Sports - not politics - is subject of 1st Christie interview since scandal

Calling in this morning to a Philadelphia sports radio show, Gov. Christie gave his first live interview since the George Washington Bridge controversy erupted three weeks ago.

But the Republican governor faced no questions on the Angelo Cataldi show on 94WIP about the allegations that have clouded the start of his second term. Hosts said ground rules were set, and the conversation with Christie, which followed a discussion with a Playboy model about Friday' s Wing Bowl, would stick to sports and the Super Bowl.

With the Super Bowl in East Rutherford on Sunday, Christie talked about the state 's safety preparations and its rivalry with New York - the two NFL teams with New York in front of their names actually play in New Jersey - and the precedent this weekend's event could set for other cold-weather cities looking to host a Super Bowl, including Philadelphia.

"We're happy to be the guinea pig," Christie said, adding, "I know that Philadelphia as a city is a place that can handle this too."

He said the lead-up to Sunday has been "a tremendous amount of fun, I have to tell you." Of a kick-off party he participated in earlier this week in Jersey City featuring New York City's new mayor and rock music, Christie quipped, "There s nothing that says Super Bowl like Bill de Blasio and the Goo Goo Dolls."

Christie took some ribbing for being a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. "You want me to change like every other politician?" he said. "I understand Eagles fans and Giants fans in my state are not particularly happy with me." He predicted a win for Denver over Seattle, after discussing the trouble he said the Seahawks would have in stopping a Peyton Manning-led offense.

Commended by the hosts for his knowledge of the game, Christie said, "I appreciate what you guys do every morning. ... I played sports as a kid. I've been a huge fan all my life."