Fred Gaudelli, the executive producer for Sunday Night Football on NBC, spoke with The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch this week about his crew’s upcoming game. It is the Green Bay Packers on the road against the New England Patriots. It is a big deal because they are two of the leagues better teams and more iconic franchises. It is a bigger deal because it is only the second time Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have faced each other as starting quarterbacks.
Gaudelli says he found out his crew would get the game back in April, when NFL Vice President Howard Katz called him to confirm NBC wanted the matchup.
I was overjoyed,” Gaudelli said. “There was incredible excitement. Viewers have only seen this once. Now that Peyton Manning is gone, these guys are the two best (QBs) along with Drew (Brees). But Drew and Tom have met more times than Aaron and Tom. You want it because it has not been seen, you want it because you know you will be doing two of the better teams in football, and you want it because you have the potential for a game like we had with New England-Kansas City a couple of weeks ago (New England’s 43-40 win on October 14) where whoever has the ball last will win the game. All of the things that make for high ratings, you have a great chance of getting with this matchup.
With his crew, Gaudelli began brainstorming ideas for promos and in-game segments for this one game back in June. Some of those included a numerology segment about the number 12 and a piece on the definition of the word “mastery.” He knew it would be too much to fit into a single game broadcast. “There were so many great ideas and if you were doing a one-hour documentary on the matchup, you could do a ton of stuff.”
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