As I've said before, I read a LOT of TV press releases, but the NBC PR department generated quote from Chris Collinsworth below has "This was the game of the season when they drew up the schedule. Now? Oh. My. God." written all over it.
From an NBC press release:
NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" TRAVELS TO INDY FOR MATCHUP BETWEEN COLTS AND PATRIOTS
Published: October 29, 2008
"This game becomes more intriguing without Tom Brady, not less." – "Football Night's" Collinsworth
"It feels like the whole world has been flipped upside down with the Colts fighting for their playoff lives." – "Football Night's" Collinsworth
NEW YORK – October 29, 2008 – "NBC Sunday Night Football," in its third season as the NFL's premier primetime package, heads to Indianapolis as the Colts (3-4) host their AFC rival the New England Patriots (5-2). Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) call the action. Coverage on NBC begins at 7 p.m. ET with "Football Night in America," with Bob Costas (host), Cris Collinsworth (co-host) Keith Olbermann (co-host), Dan Patrick (co-host), Jerome Bettis (analyst), Tiki Barber (analyst) and Peter King (reporter).
COLLINSWORTH ON COLTS: "It feels like the whole world has been flipped upside down with the Colts fighting for their playoff lives. I still feel like they have a seven, eight, nine-game winning streak in them. It's been proven that it doesn't matter what seed you are, you just have to get in. This is a championship team that I could see making a big run, and this is the game that could propel them."
COLLINSWORTH ON MATT CASSEL: "He's gotten better and better each week. Bill Belichick and the Patriots have done a great job of nurturing him. I am real interested to see him this week. It's a step up in competition, against a big-time quarterback in what's sure to be a playoff atmosphere. I think because of that, this game becomes more intriguing without Tom Brady, not less."
COLLINSWORTH ON PATRIOTS: "It's a tribute to this franchise that they are ready for any contingency. They lose Brady and a quarterback who essentially hasn't played since high school steps in and they keep on winning. And it's not just Brady. They've lost [Laurence] Maroney and [Sammy] Morris as well. Nothing seems to stop them."
PATRIOTS-COLTS IN PRIMETIME: Both the Colts and Patriots are making their second 2008 appearance on NBC "Sunday Night Football." In the first week of the season, the Colts lost to the Chicago Bears and are now 5-3 overall since the NFL's premier primetime package moved to NBC in 2006. The Colts ninth "NBC SNF" appearance is the most for any franchise surpassing the Dallas Cowboys. The Patriots are 3-3 overall on "Sunday Night Football," including a 30-10 loss to the Chargers in Week 5. Each team has one more SNF game scheduled this season; Indy travels to San Diego in Week 12 (subject to Flex) and the Pats host Seattle in Week 14 (subject to Flex). New England leads the overall series 42-26. Last year, en route to a perfect 16-0 regular season, the Patriots defeated the Colts 24-20 in Indy to improve to 9-0.
"SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL EXTRA": Each "Sunday Night Football" game is available on NBC as well as streamed live on NFL.com and NBCSports.com, marking the first time complete NFL games will be widely available in the U.S. via live online streaming.
The live NFL.com and NBCSports.com coverage comes from NBC's TV coverage of Sunday Night Football. Complementing that stream are a number of extra features to enrich the viewing experience including additional camera angles, in-game highlights, picture-in-picture technology, live statistics and other interactive elements. "Sunday Night Football Extra" also includes in-game studio updates from NBC's "Football Night in America" team and NFL Network.
ROTOWORLD.COM'S WEEK 9 SLEEPER PICKS: Rotoworld.com managing editor Gregg Rosenthal, who was named 2007 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, picks his fantasy sleepers for Week 9.
1. Chad Pennington vs. Broncos: Pennington's revival is for real; he's second in the league in yards-per-attempt. If he can average 300 yards against the Bills and Ravens, he's going over the mark at Denver.
2. Kyle Orton vs. Lions: Six quarterbacks who have faced Detroit this season have enjoyed career best passer rating numbers.
