Ahead of the highly-anticipated, inter-conference matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers, a critical piece of news has broken with the report that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has tested positive for COVID-19. The unforeseen and most shocking aspect of this news is the fact that Rodgers, after previously telling members of the media he was “immunized” against COVID-19, is reportedly unvaccinated, meaning that he will need to be isolated from the team for a period of at least 10 days.
The NFL and NFLPA reached an agreement at the end of August to implement new protocols to protect its players and personnel against COVID-19, but came short against requiring those on the field to take the vaccine. In an article on the NFLPA website, the Players Association says that even though it believes “the vaccine is both safe and effective, players have the choice whether to take it or not.”
Rodgers reportedly received a homeopathic treatment from his personal doctor in an effort to increase his antibody levels in seeking to prevent COVID-19. He then petitioned the NFL to recognize him as vaccinated, which was denied by the league. Despite being considered unvaccinated, Rodgers has defied many of the league protocols, which includes going to events outside of the team facility, and neglecting to wear a mask while indoors. The league is currently investigating Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers for violations of the protocols, which have the potential to result in fines and/or a suspension for the 37-year-old quarterback.
Since the news of Rodgers’ genuine vaccination status broke, members of the media have been voicing their opinions on the precarious situation, and whether Rodgers should even be allowed to suit up again in the National Football League. On Thursday afternoon, Dan Dakich, on his eponymous program, The Dan Dakich Show, said Rodgers need not be truthful with the media, as he owes them nothing in his press conferences or interviews.
“Aaron Rodgers doesn’t owe these ridiculous media folks a damn thing,” said Dakich, the primary show host broadcast on 93.5 and 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis, Ind. “Does he owe his teammates? Maybe. But he doesn’t owe any of these idiots in the media anything. Nothing. Zero. Zip. Nothing. And when I say nothing, I mean nada.”
Rodgers has been in the headlines on more than just the websites and social media pages of sports outlets, such as ESPN, Fox Sports and the NFL. His perceived deceitfulness in vaccination status was mentioned on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on CBS, Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC and Today on NBC.
Dan Dakich says that he has never been a fan of the 9x Pro Bowler and 2011 Super Bowl Champion, but that he does not need to elucidate on his reasons for turning down the vaccine. Instead, Dakich asserts that members of the media need to be focused on having more integrity in their overall reporting.
“I’ve been involved in 11 national things,” said Dakich, “[and] the media has never been right… I was a part, not for me, but for Indiana Elite, of one of these ‘breaking news allegations investigations [sic].’ I read it, and it couldn’t have been more wrong by ESPN.”
The afternoon drive host and former college basketball analyst for ESPN expanded his discussion on the matter to athletes when they are dealing with the media in general. In his view, it is up to the player to divulge what they wish to tell members of the media, and likewise, up to the player to determine whether the information they divulge will be truthful. Ultimately, he argues it is the responsibility of the media to recognize the lie, if one exists, and concurrently probe and inquire to obtain the facts.
“A media guy asks you a question — you don’t owe them one second of the truth, in my opinion,” said Dan Dakich. “[If] a guy wants to come on here and start lying through his teeth on my show, it’s up to me to catch that lie. [Rodgers] said [he] was immunized or whatever. Well, in his mind, he might have been. [He doesn’t] owe nothing to nobody.”
The Green Bay Packers face the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday at 4:25 p.m. EST in “America’s Game of the Week” on Fox, with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman set to be on the call. Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi will provide reports from the sidelines of GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., where the news surrounding the Packers’ star-player will most definitely be discussed. The game will also be aired across the radio networks for both the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs, and will also be available to listen to on Sirius Satellite Radio and Compass Media Networks coverage of the NFL.
Peter Schrager: ‘Next Good Morning Football Host Has Massive Shoes To Fill’
“I don’t know where they are going for that and I don’t play coach or GM. I’m just going to sit back and if they ask my opinion, I’ll give it.”
This week, Good Morning Football ended up winning a Sports Emmy for the best daily studio show. It is a show that has turned into part most football fans’ morning routines. However, there will be new people on the panel eventually with the departures of Nate Burleson and Kay Adams.
This week, one of those left, Peter Schrager, was on The Pat McAfee Show. He did not have a name for McAfee that would fill the role Adams leaves behind and he isn’t going to interfere in the process of the executives picking the next host.
“I would think that there is going to be a long line of people who will want that,” he said. “Those are massive shoes to fill. I don’t know where they are going for that and I don’t play coach or GM. I’m just going to sit back and if they ask my opinion, I’ll give it. But, for now, I trust the executives to hire someone who is going to take care of that hosting job.”
As for Burleson’s seat, the show has used a number of ex-players to fill-in. Schrager likes it that way because he can learn many different stories each week:
“Nate and I can finish each other’s sentences. Now, you have a guy I don’t know the story this player is going to tell. I don’t know where he’s going to take it and I think it’s kind of cool for us.”
Last summer, Schrager hosted The Flying Coach podcast on The Ringer with Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay. Unfortunately, there will be no season 2 of that show this summer. That doesn’t mean there won’t be another season of the podcast in the future though.
