The NBC broadcast crew hit the red carpet inside Mall of America on Tuesday afternoon.
Among the group, including Al Michaels, Chris Collinsworth, Rodney Harrison and Dan Patrick, was former Minnesota Gophers quarterback and Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Tony Dungy. You may also know him as a Super Bowl Champion head coach with the Indianapolis Colts.
In between time preparing for the Super Bowl broadcast, Dungy has taken his son to see some of the places in Minnesota where he cut his teeth in football.
“It really is, memories are here, my son is here with me, showing him where I went to school, where I worked, the Vikings complex and all those things that have are such great memories for me. It’s just awesome.
Dungy headed up the Colts’ 2006 Super Bowl win over the Chicago Bears. Leading up to the game, he tried to keep his team on a similar schedule, but recognized the players were going to want to enjoy the experience.
“The way we did it, we tried to have our regular routine last week when we were at home, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, put the gameplan in and do exactly what you were going to do if you played the game on Sunday, then we let the guys take off, get away from it, then we’ll come back in the Super Bowl city and start again, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, the same routine.”
“I talked to a lot of coaches [who have played in the Super Bowl] and they have said the two weeks will drag into eternity if you don’t embrace the moment, so I told our guys to enjoy it. We went to Miami and I told them Monday, ‘I don’t even want to know where you go. Edgerrin James, you got ’em,’ Edgerrin was from Miami. Don’t tell me where you’re going, we’ll just come in Tuesday and go to work.”
While Vikings fans will be watching the Super Bowl with clenched teeth, it will be hard to ignore the quality of the matchup between the Patriots and Eagles. The Eagles may be underdogs to Tom Brady and the Pats, but Dungy, who was in attendance for Philadelphia’s win over the Vikings, said they have some of the same ingredients of teams who have upset the Pats before.
“This is very much like the Patriots-Giants matchups again,” Dungy said. “You know about the Patriots and you know what they’re going to bring. Philadelphia brings a lot of the elements you need to have to beat the Patriots, a defense that can stop the run and rush the passer, a running game with four backs who can do some different things, they’ve got a passing game that’s unique. They’ve got a spirit like, ‘Hey we’ve been through a lot, we’ve come through the NFC and nobody thinks we can do it.’ So a lot of those elements are there and I think it’s going to be a great game.”
During media night, the Patriots’ stars were clearly in their element having been in the Super Bowl last year and a number of other times for some players. Dungy points to the Eagles being new to the stage as a concern.
“New England is going to play how they always play, can Philadelphia treat it like just another game and stick to their game. Everybody thinks you have to elevate your game in the Super Bowl. You don’t, you just can’t get so nervous and uptight that you don’t play your game.”
Speaking of the stage, Dungy has been an analyst since 2009. This year’s Super Bowl will be his fourth on the NBC airwaves.
“You know the moment is so big, we only get to do it once every three years, you know there’s over 100 million people watching, you want to give some information to the fans that they might not get from anywhere else,” Dungy said. “We have a five hour pregame show, a lot of time to develop storylines and it’s fun for us, it’s so exciting.”