Adams, just the night he had.
CAM NEWTON: Darvin is the definition of a complete football player. He blocks. He catches. And whatever Coach asks him to do, he's willing to do it. And that just goes to show you what he did today, just the little things that we see every single day out of Darvin Adams.

Q. Coach, your thoughts when that pass on the last play of the half, when it was in the air, did you think there was a chance? And, also, how important was that and swinging the momentum back to you for the rest of the game?
COACH CHIZIK: I think that was a huge    it was a huge turning point in the game. We had two plays left when we got the ball back. The only way we were going to do that is if we felt like position field wise we could take one shot, try to eat up 10, 12 yards, get in range where Cam could throw it.
And it really all started with a squib kick that we were able to get the ball out to decent field position. We took one shot. We knew we only had two left on the clock. We took one shot. We knew Cameron can throw that ball 70 yards in the air or whatever the case may have been at that point. And he's done it in practice. So we said let's throw that up and see if we can't get a big play out of it. I think it was a huge momentum swing before the half.

Q. I ask this knowing you were part of a team that had Vince Young on it and won a national championship. But have you ever seen a better college football player than Cameron Newton?
COACH CHIZIK: No. It's that simple. No. If you look over a 13 game span, I've never seen anything like it, to be honest with you. And it's running the ball, it's throwing the ball. Usually great quarterbacks usually do one or the other better, meaning throw the ball or run the ball.
I think what Cam    what God's blessed Cameron with is the ability to be really, really good at both. And I can say this    well, we have one game left, so he can't get too big of a head with one game left, but I can say he's probably the best football player I've ever seen.

Q. Cam, Coach Chizik has talked about this before and complimented you on it. Your focus specifically down the stretch, how have you done that? How have you maintained that focus because it's been so incredible?
CAM NEWTON: It's easy for me. A lot of people don't realize or recognize my supporting cast. And you can believe that Coach Chizik is a part of that supporting cast. People behind the scenes that's helping me to do the right thing and keeping my head clear and free of any distractions leading up and to the games.
With this team, with my teammates, with my coaches, with my family and friends, you know, it's been an honor just to be a player and to have that type of support going in game in, game out, day after day.

Q. Coach, did you think you'd be here in the springtime, here in December?
COACH CHIZIK: You know, we really kind of live by the mantra of one game at a time, one play at a time, one day at a time and one game at a time.
I felt like there was enough in place where if the chemistry of the team unfolded correctly, I felt like that we had a chance to have a really good football team. How good, I did not know.
How they had the ability to overcome a lot of adversities and the things that they've done wasn't really sure about that, because you never know. But as the season went on, it became very apparent to me and all of our coaches and our players that we could definitely be sitting here on December 4th.

Q. Cam, with the Heisman trophy next week, is your dad going to be allowed to go to the ceremony with you with him being disassociated with the program?
COACH CHIZIK: We're going to stay away from those questions right now and stay football related, please, with all due respect.

Q. You guys literally exploded out there today. Was it because there was so much on the line with the BCS championship and undefeated season, Cam's Heisman trophy, did that play into it a lot?
COACH CHIZIK: You know, when we started    when we won a very tough road game last Friday, we came back and we went right back to work. I'm not sure it wasn't the best week of practice we've had in terms of focus and preparation.
We always talk about the last six inches of everything we do is the most important thing that we can do. And literally we were down to the last six inches of our season with the possibility of accomplishing a lot of goals.
So they were focused. Can't tell you, you know, all the reasons why they played X, Y and Z, but it was probably the most complete football game we've played as a football team in the last month or so.
And they were focused. And there was no way that    if you looked in our guys' eyes before we left the hotel for this stadium, there was no way in 60 minutes that someone was going to take it away from them. I saw it in their eye and I told them it was going to be their finest hour, and they played really good.

Q. Cam, you had a lot of second half drama this year, where you brought the team back. Today you guys just got clicking right off the bat, scored the first three possessions. Is that the best you guys have played coming out of the gates? And how good did you all feel during that first half?
CAM NEWTON: We felt great going into the second half. Our focus was to finish and focus. For this team, we have so many times we had to pay attention on striving to come back in games, but now we were tested to try to put a team away.
And coaches stressed the fact that we need to finish and we need to execute, because the first half, yeah, we scored points, but that wasn't the best that we had in our arsenal, and we just had to come out and finish.

