In what was not a shock to anyone, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not at mandatory minicamp on Tuesday as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday. It has been a while since anyone has heard from Rodgers, but the last one who did was former ESPN personality Kenny Mayne.
Rodgers, who is a good friend of Mayne’s, appeared on the ESPN legend’s last SportsCenter a couple weeks back. On this week’s episode of The Adam Schefter Podcast, Mayne talked about the now famous interview.
“It was a weird position to be in and then you add in the weight of the ESPN bosses, ‘hey we know it is your last day, but can you get some f**n Aaron Rodgers questions for us to run them on SportsCenter?'” Mayne joked. “I sent him a note. I said we are not planning anything, just be prepared for everything. I’m not going to screw him over when he’s doing me a nicety of that’s a pretty big name to get on your final show. Aaron didn’t complain afterwards. He wrote something funny. He wasn’t offended and I think he wants to answer some things seriously. We kind of did it all in my opinion. I did what I wanted to do. It was my last show. He said what he said. I don’t know what’s going to happen, I have no idea.”
During the conversation with Schefter, Mayne said that he has no idea what’s really going on with Rodgers and has never asked him about it privately nor did he know anything other than rumors when the news Rodgers reportedly wanted out was reported the night of the NFL Draft. He knew that regardless of what he asked, he wouldn’t get Rodgers to tell him everything.
“I told people before and after I can be as straight as can be, I can be as silly as can be, somewhere in between, which I probably was. He’s going to answer how he wants to answer. No one can beat the information out of anyone. I can’t make Aaron tell me precisely what he’s thinking and what he’s exactly going to do and how he thinks it is going to turn out. He was kind of just doing the long, philosophical answer of people vs. institutions and I tend to agree with his point.”
Of course, what might be more famous than Rodgers’ thoughts on his current situation in that interview was the final question Mayne asked where he joked about getting into cryptocurrency. Schefter said it might have been “the single-greatest last question that I’ve heard asked of anybody ever.”
Mayne did not prepare the quarterback for the joke either and mentioned how he was doing it more to help him than for the actual show itself:
“I daydreamed about that a day or two before,” Mayne said. “I knew that it would be a funny way to end it, but I didn’t write it down and I almost forgot to do it. All of those interviews, there were no scripts or prompters. I knew ahead of time ‘hey I want to hit these four things and you see where the interview goes. At the very end, it hit me to do that thing. As he is wrapping up, I pretend like we’re done. I referenced the last time I interviewed him and did the big joke at the end. He didn’t know it was coming for sure. That was a genuine reaction. I was doing it more for him than the room. I didn’t think they would run it out. They were like we had to run this.”
While Mayne said some people can criticize him for not addressing the trade request enough, he did the interview the way he wanted to do it and for someone’s final show in a great career, that’s all a person could ask for.
AEW Dynamite Moving To TBS
“Wrestling hasn’t been seen on TBS since the network cancelled WCW Thunder in March of 2001.”
Hockey is coming to TNT. That means wrestling is moving to TBS. The network will be the new home of AEW: Dynamite starting in January.
AEW’s original TV show airs on Wednesdays. That will be the spotlight day of the TNT NHL package. The network will present hockey doubleheaders every Wednesday, leaving no room for wrestling.
TNT won’t be completely out of the AEW business. In a press release, WarnerMedia announced that Friday will still see AEW: Rampage airing on the network. The press release pointed out that Rampage has gotten off to a very hot start for TNT.
“Since its August 13 debut, AEW: Rampage has ranked as one of the top cable programs on Friday night. The second week of the show featuring the debut of CM Punk delivered the strongest ratings for the AEW franchise since the premiere of AEW: Dynamite.”
Wrestling hasn’t been seen on TBS since the network cancelled WCW Thunder in March of 2001. That changes on January 5.
Louis Riddick Explains How MNF Production Meetings Work
“Riddick expounded more on the production meetings with coaches, including one with a particular Bay Area play-caller.”
The Monday Night Football campaign is in full swing, and The Athletic’s Robert Mays had MNF analyst Louis Riddick on The Athletic Football Show to discuss his weekly routine for putting on a top-notch broadcast.
Riddick dove into the process each week and discussed which coach has impressed him the most during his time in the booth. Tuesdays are a rest and recovery day after traveling home — then the process starts on Wednesday.
“We kinda have a, from a booth perspective, between Steve Levy, Brian Griese, myself, and then Phil Dean the producer and Jimmy Platt, the director. Us five get together and just discuss the previous week’s game and whatever we want to bring up that is positive or negative,” Riddick described to Mays on the show.
The brain trust discusses play breakdowns, production, and situations that popped up during the game. Next up is choosing the important voices for the next game that they want to speak to.
“We give Phil the list of coaches and players that we think are important to talk to,” Riddick said. “He sends that into that team’s PR department, and then usually they say yay or no. Most teams are very, very good with giving us the players that we want because it’s better for them. They know the more we highlight them, the better it is for them.”
Riddick expounded more on the production meetings with coaches, including one with a particular Bay Area play-caller.
“I would say our meeting with [San Francisco 49ers head coach] Kyle Shanahan,” Riddick answered. “Before we did the Bills game down in Arizona because they had to move from Santa Clara because of what was happening was some of the best football conversations I’ve ever had in my life, quite honestly. From team building, coach-player relationships, X’s and O’s, the opponent, what he learned from his father, what he feels specifically that running backs need to have and why… It was fricken incredible, incredible.”
Riddick can be seen on Monday Night Football breaking down all the action throughout the 2021 NFL season. Listen to the full episode here.
Women in Sports Media Celebrate Kate Scott Joining 76ers
“The west coast native is heading east to continue pursuing her dreams, and she received a ton of support from the women throughout sports media this week.”
Kate Scott is breaking new ground, and the sports broadcasting community took notice.
Scott joined Lisa Byington as the only full-time female voices of NBA franchises when the Philadelphia 76ers announced her addition this week. She replaces longtime TV play-by-play voice Marc Zumoff.
“Being the voice of the 76ers is a dream come true,” Scott said to NBC Sports Philadelphia. “As a kid playing hoops alone in my driveway, I actually used to imagine I was Allen Iverson; the clock would wind down in my head, people would scream, ‘You’re too small! You don’t belong!’ But I’d fade away, hit the shot, and the crowd in my mind would go wild.
“To now get the opportunity to be the voice of that team is incredible, and I look forward to earning the respect and trust of the phenomenal city of Philadelphia, and 76ers fans everywhere, one call and one game at a time.”
Scott seemingly busts down barriers every year. She recently became the first woman to call Olympic men’s basketball as part of NBC Sports’ coverage of Tokyo 2020, where she covered both men’s and women’s games.
“Kate’s energy, passion, and tremendous knowledge of the game of basketball made her the ideal candidate to usher in a new era of 76ers basketball on NBC Sports Philadelphia,” Philadelphia 76ers President of Business Operations Chris Heck said. “We’re thrilled that she’ll call our city home and look forward to the lasting connections and memories she’ll make with the best fans in sports. Kate and Alaa [Abdelnaby] are a dynamic broadcast pairing that 76ers fans will enjoy watching on the call this season and beyond.”
The west coast native is heading east to continue pursuing her dreams, and she received a ton of support from women throughout sports media this week.