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Volume 24 No. 156
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Weekend Plans: CBS Sports' Brad Nessler Talks Magnitude Of First Army-Navy Game

Saturday's Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field holds much storied tradition and honor within it, but there will be a notable change in the CBS Sports broadcast booth. Saturday will be BRAD NESSLER's first go-round at calling the event after taking over for VERNE LUNDQUIST, and he is already starting to get a real feel for the game's magnitude. Nessler: “You can think you’re America’s Team and all that stuff, but when you talk to the players, this really is that for them and they know that once they get done hammering away at each other for two and a half hours, they’re all on the same team again.” Nessler, who calls Atlanta home, took some time to speak with THE DAILY about how this week differs from the typical SEC week and how he plans to spend his landmark weekend in Philadelphia.

LET'S GET IT STARTED: I left home Tuesday morning because we came up to N.Y. for the National Football Foundation HOF dinner that night. We got together with all of our cohorts from the other networks, all the ADs, coaches and all the HOF honorees. Wednesday morning was getting up early and immediately going to West Point and spending the whole day there. So from my standpoint, I’d still be home if I was doing an SEC game, and I wouldn’t leave until Thursday and go to Thursday practice for the home team, spend Friday with the coaches and players of the home team and Friday night with the road team. A lot of my work is done on Monday-Wednesday at home so I feel like I'm way behind right now. Doing it for the first time is really different. I can tell that GARY DANIELSON has done it 11 times, and I can tell that our producer and director have done it more times than that. It’s a different type of football than we’re used to for the most part. 

IMPACT OF ARMY-NAVY: I’ve never been in the military, but I get it a little bit more after today, and I’ll get it a little bit more after tomorrow and after I see the game. To talk about them and what they’ve got coming up and the fact that they wanted to go to West Point because they wanted a great education and that it brought us some of the best leaders our country has ever had and they want to be leaders. It’s a whole different world for them. They’ve got bowl games coming up but for all the guys that we’ve talked to, I look at these guys and I think that the future of our country is in really good shape because they are so sharp, so intelligent, so well-spoken and they have a goal. Everybody talks about the Rose Bowl being “The Granddaddy of Them All.” You take that and times it by five, that’s what the March On is. I’ve done Army, Air Force, and Navy games before and I’ve even done Commander-in-Chief games, but never this one. This is America’s rivalry, this is the ultimate.

CATCHING UP WITH OLD FRIENDS: I usually just kind of follow people around and end up in cool places. I think I’m going to get together with MIKE MAYOCK while I’m there since he lives there -- we used to do NFL Network together so I’m sure he’ll drag me some place in the city. I tell everybody, I see the airport, I see the hotel, I see the stadium. Of course I do other stuff, but the fun part for me is doing the game. It’s not that I’m not social because I love to have a good time and when I’m well-prepared in a city that I know well, I go out and do stuff.