AFL great Nick Riewoldt has popped up on Australia’s ESPN coverage of the Super Bowl for the second year in a row.
The St Kilda legend moved with his family to the US two years ago and has made the most of his love of American sports, scoring broadcasting gigs for the biggest event in world sport.
He appeared on ESPN’s Super Bowl coverage last year and once again featured heavily as pundit in the lead up to Monday’s clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas.
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Riewoldt said 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy would be feeling the pressure against the experienced Chiefs line-up.
“First and foremost, I am here as a fan and the fact we get to work here or at least call this something like work throughout the week has been absolutely remarkable,” Riewoldt said.
“You can’t help but get swept up in the magnitude of the situation. As someone who played in big games in our corresponding sport, you can’t help but put yourself in the mind of someone like Brock Purdy, walking into this cauldron.
“The Chiefs have been here and done it before. They would be really calm and secure in their position within the game.
“The nerves, the suspense, the anticipation is building. Us fans are pumped the game is starting because this week has been a draining one to put it mildly, it’s been huge.”
Aussie NFL star Jordan Mailata experienced ultimate heartbreak when his Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Chiefs in last year’s Super Bowl, but said players have to embrace the Super Bowl experience regardless of the result.
Riewoldt, who played in three grand finals but lost the 2009 decider to Geelong and suffered brutal defeat to Collingwood in the 2010 replay after the first grand final was drawn.
ESPN host Phil Murphy asked Riewoldt what he made of Mailata’s philosophical approach.
Murphy said: “I don’t mean to bring it up again, but the comparison of losing in a grand final — we’re not going to have a replay, we know that. We’re going to have overtime.”
Riewoldt replied: “I think it’s a really balanced approach from Jordan. The thing that resonated was that there can still be enjoyment from being on the greatest stage if you look back retrospectively.
“The other part of that conversation is there are no guarantees that you get back there, for both of these teams out there today.
“I mean we’re talking about the possibility of a Kansas City dynasty over the next five years but there’s no guarantee you actually get back to the same stage again because they are just so hard to win your way into.”
Riewoldt is one of the best AFL players never to win a premiership and he said it’s a case of winning the trophy or bust.
“Highest leverage moments, they count for the most,” he said.
“Yes (you get a) small slice of enjoyment and satisfaction but ultimately it’s a binary win-loss scenario for the players.”
St Kilda haven’t won a premiership since 1966, the longest drought of any AFL team.
The drawn grand final prompted the AFL to introduce overtime in finals, but there is no overtime in home and away games.