Q. Cam, people obviously like to talk about how you like to beat teams with your legs and your ability to do that. Talk about your passing game, how much you worked on the passing game.
CAM NEWTON: Could you rephrase it, please.

Q. A lot of people talk about how you have the ability to beat people    teams with your legs. Talk about your passing game, how much you worked on the passing game for this particular game.
CAM NEWTON: I'm a quarterback, and that's a football player, as simple as that. I train with excellent weight training guys and excellent coaching staff that tries to attack the defense in every single way, whether it be running, whether it be passing, and I feel as an athlete, as a football player as a whole, you know I want to attack the defense and not be one dimensional and just take what the defense gives me.

Q. Cam, could you talk about what it's like when you think about playing for the whole thing here in about a month and playing in that big game on that stage?
CAM NEWTON: Honestly, it hasn't even sunk in right now. I just been living the dream this whole year I've just been living the dream, and I thank God for putting people in my life that has my best interests. And I can't stress it enough how blessed I truly am.
And I just thank the people that's in my corner.

Q. Coach, in '04 Auburn left this field undefeated but was denied a chance of playing the BCS championship game. With that in mind, how does it feel knowing you will get that chance now?
COACH CHIZIK: You know, as Cam said, the feeling of winning this game is really kind of where we're all at. I think obviously we just feel so blessed. And God's given us an opportunity to really, as a team, have so many great things and so many good things happen to us.
We know that we're excited about it. I'm like, Cam, it hasn't really set in yet. I know that's where we're going. Very proud, because there's a lot of people responsible for us getting there, meaning players and coaches, other than myself.
And feel very humbled, and I'm sure it will probably sink in a little bit later. A little bit more.

Q. Cam, a lot of the guys have been through this award circuit that you're about to go through, have said it's kind of a grind. How do you stay focused knowing that that big game is out there in about a month?
CAM NEWTON: I said it before, and it's the people in my corner, my supporting cast. And those guys    I don't know who is going to talk to me. I don't know when they're going to talk to me, but come game time, I feel like I'm mentally ready for what I'm about to embark on, whether it be a coach, whether it be somebody around the program, whether it be a teammate or a family member. I just feel like every single game, every single    whatever I'm about to    the task I'm about to take at hand I feel I'm prepared for.

Q. Cam, talk a little bit about this is an exclamation point you put on the Heisman candidacy, talk about it and what you think your chances are.
CAM NEWTON: Well, I don't know. I leave that up to the voters. I really don't like to talk about any individual awards with me, because without that team, without the coaching staff having faith in me, trust in me to make the plays, without those guys I wouldn't be where I am right now.
So I'm going to leave that up to the voters and we just wait and see what happens.

Q. Cam, for those of us who didn't cover many of the Blinn Junior College games, did you ever get tackled in junior college?
CAM NEWTON: Yeah, I got tackled.
COACH CHIZIK: Not very often, probably.
CAM NEWTON: I got tackled. But, no, with Coach Brad Franchione, the head coach at Blinn right now, you know I have lasting relationships with my teammates then that I would take to my grave. I still try to keep in touch with those guys at Blinn. And I hope them the best.

Q. I saw your Q&A with Sports Illustrated. Talk about a defining moment that you've had as coaching. You talked about the fourth down play in the Rose Bowl. How does this stack up?
COACH CHIZIK: Well, you know, two different scenarios: one being an assistant and one being a head coach. And, again, I just feel so blessed to be the head coach of an organization that topdown has their priorities right. And Jay Jacobs and Dr. Googe (phonetic) and everybody in the administration, they've got it all right. They've got it right.
I think that's one of the reasons that we have the opportunity to be where we're at. I don't know what defining moment was the exact one in this season that maybe gave me the feeling that we would be able to be in Arizona. I think it was probably an accumulation of moments.
But I know that as the season went on, as I said earlier, we knew we had a chance.

Q. Cam, there were several opportunities today where it looked like you were going to get sacked or tackled and it's almost as if the Carolina defenders were trying to tackle smoke. Could you sense that they were maybe getting frustrated? Were they talking amongst themselves?
CAM NEWTON: Going into this game, you know, we felt like it was going to be hard. It's a very cliche thing to say it's hard to beat a team twice. South Carolina played their heart out today. You could sense it from every snap they gave it their best.
And we were giving our best as well. When they tried to tackle me, for a player, I'm really honestly scared to get tackled so my defense mechanism went up and I just didn't want to hit the ground. And I closed my eyes and squinched it, and when I opened them I still wasn't down, so I tried to find an open receiver.

