CBS SPORTS’ “SUPER BOWL TODAY” FEATURES SET FOR SUPER BOWL XLIV ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK ON FEB. 7
Among Features Highlighted Include Bill Cowher’s Exclusive Interview with Plaxico Burress from Prison; and James Brown on City of New Orleans for SUPER BOWL TODAY
CBS News’ Katie Couric Interviews President Barack Obama Live on SUPER BOWL TODAY
Jazz Great Wynton Marsalis Pays Special Musical Tribute to Beloved City of New Orleans and Saints
Live Musical Performances by Daughtry and Steve Winwood Also Featured during Pregame Show
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- CBS Sports' coverage of Super Bowl XLIV continues with THE SUPER BOWL TODAY, the Network’s pre-game studio show (2-6 p.m., ET) with host James Brown along with analysts Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher, as well as NFL TODAY “General Manager” Charley Casserly, reporters Lesley Visser, Sam Ryan, Steve Tasker, Solomon Wilcots and contributor Dick Enberg.
Katie Couric, anchor of THE CBS EVENING NEWS, serves as a special contributor and will also provide a special live interview with President of the United States Barack Obama during the pre-game show.
Sean McManus is President, CBS News and Sports and serves as executive producer for the Network’s coverage of the NFL and Super Bowl XLIV. Harold Bryant is Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.
Eric Mann is senior producer and Bob Matina is director of THE SUPER BOWL TODAY.
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Following are the scheduled features on THE SUPER BOWL TODAY (subject to change):
♦James Brown, Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher welcome viewers with some pre-game analysis and highlights from the NFL Tailgate party set, while Lesley Visser and Sam Ryan report on each team.
♦THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS: James Brown; Producer – Joseph E. Zappulla
James Brown takes a look at New Orleans four-and-a-half years after one of the nation's worst natural catastrophes, Hurricane Katrina, devastated the town. Brown looks at how the rise of the beloved Saints has once again given the city of Jazz and Blues hope and a premier spot on the front page of the nation's conscience. The feature also will examine the unique bond between the city's residents and the never-say-die football team with interviews of Saints Head Coach Sean Payton, quarterback Drew Brees, running back Reggie Bush, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, several prominent citizens/advocates of the city, long-time New Orleans area residents (and current Colts) Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne, plus inhabitants of the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the areas hardest hit by the deadly storm.
♦PLAXICO BURRESS: Bill Cowher; Producer – Charlie Bloom
Plaxico Burress sits down for his first interview since being sent to jail in September of 2009. Bill Cowher, his former coach, visits with Burress inside the Oneida Correctional Facility in upstate New York. It was exactly two years ago when Plaxico Burress made the game-winning catch in Super Bowl XLII. On November 28, 2008, Plaxico’s world turned upside down when he accidentally shot himself at a night club in New York. On August 20, 2009, Burress accepted a plea deal that would put him in prison for two years with an additional two years of supervised release. Burress talks openly about his emotions in prison. He talks with Cowher about his daily life, about seeing and holding his newborn daughter for the first time just weeks ago and if his future plans will include a return to the NFL?
♦DREW BREES: Katie Couric; Producer – Charlie Bloom
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees signed as a free agent with the Saints four years ago. Since then, he has led New Orleans to two NFC Championship Game appearances and now the first Super Bowl in franchise history. Brees also has had a major impact in the community. CBS News’ Katie Couric takes a journey with Drew and his wife Brittany through the streets of New Orleans and looks at how these two philanthropists are giving the city much more to cheer about beyond the football field. The couple explains how this city was meant to be their home and why they feel obligated to help New Orleans at the grass-roots level.
♦REGGIE BUSH: Shannon Sharpe; Producer – Deb Gelman
Reggie Bush was the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner and the second overall pick in the 2006 Draft. While his numbers have been up and down, as he’s battled injuries throughout his career, it has been his performance in this year’s postseason that may finally prove his critics and doubters wrong. Shannon Sharpe visits with Bush and finds that he has been very active in the New Orleans community including visiting St. Jude Children's Hospital where he be-friended a 5-year-old leukemia patient who has become an inspiration in his life.
♦NEW ORLEANS DEFENSE: Lesley Visser; Producer – Deb Gelman
First it was Kurt Warner. Then it was Brett Favre. Now it’s Peyton Manning. The Super Bowl will be the third straight game that the New Orleans defense will be going up against a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Lesley Visser sits down with Darren Sharper, Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith as they prepare to face the Colts high octane offense. Amidst their interesting revelations, they will break down what they must do to achieve winning the Super Bowl.
♦PEYTON MANNING: Dan Marino; Producer – Jeff St. Arromand
Since entering the NFL in 1998, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has never missed a start, won one Super Bowl, and a record four MVPs. Dan Marino visits with him and talks about Manning’s first Super Bowl win three years ago in Miami, the Colts’ decision not to go for a perfect season, and facing the team that his father Archie played for, the New Orleans Saints. Manning also reflects on his hometown of New Orleans.
♦DWIGHT FREENEY AND ROBERT MATHIS: Boomer Esiason; Producer – Jeff St. Arromand
Colts Pro Bowl Defensive Ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are a quarterback’s worst nightmare. With a combined 147 sacks, Freeney (84) and Mathis (63) are the top two sack leaders in Colts history and have combined for 23 sacks this season. Boomer Esiason sits down with Freeney and Mathis as they get ready to take on Drew Brees and the Saints. Will Freeney be ready to play despite an ankle injury?
♦INDIANAPOLIS RECEIVING CORPS: Sam Ryan; Producer – Mark Burghart
Peyton Manning has enjoyed his best statistical season since 2004. The reason: veterans Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, plus the emergence of Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon. During the season, Clark and Wayne each had 100 receptions and Collie and Garcon emerged as key receivers in the offense. All four have been instrumental in the Colts successful season and their run to capture their second Super Bowl title in four years. Sam Ryan visits with the Colts’ receiving corps and discusses the role Peyton Manning has played in the quartet’s success.
♦WYNTON MARSALIS: Producer -- Sarah Rinaldi
Jazz impresario Wynton Marsalis pays a special tribute with music and words to his beloved city of New Orleans. Marsalis, a life-long Saints fan, gathered several jazz musicians and captures the spirit of New Orleans and the true meaning of the Saints to the city.
In addition, live elements of THE SUPER BOWL TODAY will include an interview by CBS News Anchor of THE CBS EVENING NEWS, Katie Couric, with President of the United States Barack Obama.
Live musical performances throughout the day during THE SUPER BOWL TODAY will include Grammy Award-winning recording artist Steve Winwood, as well as Grammy Award-nominated group Daughtry. The Food Network’s Guy Fieri also will prepare the “perfect tailgate food.”