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.
Parker Hillis Named Brand Manager of Sports Radio 610
Goodbye snow and hello heat! Parker Hillis is headed to Houston. Audacy has announced that he will be the new brand manager for Sports Radio 610.
“Parker is a rising star,” Sarah Frazier, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy in Houston, said in a press release. “He has impressed us since day one with his innovative ideas, focus on talent coaching and work ethic. We’re thrilled to have him join our Audacy team.”
Hillis comes to the market from Denver. He has spent the last three years with Bonneville’s 104.3 The Fan. He started as the station’s executive producer before rising to APD earlier this year.
In announcing his exit from The Fan on his Facebook page, Hillis thanked Fan PD Raj Sharan for preparing him for this opportunity.
“His leadership and guidance set the stage for me to continue to grow and develop in this industry, one that I absolutely love,” Hillis wrote. “This is a special place, one that I am honored to have been a part of and so sad to leave.”
Sports Radio 610 began the process to find a new brand manager in February when Armen Williams announced he was leaving the role. Williams also came to Houston from Denver. He started his own business outside the radio industry.
“I’m excited to join the Sports Radio 610 team in Houston,” said Hillis. “The opportunity to direct and grow an already incredible Audacy brand is truly an honor.”
Schopp & Bulldog: NFL Has To Figure Out Pro Bowl Alternative That Draws Same Audience
“The game just could not be less interesting.”
After years of criticism and declining television ratings, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell publicly stated this week that the Pro Bowl, as it is currently contested, is no longer a viable option for the league and that there would be discussions at the league meetings to find another way to showcase the league’s best players.
Yesterday afternoon, Schopp and Bulldog on WGR in Buffalo discussed the growing possibility of the game being discontinued, and how the NFL could improve on the ratings it generates with new programming.
“The same number of people [who] watched some recent… game 7 between Milwaukee and Boston… had the same audience as the Pro Bowl had last year,” said co-host Chris “The Bulldog” Parker. “….Enough people watch it to make it worth their while; it’s good business. They’ll put something in that place even though the game is a joke.”
One of the potential outcomes of abolishing the Pro Bowl would be replacing it with a skills showdown akin to what the league held last year prior to the game in Las Vegas. Some of the competitions held within this event centered around pass precision, highlight catches and a non-traditional football competition: Dodgeball. Alternatively, the league could revisit the events it held in 2021 due to the cancellation of the Pro Bowl because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which included a virtual Madden showdown and highlight battle, appealing to football fans in the digital age.
Stefon Diggs and Dion Dawkins of the Buffalo Bills were selected to the AFC Pro Bowl roster this past season, and while it is a distinct honor, some fans would rather see the game transformed or ceased entirely – largely because of the risks associated with exhibition games.
In 1999, the NFL held a rookie flag football game on a beach in Waikiki, Hawaii before the Pro Bowl in which New England Patriots running back Robert Edwards severely dislocated his knee while trying to catch a pass. He nearly had to have his leg amputated in the hospital, being told that there was a possibility he may never walk again. Upon returning to the league four seasons later with the Miami Dolphins, Edwards was able to play in 12 games, but then lost his roster spot at the end of the season, marking the end of his NFL career.
“You might not want to get too crazy with this stuff, but there’d have to be some actual contests to have it be worth doing at all,” expressed show co-host Mike Schopp. “Do you not have a game? I don’t know.”
The future of the Sunday before the Super Bowl is very much in the air, yet Goodell has hardly been reticent in expressing that there needs to be a change made in the league to better feature and promote the game’s top players. In fact, he’s been saying it since his first days as league commissioner in 2006, evincing a type of sympathy for the players participating in the contest, despite it generating reasonable television ratings and advertising revenue.
“Maybe the time has come for them to really figure out a better idea, and maybe that’s what’s notable [about] Goodell restating that he’s got a problem with it,” said Parker. “If there’s some sort of momentum about a conversation [on] creating a very different event that could still draw your 6.7 million eyeballs, maybe they’ll figure out a way to do something other than the game, because the game just could not be less interesting.”
Iowa Adds WCKG As Chicago Radio Affiliate
“The Hawkeyes open their season at home on September 3 against FCS power South Dakota State.”
Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa, sits just over three and a half hours from Chicago. It makes sense to assume plenty of alumni move to the Windy City after school and that other Iowa fans live in the metro area as well. That is why the Hawkeyes have struck a deal with WCKG to become their radio affiliate in Chicago.
The station, which is heard on 1530 AM, will air the entire season of Iowa football.
“Iowa Football’s storied history, continued success, and loyal fan base and alumni network throughout Chicagoland made this move a no-brainer for WCKG,” WCKG Sports Director Jon Zaghloul said in a press release. “I’m excited to bring the Hawkeyes to Chicago, and can’t wait to start airing games this Fall. It’s a huge acquisition for our brand, and, more importantly, our devoted listeners.”
The Hawkeyes open their season at home on September 3 against FCS power South Dakota State. Gary Dolphin has called all of the school’s sports on radio since 1996. Ed Podolak is his partner in the booth during football season.