Aric DiLalla: What do you remember about some of the Broncos players who you covered in college?
Shannon Spake:"It was cool to see Chad [Kelly], because I covered his Sugar Bowl when he played Oklahoma State. Ole Miss hadn't won the Sugar Bowl in years, and his uncle [Jim Kelly] was in the stands, and Hugh Freeze let me come into the locker room before that game and listen to his speech. That is a really special game to me as a sideline reporter, and I know for Chad it was really special as well to be part of that, just with the history with Ole Miss and the Sugar Bowl and Archie Manning and everything.
"As far as Bradley, I watched Roby — I think I did like three or four of his games while he was at Ohio State. And he was always so much fun, because he'd kind of come over to me on the sideline while they were warming up and I'd say, 'Hey, what do you have today?" And he'd say, 'I'm going to get three picks,' [or] 'my goal is two picks.' So he was always a lot of fun to cover because of his confidence back there and his skill level. Obviously this is a big weekend for Bradley, just having to step in and kind of take over in that role. Certainly, the Dolphins know that part is coming in a little bit thin. So I think that's going to be a big part of the game."
AD: What's it like to see those same players a few years later, once they've transitioned to the NFL?**
SS:"It's so cool. That's one of the best things for me, I think, moving from college to the NFL — besides the fact that we're covering three-hour games instead of four-and-a-half-hour games — is just to see how these guys have grown from a physicality standpoint from their speed and their weight and pure athleticism to go from the college game to the NFL game. It's certainly cool to see them have success."
AD: What has the transition been like for you to go from covering college to covering the pros?
SS:"That's just like it. It's interesting, I do Ironman events, and I do triathlons, and when you go to the Ironman events where everyone's competing in these longer formats, you can see the athleticism compared to maybe a sprint triathlon or an Olympic [triathlon]. And in the NFL, the athleticism is incredible — to be down on the sidelines. I was in Atlanta last week, and to watch Julio Jones at work — field level — is incredible. The size, the speed, the arm strength of these guys — they're grown men playing a really fast and physical game, and you can see that."
AD: I saw you were in the movie "Cars 3." How much cooler do your kids think that is than what you do for a day job?
SS: "Forget about it. I don't even think they know that I do football compared to the fact that I was in "Cars 3." We'll be standing in the grocery store or at the library or wherever, and they'll just randomly kind of say, 'Hey, my mom was in "Cars 3."' But they never say, 'Mom works in the NFL and for FOX Sports.' It's a pretty cool thing."