Damon Bruce had just left Radio Row at Super Bowl XLVII at New Orleans when I called him earlier this week.
I think the Schenectady native and sportstalk show host at KNBR in San Francisco felt like he was in heaven.
Bruce is doing his show from New Orleans this week as he follows the San Francisco 49ers at the Super Bowl. The 49ers take on the Baltimore Ravens at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome.
This is Bruce’s first trip to the Super Bowl.
“I don’t know if this is more exciting to me personally or professionally,” Bruce said. “As a football fan, I’m so excited to be here, no doubt.”
Bruce’s show is on from 3 to 6 p.m. Eastern time, and can be heard on the Internet at http://www.knbr.com/. His show is one of many that occupy Radio Row.
“It’s just a hot-air convention,” Bruce said about Radio Row. “Everybody who wants to be somebody in this industry is here trying to prove that they are. It’s funny, you go across the tables, you look at everybody and think, ‘Do I sound like this guy? I hope not.’
“What blows me away is just the scope of this whole thing. The size and scope it takes for a city to officially host a Super Bowl is pretty amazing. You can’t look anywhere in this town without seeing the words Super Bowl. The whole city has totally embraced it.”
Bruce attended Tuesday’s Super Bowl media day at the Superdome. He came away with a new appreciation for the day.
“The place is just huge,” Bruce said. “[Media days] aren’t a big deal when you are watching them on TV. When you come and you’re part of one, you realize like that, wow, for a certain period of time, we’re coming down to the most important 100 yards on planet Earth. The entire planet is going to be watching this.”
Bruce has covered two World Series championships in the last three years with the San Francisco Giants. But that doesn’t compare to covering a Super Bowl.
“I love baseball,” Bruce said. “The World Series is the equivalent of a local beer league softball to [the Super Bowl]. Nothing is even close to this. Final Fours get dwarfed by this. As the baseball playoffs wind down, interest dwindles because baseball’s so provincial. When you get to the Super Bowl and you wind down to this, interest grows. The whole nation has decided that we might not be a nation of 49ers fans and Ravens fans, but this is the big game we’re watching this week, so we’re going to learn as much about these two teams.
“I don’t think anybody’s breaking down the Giants’ outfield when they knew they were going to be in the World Series.”
Bruce likes the 49ers’ chances of winning their sixth Super Bowl, and first since 1995.
“The key is wearing the Ravens out with their speed,” Bruce said. “They’re the bigger team up front, and they’re the faster team. That’s what ends up wearing the Baltimore Ravens down. I think they can exploit the lack of speed they’ve got in the middle of that [Ravens’] defense.
“The one thing I can see undermining the 49ers is if [coach] Jim Harbaugh gets into a little bit of a tough-guy contest against his brother [Ravens head coach John Harbaugh], and wants to prove that he can win this Super Bowl by running in between the tackles more often that he might, based on some macho notion. I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
It’s been a great time to be a sports fan in the Bay Area the last few months. Besides the 49ers and Giants, the Oakland Athletics rallied to win the American League West Division title, the Golden State Warriors are in second place in the NBA’s Pacific Division, and the NHL’s San Jose Sharks are off to a hot start.
“It’s the golden age of San Francisco sports,” Bruce said. “There’s never been anything like this. To be out there while all this is happening, there’s nowhere to go but down. It can’t get much better than this.”
Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, last year’s American League Rookie of the Year and runner-up for the league’s MVP, is crashing the Super Bowl with his first major national commercial.
Trout will be featured in a new ad for Subway, along with Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin, Justin Tuck of the New York Giants and Olympic speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno, among others.
The ad marks Jared Fogle’s 15-year anniversary of losing 245 pounds by eating Subway.
The endorsement is a natural for Trout, who grew up eating the restaurant chain’s sandwiches (His favorite: chicken teriyaki with hot peppers and oregano).
Since his favorite team, the Philadelphia Eagles, isn’t playing, Trout said he enjoys checking out the commercials.
“Some get pretty creative, some of them get a laugh, some prove a point,” Trout told The Associated Press. “I’m sure I’ll be getting a lot of text messages during the Super Bowl, just to mess with me a little bit.”
As for the game, Trout said he thinks San Francisco will win, even though he wants Baltimore.
“I’ve got a lot of 49ers fans on the Angels, and I know I’ll hear it when I get to the spring,” he said.
CBS Sports will TV coverage of Sunday’s Super Bowl. “The Super Bowl Today” pregame show begins at 2 p.m. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The game can be seen on CBS6 (WRGB) and CBS6 HD.
Dial Global will have radio coverage of the game. It can be heard on WOFX-AM (980), WPYX-FM (106.5), WENT-AM (1340) and WENT-FM (105.1).
If you don’t want to watch the pregame shows, here is some recommended viewing choices.
u NBC13 and NBC13 HD has the NHL rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals at 12:30 p.m. That will be followed by the final round of the PGA Phoenix Open at 3 p.m.
u There will be two other NHL games on at 3 p.m. MSG Plus and MSG Plus HD have the New Jersey Devils at the New York Islanders. MSG and MSG HD carry the Florida Panthers at the Buffalo Sabres.
u ESPN and ESPN HD have the Marquette-Louisville Big East men’s college basketball game at 2 p.m.
uTime Warner Cable SportsChannel-50 and TWCS-1803 HD have the Providence-Villanova Big East hoop contest at noon.