Now They're Customizing NFL Highlights


If you don't like the anchor for "Road to the Super Bowl" when you see it on TV, just switch the channel. Chances are that somewhere the same show will air with a different anchor.

NFL Flims has a new gimmick for "Road to the Super Bowl," a one-hour show that will air in the week before the game in about 160 markets. For the first 12 years, the show had a host. Now, anyone can be a host.

There are six segments to the program. In between, stations can use their local announcer. Maybe they can have contests to see who'll do it? Imagine the possibilities: Walter Cronkite? Geraldo? Morton Downey Jr.?

"It's deli-counter moviemaking," said Steve Sabol, the president of NFL Films. "You want a little pastrami but you don't want corned beef. You don't like the salami but you like the chicken salad."

The first segment covers the regular season and has some blunder plays. Then there's a piece on the AFC Central followed by one on the two Super Bowl teams.

There's a review of the conference championships, a piece on receivers and one on head coaches that looks at Bill Parcells of the New York Giants, Marv Levy of the Buffalo Bills, and Marty Schottenheimer of the Kansas City Chiefs. It also looks at former Houston Coach Jerry Glanville and former Atlanta Coach Dan Henning.

"We decided to customize it to the local sportscaster in each market," Sabol said. "What happened during the season in Philadelphia has in some ways no bearing to what happened in Atlanta. By having a local host, he can bring out some of the higlights and lowlights of his team."

About 70 percent of the markets will use their own anchor. The rest will use a copy in which Sabol is the host.

"I'm the disposalable one," he said. "Once you get to the footage, then it's the same. What we're dealing with at that level are things that would appeal to everyone."

Robin Roberts is joining ESPN. No, not that Robin Roberts.

This one is 29, a woman, and a sports anchor since 1986 for WAGA-TV in Atlanta. She also has been the morning host on WVEE-FM radio in Atlanta.

She worked for WSMV-TV in Nashville (1986-88), WLOX-TV in Biloxi, Miss., (1984-86) and WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Miss. (1983-84).

Roberts has an athletic background. She is the No. 3 career scorer for Southeastern Louisiana's basketball team.

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