TODAY | February 03, 2014
>> and welcome to "today" on a monday morning, february 3rd , 2014 . i'm here with natalie. and, you know, the groundhog punxsutawney phil , saw his shadow, six more weeks of winter. and after yesterday, balmy day and, boom, you look outside --
>> here we go.
>> actually, when i was at the super bowl , i felt a little bit of sprinkle and the air started to get cold. and i was like, uh-oh, this doesn't bode well.
>> lee miller in the control room , you're keyed into my ear. i'm hearing you go on. you are talking like a bird. no? well, who is that?
>> who would that be?
>> they're just chatting away.
>> could it be willie ?
>> well, i can hear you talking to me. he said, i'm not keyed to you.
>> there are voices in our head.
>> this is what -- this is how the control room talks to us. and i keep hearing people talking.
>> and you hear this when you're sleeping, too.
>> i do. get off!
>> maybe the little devil al that's right here in your ear.
>> so willie is already in sochi .
>> he's in sochi right now. we're going to check in in a moment.
>> i hope you're not hearing voices too, willie . all right. we'll check in with you in a little bit. big game . you were at the big game .
>> i was there. it was incredible experience. seahawks crushed the broncos 43-28. second half, it was still 28-0.
>> here's a 12-second first score. at one point it's 12-0. second half, 12 seconds, the first score. and, of course, we all talked about the 12th man being the crowd at seahawks stadium .
>> and i was one of the crowd. i had incredible seats. and so i got really lucky to get to go. my boys -- those are the cheerleaders. i sent the picture for you, al, specifically saying, is the best seat still the couch?
>> it was only because i was there with my kids and nieces and nephew. i made asian wings and some ribs. we had a good time. and i've got to tell you, my nieces and nephews are in their 20s. they're millennials. and they were like, bruno mars is the halftime show . and i said just you wait.
>> and everybody's talking about it.
>> and man, did he blow it out. check this out. locked out of heaven for too long when i see your face there's not a thing i would change you're amazing just the way you are
>> that was just unbelievable.
>> you know, we've had him here for our concert series. and he blew us all away the first time.
>> we saw him perform here. so we were all predicting he's going to be incredible. but, you see him there. it's -- i think, beyond expectations. and with the red hot chili peppers , worked out to be a good combination.
>> i was a little skeptical, but that worked out perfectly. and how did the boys like their first super bowl ?
>> they were so thrilled. luke, the whole time kept going, the beast! the beast! marshawn lynch , and it was amazing. i have to say, you know, my kids don't usually get into football so much, but like being there, i think they really started to understand the game. and luke was like, wait a minute, dad, why do they get a penalty? that's not fair they get a penalty. he got really invested the whole time.
>> what about the commute? i understand you couldn't drive to the stadium.
>> no, we didn't drive. we took mass transit along with the 80,000 or so people who went to the game.
>> and going there, apparently, was a major nightmare for a lot of people. i think we got lucky because we left the house a little bit later. we got there about 5:00 p.m . but there were reports of people passing out at some points because there was a swarm of people all around the same time around 2:00 p.m . yesterday. new jersey transit said they set a new record yesterday evening. but they had 28,000 customers going through the transfer station .
>> what would it normally take to get home if you were driving?
>> i live so close, seven miles from my house. i could be home in 10, 15 minutes , but with the train situation, you had to take one train to then take the other train and the trains would sit on the tracks for like 30 minutes be they'd leave. took two hours to get home. well worth it, though. not complaining.
>> the one thing you don't get to see in the stadium is the commercials.
>> you see some.
>> did you?
>> they did show some of the bigger commercials. doritos and some of the sponsors, pepsi, couple of commercials. verizon had commercials, as well.
>> what was your favorite?
>> i think the one i didn't see ahead of time was the volkswagen commercial, the angel gets their wings. take a look.
>> 100,000 miles.
>> it's a big deal . what if i told you every time a volkswagen hits 100,000 miles, a german engineer gets his wings.
>> that's the best part right there. i love that.
>> and then the --
>> but the great line at the end. what happens when a vehicle turns 200,000?
>> yeah, dad. and i'm sure at 200,000, rainbows shoot out of their butts.
>> i love that. they've done it again. they had a great commercial last year.
>> darth vader .
>> what was your favorite?
>> well, i really like the seinfeld reunion. so my second favorite was the radioshack commercial, the '80s is calling. check it out.
>> the '80s called. they want their store back.
>> the '80s are in now more than ever it seems. any time you can put alf in a commercial.
>> hulk hogan . hey, willie , the hulk made an appearance in that commercial.
>> what a great ad. the game was on at 3:30 a.m ., so i didn't see any of it.
>> and cliff claven from "cheers."
>> a lot of great '80s characters there. willie , tell us all about sochi , your location. there are palm trees there, even, right behind you, right?
>> yeah. so i flew in yesterday, took the overnight flight direct from newark into sochi . the first thing you see, the credentials, walk out the front door and here you are at the winter olympic games looking at a pair of palm trees . i think i got a shot of that i posted to twitter yesterday. this is, at the end of the day , a coastal town. it's a beach town where people come in the summer. the black sea a couple of hundred yards the other side of me. and you see behind me, you have the mountains. it's a mix of sea and beautiful snow-capped mountains where the skiing will take place up there. i'm standing right now in olympic park . the first of its kind for a winter games where you have everything within walking distance . the hockey arena is here. there's curling, speed skating , the big stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place are right there. and it's all, guys, about a driver away from each other. it's really cool, really accessible, really workable for people who don't even know where we are to begin with. sochi is in the southwest part of russia . it's down on the black sea . the climate is more like the southeast of the united states . but it's about 850 miles south of moscow. if you look at a map of russia , it looks pretty close, the truth is, russia is so vast, they're still 850 miles apart. it's about the distance from new york to jacksonville to orient yourself just a little bit. so we're on the ground, we're paving the way for you guys. i'm starting to learn the language. i've got my trusty book here. this is my phrase book , i have the most important thing to start with, thank you. i'm saying that for everything now. i hope they know what i'm talking about.
>> do you know what you're welcome is?
>> i'm still working on that.
>> there's one you need to know , especially, natalie, when you down a glass of vodka, you're going to want to say dor -- what is it? busturov.
>> that didn't look like you were taking a shot there, willie .
>> it was a larger tumbler.
>> sounds like the boots come off. willie , really quick, get our take your pick for the usa today and it's an all olympic theme this time around, and we predicted quick themes here. let's talk about the athlete we think will be talked about the most. who did you say?
>> that's a good question. who did i pick again?
>> mikaela shiffron.
>> absolutely. with lindsey vonn out of the olympics , she could jump to the front. she's been incredible and she's just a teenager, guyses.
>> i picked shaun white because he's king of the winter olympics .
>> i went with lolo jones in the bobsled team.
>> "today" show pin, which everybody wants worldwide.
>> i went with the matt lauer luge-a-thon.
>> i'd be interested in seeing that.
>> i know you have a collection of these, but we need authentic russian furry hats.
>> and who carries the u.s. flag at opening ceremony ?
>> chris, a bobsledder, also an army officer and deployed after the last olympics .
>> i like gracie gold just for her name.
>> that's a good choice.
>> i like shaun white because he's so revolutionized the winter olympics . becomes olympics plus x games and he was the start of that.
>> and " usa today " picks sarah henderson for the ski jump .
>> go to today.com, let us know your picks, all right.