CBS Super Bowl Pregame Coverage: Taking the Good with the Bad

By Kyle McQuillen

Super Bowl XVII pregame coverage was handled by CBS this year. The pregame coverage was lengthy and had its fair share of great commentary and not so great commentary.

Joining the usual CBS commentary crew were Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, and Clay Matthews, linebacker for the Green Bay Packers.

These two were a great choice to offer commentary for this game. They both illustrated a high level of professionalism and showed little to no bias. Their insights helped the audience gain knowledge on how to prepare for a Super Bowl and what each team needed to do to be victorious.

The main theme of pregame coverage was Ray Lewis and how the Super Bowl would be his last game. Other story lines included: the battle of the Harbaughs and 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s improbable road to becoming the starter.

CBS continued the trend of tiring out the subject of the battle of the brothers and even did a segment with the coaches’ mother, Jackie Harbaugh.

The interview with Kaepernick gave a great look into his upbringing and allowed the second year quarterback to explain what being on the grand stage means to him.

The segment on Lewis was poorly done.

The commentators mentioned Lewis’ impending retirement multiple times, which took away from the coverage. Also, they mentioned old news that had been worn out over the course of the week. Instead of talking about how Lewis would perform, they talked about how he has performed over his career, which is irrelevant to Super Bowl XVII.

One interesting portion of the coverage was when analyst Boomer Esiason criticized Ray Lewis. Esiason commended Lewis for a great on-field career, but a questionable off-field career.  The commentary focused on Lewis’ avoidance of Shannon Sharpe’s questions about his alleged involvement in a double-murder in 2000. Lewis was later cleared of the murder charges.

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