From NBC Sports –
|PACKERS HOST BEARS IN ONLY CHRISTMAS GAME ON “SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL”|
COVERAGE OF RIVALRY THAT BEGAN IN 1921 BEGINS WITH FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA AT 7 PM ET
Rivalry in the Heartland – Special 15-Minute Film to Air in Football Night About History of Bears-Packers Nine-Decade Rivalry
Heartwarming Feature on Unique Bears-Packers Connection to also Air
“There is hope for the Chicago Bears.” – Rodney Harrison
“They are a little bit vulnerable.” – Tony Dungy on Packers
Sunday Night Football is Most-Watched and Highest-Rated Show of Primetime Television Season
|NEW YORK – December 22, 2011 – One of the NFL’s oldest rivalries resumes as the Green Bay Packers (13-1) host the Chicago Bears (7-7) in the only NFL game to be played on Christmas on Sunday Night Football, the most-watched and highest-rated show on primetime television. With a win, the Packers will wrap up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, while the Bears are facing a must-win to remain in the hunt for an NFC Wild Card spot.
Calling Bears-Packers will be six-time Emmy Award-winner Al Michaels (play-by-play), in his 26th season as the voice of the NFL’s premier primetime package; 12-time Emmy Award-winner Collinsworth, who won the Emmy for outstanding event analyst in both of his seasons in the Sunday Night Football booth; and sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, in her first season on SNF.
Coverage begins Sunday with Football Night in America at 7 p.m. ET with 22-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas hosting the program live from inside historic Lambeau Field. Costas is joined on site by Michaels and Collinsworth for reaction to the afternoon games.
Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from Studio 8G at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com.
Because of the unique Christmas-night broadcast, Football Night will present two long-form features that capture the spirit of the holidays (Transplant) as well as intensity of the Bears-Packers rivalry (Rivalry in the Heartland).
Two weeks ago, the families met for the first time. One family’s loss allowed another to stay together, and the Bears fan to keep attending games with his family members.
RIVALRY IN THE HEARTLAND
The teams will meet for the 184th time on Christmas night on Sunday Night Football. The film, Rivalry in the Heartland, is nearly 15 minutes long, and features interviews with current and former star players and coaches, including Aaron Rodgers, Brian Urlacher, Paul Hornung, Jim McMahon, Mike Ditka, Donald Driver, Lovie Smith, Willie Davis and a number of fans of both teams, who bring the passion and intensity of the rivalry and the contrasting styles of the cities to life.
The film showcases the memorable but not always lovable characters from the franchises’ early years and legendary championship teams led by Halas and Lombardi, right through modern times with the Fridge and Favre and last year’s NFC Championship Game.
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DUNGY ON IF PACKERS ARE INVINCIBLE: “They really aren’t. You saw shades of it all year and (the loss against the Chiefs) really brought it out. They are not running the ball well. They are not defending well, and not getting the takeaways. So they are a little bit vulnerable.”
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SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL DOMINATES PRIMETIME
*NOTE: The primetime television season began on Sept. 19 and does not include the first three NBC primetime games (Thursday night NFL Kickoff Opener and first two SNF games).
· The critically acclaimed Football Night in America is the most-watched and highest-rated NFL pregame show averaging 8.7 million viewers and a household rating of 5.3/9 (7:30-8:15 p.m. ET) through 15 weeks, the most in the six-year history of Football Night.
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REMAINING 2011 SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE