FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 6th, 2020

TIRICO, COLLINSWORTH, DUNGY, EARNHARDT JR., LOWE & OLCZYK PREVIEW NBC SPORTS’ “BIG EVENT WEEKEND”

 “Wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t an NFC Championship preview.” – Mike Tirico on Saints-Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football

“Arguably the best player in the league.” – Cris Collinsworth on Saints RB Alvin Kamara

“We obviously wish we could see Trevor Lawrence, but D.J. Uiagalelei will put on a great performance.” – Tony Dungy on Clemson-Notre Dame

“When you have Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp…the two best managers in football right now anywhere on the globe, it is must-watch.” – Rebecca Lowe on Manchester City-Liverpool

“This is a pretty wild racetrack…You won’t want to miss it.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the NASCAR Cup Series Championship

“It should be one heck of a weekend, lots of drama, horses from all over the world.” – Eddie Olczyk on the Breeders’ Cup Classic

STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov. 6, 2020 – Ahead of a huge weekend of high-profile sporting events across NBC Sports platforms this weekend, on-air commentators and analysts, joined by NBC Sports Group Chairman Pete Bevacqua, previewed the action in a special multi-sport media conference call yesterday.

Yesterday’s call consisted of Bevacqua, Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, Tony Dungy, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Rebecca Lowe, and Eddie Olczyk. NBC Sports’ “Big Event Weekend” schedule is as follows:

    • Breeders’ Cup Classic, Sat. Nov. 7 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC
    • #1 Clemson at #4 Notre Dame, Sat. Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC
    • Manchester City v. Liverpool, Sun. Nov. 8 at 11:30 a.m. ET on Peacock Premium
    • NASCAR Cup Series Championship, Sun. Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC
    • Tom Brady & Buccaneers Host Drew Brees & Saints, Sun. Nov. 8 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC

 

Following are highlights of yesterday’s conference call and click here for a full transcript:

On “Big Event Weekend” across NBC Sports

Bevacqua: “You think about the passion level of sports around the country over the course of this pandemic, how they really have served maybe more than ever as just a great form of escapism to bring some joy into people’s lives around the country and that’s really what motivates us and makes this, what we do each and every day, so uplifting…We’re grateful that live sports are back, maybe more furiously and feverishly than ever. I think it’s been a great moment for NBC Sports and should be a wonderful weekend.”

Tirico: “To have all these champions in sports; Notre Dame, Clemson, Brady and Brees, and the last couple of championships of the Premier League and the championship on the line with NASCAR and a couple of drivers who have won the Cup title, and…the Breeders’ Cup Classic with Bob Baffert and the other horses involved, what a great championship weekend this is.”

On the Breeders’ Cup Classic (Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC)

Tirico: “The Breeders’ Cup is so great every year, brings the best horses in the world together to wrap up the season…And Keeneland is just a special place to host the Breeders’ Cup.”

Olczyk: “It is all about Bob Baffert…He has three horses that will be, I would say, probably two of the top-3 favorites coming into the Breeders’ Cup Classic. It should be one heck of a weekend, lots of drama, horses from all over the world.”

On No. 1 Clemson at No. 4 Notre Dame (Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC)

Tirico: “Notre Dame’s built up all year for this game. They have even spoken about it the last couple of weeks, which is atypical for coaches, but Brian Kelly’s embraced that, looking ahead and what the players talk about, that elephant in the room, that’s the matchup with No. 1 Clemson.”

Dungy on Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei: “We watched him in his first start be 18 points down and bring his team back. Talking to all the Clemson players yesterday and coaches, they said there was no fear, no worry on the sideline. He was the most relaxed guy in the stadium, and he played lights out…We obviously wish we could see Trevor Lawrence, but D.J. Uiagalelei will put on a great performance.”

On Manchester City v. Liverpool (Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET on Peacock Premium)

Lowe: “When these two get together, when you have Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, arguably, probably not even arguably, the two best managers in football right now anywhere on the globe, it is must-watch.”

Lowe on surprises this Premier League season: “We know it’s a soap opera, we know it’s always been a soap opera and every single week we get served up amazing story lines…The surprises are coming from the way the goals are being scored, who is scoring them and how many are being scored, which has led to such crazy results at times. But we’re all here for it.”

On NASCAR Cup Series Championship (Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC)

Earnhardt Jr. on the final four drivers: “I don’t think anybody in terms of speed or performance throughout the year has a clear edge. I tend to look at the mentality of that driver, his attitude, how he’s handled stressful situations like this, high pressure situations like this in the past, and the guy that stands out to me when you go that route is Joey Logano.”

Earnhardt Jr. on racing in Phoenix: “This is a pretty wild racetrack…If we have late restarts in this race, which I expect we will, it’s going to be pretty dramatic. You won’t want to miss it.”

On the Buccaneers vs. Saints Sunday Night Football match-up (Sunday at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC)

Tirico: “Wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t an NFC Championship preview with the way these two teams are.”

Collinsworth: “This thing now is really starting to take shape around what Tom Brady likes to do, what his feel is for this offense. But you go, you know, on the other side of the ball…what Alvin Kamara has been this season. Arguably the best player in the league. I think he’s the best running back in football right now.”

Dungy on Antonio Brown: “Tom Brady and the Bucs are thinking playoffs, they’re not thinking this week. They would love to win this game and get that one up on New Orleans, but this is for January when you’re playing those big games and it’s tight and you need that one play to win it, is this a guy who can add that one play at the right time?”

Tirico on Brady: “Most scrutinized position in all of sports, greatest champion at that position, did it in one place for so long, still at a high level and going to do it somewhere else. It’s taking Bruce Springsteen away from the E Street Band and moving him to Maroon 5, like all of a sudden Maroon 5 is like, oh, my God, are you serious?… And no disrespect to Maroon 5 fans, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to knock them like that. (Laughing.)”

Collinsworth: “Maroon 5?”

Tirico: “I know. I don’t know why I picked that (laughing.)”

— NBC SPORTS —