3. Tim Hightower at Rams: The changing of the guard in Arizona's backfield starts now.
4. Justin Fargas vs. Falcons: The Raiders are a different team at home and Fargas is getting all the carries.
5. Greg Camarillo at Broncos: Pennington's new Wayne Chrebet will load up receptions against a weak Denver secondary
TASTE OF THE NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL COOKBOOK BRUNCH IN INDIANAPOLIS: This Sunday, executive chef Tony Hanslits of Malibu on Maryland and Tavola di Tosa restaurants in Indianapolis, will host The Taste of the NFL Sunday Night Football Cookbook Brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Chef's Academy to raise money for the Gleaners Food Bank of Indianapolis. Tickets cost $35 and can be purchased by calling Kayte Russell at (317) 656.4865.
Taste of the NFL is the premier food and wine event at Super Bowl, a "party with a purpose" that raises awareness and funds for hunger-relief organizations including Feeding America and its affiliates nationwide. Since 1992, Taste of the NFL has donated more than $10 million to local and national hunger-relief organizations.
NEW ENGLAND & INDIANAPOLIS COOK UP SUNDAY NIGHT MEALS: The "Sunday Night Football" Cookbook features recipes from NFL stars including Patriots Hall of Famer Andre Tippett who contributes his recipe for Lobster Pizza. The Colts' DB Bob Sanders offers his Lemon Pepper Tilapia recipe and DL Dwight Freeney contributes his recipe for Brown Stew Chicken. The Sunday Night Football Cookbook also features recipes from prominent chefs from each NFL city including New England's Chris Schlesinger of East Coast Bar & Grill and Indianapolis' Tony Hanslits.
Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse represent their favorite NFL teams and NBC's "Sunday Night Football" crew have added their favorite Sunday Night recipes to the Cookbook. Faith Hill and John Madden not only provide some of their favorite recipes, but also write special introductions. The book contains full meals and a section on Super Bowl parties, just in time for the next Super Bowl on NBC. Proceeds from the cookbook, which is available wherever books are sold or at SundayNightFootballCookbook.com, go to support local food banks across the U.S. through Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest).
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Al Michaels, the commentator called "TV's best play-by-play announcer" by the Associated Press, is joined in the "Sunday Night Football" booth by John Madden, the most honored NFL broadcaster of all time with 16 Emmy Awards, and on the sidelines by Andrea Kremer, whom the Los Angeles Times has called "the best TV interviewer in the business of covering the NFL."
"FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA": The Washington Post calls NBC's "Football Night in America" studio show the "Gold Standard" of NFL studio shows and "must-see television for NFL fans." Bob Costas, the most honored studio host of all time with 19 Emmy Awards, hosts "Football Night in America" alongside co-host Cris Collinsworth, the most honored studio analyst in history; co-host Keith Olbermann, named one of the Top Ten Most Powerful People in TV News for 2007 by Television Week; newcomer and co-host Dan Patrick, reuniting him with Olbermann who together redefined sports highlights during their time together on ESPN's SportsCenter from 1992-97; and analysts Tiki Barber, a three-time NFL Pro Bowler for the New York Giants, and Jerome Bettis, one of the most popular players in recent NFL history. Peter King, who covers the NFL for Sports Illustrated and is considered one of the country's foremost NFL reporters, serves as a reporter for the "Football Night in America" studio show.
NBC's REMAINING 2008 NFL SCHEDULE:
("NBC Sunday Night Football" kickoff, 8:15 p.m. ET preceded by "Football Night in America," 7 p.m. ET)
Sunday, Nov. 2 – New England at Indianapolis
Sunday, Nov. 9 – New York Giants at Philadelphia
Sunday, Nov. 16 – Dallas at Washington (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Nov. 23 – Indianapolis at San Diego (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Nov. 30 – Chicago at Minnesota (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 7 – New England at Seattle (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 14 – New York Giants at Dallas (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 21 – San Diego at Tampa Bay (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 28 – Flex Week – teams TBA