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Larry Fitzgerald Sr. will have a unique Super Bowl week

ESPN's Rick Reilly on the guy with the most unusual sportswriting assignment in the history of the Super Bowl.

Speaking of ESPN and The Big Game . . . click below for 2,100 words on the network's plans for covering the event.

The first reader to claim he or she has read every word of it gets banned from the blog for a week.ESPN will provide week-long comprehensive coverage of Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Fla., across its multimedia platforms Monday, Jan. 26 – Monday, Feb. 2, including:

Super Bowl-related content across 16 ESPN platforms: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN International, ESPN.com, ESPN Radio, ESPNRadio.com, ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPNdeportes.com, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Mobile properties;

More than 90 hours of Super Bowl-related programming on domestic television from Tampa;

More than 65 hours of Super Bowl-related programming on ESPN Radio from Tampa;

ESPN International will bring the Super Bowl to some 40 million households in 117 countries/territories;

More than 25 on-air commentators (hosts, analysts, reporters and contributors) covering on-site;

Live programming from Tampa kicks off Monday, Jan. 26 at 6 a.m. ET with Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio (simulcast on ESPN2). ESPN’s coverage will peak with more than 21 hours of TV and radio coverage on Super Bowl Sunday.

ESPN’s weeklong coverage will originate from the main set location at Cotanchobee Park in Tampa (across from the St. Pete Times Forum). Select ESPN Radio programs will also originate from nearby Channelside Bay Plaza.

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1):

Covering his 27th Super Bowl, Chris Berman will host the four-hour Sunday NFL Countdown (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson, Tom Jackson and Chris Mortensen. Monday Night Football play-by-play voice Mike Tirico and ESPN’s triumvirate of Super Bowl quarterbacks – Trent Dilfer, Ron Jaworski and Steve Young – will also appear on Countdown from a set at Raymond James Stadium. Post-game coverage will include two hours of SportsCenter and NFL Primetime beginning at 10 p.m. Reporters Suzy Kolber (Cardinals) and Ed Werder (Steelers) will also provide updates on the teams.

ESPN Radio’s “Super Sunday” program lineup will feature popular weekday shows Mike & Mike in the Morning (6 a.m./simulcast on ESPN2 at 6:30 a.m.) and The Herd with Colin Cowherd (10 a.m./simulcast on ESPN2 and ESPNU), as well as a five-hour “Countdown to Kickoff” pre-game show (1-6 p.m.) hosted by Ryen Russillo and Freddie Coleman, all originating from Bristol, Conn. Tirico will host a two-hour post-game show from Tampa.


ESPN will deliver Super Bowl XLIII to some 40 million households in 117 countries and territories outside the U.S.

ESPN International will provide exclusive live coverage of Super Bowl XLIII throughout Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Europe and the Pacific Rim, while RDS will provide non-exclusive coverage in Canada. Commentary and analysis will be provided in English, French-Canadian, Portuguese and Spanish.

New in 2009:

ESPN will be the exclusive cable/satellite home of Super Bowl XLIII throughout Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Israel, and the Pacific Rim (38 million homes in 116 countries and territories).

ESPN’s first live sports network in Europe, NASN, will be re-branded ESPN America on Super Bowl Sunday.

ESPN HD (Australia) will feature the first high definition Super Bowl broadcast in that country.

ESPN’s International SportsCenter production team will provide reports throughout the week to Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and throughout the Pacific Rim;

Live coverage on Super Bowl Sunday in Latin America begins at 3:30 p.m. with Cronometro Super Sunday Special, followed by a one-hour edition of SportsCenter: Super Bowl Special and NFL Esta Noche Super Bowl Special.

Spanish-language coverage in the U.S. and Latin America will feature Spanish-language Emmy nominee Álvaro Martín (play-by-play), analyst and former New York Giants Super Bowl-winning kicker Raul Allegre, and reporters John Sutcliffe and Ciro Procuna, who will offer daily reports from Tampa on Spanish-language editions of SportsCenter and Radio Formula programs throughout Super Bowl week. Live coverage on Super Bowl Sunday in Latin America begins at 3:30 p.m. with Cronometro Super Bowl Special and continues throughout the day through the exclusive telecast of Super Bowl XLIII featuring the Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers at 6 p.m. Everaldo Marques, Paulo Antunes and sideline reporter Andre Kfouri will offer Portuguese-language commentary of the game for ESPN Brasil.


