Every year, the Super Bowl MVP has his Disney World moment.
Phil Simms was the first. Back in 1987, after leading his New York Giants to victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI, the Kentucky-born and raised quarterback was approached by a camera team and prompted to utter the now-famous phrase, “I’m going to Disney World.”
“I just couldn’t do anything but laugh, thinking, ‘This is unbelievable,’ ” Simms tells Zap2it. “I win the Super Bowl and I’m doing a commercial, literally within five seconds after the gun went off. So, (it was) surreal, couldn’t believe I was doing it, but now I’m glad because I was the first one and it’s always a story.”
Simms will provide analysis alongside play-by-play man Jim Nantz as the AFC champion Broncos and NFC champion Carolina Panthers do battle in Super Bowl 50, airing Sunday (Feb. 7), on CBS, from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
The network is marking what it is calling its “Golden Celebration” with a few new technological bells and whistles for the telecast, among them EyeVision 360, a replay system in 5K resolution that offers viewers a 360-degree view of the playing field; and pylon cams, which give ground-level views of the goal lines and sidelines.
Then, of course, there is the programming itself, approximately 12 hours of it, starting out in late morning (ET) with “Super Bowl 50: Before They Were Pros,” profiling NFL players and legends and the communities that helped form them. Then at midday it’s “Road to the Super Bowl,” a retrospective of the 2015 season. After “Phil Simms All-Iron Team: Super Bowl Edition,” “The Super Bowl Today” pregame show has James Brown, Boomer Esiason, Bill Cowher, Tony Gonzalez, Bart Scott, Ian Eagle and Greg Gumbel weighing in on the big game.
And following the game telecast in early evening, “Super Bowl Today Postgame Show” recaps the action in Super Bowl 50 as Nantz presents the Lombardi Trophy to the newly crowned Super Bowl champs.
This is Nantz’s fourth time putting the finishing touches on the NFL’s biggest day.
“You have the commissioner. You have the owner. You have the team MVP. You have the players all just kind of milling about. It’s chaotic,” Nantz says. “But you just had the chaos of coming down yourself, finishing the big broadcast and now being there to present the trophy. It’s a fun thing. I have to say that when it ends, usually the owner and the coach, they all make their way off the platform, and then that’s my soak-it-in moment.”
For Nantz, a Northern California resident who has been with CBS since 1985 and seen the network lose and then regain NFL broadcast rights, this telecast will be special.
“I really have been thinking about this since Jan. 12, 1998 [when CBS won the rights to broadcast AFC games], so it’s a big thing and it’s a real honor,” he says. “And it’s almost here and I’m fortunate enough to be a part of it.”