Super Bowl 50 will be historic and I’ll attack with vigor of a regular season NFL game
- Updated: February 5, 2016
For a history junkie like me who loves the National Football League, any Super Bowl is special. Throw in a milestone, and it’s gold in more ways than one.
I’m excited and fortunate to be calling Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif., this Sunday for NFL Films’ World Feed along with famed New York Giants play-by-play announcer, Bob Papa. It will be our third straight, and I’m as excited for this one as I’ve been for the other two.Not your average NFL game
The Super Bowl is never your average game, and as a sports broadcaster, I’m one of the truly lucky ones to be involved. Our broadcast is for the world feed and not the American television network rights holder, but there are precious few that get the opportunity to attend the NFL’s spotlight game, let alone call it. I’ve been fortunate to call three college football national title games and now I’m en route to my third Super Bowl World Feed that will be televised on more than 50 broadcast channels in more than 170 countries and territories. Oh, yes, I’m LUCKY!
I have a feeling that if I called the game 100 times in a row, it would fire me up the same way it does today. Anticipation for the Super Bowl is electric. The road, regardless of where it’s played, is far from routine. People are surprised when they ask me about my preparation for the game, however. That’s until they hear my answer. You see, this game is like any of my regular season NFL games because I prepare for those as if they were Super Bowls. It’s not an exaggeration. Each game to me is that important.
Super Bowl 50 gold
As you know, the 2016 game between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers has historical significance. Just the number makes it special. Fifty Super Bowls will have played by the time the clock hits zeros Sunday night. While it’s hard to believe sometimes, I’ve actually been alive for each and every one of them.
Since I love the history of the game, I believe that I’m well versed on all of them, but my first conscious memory of the NFL’s big game is Super Bowl III when the New York Jets upset the Baltimore Colts – the one before which Jets quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed a win (despite the Colts being favored by nearly 18 points). I was only 5-years-old, but growing up in New Paltz, N.Y., which is just two hours away from New York City, the Jets and my then idol, “Broadway” Joe, had my attention, In fact my favorite gift from that era was a “Joe Namath Action Figure” that was about the size of a standard GI Joe. It came with Namath, his Jets uniform and his street (club!) clothes, complete with his signature mink coat. In fact, I received two of those figures. One of my biggest regrets is that I lost them both. Collector’s items, for sure!
Of added historical note is actually a break in tradition. This is the first year that the NFL strayed from using Roman numerals to identify the Super Bowl. Some that appreciate tradition weren’t thrilled, but I think the NFL got it right with this one. While I would love to see Roman numerals continue hereafter, the use of “50” along with the number’s customarily associated gold color for this game makes it stand out just a bit more.
A special quiet before the game
Since I arrive in Santa Clara just two days before the game this year, I won’t have an opportunity to take in the festivities that surround this spectacular event. It’s all business for me, but what an office! The one thing that I find very cool is when I visit the stadium the day before the game to get acclimated to the booth where I will help call the game with Papa. The best part of that day’s visit, however, is when I’m able to walk onto the field with just workers in the stadium while they finish their prep. Seeing everything painted fresh on the field, feeling the relative quiet of the stadium and knowing that in just hours it will be a cacophony of color and sound is a special feeling. Sometimes I watch the halftime entertainment rehearse, often with sound check. There is a tingling of excitement that you feel; the idea that you will participate in some small way in the NFL’s biggest game of the year becomes real. Wow….
The World Feed will be available overseas on NFL Game Pass.
©Charles Davis; CharlesDavisSports.com