NFL play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan: I’m gonna be known for drunks and cats!

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 I think Kevin Harlan is an American treasure. Who else does the play-by-play of the black cat on the field hustling toward the end zone in the Cowboys-Giants Monday-nighter last week, while doing the play-by-play of the game too, with Westwood One radio partner Kurt Warner playing along? Who else? I’ve got a feeling that most announcers, vet and neophyte, would have said something like,There’s a cat on the field. We’re delayed here at the Meadowlands. Now a word from Toyota. Right? Here’s Harlan’s call, from the middle of the second quarter Monday night.

I mean, the guy read the ad copy. “The cat is in the CDW Red Zone. CDW, people who get it.” Imagine being so in the moment you remember to read the ad copy when the cat enters the Red Zone.

I talked to Harlan, a do-everything announcer, after he did Celtics-Hornets on Thursday night.

“So the Giants, before that play, were about to enter the CDW Red Zone,” said Harlan. CDW is an IT security company. “Howard Deneroff, who is producing the game, hands me the card, reminding me about the CDW read when the Giants are in the Red Zone. You’re so focused, you’re so into it, you know you’ve got to get the read in, so here comes the cat, and he’s in the Red Zone, and you notice nothing else. The pacing was in sync, and there was the cat. That’s the whole read: ‘CDW, people who get it.’ So I got it in.”

The commercial read—that’s number two on the significance list of Harlan’s call. The man called a black cat coming out of nowhere running, walking, stopping, starting, scoring a touchdown.

“When you’re doing radio,” Harlan said. “you’re describing everything you see, from the wind direction of the orange tell-tale flags on top of goalposts, to the grass stains on the pants, to the moon rising over the edge of the stadium. So the game’s going on. On one end of the field the Giants, who are still very much in this game, are driving to score a touchdown. On the other end is this cat, darting down the field. So there’s the cat, and then there’s a catch-and-run, and the cat running. I remember three years ago when we had the drunk on the field [a drunk ran onto the field in Rams-Niners in 2016, and Harlan did the same play-by-play, yelling at one point, “THE GUY IS DRUNK”], play was stopped, the guy was running down the field like he was a slot receiver. This was different. Had I really thought about it, I could have schmaltzed it out a little more. But I called it the way I saw it. The officials stopped play after the Giants catch and run, and the players just stood around, hands on hips, I called what I saw, along with the delayed reaction of the policemen. I mean, Go get the cat! And Kurt’s so great, a fun-loving guy, great sense of humor. We had fun with it.”

I kept thinking of a long-haul trucker, listening to the NFL game at 10 at night on I-70 in the middle of Kansas, just trying to stay awake, and here comes Harlan yelling about a cat, and, well, that’s the beauty of radio calls and the people who describe precisely what they see so you picture it in your mind.

“I got back to my airport hotel that night, and I’ve got 30 to 40 text messages, buddies in the business, Mike Tirico checked in … and you know, you try for just the right words on the game-winning touchdown pass, and here comes a cat that everyone’s smitten with. Just goes to show you, I guess.”

Show you what?

“Thirty-five years of doing play-by-play in the NFL, and I’m gonna be known for drunks and cats!”

Perhaps. But he’ll be known too for his comfort with the craft, and mastery of it. I called Tirico on Saturday to ask him about the call.

“I loved it,” Tirico said. “I’ve had a chance to do games on the radio for Westwood One. Such a different challenge than TV. On a professional level, when I heard Kevin’s call, it was ultimate respect, because what I heard was complete command of the broadcast. What I heard was exactly what happened on the field. Perfect. Complete with the ad read! When I talk to college students, one of the things you tell the kids is when you’re on the air, you’ve got to be in complete command. Something happened, you’re documenting it, you’re in control, you drop in the sponsor read. That is what the craft is all about.”

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here

Super Bowl 2023: What to know about national anthem, pregame performers ahead of Super Bowl LVII

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Super Bowl LVII is inching closer, and while we may not yet know which two teams will take the field, we do know which performers will take the stage.

The NFL revealed on Jan. 24 that Chris Stapleton, Babyface, Tony Kotsur, Sheryl Lee Ralph and others will take part in the Super Bowl pregame festivities, completing the list of entertainers that will perform in the southwest.

Super Bowl LVII will take place on Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. EST. See below for the full list of performers that will be present at the big game.

RELATED: Click here for more information about Super Bowl LVII

Who is singing the Super Bowl national anthem?

Chris Stapleton will be performing the national anthem at State Farm Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. The country music star is an 8x Grammy, 15x Country Music and 10x Academy of Country Music Award winner.

Born and raised in Kentucky, Stapleton spent years in Nashville as a songwriter before debuting his solo album, Traveller, in 2015. The album, best known for its No. 1 hit “Tennessee Whiskey”, propelled Stapleton to stardom, sweeping the Country Music Awards and eventually going platinum. Since then, Stapleton has released three other albums, the latest entitled Starting Over, which debuted in 2020.

RELATED: Ranking the most memorable Super Bowl national anthems of all time

Who else is performing during the Super Bowl pregame?

Babyface, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Tony Kotsur, among other performers, will take the field during the pregame ceremonies of Super Bowl LVII.

The 12-time Grammy-Award winner Babyface will perform “America the Beautiful” prior to kickoff. The 64-year-old recording artist, songwriter and producer has had 125 Top 10 hits, 44 No. 1 R&B hits and 16 No. 1 pop hits.

Emmy, Critics Choice and Independent Spirit award winning actress Ralph will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Ralph is best known for her role in the hit comedy series “Abbott Elementary”, a part which earned her the distinction of being both a 2023 Golden Globe nominee and Critics’ Choice Award winner. The 66-year old Connecticut native also won an Emmy for “Abbott Elementary” this past September.

RELATED: Who performed at the Super Bowl 2022?

Kotsur is also make an appearance in the Super Bowl pregame, performing the national anthem in American Sign Language on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf. The Arizona native has broken boundaries in the entertainment world, becoming the first deaf man to win an Academy Award for acting this past year. His part as the character of Frank Rossi in the movie “CODA” is what earned Kostur the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Joining Kostur at the Super Bowl is two other deaf performers, as Colin Denny will perform “America the Beautiful” in ASL and Justina Miles will sign “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as well as the halftime show in ASL.

Who is performing at halftime of Super Bowl 2023?

On February 12, 2023, Apple Music announced that singer and entrepreneur Rihanna will headline the inaugural Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show. The telecast will be produced by DPS with Roc Nation and Jesse Collins serving as executive producers, and Hamish Hamilton serving as director.

First entering the pop music scene in 2007 with her first album Music of the Sun, Rihanna has since dominated the industry, garnering 14 number-one Billboard songs from her eight albums. The Barbados native has sold over 200 million records and won eight Grammy awards. She has also proven to be a successful entrepreneur, launching her cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty in 2017 and clothing line Savage X Fenty in 2018.

How to watch the Super Bowl 2023

Check out ProFootballTalk for more on the 2023 NFL Playoffs as well as game previews, picks, recaps, news, rumors and more. 

How to watch San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles: Live stream info, start time for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game

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It’s the San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday, January 29 as the two teams go head-to-head in the NFC Championship game. Kickoff time is at 3:00 p.m. ET. See below for additional information on how to watch Sunday’s game.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule – Bracket, game dates, times and TV networks for Conference Championships and more

San Francisco 49ers:

The San Francisco 49ers look to win their first Lombardi Trophy since the 1994 season and they could likely do it with third string QB Brock Purdy, who will become the fifth rookie quarterback in NFL history to start a conference championship game this Sunday. Purdy, who was the very last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, moved up the depth chart after Trey Lance sustained a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2 and Jimmy Garoppolo broke his foot in Week 13.

RELATED: 49ers Super Bowl history – When is the last time San Francisco made it to, won the Super Bowl?

The 49ers pulled off a 19-12 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in last weekend’s divisional round marking the team’s 12th straight win. Additionally, this will be the third time in 4 years that San Francisco has reached the NFC Championship game. Purdy finished 19-of-29 for 214 yards in the win. RB Christian McCaffrey had 16 touches for 57 yards while TE George Kittle had five catches for 95 yards.

RELATED: Brock Purdy, Jalen Hurts met in a 2019 college football classic

When was the last time 49ers made it to the Super Bowl?

The 49ers most recent Super Bowl appearance was in 2019 when they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 31-20.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs – What to know about SF QB Brock Purdy Ahead of NFC Championship game

Philadelphia Eagles:

The Philadelphia Eagles delivered a crushing 38-7 blow to the New York Giants last Saturday, clinching their first NFC Championship berth since 2017. QB Jalen Hurts, who has been nursing a right shoulder injury sustained in Week 15, finished 16-of-24 for 154 passing yards and two touchdowns in the win. After the game Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni compared Hurts’ impact to NBA legend Michael Jordan.

RELATED: Eagles Super Bowl history – When is the last time Philadelphia made it to, won the Super Bowl?

“To have him out there is like — I know this is high praise, but to have him out there is like having — I shouldn’t even go there — it’s like having Michael Jordan out there. He’s your leader. He’s your guy. Hopefully that’s the biggest respect I can pay to him comparing his ability to being on the field to a Michael Jordan type. This guy leads. He brings this calmness to the entire team. He plays great football. He’s as tough as they come. Yeah, I mean, to me, nobody has played any better football than him this year.”

The Eagles’ defense took care of business on Saturday with five sacks on Giants QB Daniel Jones improving to a total of 75 sacks in all regular and postseason games this season which is the third-most in NFL history.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs AFC, NFC Championship Round Schedule – Dates, start times, how to watch/live stream info for Sunday’s games

When was the last time the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl?

The Eagles last Super Bowl appearance was in 2017 when they defeated the New England Patriots 41-33.

How to watch San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles:

  • Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • When: Sunday, January 29
  • Start Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: Fox

What time is kickoff for the San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles game?

Kickoff is at 3:00 p.m. ET.


Conference Championship Round Schedule:

Sunday, January 29

NFC Championship Game:

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles – 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox

  • Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

AFC Championship Game:

Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs – 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS

  • Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023: Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more