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America's Addiction: The Joe Tessitore Interview
  • January 01, 2012 : 20:01
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You've been in the booth for a fair share of recent upsets. What is it like to call those games? What is going through your head?

If you listen to all my big calls I always do the same thing. I frame it and then don’t speak. What I always say to myself is what if I was sitting on the couch with you watching this game. I wouldn’t want to be the guy that’s just blabbering all through that moment. I typically do what they call in the business a layout: “here is your third and goal.” Sometimes I’ll say nothing more than the guys name, or “touchdown” or “he did it” then wait until I feel the moment is right to speak. Sometimes it is like a minute later. Everyone should just be able to take it in, experience the moment. What could I possibly say that’s going to be better than these pictures and sounds you could be watching. Im not arrogant enough to think that I’m beyond the experience that you’re watching. In this job you’re complimenting the broadcast, you’re not THE broadcast.

So we're knee deep into bowl season now with the BCS games starting today. If you could watch only one Bowl game, excluding the National Championship, which one are you watching?

The Fiesta Bowl between Stanford and Oklahoma State. That is an awesome matchup. You have in the Cowboys this dominating, free wheelin’ offense with the best collegiate wide receiver in Justin Blackmon and a QB in Brendon Weeden who throws for 350-400 yards a game against Andrew Luck.  There is so much offensive talent on the field. As much as everyone thinks the National Title game is going to be a defensive slugfest, I expect this game to be an offensive showcase.

Do you think the National Title Game between LSU and Alabama will be a repeat of that 9-6 game we saw earlier in the year? 

I think you’re going to see a lot more offense this time around. Both coaching staffs are going to be a little more risk/reward in a game like this. If you go back and watch that first game there were moments when Alabama looked like it could break through. They had that one would-have been completion down to the one yard line. There seemed like there were just more potential moments for Alabama offensively. But LSU has so many ways to score, especially on special teams. Even though their offense is not what you might call dynamic, they do have play-makers, guys that can break plays. I think people have been fooled into thinking this is going to be like the first game, all field goals and defense, but I think this one will have a little more offense to it. It will be a little more crowd pleasing.

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about opening up the bowl system to a playoff format, giving more teams a shot at the National Title game. What are do you think?  

I think the national title game has consistently pitted the best two teams against each other. Where the bowl system falls short sometimes is the other four BCS Bowls. Some younger programs, a program like Boise State who went 11-1 this year, sometimes get snubbed in favor of teams with a deeper tradition. I’d love to see a system that perhaps opens it up a little but the bowls, no matter which one, do mean a lot to these teams. They're playing for something, they want to claim something, they want to call themselves the champions of something. It would be nice to see a system that opens it up just a bit, but keeps teams competing to have their names immortalized in an already stored bowl history.

You see a lot of football in the run of a year. What is your favorite thing about bowl season?

I know that almost everyday of the week from now until January 9, I can turn on the TV and watch football. There is football on non-stop. Just give me as much as possible. It was only a few years ago that people scoffed at putting college football on Friday night. People said "oh no, Friday is for high school football, ESPN is venturing into areas they shouldn't, they're saturating the market with football." Well look at the ratings for football on Friday nights, look at the caliber of games being played on Friday Night Football. America cannot get enough of big-time football. It's like the Great American addiction.

Care to make a few predictions for the upcoming BCS games?

Rose Bowl: An outstanding game, very high scoring, going to be a thriller with Oregon pulling away from Wisconsin.

Fiesta Bowl: Best BCS bowl there is. It is going to come down to who has the ball last. Oklahoma State's defense is going to struggle to stop Andrew Luck; Stanford's defensive backs are going to have difficulties with the speed of Justin Blackmon. But I think Andrew Luck is going to win the last game of his collegiate career.

Sugar Bowl: Both are just flawed enough to make this a great football game but I think Michigan will have the momentum to pull through in the end.

National Title Game: LSU's special teams and defensive backs will be the difference in this one, giving them the advantage in field position. They will have the turnovers and key defensive plays to give them the edge over Alabama.


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