Light Mode

Super Bowl Preview with Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson

[IMG:L]Even non-sports fans get into the drama of Super Bowl, making it the most watched event on television. This year, the New England Patriots are one game away from an undefeated season. But the AFC champions never faced an NFC team. Perhaps the New York Giants can be the one team to stop them. To catch up the casual fans and tide the die hards over until game day, Fox NFL announcers Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson previewed Sunday’s event.

The story of the Patriots has dominated much of the coverage, but the Giants were underdogs too. They managed to secure their spot in the Super Bowl by beating the Green Bay Packers on their home turf. A Super Bowl winning quarterback from the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bradshaw appreciated how the Giants stepped up.

“I thought [in] the second half Green Bay wasn’t nearly as effective,” said Bradshaw. “Brett [Favre] didn’t throw the ball nearly as well, almost lost his patience a little bit it looked like to me, became this calm and effect to the Giants. To me it was just a classic case of a young quarterback in [Eli] Manning rising to the occasion. Last week I was watching him warm up and I was amazed at how well he was throwing footballs with a glove on. The Giants earned it. They earned that victory at Green Bay. Another thing that puzzled me, I was surprised that Green Bay didn’t have a home field advantage when you have weather like that. Green Bay is inside, the Giants are in 20 degree weather and they’re outside so to me that neutralized home field advantage because both are going to walk into that wind for the first time together.”

- Advertisement -

The Patriots have not been total media darlings. Nobody can have that much success without a few haters. Allegations of spying on their competitors have even earned the nickname “Spygate,” but Bradshaw defends the Partiots’ record, even if they have videotaped the competition.

“I don’t have any questions, no reservations,” said Bradshaw. “They’ve earned every game. They beat the teams on the field. The spy game from week one is not even a thought as far as I’m concerned. There is no such thing as an asterisk. Ever since the first week, I’ve learned from people in the NFL about how so many people do things like that. It’s not even a thought. It shouldn’t even be considered. The focus should be on the incredible season that they’ve had, the run that they’ve had and I’ve gone so far as to say I love history, I love to be a part of it and to witness it. To me, if they should win this would be one of the greatest moments in my life.”

The Patriots’ undefeated season is not in the bag. As a Super Bowl winning coach of the Dallas Cowboys himself, Johnson sees many ways the Giants can win. “There’s a couple things,” offered Johnson. “Obviously, you’ve got to get pressure on [Tom] Brady. Anybody that slowed him down at all, they can put pressure on Brady. The other thing is they’ve got to do some press coverage and roll up on Randy Moss and keep him in check. When Randy Moss is one on one and he has reason to get off the line of scrimmage, they put a lot of points on the board. The other thing is, on the other side of the ball, they’ve got to be able to run the ball, eat up the clock and go for it on fourth down passing and put points on the board.”

A Patriots win could be more controversial than a loss. People will argue over whether or not it makes them the best team ever, and we all know sports fans don’t settle their arguments over tea. Bradshaw prefers not to even compare one team to the entire history of the sport.

“I’m not one to say that anybody is the best ever,” said Bradshaw. “It’s hard for me because it’s apples and oranges. We have changes in rules, we have changes in schedule. The NFL is a totally different NFL. The players are totally different players so it’s not fair in my eyes to say this is the best ever. If people say it, I will not argue with them on it. I wouldn’t have the right to do that. You know you’re going to see this. They’re going to put it on TV, then they’re going to go back and put the 49ers from ’81 or whatever and they’ll match them up with a computer and then they’ll do the Cowboys and they’ll do the Steelers and here we go again.”

Neither team’s work is over until the last play of the game. They may have made it to the Super Bowl, but they will be practicing right up until kickoff. Johnson recalled how important it was to maintain his Cowboys’ routines leading up to their Super Bowl victories.

- Advertisement -

“I wanted the practice routine to be the exact same,” said Johnson. “I wanted the practice routine to be the same. I wanted our meals to be the same. I wanted our routines going right on up until game time to be the exact same thing as what I would have for just a Sunday night game. So we would eat five hours prior to game time. I’d have the same menus. Our eating schedule would be the exact same. Players, everybody’s got superstitions but some are and if you change that routine, they kind of get out and filter as far as thinking this is not what we did when we won all those games.”

The Super Bowl airs Sunday, February 3 on Fox.

- Advertisement -