By: John Molori
January 31, 2005

Year after year, Gil Santos delivered
Bill Belichick pays tribute to Patriots Hall of Fame broadcaster Gil Santos
Bill Belichick pays tribute to the late Gil Santos
Tight end Troy Niklas’ “crazy” story makes him a Patriot and a father, too
Patriots notebook: Season starts with Houston at Foxboro


- Fox on the run
- Tanguay on tap
- Hype springs eternal

Leading up to Super Bowl XXXIX at 6:00 p.m., Fox has unprecedented Super Bowl pregame coverage. On Saturday at 3:00 p.m., it is "Road to the Super Bowl,” an NFL Films-produced look back at the 2004 Patriots and Eagles seasons.

At 4:00 p.m., Howie Long features his annual "Tough Guys,” a roster of 40 hard-nosed NFL players. The "College All-Star Skills Challenge” is up at 4:30 p.m. Kenny Albert and Moose Johnston host the exhibition.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Fox starts things off at 10:00 a.m. with "Buck, Aikman and Collinsworth-All Access.” NFL Films again provides a backstage look at the announcing trio's preparation for Super Bowl XXXIX.

"Untold Stories of the Super Bowl” airs at 11:00 a.m. hosted by James Brown and featuring Long, Aikman, Collinsworth, Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson sharing their personal memories of Super Bowls past. At noon, the adults can check on the nachos as the kids watch Tony Hawk's "Underground 2 Boom Boom Huckjam” with some of the top extreme athletes competing.

Tom Arnold and John Salley take to the airwaves at 1:00 p.m. with "The Best Damn Super Bowl Road Show Period.” Bryan Cox and Michael Strahan join a host of guest celebrities. At 2:00 p.m., it's the "Sunday Pregame Show” with the usual "Fox NFL Sunday” studio hosts along with Jillian Barberie, Frank Caliendo, Pam Oliver and Chris Myers.

Fox will debut its new Turf Cam during Super Bowl XXXIX. The camera, about the size of a pencil eraser, is a close relative to Fox Diamond Cam, which was introduced this past baseball season.

"Turf-Cam is a roll of the dice, says Fox president Ed Goren. "We may only get a couple of usable shots during the game, but if we do, they'll be spectacular.” Broadcast Sports Incorporated will provide 14 miniature cameras for its coverage of this year's Super Bowl.

According to Fox, the present plan calls for the cameras to be located in each end zone corner pylon, with two facing toward the goal line and two facing the end line.

There will be four implanted on the actual field of play, two emerging slightly from the ground at an angle at the center of the field at each 21 yard line facing the closest end zone, and one at each two-and-a-half yard line, near where extra point snaps are typically placed.

Two more, mounted on poles, are being used in temporary locations for a unique look at player introductions. In addition to the Turf Cams and 24 manned cameras, Fox will mount a weather-proof HD camera on Jacksonville's Hart Bridge providing unique views of Alltel Stadium and the city skyline.

Locally, Fox25 will be in Jacksonville with live reports at 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. every night. "We will be airing 7:00 p.m. half-hour Super Bowl specials starting on Wednesday,” says sports director Butch Stearns. "We have four on-air people traveling to Jacksonville, Mark Ockerbloom, Bianca de la Garza, VB (Doug Goudie) and myself.

Network news

Calling their coverage "Everything but the Game,” the NFL Network is canvassing Jacksonville throughout Super Bowl week. "NFL Total Access” airs weeknights at 7:00 p.m. with a special 10:30 p.m. edition following the Lombardi Trophy presentation on Sunday.

Rich Eisen, Terrell Davis, Lincoln Kennedy, Rod Woodson, Jim Mora, Sr., Adam Schefter, Kara Henderson and Derrin Horton provide the coverage. The network will be televising all of the Super Bowl press conferences.

Patriots coaches and players will speak on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. Bill Belichick speaks on Friday at 9:30 a.m. 2005 Hall of Fame inductees are featured on Sunday at Noon.

"Playbook” breaks down the Pats-Eagles matchup on Thursday and Friday at 9:00 p.m. While "Game of the Week” recalls great past playoff games including Pats-Titans from 2003 (Wednesday, 1:00 p.m.) and Pats-Colts from 2003 (Thursday, 3:00 p.m.), Super Bowl XXXVIII (Thursday, 4:00 p.m.) and this year's AFC Title match (Thursday, 6:00 p.m.).

Other programming includes the Patriots 2004 Road to the Super Bowl on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and highlights of this year's Super Bowl ads following the game on Sunday night.

Radio rap

Sports Radio 850 AM and 103.7 FM WEEI is in Jacksonville all week long. "Dennis & Callahan,” "Dale and Neumy,” and "The Big Show with Glenn Ordway” are broadcasting from various sites featuring interviews with Patriots and Eagles players as well as various guests.

