Everybody remembers the commercials, but there's another tradition of Super Bowl Sunday that appeals to both football fans and those of us who sit very close to the seven-layer dip. Every year, the president sits down for an interview before the Big Game to talk a mix of politics, football, and general Americana. This year is no different, and you can tune in this Sunday, Feb. 7 to CBS Sports’ Super Bowl 50 pregame show to see President Obama's interview. The programming kicks off at 2 p.m. ET.
This year, the Obama Administration has actually mixed things up, and First Lady Michelle Obama will join him. They will be interviewed by Gayle King. The news was announced earlier this month. King will ask them about their last year in the White House, as well as general current affairs. Given the addition of Michelle and CBS' decision to tap King for the interview, the tone will likely be less political than in years past.
Last year, NBC's Savannah Guthrie similarly interviewed Obama on friendly terms in the White House kitchen. She was seen as a less hostile choice. They talked DeflateGate, his successes, and his goals for his last two years in office. The two even tried a honey ale made with honey from Michelle's White House garden.
The year before, Fox had the Super Bowl and Bill O'Reilly was tapped to interview Obama. He pressed the president on a number of controversial topics, from Benghazi to the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. O'Reilly started off the interview with the technical glitches on Healthcare.gov. Not exactly a hot wing and chili dip conversation.
Chris Licht, vice president of programming for CBS News and executive producer of CBS This Morning, said in a statement that he thinks King is a good choice:
Gayle knows how to drive conversations that are compelling and multi-dimensional so we get an even better understanding of the President, the First Couple and their plans for the future.
This will also be one of Michelle Obama's few truly live interviews, according to Licht. She has been on a few talk shows that are replayed just as they were recorded, but not truly live broadcasts. "To the best of my knowledge, this has never been done with the first couple. Mrs. Obama generally doesn’t do live [news] interviews," he added.
If anyone doesn't know — I didn't, remember my seat near the dip — the Super Bowl will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday. The Carolina Panthers will take on the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.