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How do Super Bowl producers change their game for the biggest audience of the year?

The Super Bowl is special, especially when it comes to the broadcast. Just ask Rich Russo, who will direct Sunday's game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks for FOX Sports. 

"I'd be lying if I said this was just like any other game," Russo told Awful Announcing this week in New York. "Obviously the magnitude of this game is enormous. But once kickoff happens, we have to treat it the way we have all year."

The biggest difference, though, is that Russo and his colleagues in the truck will be working with more cameras than ever. Infrared is a bell, the extra cameras are the whistles. FOX will use 50 of them in total — 36 on the field — for this game, which is twice what they usually utilize in a regular game. 

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"You can't look at 50 monitors at once," said Russo, who calls the shots from the truck, working alongside producer Richie Zyontz. "But you do know your base and I do know what I follow each and every game. So we just add accordingly."

One thing Russo isn't worried about? The weather. While snow presents challenges to everyone involved in putting on the first-ever cold-weather, open-air Super Bowl, Russo and the FOX production team have been there, done that. In fact, he says he hopes it snows because "it makes for great pictures."

"We've done games in the cold," said Russo, "we've done games in the snow."

He notes that the adrenaline will be higher than usual but Russo, who also worked the 2010 Dallas Super Bowl with the same broadcast team, isn't too nervous. 

"We're fortunate that we do big games every week," he said. 

Color man Troy Aikman agreed, noting that the standard pre-game butterflies exists on Sunday Bowl Sunday, but that the bigger difference comes in terms of the way he and play-by-play man Joe Buck have to convey things, strangely, to a less football-focused audience. 

"Our audience is broader than it was two weeks ago in the championship game," Aikman told us. "The championship game, we get hardcore fans for the most part, and then you get into the Super Bowl and you've got a different audience.

"Does it change what we do? Not really. We're still doing the game, but we may find ourselves explaining what happened with a player or with a team knowing that not everyone watching this game knows these teams and has been following the way that they have in other games during the year."

Russo also chipped in on the world-famous Richard Sherman interview with Erin Andrews after the NFC championship game, noting that the entire team felt pulling away from the hit after two questions was the right call. 

"We all agree that it was potentially going into a dangerous situation," he said. "So in a sense we didn't want that. Richard is a terrific kid, smart guy, terrific player, and I think it was just a feeling that all of us felt that at that moment it was the right thing to do."

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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