Q. Coach, could you talk a little bit about T'Sharvan Bell how he stepped up as a sophomore and made some huge plays for you guys defensively?
COACH CHIZIK: Right. Really proud of T Bell. Really proud of him. In the last month or so, I think he's probably one of the most improved football players on our defensive side of the ball. Just a guy who has come into his own.
He was a little dinged up earlier in the year and missed about two or three weeks. He came back strong. He's healthy now. In the last two games made two huge plays for us that everybody could see. But there's a lot of plays he's made behind the scenes that nobody would probably notice.
But you can certainly tell he's on the field. He's made an impact for our defense and really proud of the way he's come on and really helped our defense in the last month.

Q. Cam, this is for you, can you put into words the feeling of being on your teammates' shoulders there at the end of the game?
CAM NEWTON: At first I really thought they had something up their sleeves because so many people were looking at me and so many people were coming at me. So I was just looking around.
But Mike Berry and Ice, those guys are some terrific teammates. And good human beings, to say the least. And when they told me they wanted to put me on their shoulders I thought it was a joke at first. But as I went up in the air, it hit a part of my heart that I will never take away.
I'm just blessed to be on this team with those type of teammates. And I wouldn't trade this in for nothing.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

Donnerstag, Dezember 02, 2010

RTL Exklusiv: Cowboys und Saints in der Super Bowl XLV

Der TV-Sender RTL weiß nicht nur, dass die Black Eyed Peas die Halbzeitshow der Super Bowl am 6. Februar bestreiten werden, er kennt auch bereits die Paarung des NFL Finales.

Die Dallas Cowboys treffen als Gastgeber im eigenen Stadion auf den Titelverteidiger New Orleans Saints. Eine sensationelle Paarung, denn werden damit auch zum ersten Mal in der langen Geschichte des Super Bowls zwei Mannschaften aus der National Football Conference (NFC) aufeinander treffen!

Damit ersparen sich die anderen 30 Teams die letzten fünf und immer sehr mühsamen Wochen der regular season.

Ben Roethlisberger, Quarterback der Pittsburgh Steelers, die als Team der AFC zunächst nicht mehr Super Bowl teilnahmeberechtigt sind, sieht es mit einem lachenden und weinenden Auge. „Einerseits hätte ich schon noch ein paar Spiele gemacht, weil so schlecht waren wir heuer ja gar nicht. Andererseits kann ich jetzt mit meiner Harley in meine Lieblingsbar nach Georgia fahren. Und das rockt!“

Die Playoffs wurden von der NFL – hinsichtlich der RTL Enthüllungen – bereits abgesagt.

Comissioner Roger Goodell verbucht das als vollen Erfolg. „Wir standen gerade vor schwierigen Verhandlungen mit der Spielervertretung. Nun müssen wir nur mehr mit zwei Mannschaften reden. Das erleichtert die Sache ungemein“, so Goodell, der bei der Gelegenheit auch die Paarungen der Super Bowls 2012 bis 2014 bekannt gab. Im kommenden Jahr ist die AFC wieder dabei – es treffen in Indianapolis die Colts auf die Bolts (Goodell: "das reimt sich und was sich reimt, das verstehen auf Plakaten dann auch die Dümmsten der Dummen!"). 2013 sind im Superdome automatisch wieder die Saints qualifiziert, die auf Grund der immerwährenden Solidarität sich ihren Gegner bis zum 1.4. selbst aussuchen dürfen. 2015 treffen im Meadownlads Stadium die New York Giants in der allerersten Crossover Super World Series Bowl in sieben aufeinanderfolgenden Tagen auf die New York Yankees. Giants Pitcher Eli Manning: „Baseball schaut ja nur so kompliziert aus.“ Im vierten Inning wird jeweils die Sportart gewechselt.

Die TV Anstalten reagieren unterschiedlich. RTL erklärte im Rahmen einer Weihnachtsansprache, dass ihre Winterferialpraktikanten in der Teletextabteilung jetzt auch die Vorberichterstattung für die kommende Formel 1 Saison übernehmen werden, die von Fernando Alonso im Ferrari gewonnen wird.

Puls 4 wechselt das Spielfeld. „Wir haben mit Skicross eine aufstrebende Sportart entdeckt. Wir brauchen die Finten der NFL daher gar nicht und werden uns mit Trends über Wasser halten“, so Newcomer Robert „Zipflbob“ Seeger.