We caught up with the NFL legend before the Big Game to talk Pepsi's Grammy halftime show and his predictions for Sunday.
What was it like filming the Pepsi Grammy Halftime Show ad?
It was fun, fun, fun, nothing but fun. Have you ever done a commercial where you just wished there was more to do? This was it. We had the greatest people onboard and Deion, Shannon, Mike, and I had so much fun together. There was a ton of laughing, I mean especially with Mike riding that wrecking ball. You see it on set and you say, 'God, I can’t wait to see this thing put together,' and then watching it on TV, it turned out so funny! I mean, Pepsi’s products are certainly recognizable, but the visibility they’re getting after this spot is just awesome.
We have to ask about the wrecking ball. Miley Cyrus was number 1 on Maxim’s Hot 100 last year. Do you think Mike Ditka gave her a run for her money?
Well, I’ve got to tell ‘ya, when it comes to who rode the ball better, I would’ve rather seen Miley ride it than some 75-year-old man! I don’t think Miley would’ve crashed it, but Mike hung on and went down and took one for the team, so I have to give him credit for that.
We were actually pretty impressed with your singing! Are you still performing?
Yeah, I still sing a lot of gospel, but not as much country. I’m doing a one-man show now, it’s basically about my life, in song, and there is one song that I recorded with Glen Campbell, and it’s the only straight country song in there. Everything else are songs written by David Goldsmith, who writes a lot of Broadway musicals, so the so the songs are really like telling a story. It’s pretty cool.
How did you like the wardrobe the folks from Pepsi picked out for you for Grammy Halftime Show – or do you actually own that jacket?
Well that’s what you call a scene-stealer right there. They know that I’m a rancher, that I’m a country boy, and I wear cowboy hats and boots and jeans everyday of my life. Somewhere in my closet I do have a coat that looks like that minus all the tassels, which, by the way, impressed me so much when I saw it on television that I’m going to have a jacket like that made. I really am! Deion’s jacket was also pretty cool though.
Speaking of Deion, have you ever actually listened to his album, Prime Time?
Honestly I had no idea that he had even done a record!
To talk football for a minute, what do you think of the new crop of young quarterbacks in the NFL, like Kaepernick, Wilson, and Newton?
I like it! It’s different. It’s good for the NFL. You know, I always believe that eventually with all of these kids, in eight or nine years they’re going to get hurt and the legs are the first that go. So I feel like they’re going to have to learn how to play from the pocket eventually. But boy, it’s fun watching them! Russell Wilson is really taking it up a notch. He’s just really classy, really smart, well-poised – all of these kids are, and they can all run. We’re not used to that. I mean how many times do you see a quarterback rush for 181 yards and throw for 300 yards? That’s crazy. That’s Heisman Trophy stuff, and that’s what you get with Kaepernick. He’s got a big arm. It’s fun to watch and it’s good for the league, and it shows that what’s happening in college is transferring right over into the NFL. Instead of trying to change these kids, they’re saying, 'Hey, these guys are pretty special; let’s build stuff around ‘em' - and that’s what they’re doing.
Finally, can you share your Super Bowl predictions with us?
Well, I don’t want to make anyone mad and I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, but I will go with Seattle because of the defense and I am defensive kind of guy. But it’s hard. I don’t think Peyton is going to slack up. When you get on a roll like the one he’s had all year... I mean, I’ve got the right to change my mind by the time I go live on Sunday.
Check out The Rules of Football Explained With Stick Figures and Psychic Super Bowl Predictions.