‘Stand Up’ Guys

Aug 8, 2005  •  Post A Comment

A preview of the Dave Matthews Band’s spots promoting the NFL on CBS shows that rowdy country stars aren’t the only musicians ready for some football. The finished product, set to the title track of the band’s platinum-selling album “Stand Up,” was scheduled to debut on the network over the weekend.

Shawn Robbins, a freelancer who produces the action-packed opening sequences for “The NFL Today,” produced and directed the spots, along with Jeff St. Arronmand, after an acquaintance at Capitol Records pitched the idea of a sports gig for the Dave Matthews Band in May.

The spots-minus “singing” CBS Sports stars who were still to be mixed in-were screened for the CBS Sports division last week during its annual NFL prep session, and Mr. Robbins said they were a big hit. “I got a lot of pats on the back,” said Mr. Robbins, who is so tall that most folks would have to clamber onto a chair, if not a ladder, to deliver such congratulations.

Among the CBS Sportsters who groove to “Stand Up” in the campaign’s spots are the lead announcing team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms and members of the studio crew, including “The NFL Today” anchor Greg Gumbel and analysts Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason and Shannon Sharpe.

“They don’t actually sing to it. They just kind of mouth the words. It’s more like a music video,” said Mr. Robbins, who affectionately summed up the sportsters’ styles as “moving to the beat, as best they can.” Pressed for who had the best moves, Mr. Robbins said: “I just know that it wasn’t Dan Marino.”

Good thing Mr. Marino can take a joke. At the bustling cocktail party the night before media day, the former Dolphins quarterback was answering a reporter’s list of “What’s your favorite?” questions. All of a sudden there was a shout out to Boomer Esiason at the other side of the room. “Boomer! What’s Marino’s favorite book?” “‘Atlas Shrugged,'” the former Bengals QB shouted back, to much laughter.

Live, From New York, Twice

Deep Throat revealed. Martha Stewart unpenned. Jennifer Aniston unburdened. They are all Vanity Fair scoops deemed so hot that their authors warranted interviews on multiple morning shows on the same day-a feat usually accomplished by videotaping one (or in the case of Watergate-era mystery man Mark Felt, two taped interviews and one live) and doing the prized live interview on NBC’s “Today” show, with which the glossy magazine has a first-crack relationship.

But only the story of Ms. Aniston’s breaking her silence on life after Brad Pitt has, in anyone’s memory, earned its author, Leslie Bennetts, two live appearances, only a half-hour apart, on two network morning shows. Ms. Bennetts appeared on “Today” in its second half-hour Aug. 2 and then during the third half-hour on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “GMA” had whetted viewers’ appetites during the second half-hour with an abbreviated Aniston package comprising quotes gleaned from USA Today’s coverage of the Vanity Fair article and sound bites from a previous interview Diane Sawyer did with Ms. Aniston.