Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Trio of Pre-Game Super Bowl Media Winners

After two weeks of hype and with a full working day until kickoff for the Super Bowl -- when the commercials take center stage for many and CBS Sports focuses 62 cameras on the game action -- a small handful of sports media winners have emerged.

Even with hundreds of media members working to inform listeners and viewer, not much news emerges during the buildup for the game and one network's coverage invariable looks and sounds just like that of another. Still, there have been a handful of standouts.

Here's my short list:

  • "Mike and Mike in the Morning," thanks in large part to the show's standout production staff which landed Packers receiver Donald Driver as a guest in the middle of the week. With relatively nudging from the show's hosts, the veteran wideout announced his retirement. It was the biggest unstaged moment leading up to the Super Bowl. While Randy Moss's me-first moment, declaring himself the best receiver ever, made headlines, that was part of Media Day, when somebody always says something. Likewise, the NFL's made-for-TV "NFL Honors" revealed winners of season-long awards.
  • Rich Eisen, the host of record and face of NFL Network. His interview with NFL commissioner after the commish's state-of-the-league address was timely and touched on topics that needed clarified or were missed during the news conference itself. Plus, Eisen's absence during the Hall of Fame announcement Saturday evening made the even seem a little less special because the NFL Network's top host was missing. 
  • Rachel Nichols, who made the move to CNN and got a chance to co-host a show on site in New Orleans on Saturday. Many who leave ESPN for supposedly greener pastures do so with success, and others fail. For Nichols, bringing a sports presence to CNN could be a valuably visible experience.

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