By Lang Whitaker
Each year at Christmas, Erin Andrews allows herself to slip into a brief, much-needed holiday coma. Most of us do it, but for Andrews, it ends suddenly: it's all-too-brief from prepping for her upcoming sideline assignments for ESPN's coverage of the Rose Bowl and BCS Title Game, and she uses it to hang with her family in Tampa and zonk out on holiday movies. "We're kind of like 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation'," Andrews says. "We call my dad Clark, because he's pretty much Chevy Chase. We'll watch 'A Christmas Story' on Christmas Day seven times. And my sister and I are obsessed with 'Home Alone'." Just before she retreated into her movie bunker, GQ caught up with Andrews to talk pigskin, dancing, and the joy of being mistaken for a supermodel. What, that hasn't happened to you, too?
GQ: You were in GQ a couple of years ago. How many people have asked you to autograph that picture?
ERIN ANDREWS: Whenever people are around with pictures, it's always that photo. I love it. I think it's the coolest one I've ever done. It was such a fun photo shoot to do, and I just loved being all muddy and dirty and in football pants. It was awesome. The funniest thing someone's ever asked me to autograph was a picture of Brooklyn Decker, because they thought it was me. I was like, "ABSOLUTELY! I'll autograph that!"
GQ: How many of the guys at games each week tell you they watched "Dancing With the Stars"?
ANDREWS: The support I got on that show from the sports community was insane. Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews were tweeting for people to vote for me. John Calipari, Pete Carroll, Texas football, Florida football—so many people reached out about it from the sports world. I can't do a football game or a basketball game without a coach or assistant coach or a player stopping and being like, "EA, you should have won." Emmitt Smith says people know him now more for Dancing With the Stars than they do for his Hall of Fame career. Clay Matthews asked me for tickets to the finale for his Mom, and I traded him tickets to a game at Lambeau.
GQ: Which of your ESPN co-workers should do the show next?
ANDREWS: I think Desmond Howard would be really cute on the show. He's got the style and the poise to do it. I know Digger Phelps wants to do it, I know Dick Vitale wants to do it, and I love both of those guys so very much, but I don't think they realize how much training is involved. I think Chris Fowler would be adorable on it, but I think Des would be great.
GQ: You went to Florida and know Tim Tebow, so how about if Tebow went on "Dancing With the Stars"?
ANDREWS: Tim Tebow cannot dance, I know that. [laughs] Tebow can do a lot of things, but he cannot dance.
GQ: I went to the University of Georgia, so I spent many years rooting against Tebow and watching him succeed regardless. I think a lot of college football fans aren't surprised to see him figuring out how to win in the NFL.
ANDREWS: Kirk [Herbstreit] used to always say to me when Tim was at Florida, he's never seen a team respond the way they have when they play with him. When you see him sacrificing his body and putting himself out there the way he does, it makes everyone want to play better. Almost in the sense that they're like, "I'm not going to have this guy outdo me." I know Denver's defense is excited that they're winning, but they're also not getting a lot of the credit. They're probably playing harder and harder so people start realizing, "Wait, he's not the only reason why Denver is winning."
GQ: You're working the BCS Title Game between Alabama and LSU. Do you think that is the best match-up for a national title?
ANDREWS: Yes, without question, and I'll argue anyone about it until I'm blue in the face. They're the best two teams in the country.
GQ: I agree defensively, but offensively?
ANDREWS: I don't know if they're the best offensively, but I think they're all-in-all the two best teams in the country.
GQ: So are we going to see another 9-6 game like when they played in November?
ANDREWS: No, I think the only thing that'll be the same about the match-up is the intensity. But I think even that's going to be revved up. You've got LSU coming in to a Superdome that I have heard is going to be impossible to even think in. The LSU camp -- and I just spent two days in Baton Rouge with them—is just going be insane there. So you're going to have LSU feeding off that. Then you're going have Alabama, that wants to win this thing the second time around, and they want to prove that home-field advantage is not going to matter for LSU. Nick Saban is facing his old team in New Orleans, where he used to live, where he used to coach. You've got the Mad Hatter [LSU coach Les Miles], and he is crazy as anybody, you never know what he's going to do. You've got Tyrann Mathieu and Trent Richardson, who both lost the Heisman Trophy, and in my experience, guys who are playing for the National Championship and don't win the Heisman Trophy, they always take it out on the opposing team, which is just awesome. And you've got two offenses that need to play better than they did before.
-- Click here for the rest of the GQ Interview with Erin Andrews in which she discusses Les Miles, Nick Saban and the BCS system.
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