Chris Berman and Countdown Analysts Live at Herald Square in New York City for Special Four-Hour Show; Suzy Kolber with Monday Night Countdown’s Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young at MetLife Stadium; Reporters Sal Paolantonio (Broncos) and Ed Werder (Seahawks) with team reports
A special four-hour edition of ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown will preview Super Bowl XLVIII from two locations – Herald Square in downtown Manhattan and MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., beginning at 10 a.m. ET on Feb. 2.
Host Chris Berman, covering his 32nd Super Bowl, will be joined by analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson on the main set at Herald Square, along with NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Suzy Kolber and Monday Night Countdown analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young will appear from MetLife Stadium, site of the game. Reporters Sal Paolantonio (covering the Broncos) and Ed Werder (Seahawks) will also provide live team updates throughout the program.
ESPN’s roster of Countdown analysts – with a combined nine Super Bowl rings in 14 appearances in the NFL’s biggest game – will preview the Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks game in Super Bowl XLVIII, analyzing the players, teams, key matchups and more.
Planned Countdown features, in order of timing by quarter-hour (all times subject to change):
Opening Tease: A Super Bowl in New York-New Jersey (10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET)
American film, stage and voice actor Willem Dafoe narrates an essay he wrote about the Super Bowl in New York-New Jersey that captures the event’s departure from the norm to embrace new challenges and opportunities.
Russell Wilson’s “Houdini” Plays (11 a.m.)
In a sit-down with Countdown’s Chris Berman, second-year Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson walks through some of his most memorable plays where he escaped from pressure with Houdini-like moves to keep plays alive.
Capturing The Super Bowl Moment (11:15 a.m.)
From Bart Starr’s Super Bowl sneak in 1967, through Lynn Swann’s 53-yard acrobatic grab in Super Bowl X, to David Tyree’s “Helmet Catch” in Super Bowl XLII, past Super Bowl photographers discuss the skill, positioning and how they labored to capture the indelible still frames that have come to define America’s biggest sporting event through the years.
Frank Caliendo’s “30 for 30” (11:45 a.m.)
Comedian Frank Caliendo presents a “mockumentary” on how Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman used his new-found infamy to make his way to the White House. Caliendo’s mockumentary includes cameos impersonating former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, NFL Insider Adam Schefter, and, for the first time, television impersonations of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and ESPN’s Ron Jaworski.
John Elway Conversation (12 p.m.)
At the end of John Elway’s first Super Bowl – an agonizing 20-39 loss to the Giants on January 25, 1987, veteran Broncos linebacker Tom Jackson, then a teammate of Elway, stood next to his young quarterback and cautioned him to “always remember his feelings from the loss.” Though Super Bowl XXI was Jackson’s last game as a player, his advice remained with Elway through two Super Bowl victories in five attempts. Twenty-seven years later, the former teammates reunite as the Broncos executive vice president of football operations sits for a one-on-one conversation with Countdown’s most-tenured analyst. Elway discusses the long process of turning the team around and relives some of his own experiences as the Broncos quarterback.
Draft Day (12:20 p.m.)
Actors Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner and Denis Leary, stars of the upcoming NFL Draft-themed film Draft Day (released April 11), will join Berman and the Countdown analysts live at Herald Square.
Pete Carroll and Jake Olson (12:30 p.m.)
Since his days as coach of the USC Trojans, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has had a relationship with a young fan named Jake Olson, who lost his vision due to cancer. During the Seahawks’ Divisional Playoff game against the Saints, Olson joined Carroll on the sidelines. Countdown profiles a relationship that has grown over the years and has followed Carroll from college into professional football.
Peyton Manning Conversation with Chris Mortensen (1 p.m.)
ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen sits for a one-on-one conversation with Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who discusses his NFL future and how being a parent has made him more “sentimental.”
Finding Your Family (1:40 p.m.)
At the end of every Super Bowl, players on the winning team fight through confetti and hoards of media and other officials in search of their loved ones in the stands. Through the voices of Super Bowl winners such as John Elway, Tom Brady, Emmitt Smith, Jim Burt, Jason Pierre Paul, Dick Vermeil and others, reporter Greg Garber and Countdown recount stories of players and coaches, how they celebrated winning the Lombardi Trophy and how they found their families.
In addition, the program will feature Super Bowl XLVIII picks by the commentators.
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