NATE BURLESON | FOCUS
There are millions of football fans who love to spend their Sundays relaxing on the couch watching Nate Burleson on The NFL Today . But Burleson himself is not exactly a passive observer when his own TV is on. In- stead, at home in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, the 40-year-old Emmy Award–winning broadcaster and new co-host of CBS’s morning show treats TV viewing as an exercise in the study of craft. “I either watch on mute,” he says, “so I can see how people interact with each other, what they are doing with their eyes and hands, or I turn the volume all the way up and I close my eyes and see if I can under- stand what they are describing.”
Other times, he will pace around the room mumbling to himself, repeating lines and reading and writing, then rewriting, scripts. “People think you just wake up and start talk- ing on air,” he says. “No, no, no, no! Talking on TV begins two steps away from the end zone. The rest of the work is being Barry Sanders zigzagging back and forth like crazy in the backfield.” Unlike many of his peers who’ve traded their helmets and locker rooms for headsets and broadcast booths, Burleson doesn’t get by on name recognition. He was accomplished, but not a superstar. He played for 11 years as a wide receiver in the NFL with the Minnesota
CBS’S MORNING SHOW airsweekdays at 7 a.m. ET/PT onCBS.
THE NFL TODAY
airs Sundays at 12p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streams on Paramount+ .
PHOTO ASSISTANT: Alvin Wong DIGITAL TECH: Alex Verron
S EPT EMBER / OCTOBER • 202 1
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