WEEI will broadcast live Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. â€" 7:00 p.m., Saturday from Noon to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to Noon with a special edition of "NFL Sunday.”

The station will carry Westwood One's special pregame show beginning at 4:00 p.m. and a special edition of "The Big Show” will begin immediately following the game. Jon Wallach will take calls from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. back in New England.

Fans are invited to join the WEEI on-air crew and CBS analyst Boomer Esiason for the official WEEI Super Saturday Party with Boomer Esiason at Sneakers Sports Grille in Jacksonville Beach on Saturday, February 5th from Noon to 4:00 p.m.

The event will feature entertainment and a buffet lunch. Tickets are $200 per person and proceeds benefit the Boomer Esiason Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis. Tickets are now available online at

Tanguay's time

104.1 FM WBCN will, of course, have coverage of the Super Bowl with Gil Santos and Gino Cappelletti in the booth. Gary Tanguay is filing updates on WBCN all week long at 5:00 p.m. On Sunday, Tanguay's pregame show begins at 3:00 p.m. with the WBCN postgame show running for three hours following the game.

Tanguay and Greg Dickerson's Fox Sports New England (FSNE) "New England Sports Tonight” (NEST) show is in Jacksonville this week. Live shows will air at 6:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., plus live halftime shows during Celtics games. "New England Tailgate” will also air from Jacksonville on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. FSNE will have a taped pregame show (12:30 p.m.) and a live postgame show (11:00 p.m.) on Super Bowl Sunday.

Collins calling

NECN is also in Jacksonville with live "Sports Late Night” shows featuring Chris Collins all week long. Collins will also go live following Sunday' s title game.

NECN's live daily sportscasts will also be emanating from Jacksonville hourly between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Collins anchors the coverage with Mike Giardi in the field.

Comcast cavalcade

CN8's "Sports Pulse" and "Lou Tilley's Sports Connection" will have a strong Super Bowl presence. "Sports Pulse" reporter Phil Burton and host Ed Berliner report nightly at 10:00 p.m. from CN8's Super Bowl Central.

Coverage continues at 11:00 p.m. as "Sports Connection" host Lou Tilley takes center stage. Both sports shows will feature a full re-cap of the game on Monday. "With news bureaus in Boston and Philadelphia, CN8 is in a unique position to cover the Super Bowl from all angles,” says CN8 VP and GM Jon Gorchow.

Home team

The Patriots themselves will have Super Bowl XXXIX covered with daily Internet radio on "PFW in Progress” airs from Noon-2:00 p.m. every day with any combination of Fred Kirsch, Andy Hart, Frank Tadych and Bryan Morry.

In addition, the on-demand steaming video news show, "Patriots Video News,” runs every night. Other video vignettes and features will also be available.

Worldwide leader

ESPN has multi-media presence in Jacksonville. With more than 70 hours of coverage culminating with a three-hour edition of "Sunday NFL Countdown,” Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and "NFL Primetime” following the game.

ESPN reporter extraordinaire Andrea Kremer has been busy to say the least. Last week, she featured an insightful interview with Marisa Robbins, wife of troubled former Raider Barret Robbins.

Kremer was also in Foxboro late last week working on Patriots stories and will have a unique feature on the late Reggie White as part of "Sunday NFL Countdown” this weekend. "I think I'll breathe on February 14, when I get home from the Pro Bowl,” says Kremer.

"SportsCenter” emanates from Jacksonville all week long as will such shows as "Monday Night Countdown,” "NFL Live,” "NFL Match-up” and "The Sports Reporters.” "Around the Horn” and "Pardon the Interruption” will also have a Jacksonville flair while "Cold Pizza” will be on-site all week. ESPN Classic will feature a weeklong bevy of Super Bowl memories.

Bill Simmons, Joe Theismann, Len Pasquarelli, Michael Smith and others will all be reporting for from Jacksonville as will the regular daily cast of ESPN Radio.

Will travel

Target Sports Adventures of Boston along with 107.3 FM WAAF is providing fans with Super Bowl Travel packages.

The two-night package from February 5-7 includes roundtrip airfare from Boston to Orlando, hotel accommodations at the Marriott Orlando Downtown, roundtrip airport transfers, roundtrip game-day transfers from Orlando to Alltel Stadium and a Super Bowl program.

It also includes two exclusive pre-game parties, one hosted by WAAF morning show personalities Greg ‘The Hillman' Hill and ex-Bruin Lyndon Byers. There are also packages that include game tickets. Last year TSA brought 175 Pats fans to Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston. For more information, log onto

John Molori's Media Blitz column is published in The Providence Journal, The Boston Metro, The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, The Salem Evening News, The Newburyport Daily News, The Gloucester Times, The Lowell Sun, Patriots Football Weekly,,,, and Email John at [email protected]