St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Game gives CBS a Super practice

The network will broadcast the big game in January, and it has gotten a dress rehearsal at RJS this week.


© St. Petersburg Times, published September 24, 2000

TAMPA -- Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms and Armen Keteyian climbed aboard the Jose Gaspar and posed for pictures with Ye Mystic Krewe pirates Saturday.

With WTSP-Ch. 10 news anchor Reginald Roundtree serving as a guide, CBS' top NFL broadcast team also got a tour of Ybor City on Saturday. NFL on CBS producer Mark Wolff and coordinating producer Larry Cavolina took advantage of the trip to get some hand-rolled cigars.

If only all of CBS' preparation for Super Bowl XXXV was as easy.

CBS is on hand for today's broadcast of the Jets-Bucs game, but any time the crew comes to Tampa it's a dress rehearsal for January's mega game. Of course, posing for promotional photos and filming segments for the local affiliate hardly constitutes the most difficult aspects of game preparation.

Officially, CBS has been preparing for the Super Bowl since last season. But in reality, it's debatable how long the network has been gearing up for the game. Essentially, network officials have been making plans since CBS reacquired rights to the NFL in January 1997.

Wolff notes he's been getting ready since he broke into the business 30 years ago. Ditto for Cavolina.

As a crew, every fall Sunday has been a chance to perfect its craft and grow closer. Wolff said his team, which includes people who have worked with him and Cavolina at other networks, is like a family.

"I know it sounds cliche, but it's true," Wolff said. "From Greg, Phil and Armen, to the technical people to us, there's no delineation. (The on-air talent) is involved in the production meetings. And I think we all appreciate them being involved."

Wolff's family assertion is supported by the ease with which the quartet joke with each other. It's clear they already have built good memories.

The serious aspects of this trip came later Saturday when Wolff and Cavolina went to Raymond James Stadium. The two are familiar with the facility and believe everything is in place for a successful broadcast. But there's always more that can be done.

"You just keep on refining the play up until the Super Bowl," said Wolf, who will continue to study camera location, security issues and other issues such as shade and sun.

The big change came two years ago when Bucs and Tampa Sports Authority officials helped Cavolina lower the camera locations.

"Now the sight lines are sensational," Cavolina said. "You want to give the viewer at home the feeling he has the best seat in the house. You can't give them that feeling when you have a severe angle. When the angle is lower, the feeling is much more intimate."

What you will see today will not be that different from CBS' Super Bowl broadcast. Oh sure, they won't have as many cameras and you're likely to see some fancy graphics on Jan. 28. But Cavolina said he and Wolff always remind themselves to make the game tantamount.

"A wedding dress is a fancy dress, but it's still a dress," Cavolina said. "The Super Bowl is the same thing. It's a fancy game, but it's still a game."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk
  • Dashing, daring, driven
  • Key'd up!
  • Rays find stranger method for losing
  • Mizell's Mailbag
  • Sports briefs
  • Gymnasts shaming U.S.
  • Highs and lows
  • Vaughn goes home after family illness
  • McGriff matches HR feat
  • Baseball briefs
  • Games begin to count soon
  • Olympics roundup
  • Pole-sitters fret over slippery start on bricks
  • Auto racing briefs
  • Captain's corner
  • How, when, where to use artificial baits
  • Weekes unlikely in net Tuesday against Florida
  • Rams use knowledge to cruise to victories
  • Outsider routs field at Bishop
  • Shorecrest surprises opposition and itself
  • Tampa Bay top 10
  • Ewing is shocked, resigned
  • NHL briefs
  • Northeast, PHU win PCAC titles
  • Former Pasco star inspiring Cowboys
  • NFL games
  • King a bargain, but likely not for long
  • Game gives CBS a Super practice
  • Chalk up another for the frozen tundra
  • Learning that special something
  • Bucs chat
  • Best and worst: game 4
  • Season's cooking for Lynch
  • Bucs TV analysis
  • Martin: The Jets' propulsion
  • Palmer points the way
  • Look for Spurrier in center of storm
  • USF drops big chance
  • FSU rides a new style
  • College football around the nation
  • Big play for Gators? Must be Sheppard
  • Alex Brown remains ineffective
  • UF extra points
  • USF extra points
  • Baylor settles secret battle
  • College football around the state
  • PAC-10 briefs
  • Most of goal raised for upgrades
  • Blitzing D keeps Louisville flustered
  • FSU extra points

  • Marion can save the Games
  • Fast facts: swimming
  • Olympics highlights
  • Chilly dipper earns his salt Down Under
  • Japan's Takahashi stays the coolest
  • Greene makes fast work of gold in the 100
  • Fast facts: women's track and field
  • Victorine's kick puts U.S. men in semis
  • For 2002, NBC says less is more
  • Olympics notes

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts