Sunday, October 7th, 2012


BOB COSTAS INTERVIEWS SAINTS QB DREW BREES & CHARGERS TE ANTONIO GATES “Those guys are as big a part of this record as anyone.” – Drew Brees to Bob Costas on why he requested that Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt attend tonight’s game “I’m still in the moment. I’m still playing. It hasn’t even dawned on me.” – Antonio Gates to Bob Costas on being a potential Hall of Fame TE

NEW YORK – October 7, 2012 – Bob Costas interviewed New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees and San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates for tonight’s Week 5 edition of Football Night in America, which will preview Chargers-Saints, and also include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 5 games.

Football Night will also air a feature on how the city of New Orleans is handling the team’s 0-4 start. The feature includes interviews with Bobby Hebert, a former Saints QB; John Besh, owner and executive chef of New Orleans’ August restaurant; and Kermit Ruffins, a New Orleans native, jazz trumpeter, singer and composer.

Football Night, the most-watched pre-game studio show in sports, airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Costas hosting the program live from inside the stadium. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst) as well as NBC NFL analyst Hines Ward for reaction to the afternoon games and to preview tonight’s match-up.

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 Carolyn Manno will report from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on the Broncos-Patriots game.

INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Brees and Gates. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”


On why he requested permission from the NFL to have Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt be at the game: “Because those guys are as big a part of this record as anyone. Certainly it was important to me that they at least have the opportunity to be in the building to share in what hopes to be a historic night for all of us.”

On having a moment with them after the game: “I hope so. Obviously we’re hoping that this record gets broken, but, regardless, that was part of my request to Commissioner Goodell, that I could have the opportunity at a pre-determined location of their choosing to be able to see Sean, Mickey, Joe, and, hopefully, celebrate this moment with them.

On being wanted by Sean Payton and the Saints when he was an injured free agent: “Yeah, they did. There weren’t many people knocking on my door, a six-foot quarterback with a bum shoulder, but Sean Payton did believe in me, this organization did believe in me. They gave me an opportunity that nobody else was willing to give me. I’ll always be indebted to them for that. One of the reasons that I work as hard as I do and want to win as bad as I do is for those who believed in me.”

On if the Saints are 0-4 because of the suspensions: “There’s no excuses. We’re certainly not an 0-4 team as I look around our locker room. But, unfortunately, you are what your record says you are. We’re going to hit the tipping point. I hope that it’s this week and that gets us on the winning track, and we’re able to get hot.”


On being recruited out of high school by then-head coach Nick Saban, who wanted him to play only football, not football and basketball, at Michigan State: “If you asked a million kids, they all wanted to become NBA players. That was my dream at the time. I was always embracing basketball, so when I went to Michigan State. I never viewed myself as a guy going to the NFL. I was 6-3, 6-4, 245 pounds. I wanted to play basketball.”

On Nick Saban trying to get him to play football: “I just remember him saying something about, ‘What’s the difference between buying your mother a house with $50 million instead of $70 million?’ At 17, I was like, ‘$20 million.’ His message was, whether you go to the NBA or the NFL, you can still buy your mom a house. When I played him, when he was in Miami (as head coach of the Dolphins), I just had to say thank you because…he had seen the future all along. I couldn’t see it.”

On being a possible Hall of Fame tight end: “You know what, I’m still in the moment. I’m still playing. It hasn’t even dawned on me. I’m still a kid from Detroit who’s trying to make it out, trying to make it out of the inner city, trying to support my family, trying to play football, trying to enjoy competition. And that’s the way I still approach it.”

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