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.
NBC Sports Names Al Michaels To Emeritus Role
The partnership will keep Michaels on for the Olympics and NBC’s NFL playoff coverage.
NBC Sports, which had been the home of Al Michaels since 2006, will still feature the veteran broadcaster despite Michaels’ moving to Amazon for Thursday Night Football.
The network announced that Michaels will still be a part of NBC Sports’ high-profile broadcasting properties including the Olympics and NFL Playoffs. Michaels’ last broadcast with the network had been Super Bowl LVI in February, his eleventh Super Bowl.
NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua said in a statement, “Revered by viewers and colleagues, Al has been the soundtrack for many of the greatest moments in sports television history. We are thrilled that he’s staying in the family and raising the stature of our events for years to come.”
“I’m looking forward to continuing my longtime NBC relationship while also launching the Thursday Night Football package on Amazon this fall. A special thanks to NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua and the folks at NBCUniversal for their help in making this happen,” Michaels said.
Michaels moved to Amazon Prime Video this season for their Thursday Night Football package. He will be paired with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit. This season will mark his 37th NFL play-by-play campaign in primetime.
Following another historic broadcasting moment in which Michaels deftly demonstrated his expertise and versatility, he became just the second sportscaster in history to receive a News Emmy nomination for his coverage of the San Francisco earthquake during the 1989 World Series.
In addition to the 11 Super Bowls, Michaels has worked nine Olympics and called eight World Series.
In December 2020, Michaels was honored with the 2021 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Michaels is one of only five distinguished broadcasters to be recognized with the baseball honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Award (Dick Enberg, Lindsey Nelson, Jack Buck, and Curt Gowdy).
One of television’s most respected journalists, Michaels has covered more major sports events than any sportscaster, including 20 years as the play-by-play voice of Monday Night Football. He is the only commentator to call the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and host the Stanley Cup Final for network television. In addition, Michaels called the classic 1985 championship boxing match between Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns and “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler.
Among his many accolades, Michaels has captured eight Emmy Awards – seven for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-by-Play and one in 2011 for the Lifetime Achievement Award, and has three times (1980, 1983 and 1986) received the NSSA Award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association; he was inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame in 1998. Michaels was named Sportscaster of the Year in 1996 by the American Sportscasters Association, and, in 1991, he was named Sportscaster of the Year by the Washington Journalism Review.
Thom Brennaman Continues to Search for a Second Chance
Brennaman has been searching for a broadcasting gig since he spoke a homophobic slur in August 2020 on a Cincinnati Reds broadcast.
The last time Thom Brennaman sported the microphone for a major broadcast was August 19, 2020. It was game that featured a doubleheader between the Cincinnati Reds and the Kanasas City Royals and in between the two, Brennaman blurted a homophobic slur that has thus far kept him off radio and television.
Brennaman has struggled to find his footing since that error. Recently, Brennaman recorded an episode of Tell Me A Story I Don’t Know, a podcast hosted George Ofman. That episode was available Tuesday and in it, Ofman asks where Brennaman thinks he’ll be in six months.
Brennaman said, “I have no idea. I really don’t. There were a couple of times I thought that maybe somebody out there was going to give me a chance to broadcast again and then this same thing comes up again.”
Brennaman sounded baffled that he’s still searching for work, citing other influential local leaders and what they opined in the days after the incident. “You know what you find out George, the guy who’s considered to be the leading voice of the LGBT community here in Cincinnati, he’s a big executive with Johnson and Johnson, a guy named Ryan Messer. He had written, and I had never met Ryan Messer at this point in time, like two days after what I said, he wrote a letter to the editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer, local paper, that Thom Brennaman should not be fired. There is room for growth here in so many areas and a great opportunity for him, for the gay community, for the Reds, for our society.”
Brennaman added that the two met as well as did Brennaman with other leaders in the LGBT community at the time. “I reached out to the guy and made contact with him and he’s the guy who’s house we went to that I made reference to earlier in listening to a bunch of the stories with some gay leaders. But anyway, I said ‘if you have people there – and I know you do – that are gay that work there, I would put up the amount of hours that I have spent in the gay community in some form or fashion over the last year against anybody you have that works in that office that’s gay’.”
Despite his efforts, the broadcasting veteran is dismayed that it’s failed to sway opinion, “it’s almost like in some cases it just falls on deaf ears.”
Regardless of where he is at now, he’s confident that eventually he’ll be afforded another opportunity. “But I ‘d like to think there’s somebody out there – and there will be and all it takes is one – is just to say ‘you know what, this was a mistake. Here’s the documentation of what the guy’s tried to do since then. We’re going to take a chance – answer some tough questions – and take a chance and get him back in the booth.”
And if another opportunity doesn’t present itself? “If it doesn’t happen, it’s not going to be the end of my life.”
The Rundown With Jeff Michael Coming To SportsMap Radio
“The Rundown with Jeff Michael will debut on June 6.”
Jeff Michael is getting a promotion at SportsMap Radio. He is moving from the part-time staff into a new midday show.
The Rundown with Jeff Michael will debut on June 6. The network describes the new two-hour show as energetic and fast-paced.
“Sports talk radio always meant the world to me,” Jeff Michael said in a press release. “Having an opportunity to reach such a large national audience is something I do not take lightly. While I’m so grateful for the opportunity, my focus will always be on creating captivating and informative content.”
Michael has been with SportsMap Radio since 2020. He has also been a prolific host in the podcasting space.
“I feel this is a perfect format for Jeff to excel,” CEO David Gow added. “From listening to fill-in appearances, you can tell he has tremendous command of his audience. You cannot easily teach what Jeff Michael already possesses.”