Sports Broadcast Journal Super Bowl Commentary and Notes
In lead-up to the game highlighting some of the key players, the NBC pregame crew prior to a commercial break made sure to show highlights of Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow demonstrating his trademark swagger. Videos of him wearing expensive chains and Cartier glasses while talking to reporters has established him as a player not afraid to show off but prioritizes his on-field play over anything else. His swagger has one over his teammates as a leader in the locker room, earning nicknames like Joe Cool and Joe Shiesty. With 34 regular season touchdown passes and a Super Bowl appearance in his sophomore season, it’s no surprise that Burrow can show off.
Despite many key additions to this year’s Rams, there are many players who suffered the Super Bowl loss to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. Among these players are defensive end Aaron Donald, wide receiver Cooper Kupp, and left tackle Andrew Whitworth who won the Walter Payton Man of the Year for the 2021 season. The NBC pregame crew sees this game as an opportunity for the Rams’ redemption and securing the Super Bowl rings they’ve been pursuing.
Beckham on the Board:
Midway through the first quarter, the Rams can strike first with a passing touchdown to wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Cris Collinsworth analyzes that the ongoing connection between Stafford and Beckham is one of the keys to tonight’s game if they are going to be able to keep pace with the explosive Bengals offense. While it is not as anticipated as the matchup between Rams’ corner Jalen Ramsey and Bengals’ wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Collinsworth concludes that Beckham’s production will need to continue to win tonight’s game.
Over the course of his long-tenured career, Rams’ left tackle Andrew Whitworth has played for both the Rams and Bengals. The NBC broadcast highlighted his time on the Bengals where he achieved three Pro Bowl nominations. It has also been an important and honor-filled weekend for Whitworth, being named Walter Payton Man of the Year for his community service throughout the season. In what many speculate as his potential last game, Michaels and Collinsworth made sure to give Whitworth his props for his time in both LA and Cincinnati, along with his impact on the communities he played in.
To Chase or Not to Chase:
When talking about some of the key players for the Bengals, Al Michaels discussed the impact of wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, whose explosiveness has given the Bengals a new dimension for their offense. Al noted that on draft night, the debate was should the Bengals draft a lineman to protect Burrow or another weapon. When many believed the Bengals made the wrong choice, Michael’s mentioned that Chase’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award speaks to his value as a great draft selection.
Mixon it Up:
On a trick play at the goal line, Joe Burrow handed off the ball to running back Joe Mixon, who then threw the ball to wide receiver Tee Higgins for a touchdown. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth marveled at the creativity of the play. The play brought so much surprise to the fans at SoFi that the NBC broadcast showed an excited Bengals fan who stood raising both fists in celebration of the touchdown.
Third Quarter Woes
After leaving the locker room to begin the second half, the Rams started off slowly, giving up a touchdown to Tee Higgins after a controversial no call on what looked to be offensive pass interference. It was followed by a Stafford interception. Michaels noted that there is added pressure on the Rams since they were expected to be here while the Bengals are playing with house money. With crucial mistakes to begin the second half, Michaels and Collinsworth speculate whether the Rams will be able to finish the job and fulfill their dream.
Burrow Taking a Beating
Following a third quarter sack of Bengals’ QB Joe Burrow, Michaels notes that after only getting sacked once in the first half, he has been sacked 5 times in this quarter alone. Collinsworth analyzes how the Bengals have not been able to block Rams’ defensive lineman Aaron Donald, leading to the inability to protect Joe Burrow. After such a strong start to the quarter, the momentum had shifted toward the Rams, all under the defensive prowess of the Rams.
The LeBron James of Ohio Football
While analyzing Joe Burrow’s play through three quarters, Uncle Al mentions that he not only has played professionally in Ohio, but also grew up in the state. During the pregame coverage, Burrow described how he relates to the fans at a level few other quarterbacks in the NFL can do. Collinsworth decided to make the analogy that Burrow is the LeBron James of Ohio football, since he played high school basketball in Akron and played professionally for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Put a Ring On It:
After fourth down pressure by Aaron Donald, the Rams secured the win and are Super Bowl Championship. After the big play, Donald ran across the field pointing to his ring finger, indicating that he’s going to put a Super Bowl ring on it to celebrate the biggest win of his career. Michaels and Collinsworth noted that Donald mentioned that he might retire if the Rams win the Super Bowl, going down as one of the best defensive players of all time if he does. This win also marked Rams’ quarterback Matthew Stafford and Head Coach Sean McVay’s first Super Bowl title, fulfilling their season-long destiny. As the confetti fell, the season concluded with the Rams hoisting the coveted Lombardi Trophy, marking their championship season.
Al Michaels’ wrap on the game
Finishing up the show, Michaels underscored that the Rams were built for the short duration and the strategy worked. They’re SB champs.
This could have been Michaels’ last NBC telecast. Still lots to be negotiated and determined before the pieces settle into place. Collinsworth is apparently staying on with new play-by-player Mike Tirico. Michele Tafoya is leaving NBC.