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NBC Sports team embracing new technology in preparing for Super Bowl

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NBC’s Sunday Night Football talent that will broadcast Super Bowl XLIX is one of the most experienced in the television business. But they aren’t living on past laurels.

They’re embracing new technology that promises to provide viewers with a 21st century telecast of Sunday’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots.

“I promise you there’s not a graphic that Fred Gaudelli doesn’t have prepared for this week,” said NBC Sports’ Josh Elliot, speaking about the producer of Sunday Night Football.

“Marshawn Lynch’s seven favorite restaurants in Scottsdale? Fred probably has it.”

And more. NBC’s Sunday Night Football has one of the most celebrated broadcast teams in the sports industry. Gaudelli and lead director Drew Esocoff are former members of Monday Night Football and many of the cast members have been in the sports broadcasting world for decades.

The show, which started in 2006, has won the award for Outstanding Live Sports Series six years in a row and will host its third Super Bowl this week.

“We were proud of the work we did on the last Super Bowl, Giants and Patriots in 2012,” said Gaudelli. “But everything we did last time, we want to do better this time.”

He’ll use the most recent technology to pull achieve that.

“My first Super Bowl with NBC was in 2006 and we’re already light years away from where we were then,” said Tony Dungy, former NFL coach and current analyst for NBC.

“Plays that used to take us all day to go back and find in previous games, we can find them in five to 10 minutes now. We have more things that we can show the fans.”

Elliot said viewers can see things better than any fan attending the game.

“Because we have so many cameras now, we have all the angles,” said Elliot, who joined NBC Sports in 2014.

“You can literally slow down replays to a fraction of a second and see exactly what happened on a play.”

Chris Collinsworth, former wide receiver who will be the color commentator for the Super Bowl, said the changes in technology over his broadcasting career have completely transformed how analysts prepare for their jobs.

“It used to be when I started broadcasting that if I got a local newspaper from San Diego when I was doing a Chargers game. It was like gold,” said Collinsworth.

“Now I couldn’t read or watch or listen to everything that I have access to in a million years.”

The excess of riches can be overwhelming at times. Collinsworth said after days of reading and processing endless amounts of research, his favorite part of the week is the moment he gets to leave all the information behind.

“You get to take all that paper, dump it all in the trash, and go, ‘Hot dog it’s time to do a football game!’ ” said Collinsworth.

Although technology has changed the sports broadcasting industry for the better, Bob Costas said it should never serve as a replacement for the art of storytelling – the cornerstone of those who are the best at covering sports.

“The basics of good storytelling are the same and the best broadcasters are still those who have the best respect for and command of language,” said Costas, who is the on-site host for Sunday Night Football.

“Those who know how to turn a phrase, who don’t always fall back on the same cliched expressions and overused words.

The importance of words and how well they are used can’t be minimized.”

The team will use the expanded five-hour coverage to go more in depth than a typical Sunday night broadcast.

“We can go longer with our features,’’ said Dungy.

“A piece that would normally run 20 to 25 seconds can now go a minute long because we aren’t running into a time crunch.

It makes it more fun and we can be more creative. In-stead of just showing the biggest play, we can go more in-depth and who what set up that play.”

Changes in technology may help the crew of Sunday Night Football do their job but the team also succeeds because of preparation, an ability to tell stories well and a love for what they do.

“This is way better than being a lawyer,” said Collinsworth.