Monday, June 4, 2007

What Goes Around Goes Around

On November 17, 2004, I quoted from a Leonard Shapiro article that bashed various ABC brass for approving the Terrell Owens - Nicolette Sheridan "Desperate Housewives" promo that aired on Monday Night Football. (Just to show how long ago that was, Owens was a Philadelphia Eagle at the time.) Among others, Shapiro bashed "'Monday Night Football' producer Fred Gaudelli, a long-time network veteran who really should have known better."

Through the wonders of monthly archiving, someone hit against my November 2004 blog while searching for a Gaudelli other than Fred. I mentioned this search on September 14, 2006.

I have since heard from the search target, who is now completely confused. (In a wild coincidence, she is related to Fred Gaudelli.)

So, to present another side of the cousin to the honors student (and artist), let's look at a Fred Gaudelli interview from January 30, 2006. The occasion? Super Bowl 40, and the last hurrah for ABC's Monday Night Football team. Excerpts:

AL MICHAELS: As far as our production is concerned, it's been an extraordinary and a very unusual year. I'd like to say that Fred Gaudelli and Drew Esocoff have done a magnificent job of making sure that the dozens of people that do this show have stayed completely focused on this season, and this season only.

It's not been easy, but I will say the production on Monday Night Football this year was the best that I've ever been involved with in my 20 years on the show. And I just hope we can wrap it up this season day with a perfect telecast and double‑overtime; that would be fun.

JOHN MADDEN: I just want to echo what Al just said about Fred and the whole group that we worked with all year, and in my case, the four years it's been a great experience....

FRED GAUDELLI: I would just say that really there's primary goals for the telecast on Sunday. The first would be to cover the game as well and present it as clear a fashion as possible just in terms of the strategy, the rules, the trends of the game. And with Al and John I have 100% confidence that will happen.

And second, because it is the Super Bowl, is to wrap around the game as creatively with the kind of elements that would suggest that the spectacle of this football has become, so there's something for everybody. It's football Sunday, but clearly covering the game is the most important thing.

Something for everybody, but focus on the game. Which leads to the question - if it had been, say, Brett Favre in that "Desperate Housewives" promo, would people have said that he denigrated The Game by his actions? Probably not, because Favre has the reputation of playing hard, while Owens has the reputation of...playing.

Speaking of focus on the game, I still remember when Madden and Pat Summerall shifted from CBS to Fox. At the time, it was an incredibly huge story, as the fourth network secured something that put them on par with the big boys. The first game on the new network was heavily anticipated, and when it began, Summerall and Madden talked about...the game. Of course, that was a few networks ago for Madden. (Both Madden and Gaudelli shifted to NBC in mid 2006, as did Michaels.)


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