ESPN’s primary host location throughout Super Bowl week in Tampa will be an outdoor set -- open for public viewing -- at Cotanchobee Park (located on St. Pete Times Forum Drive). Planned highlights:

SportsCenter (Monday, Jan. 26 - Sunday, Feb. 1) with anchors Greenberg, Steve Levy and Stuart Scott, joined by reporters Mortensen, Kolber and Werder;

Berman, joined by analysts Carter, Dikta, Jackson, Johnson and Mortensen, will host a special four-hour Super Bowl XLIII preview edition of Sunday NFL Countdown, Feb. 1 at 10 a.m. Tirico, Dilfer, Jaworski and Young will also report live from Raymond James Stadium, while Kolber and Werder will cover the teams;

Each weekday on ESPN, Trey Wingo will host a daily 30-minute SportsCenter Special at 3:30 p.m. followed by a 30-minute NFL Live at 4 p.m.;

State Farm NFL Matchup, hosted by Sal Paolantonio with Merril Hoge and Jaworski (Sunday, Feb. 1, at 3 and 6:30 a.m., ESPN);

Sports Reporters hosted by John Saunders (Sunday, Feb. 1, at 8:30 a.m., ESPN);

Rome is Burning (M-F, 4:30 p.m., ESPN) will air live from Tampa as current and former NFL players join host Jim Rome to discuss the Super Bowl;

Around the Horn (M-F, 5 p.m., ESPN) will feature host Tony Reali with some of the show’s daily panelists opining from Tampa;

Pardon the Interruption (M-F, 5:30 p.m., ESPN) will feature co-host Michael Wilbon and guests for the ‘Five Good Minutes’ segment in Tampa, as well as Kornheiser in the Washington, D.C., studio;

ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, will be simulcast live on ESPN2 (M-F, 6-10 a.m.). Greenberg and Golic will host from Cotanchobee Park in Tampa with in-person guests and entertaining discussions of the day’s top sports events;

First Take (M-F, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., ESPN2) will include NFL-related interviews and previews segments from Tampa all week;

ESPNEWS will offer expanded live coverage of Super Bowl week, including every minute of the team media availability sessions -- 20 hours of live news conferences. Coverage begins Sunday, Jan. 25 when the teams arrive in Tampa and continues Tuesday, Jan. 27 with four hours of live Media Day coverage from Raymond James Stadium, including the media sessions – 10-11 a.m. (Cardinals) and 12-1 p.m. (Steelers). On Friday, Jan. 30, head coaches Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Tomlin will make their final comments preceding NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's State of the NFL address. ESPNEWS will once again be the destination for post-game press conferences, including every podium and locker room interview available. NFL analysts Qadry Ismail, Eric Allen and Floyd Reese will share their insights and expertise on ESPNEWS throughout the week.


ESPN Classic’s Super Bowl Marathon line-up will feature 23 consecutive hours of NFL-related programming (Saturday, Jan. 31 at 7 a.m. – Sunday, Feb. 1 at 6 a.m.) that will get fans ready for the biggest game of the year by celebrating the top players, teams and moments in Super Bowl history. NFL sports legends Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, Al Davis, Dick Butkus, Peyton Manning, Terrell Owens and Tom Brady are among those who will be featured. The lineup will kickoff with eight consecutive episodes of SportsCentury, followed by episodes of Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Blame …, Who’s #1?: Biggest NFL Draft Busts and Best NFL Post-Season Performances, additional SportsCentury episodes, a primetime showing of The Greatest Game Ever Played (8 p.m.) and finally three back-to-back episodes of Who’s #1 culminating with Who’s #1: Best Teams to Never Win a Title (5 a.m.).


ESPN Radio’s “Super Week” 2009 will offer on-site broadcasts of regularly scheduled weekday programs, special shows and reports from team headquarters and Media Day, and comprehensive analysis and post-game interviews.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 26, Mike & Mike in the Morning (6-10 a.m., M-F/simulcast on ESPN2) with co-hosts Golic and Greenberg will kick off ESPN Radio’s on-site coverage from Cotanchobee Park in Tampa. The Herd with Colin Cowherd (10 a.m. - 1 p.m., M-F) and Tirico & Van Pelt (1-4 p.m. M-F) hosted by Tirico and Scott Van Pelt will originate from the ESPN Radio set at Channelside Plaza Courtyard in Tampa all week.

