NFC Championship disaster proves the best team going to Super Bowl 57 are these broadcasters
“Two weeks, we’ll see you in Phoenix,” Terry Bradshaw said on the "NFL on Fox" after handing the NFC Championship trophy to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Glendale, Terry. Super Bowl 57 will be played in Glendale. But close enough.
The NFC Championship itself, by the way, was terrible, a blowout 31-7 win for the Eagles over the San Francisco 49ers that was over as soon as Arizona-born Brock Purdy, the 49ers underdog hero of a quarterback, was knocked out of the contest.
Purdy came back when his backup was injured, but couldn’t throw the ball, dooming his team and viewer interest.
It was just a terrible game. Which actually bodes well for the Super Bowl. Why? Because if Fox’s No. 1 broadcast team of Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen can make this absolute dog of a game watchable and listenable, imagine what they can do with a competitive game. I mean, no matter what happens, the Super Bowl can’t be worse than this.
It’s like when Garp decides to buy the house a plane hits in “The World According to Garp.” After this mess, the Super Bowl is disaster proof.
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What time is Super Bowl 2023?
The Super Bowl will be played Sunday, Feb. 12 at 4:30 p.m. Arizona time at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. Sorry, Terry. The Eagles will play the Kansas City Chiefs.
That game, the AFC Championship, was better. Not just better, but absolutely fantastic.
The Chiefs beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in a thriller. The game was played in a freezing Kansas City; the NFC Championship in a soggy Philadelphia.
That is not going to be the case in Arizona, with the Chamber of Commerce winter weather and — perhaps more importantly — State Farm Stadium’s retractable roof.
It’s an interesting matchup on the field.
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Fox broadcast team Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen have 'risen to the occasion all year'
It’s also interesting in terms of the broadcast. The AFC Championship was everything the NFC Championship was not — exciting, competitive, well-played. That makes Burkhardt and Olsen's call of the NFC game all the more impressive.
Burkhardt and Olsen have never called a Super Bowl before. They took over as the No. 1 team on Fox Sports when Joe Buck and Troy Aikman followed the money to “Monday Night Football.” They started the year as a somewhat generic duo, but they have gotten better and better, Olsen in particular, who has to be considered one of best, if not the best, analysts in the NFL.
“I think these guys have risen to the occasion all year,” Richie Zyontz, who will produce the Super Bowl, said.
He’s not just promoting his own team. Truly, the Eagles-49ers game was the worst conference championship game in a long time. But Burkhardt and Olsen made it worth sticking around for. They didn’t pretend San Francisco’s miserable quarterback situation was anything but that. It was refreshing. I’ll acknowledge that when they took over as the lead team, I thought the Super Bowl broadcast would suffer. Who are these guys again?
They’re maybe the best team going, that’s who.
Of course if the Super Bowl were even worse than the NFC Championship huge audiences would tune in for it — which means huge audiences tuning in and seeing Arizona, whether during pregame shows or cuts to the watch party at the Super Bowl Experience or the bumpers before and after commercials. And if it’s a football game, people watch.
I wrote so many times that 75 of the top 100 highest-rated shows on TV in 2021 were football games I could have had the statistic tattooed on the inside of my eyelids. But surely that couldn’t last. And it didn’t.
In 2022 the number jumped to 82.
It’s just nuts. And of course the Super Bowl is the highest rated of them all. In 2022 the game averaged 101.1 million viewers on NBC and Telemundo. Throw in Peacock, NBC Sports Digital, Yahoo Sports and NFL Digital platforms and the number jumps to 112 million.
Imagine that many people or more tuning in to see Arizona.
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Super Bowl 57
4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12 on Fox.
Reach Goodykoontz at email@example.com. Facebook: facebook.com/GoodyOnFilm. Twitter: @goodyk.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Super Bowl prediction 2023: Chiefs-Eagles won't be the only top teams