CHRISTIAN HACKENBERG, NBC SPORTS anchor: “My first instinct is, you know, do not come down here.”
That was the advice of Chris Cuomo of CBS Evening News, as he told Chris Berman, the former NBC Sports anchor who also was the anchor of “Nightly News.”
Hackenberg and his colleagues did just that.
Cuomo said he was surprised by Hackenberg’s reluctance to participate in the pregame show.
HACKENSCHWEITER: I think the question I had to ask myself, is, how can we possibly not bring the most talented people in to help us out and do what we’re trying to do here?
And I realized, you don’t have to be in this room with us.
And the first instinct I had was, do you know what?
That’s what I said to my kids, “You have to come down to this room.
And I’m sorry, I have to ask you, how do you think we can do it better than this?”
That was my first instinct.
It was not a conscious decision.
It is not a thought that comes to me, but it’s just something that came to me.
And then the next question was, how does it make you feel?
And that’s when I realized I had done something that was so different, so special.
That I would never do it again.
It’s just so, so unique.
And that is what makes it special.
So we did it.
And we’re just grateful.
We’re really grateful for what Chris did.
That’s how it should be.
You know, I think if we were to do this again, we would do it differently.
We would have had a much better team of people, and I think we would have done something even better.
But the way I felt, the way that I felt was so much better than the way Chris did it, it was so special, and that is the way we were going to do it.
I mean, it is like that.
And Chris had such an incredible ability to bring that team together.
So, Chris Cuomo, thank you.
CHRISTIAN HAIKENEN: I have had some bad luck on Christmas mornings.
And, as I’ve learned to say to people, it just happens.
And it was not even like, well, I’ve just got a bad day or whatever.
It just happened.
And so it is kind of, well it’s all part of being a professional.
It can be a blessing, or a curse.
And when you have a good team and you know how to bring the best out of them, you’re going to be able to do well.
So I was really happy with that.
The fact that you have people like Chris and his staff here at NBC Sports who know what they’re doing, that’s going to help you get better.
And again, it’s not that I didn’t think it was going to happen, it really was not.
And if it hadn’t happened, I probably wouldn’t be able have done what I did with my career.
I know that it could have been a different story.
But I know I was very blessed to have been able to have the opportunity to do what I do with this wonderful team.
CHRISTIE BRAUNER, ESPN anchor: The question that comes up in my head, Chris, is how can you help us with this?
Because there are so many questions that we need to answer.
And you’ve got to be prepared to answer them.
HACHTER: We were blessed, of course, because we got to work with some of the best in the business.
But Chris has done an amazing job, Chris.
He’s had a tremendous amount of success with this program.
He had a terrific team here at ESPN.
And he did a great job in terms of the success of this program, and we’re very fortunate that we got him.
So that’s why we’re so excited to get him back on the air.
But it’s about more than just him.
I think what Chris said is really important.
I don’t know if there’s any other network that can say, we have one of the most successful and successful people on television, and one of America’s most beloved people, who is so well-liked by so many people, people who are fans, and is very well-respected.
And people who have followed him for a long time, he has an incredible, incredible fan base.
And now, we’re going into this year with so many other talented people that we’re all excited about.
But, of all of the people that are on our team, Chris is the one who really gets it.
He is a true professional, and he does it with a smile on his face, and with a genuine desire to help.
I really appreciate it.