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Volume 25 No. 64
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CBS Receives Praise For AFC Championship Game Tease Featuring John Malkovich

CBS Sports Creative Dir Pete Radovich and his staff yesterday "delivered what might have been their best tease yet, a 4-minute and 18-second tour de force featuring actor John Malkovich" to introduce the AFC Championship Game, according to Richard Deitsch of SI.com. Radovich: "Malkovich has been my favorite actor forever. ... So over the years I've wanted to reach out to him for various projects, but it never felt right. ... This tease concept was something that I had been wanting to do for the past couple of years, so when the Jaguars won last Sunday, the moment was finally here. The story of David and Goliath as told by John Malkovich. It felt right." Radovich added, "We simply reached out to his agent and explained the concept, and luckily for us, he turned out to be a big sports fan. ... Within 24 hours, I was emailing script ideas directly with John Malkovich. It was surreal. We shot it on Wednesday morning at the New England Conservatory, which is near his home in Boston. ... Malkovich was in and out within four hours" (SI.com, 1/21). INC.com's Justin Bariso wrote it was a "masterpiece of emotional intelligence." Bariso: "What makes this commercial so great? Is it the well-placed humor? The slow, steady buildup of anticipation, leading to that powerful climax? Maybe it's the thrilling, soul-stirring music -- replete with dark, foreboding overtones and dramatically placed pauses? Or is it Malkovich's raw, impassioned, exquisitely exaggerated performance?" It is "all of those things, harmoniously blended together, to give you one of the best openings to any NFL game, ever" (INC.com, 1/21). In DC, Cindy Boren wrote it was a "strong pregame promo" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 1/21).

TWITTER REAX: Media personalities took to twitter to comment on the promo. CBS Sports' Damon Amendolara: "This is one of the best big game NFL intros ever done. Laughs. Chills. Malkovich. Brilliant @NFLonCBS. Brilliant." NESN's Mike Cole: "I’ve got no rooting interest in this game and Malkovich has me ready to run through the GD wall." Sportsnet's John Shannon: "I know I’m late to the dance ... but the John Malkovich open for @CBSSports was genius.  I have watched  it 4 times and almost missed the opening kickoff. I have been in this business 40 years, and have never...never...seen anything as creative or well executed." TheFootballGirl.com's Melissa Jacobs: "Only John Malkovich can make Blake Bortles sound like a mythical beast." Barstool Sports: "Malkovich will have you ready to run through every wall in your house with this hype video."