“I won’t do it without McVay. I begged him. He’s just out….He’s getting married this offseason. He’s got his honeymoon. He’s like, we’ll pick it up another offseason. I’m upset. I love doing it. All these new coaches, Sean and I would have had a good time with it and we talked about it, but it’s his decision and he’s saying no and I totally get it. He’s really good at it and he liked it. He’ll have opportunities and you see some of these numbers that these guys are getting. Trust me, he’s aware.”
Shan & RJ: ‘Inside The NBA Was Trying To Prevent A Riot Last Night’
“You know that moment? Everyone’s joking around. Everyone’s having fun, then someone doesn’t take the joke as a joke anymore and all the fun is sucked out of the room and things are awkward and serious?”
Things were very far from normal on Thursday night on the set of Inside the NBA. During the postgame show, Warriors fans threw objects at Charles Barkley as TNT was broadcasting live outside of the Chase Center in San Francisco.
Friday morning on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Shan and RJ discussed the scene and said things felt out of the ordinary long before anything was even thrown.
“You know that moment? Everyone’s joking around. Everyone’s having fun, then someone doesn’t take the joke as a joke anymore and all the fun is sucked out of the room and things are awkward and serious?” Shan Shariff said. “That’s what happened yesterday on Inside the NBA both in the pregame and the postgame.”
Barkley had been picking on Warriors fans calling them annoying and describing San Francisco as having “dirty ass streets full of homeless people” throughout the series.
Shariff said even in the pregame show, it seemed that the Inside the NBA crew was wary of the crowd gathered behind them.
“It felt like yesterday instead of having fun and cutting loose, it felt like they were trying to prevent a riot.”
After a rolled-up t-shirt struck Barkley, he got up and acted as if he was going to throw a ceramic coffee mug into the crowd. Shariff said it was clear that Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith thought Barkley was about to be involved in an altercation of some sort.
RJ Choppy disagreed though. His immediate thought in seeing the video was that Barkley was just taking his ribbing of the crowd to the next level like a WWE superstar might.
“I think he knew the wrestling role, but I don’t think the other guys did,” Choppy said.
Sean and RJ expounded on the wrestling comparison, saying that he had a specific event in mind. He compared the way the crowd treated Barkley on Thursday night to how the crowd at ECW’s One Night Stand in 2006 treated John Cena. Cena and security may have thought they knew what was coming, but it was clear when fans started throwing chairs at the WWE champ that their ire was more serious than anticipated.
There can be peace for the time being. TNT’s NBA season ends at the conclusion of the Western Conference Finals. It will be interesting to see if this animosity returns in the 2022-23 season.
Don La Greca: ‘Howie Rose Was The Only Sports Talk Host As Passionate About Hockey As Me’
“When you look at the history of sports radio, the only person that I can think of that called games and was [as] passionate about hockey as I am that had a regular radio show was Howie Rose.”
Don LaGreca has been working on Rangers radio broadcasts since 2005, and has served as the backup play-by-play announcer for the last few seasons, filling in for Kenny Albert when he is unable to be on the call. Because of Albert’s responsibilities in calling national playoff games on television amid the new media rights agreement between the league and its partners (ESPN and Turner Sports), La Greca has called more Rangers games of late, and received positive reviews.
Yesterday on The Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN New York, Kay mentioned the compliments callers have been giving La Greca for his ability to call hockey games, some of whom credit him for introducing them to the sport.
“The one thing hockey is is underexposed,” said La Greca. “Because you hear a lot of people say, ‘Boy, I didn’t realize how much fun this sport is; how great it is to go to a game,’ because a lot of us don’t grow up around it.”
La Greca realizes that he is in a unique position being the co-host of a sports radio show and an NHL play-by-play announcer, giving him a responsibility to communicate and opine on the game of hockey to his listening audience at large. He considers himself the second person to have such a distinction – the pioneer of which, while he may no longer be calling hockey games, still frequently discusses the sport on Twitter.
“When you look at the history of sports radio, the only person that I can think of that called games and was [as] passionate about hockey as I am that had a regular radio show was Howie Rose,” said La Greca. “And Howie Rose has been out of the sports radio game for 25 years.”
Rose was with WFAN from its launch on July 1, 1987 as its weekday nighttime host. Additionally, he served in the same role as La Greca, backing up Kenny Albert’s father Marv on Rangers radio broadcasts – where, in 1994, he delivered the illustrious call of Stephane Matteau’s game-winning, double-overtime goal in game 7 that sent the team to the Stanley Cup Finals. One year later, Rose left WFAN to begin calling games for the NHL’s New York Islanders on Sportschannel, and did not host a sports radio show during his time as a lead hockey play-by-play announcer.
While there are other sports radio hosts in the New York marketplace that exhibit a passion for hockey such as Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti, La Greca is the only one who actively calls the games – akin to how Michael Kay is the only active New York sports radio host who regularly calls professional baseball.
“You don’t have somebody who is as close to the sport as I am to have this kind of forum, so maybe there are a few people like, ‘Hey, I’m a fan of Don. I really don’t like hockey, but he calls a few games so let me listen,’ and it kind of opened a door that otherwise wouldn’t have been opened” said La Greca. “….I don’t think it’s anything that I’m doing. It’s just an opportunity that I have, and it is humbling and it’s pretty cool to hear and I hope those people stick with the sport.”