Football fans, specifically those of the Green Bay Packers, were tuned in to The Pat McAfee Show Tuesday for a long-awaited interview with quarterback and back-to-back NFL Most Valuable Player Award winner Aaron Rodgers amid speculation of his retirement or move to another team. Rodgers, 38, recently wrote a post on Instagram centered around gratitude in which he thanked his Packers teammates, leading some people to believe it was a farewell to the organization and perhaps professional football.
This only made Tuesday’s interview with Rodgers, his latest appearance on the McAfee show, even more of a focal point for viewers and listeners. Despite all of the anticipation and buildup to a long-awaited announcement, Rodgers immediately shut down the prospect of revealing his future intentions, stating that he had just returned from his annual 12-day Panchakarma cleanse.
“Let me just put this disclaimer out right away for the few people watching or tuning in just for a specific, maybe news or decision,” said Rodgers. “There will be no news today, no decision on my future… I’m just getting my head above the sand now and seeing what’s going on out there.”
For some people tuning in, it was the first time they had experienced The Pat McAfee Show in any capacity, and it is safe to say that they were bewildered at what they witnessed. Wednesday morning, Shan and RJ on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Texas spoke about the unconventional style of McAfee’s program when reflecting on Rodgers’ appearance.
“I had never really watched that show for 15-20 minutes straight,” said Shan Shariff, co-host of the morning drive program. “I felt like I was back in college at the frat house – oh, my lord.”
Shariff honed in on the choreographed nature of the show – whether it be the choice of sleeveless outfits, timed clapping, or phrases used. Evidently, the scripted nature of the show and lack of spontaneity is something he found to be unusual in the realm of sports-focused audio content, in the sense that many elements were, in his view, planned ahead of time.
“They have these choreographed claps in there,” Shariff said. “It’s like all in sync going to the four or five guys behind the scenes. They have chants [they do] all at the same time.”
Co-host RJ Choppy concurred with Shariff’s first impressions of the show after watching it for an extended period of time.
“I’ve listened to it, I’ve never really watched it,” he added. “But you can tell they’re very choreographed. Very, very choreographed.”
Prior to his foray into the sports talk audio format, McAfee was a punter for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts and two-time Pro Bowl selection. After stints with Barstool Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, DAZN and Westwood One, McAfee’s show has found a home on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio satellite station, and Rodgers is one of his recurring guests.
It was on this program last November where Rodgers, who is unvaccinated against COVID-19, blamed the “woke mob” for calling him a liar after he said he was “immunized” in a preseason press conference when asked about his vaccination status.
Despite some of the controversy surrounding Rodgers’ appearances on the show, along with McAfee’s distinctive hosting style, the show remains popular among consumers and a different way for sports fans to get their information and listen to opinions from a former athlete. With McAfee’s show recently landing a lucrative sponsorship deal from FanDuel, both Sharriff and Choppy admire the way he has made the transition from being on the field to going behind the mic (and in front of the camera).
“Props to Pat, he’s come on our show and he seems like a good dude and credit to him for his success and [the] blockbuster deal that he landed,” said Sharriff.
Derek Futterman is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. In addition, he serves as the production manager for the New York Islanders Radio Network and lead sports producer at NY2C. He has also worked on live game broadcasts for the Long Island Nets and New York Riptide. He previously interned for Paramount within Showtime Networks and wrote for The Long Island Herald. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @derekfutterman.
Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo: I Don’t Do As Much Prep As You Think
“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you.”
Chris “Mad Dog” Russo would much rather go with the flow for his radio show than try and put everything together ahead of time and hope it comes out well.
Russo was the featured guest on the Golf Digest podcast The Loop, and hosts Christopher Powers, Alex Myers and Steve Hennessey first congratulated Mad Dog on his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame last year. Russo mentioned how he had written a short speech but decided against that after seeing the other inductees run long with their speeches.
Mad Dog was asked about preparing for his SiriusXM sports talk show every day, and he said he really doesn’t put a ton of work into putting a show together.
“On certain days a little more, because on Mondays I do that NFL recap so that takes a little while to put that together at 5 o’clock – probably a couple of hours,” Russo said. “Outside of that not as much as you’d think. I mean obviously I’m gonna follow what’s going on.”
“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you,” he added. “This segment do this, this segment do that. Sometimes when you sort of ad lib it, and you figure it out as you’re moving the program into the second hour and the third hour, it’s a better show.”
Mad Dog talked about how he likes that his radio show is the reverse of when he does First Take on ESPN or High Heat on MLB Network. He likes not having a rundown packed to the gills for his radio show.
“The radio is more of a host’s medium,” he said. “So it’s up to me what we’re going to do.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Stetson Bennett IV Fires Back at Steak Shapiro Over Parade Criticism
“P.s.: I don’t like you very much mr Steak “and shake” Shapiro.”
Georgia walloped TCU last week to win their second straight national championship, and the Bulldog community came together toward the end of the week to celebrate with a parade.
Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV took part in the parade, but 92.9 The Game host Steak Shapiro wasn’t thrilled with how Bennett acted during the celebration.
Shapiro on Tuesday took a shot at Bennett, who appeared to spend some time fiddling with a cell phone during the parade.
Tuesday night, Bennett responded first with a quote tweet.
Bennett followed that up with a longer statement he posted under his quote tweet explaining the situation.
“I appreciate your concern with my image/intentions/loyalties/obligations (as well as your willingness to reach out to me to confirm them),” Bennett wrote. “You obviously thought quite deeply about some motives I might’ve had.”
Bennett said ultimately he was trying to soak up the moment with his teammates, and he was just trying to make sure the celebratory mood was set with the right music on his phone.
“So to finish it off nice and neat: I was controlling the aux and playing bangers so sed and Chris and I could have a blast on our last ride into Sanford,” he said. “That’s pretty much the gist of it.”
Bennett finished with a little dig of his own at Shapiro.
“P.s.: I don’t like you very much mr Steak “and shake” Shapiro,” he said. “But to be fair, I’m not a fan of your work either.”
Ryan Edwards Moves to The Sports Zoo on KOA
“Edwards has been on the radio in Denver since 2009. He spent eight years with 104.3 The Fan. He also did a short stint at Mile High Sports Radio.”
Ryan Edwards is staying with KOA, but his hours are about to change. The Denver sports radio staple is moving off of Broncos Country Tonight to join Alfred Williams and Dave Logan on The Sports Zoo in afternoon drive.
“I am thrilled to join radio and football legends Dave Logan and Alfred Williams on The KOA Sports Zoo,” Edwards said in a press release. “I look forward to bringing a fans’ perspective to the Denver Broncos and all things Denver sports.”
Edwards has been on the radio in Denver since 2009. He spent eight years with 104.3 The Fan. He also did a short stint at Mile High Sports Radio.
He joined iHeart Denver in 2017. He was on Orange & Blue 760 before the company replaced the station with a conservative talk format. He moved to KOA in 2019, where he has worked on Broncos Country Tonight with Benjamin Albright.