Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Teen part of Super Bowl broadcast



By Hal Bock
The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO- That kid hanging out on the field at Super Bowl media day was not a gate-crasher.

Fourteen-year-old Grant Paulsen is an accredited member of the media, working for ABC Sports. He interviewed players Tuesday and spent time with network announcers, including the "Monday Night Football" crew of Al Michaels and John Madden.

On Sunday, he will have a piece on Hall of Famer and ABC broadcaster Lynn Swann and a segment on video games as part of the network's four-hour pregame show.

Paulsen is a ninth-grade honor student at King George High School in King George, Va. He hosts his own two-hour national radio sports show on XM Satellite Radio and has made a number of appearances on CBS-TV's "Late Show with David Letterman." He was featured on "HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" last October and on Fox Network's "NFL; Under The Helmet."

Paulsen has working credentials for all of Washington's sports teams including Redskins football, Wizards and Mystics basketball, Capitals hockey and Orioles baseball.

With all that, he still has the responsibilities of any ordinary ninth-grader. For Super Bowl Week, he was accompanied by a tutor to make sure he keeps up with his school work.

stars
Part of the ABC telecast includes a segment by magicians Penn & Teller. They are to write down and hermetically seal the name of the winner, score and MVP before the game, then reveal their predictions on the postgame show.

However, Catholic League president William A. Donohue has asked ABC to cancel the Penn & Teller segment, protesting a graphic performance by the pair at the Las Vegas Riviera on Jan. 16.

Network spokesman Mark Mandel said ABC Sports president Howard Katz had not seen or received the letter and would have no comment.

stars
Swann, who won four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was the MVP in one of them, will be working as a field reporter for ABC on Sunday. He believes the game has the potential to be memorable.

"You've got two teams playing up right now," he said. "That's where you have to be. When you have two teams playing up, I think it will be a classic."

Michael Strahan of the New York Giants remembers losing the Super Bowl two years ago against Baltimore. He will work as a correspondent on the broadcast.

"It's not always the best team that wins this game," he said. "It's the team that plays best that day."




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