“Super Sunday” will include a special lineup featuring Mike & Mike in the Morning (6-10 a.m./simulcast on ESPN2 starting at 6:30 a.m.), followed by The Herd (10 a.m. – 1 p.m./simulcast on ESPN2 and ESPNU (10 a.m. - noon)) and a special five-hour “Countdown to Kickoff” pre-game show (1 – 6 p.m.) hosted by Russillo and Coleman from Bristol, Conn. Tirico will anchor ESPN Radio’s post-game coverage from Tampa beginning at 10 p.m.

ESPNRadio.com will provide live audio and video streaming of ESPN Radio programs throughout Super Bowl week, as well as on-demand highlights of every show and every interview.


ESPN.com is providing complete coverage and analysis of the game, teams, players, coaches and the entire Super Bowl scene from Tampa on both the redesigned NFL homepage (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/index) and the 2009 edition of Super Bowl Central (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/superbowl). The site features interactivity through daily chats with writers and other personalities on SportsNation, video reports on Countdown Daily and live blogging throughout the week, including Tuesday’s Media Day and Game Day.

ESPN’s award-winning roster of contributors will be part of Super Bowl coverage, including NFL Hall of Famers John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli, as well as Mortensen, Wright Thompson, Gene Wojciechowski, Jeffri Chadiha, Greg Garber, Elizabeth Merrill, Pat Yasinskas, James Walker, Mike Sando, Michael Weinreb and Scouts Inc., who will provide insight, commentary, breaking news and analysis of all facets of the Super Bowl XLIII match-up. Other coverage highlights include:

Behind-the-hero stories highlighting one player from each of the 42 teams that have earned Super Bowl rings;

Video, essays and pictorials from 10 Super Bowl MVPs, including Arizona’s Kurt Warner and Pittsburgh’s Hines Ward, who tell stories about pivotal moments in their path to being named MVPs;

In-depth analysis, scouting reports and rankings of all 106 players on the Cardinals and Steelers’ Super Bowl rosters from Scouts Inc.;

Additional video features, interviews, news and analysis on the ESPN Video hub (http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/video/).

Jeremy Green will host the ESPN Football Today podcast live from Tampa. He will be joined by some of the biggest names in football, including Ronde Barber, Derrick Brooks, Dennis Green and more. Play Ball with Amanda and Melissa will offer a female perspective of the big game as the podcast debuts on Thursday, January 29 with a special guest, New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs.


ESPN Deportes will offer the most comprehensive coverage of Super Bowl XLIII on Spanish-language television in the U.S. The network will have a team in Tampa all week, providing nightly segments for its edition of SportsCenter. NFL Semanal, ESPN's signature Spanish-language NFL news and analysis program, hosted by Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega will be produced from Bristol, Conn., Fri., Jan. 30 (6 p.m.) with on-site contributions from Allegre, Martín and Sutcliffe in Tampa.

ESPN Deportes Radio, the only around-the-clock national Spanish-language sports radio network in the U.S., will feature NFL commentary throughout Super Bowl week. ESPNdeportes.com, the company's Spanish-language Web site, will provide complete coverage all week, including chats with ESPN Deportes experts, daily blogs and ESPN Motion video.


ESPN Mobile products will provide fans with up-to-date information via its mobile web and MVP applications. Super Bowl week highlights will include game updates, news, analysis, team and player profiles, chats and more.


ESPN The Magazine is hosting its fifth annual NEXT Big Weekend Presented by Ford F-150 during Super Bowl weekend in downtown Tampa to celebrate its annual NEXT issue, featuring who and what to watch in 2009. The Magazine will convert the parking lot located at 202 South Morgan St. into the hottest Super Bowl party under a one-of-a-kind 22,000 square foot quad-saddle tent. Multi-Platinum, Grammy Award-winning musician/producer Wyclef Jean will headline The Magazine’s fifth annual NEXT party Fri., Jan. 30 at 9 p.m. This private, VIP party will showcase what's NEXT in sports, technology, lifestyle, and, of course, what’s NEXT from ESPN. The NEXT party will also feature celebrity DJ Samantha Ronson and guest DJ/ESPN NFL analyst Marcellus Wiley. The Magazine’s NEXT Big Weekend Presented by Ford F-150 will continue Sat., Jan. 31 (noon-5 p.m.) with ESPN The Magazine’s NEXT Day Tailgate – a free fan event at the same location – featuring a live performance by Sean Kingston, the University of South Florida Marching Band and Tampa-based reggae band Impulse.

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