The moderator of NBC's Meet the Press—and a die-hard Bills fan—is the author of Big Russ & Me, a memoir about his father.
SI: The Yankees have Alex Rodriguez signed through 2010, while NBC locked you up through 2012. Which organization got the better long-term deal?
Russert: Well, I'm playing my original position.
SI: Do former athletes make good politicians?
Russert: They're pretty good politicians because they are take-charge guys who are used to being leaders. Woodrow Wilson said that the demands of the presidency are so difficult that we would soon be forced to choose our chief executives from "among wise and prudent athletes—a small class."
SI: Will the Bills win the Super Bowl in your lifetime?
Russert: I think they will. Scott Norwood once came up to me at the airport and said, "I just want to introduce myself. I'm Scott Norwood." I said, "Scott, I know who you are. I think about you every night."
SI: You live in Washington, so how hard on you was the Bills' loss to the Redskins in Super Bowl XXVI?
Russert: I lost my shirt. I bet everybody in the bureau. The day before that game, though, I ran into a woman who said, " Mr. Russert, I'm for the Bills, too." I said, "Are you from Buffalo?" And she said, "No. I'm Jack Kent Cooke's former mother-in-law."
SI: How did your dad react when you were elected to the board of directors of the Baseball Hall of Fame?