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Rodney Harrison on Pre-Super Bowl Aaron Donald Interview: ‘I Was Stunned’

“I would like to see him come back and play because once you walk away, there’s no coming back.”

Ricky Keeler

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NBC Sports

Before Super Bowl LVI last Sunday in Los Angeles, viewers tuned in for NBC’s pregame coverage and watched Rodney Harrison’s interview with Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Fans did get the interview, but they also heard Harrison reveal surprising news about what Donald might do if the Rams won the game (which they eventually did):

“If he wins a Super Bowl,” Harrison told Jac Collinsworth, “there’s a strong possibility that he could walk away from the game and retire.”

Harrison appeared on The Dan Patrick Show Thursday and even he was stunned when Donald told him about that possibility in the interview:

“When I had a chance to speak with Aaron, we spent 15-20 minutes. I asked him how many more years do you want to play?” Harrison explained. “You’re at eight. I’m thinking, ‘Hey man, you’re going to play another seven years to get at least 15.'”

“He looked at me and he was like, ‘I tell my teammates all the time but they don’t believe me that if I win this Super Bowl because of how I prepare and how hard I work on my body year-round’ and he mentions his family, he’s accomplished everything so it’s very believable. He said there’s a chance I could walk away. I was stunned.”

At the Rams’ championship celebration parade, Donald talked about possibly coming back next year. Even though Harrison could be the one that breaks the news if Donald did announce his retirement, he would like to see Donald come back for another year:

“I saw him at the parade and he was emotional,” said Harrison. “There’s a lot of emotional type things before you initially win that Super Bowl. Your mind is playing tricks on you. After you win that Super Bowl, your mind is playing tricks on you.

“I would like to see him come back and play because once you walk away, there’s no coming back. You don’t want to sit at home and wish you could’ve done this, could’ve done that. He’s got plenty of time this offseason. We will see what happens.”

As the interview progressed, Patrick asked Harrison if Donald was the best defensive player he had seen, which would be great accolades from a former player of Harrison’s caliber. He said that Donald was someone he ended up having a strong connection to because of the way the pass rusher plays the game: 

“I used to say Lawrence Taylor, then I was really, really high on J.J. Watt when he was at the top of his career,” Harrison said. “When I saw Aaron Donald, I saw something different. I saw a guy I could connect with, a guy that I absolutely fell in love with how hard he plays the game, how tough, how passionate he is.”

Maybe that connection could have led to Donald revealing to Harrison that retirement was a possibility. Either way, it led to one of the more talked-about moments that people will remember about Super Bowl LVI. 

Sports Radio News

Bobby Belt: ‘Pat McAfee Butchered The Name Shan and RJ’

“I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”

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Shan and RJ is a show that routinely finds itself in the media spotlight. They may be a Dallas show, but when Jerry and Stephen Jones routinely appear on your airwaves, you are going to draw attention from outside of the market.

On Tuesday, Pat McAfee played a clip of the hosts talking to Jerry Jones. McAfee threw to the clip introducing the show as “Shan, RJ, and Chop.” On Wednesday morning, the 105.3 The Fan’s morning show had some fun with the former Colts punter’s struggles.

“There’s a lot to unpack here,” newly added co-host Bobby Belt said after listening to McAfee and his crew take three unsuccessful cracks at naming the show.

“Reggie made a good point yesterday when I was talking to him about this,” Belt said. “Reggie was like ‘I think McAfee was going to the clip, saw three faces and didn’t know a third name, and so he’s like ‘well, that must be RJ and Chop.’”

Belt delighted in the idea that in McAfee’s mind, RJ Choppy goes by “Chop” on air and even pointed out that one of the producers said that RJ “looks like a Chop.”

Pat McAfee called the show “Shan, RJ, and Chop,” “Shana, RJ and Chop,” and “Shannon and RJ” on different occasions according to Belt. He didn’t think it was disrespectful. He just didn’t understand how McAfee got it so wrong so often.

“They butchered this three ways to the weekend. I have no idea. I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”

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Sports Radio News

Cubs Radio Voice Pat Hughes Named 2023 Frick Award Winner

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Chicago Cubs radio voice Pat Hughes has been honored as the 2023 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award.

The award is given annually for “excellence in broadcasting” by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

“Known throughout the Midwest for his easy delivery and unparalleled knowledge, Pat Hughes has called some of the biggest moments in Cubs history and has provided the narrative for one of the most successful eras in the history of the franchise,” said National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Josh Rawitch. “Since arriving at Wrigley Field in 1996, Pat has served as the radio voice for nine postseason teams – matching an ardent fan base with his own passion in every broadcast. His reverence for baseball history and gift for storytelling have made him one of the game’s broadcast treasures.”

Hughes has spent more than 25 years as the voice of the Cubs, and is a nine-time winner of the Illinois Sportscaster of the Year Award. Earlier this year, Hughes found out on-air that he would be inducted into the Cubs Hall of Fame.

Hughes was previously a finalist for the award in 2016 and 2020.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Jon Heyman ‘No Longer An Insider’ After Aaron Judge Gaffe

“That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”

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MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman erroneously reported that New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was signing with the San Francisco Giants in free agency yesterday. That news was not well received by WFAN afternoon hosts Craig Carton and Evan Roberts.

After Heyman rescinded his original tweet saying “Arson Judge” appeared headed to the Giants, he resent a new one with the correct spelling. During the confusion, Roberts told producers to get Heyman — who is an Audacy contributor — on the phone, which Carton immediately shot down.

“No, we’re not putting him on the air,” Carton said. “I’m not putting him on the air. He doesn’t get a platform on this show. Listen, he made a deal with the devil when he took a job with The (New York) Post. That’s his business.”

While Carton and Roberts processed the news, producer Chris McMonigle said he was certain that Judge would be signing with the Giants, but that was not Heyman’s report, and would hold off until it was official.

Roberts mocked McMonigle by saying he was in denial. “He still hasn’t accepted that Jon Heyman knows what he’s talking about,” Roberts said. Moments later, McMonigle read Heyman’s follow up tweet apologizing for “jumping the gun”.

“That is a horrendous job by Jon Heyman,” Carton replied.

“Heyman’s done,” Roberts shouted. “Jon, what are we doing?”

“Heyman is no longer an insider,” Carton added. “That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”

Carton later took umbrage with Heyman deleting his tweets.

“To play fans like that is absolutely unacceptable. It’s not right. Sorry. That’s because everyone’s gotta be first. God forbid someone else has it first. You’re a clown. Your entire career’s work has just been flushed down the toilet.”

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