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Boomer Esiason: ‘Hard Knocks Is An Aaron Rodgers Highlight Film’

“What I see now is a guy that is really motivated, actually very funny – and you can see how smart he is.”

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Aaron Rodgers
Courtesy: Vincent Carchietta, USA Today Sports

On Tuesday night, football fans were turned to HBO to watch the season premiere of Hard Knocks featuring the New York Jets, and the show received quality reviews from fans – specifically highlighting the impact of star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Jets acquired Rodgers in the offseason after he contemplated his future and subsequently requested a trade out of Green Bay, Wisc. to play for “Gang Green.”

He was prominently featured on the opening night of the show and figures to play a major role throughout the five-episode series, which is also available to stream on Max. Jets fans were encouraged by what they saw from the coaching staff, emerging stars and veteran presences, and seem to be fully convinced that this could be the year the team snaps its 12-year playoff drought – or more.

“Jets are winning the Super Bowl folks,” Jerry Recco said to open Wednesday’s edition of the Boomer & Gio show on WFAN. “I will tell you now – I watched One Jets Drive a couple of nights ago [and] I watched Hard Knocks not last night, but this morning. The Jets are winning the damn Super Bowl.”

Recco’s co-host, former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, played three seasons with the Jets towards the end of his professional career. After viewing the first episode of Hard Knocks, he reflected on the camaraderie and hijinks that take place at training camp and considers himself fortunate to have participated in 14 of them. Being a former quarterback, he is cognizant of the tone they set and their influence on the team.

“You see the incredible impact that Aaron Rodgers has had on everybody,” Esiason said. “It was the Aaron Rodgers highlight film last night, and rightfully so – that’s exactly what HBO should have done because that’s all we’ve been talking about for the last six months and the impact he was going to have on this franchise.”

One moment in the episode that stood out in particular was when longtime Hard Knocks narrator Liev Schrieber attended Jets training camp. The appearance marks the first time Schrieber had been to a practice or appeared on camera during the series. Rodgers seemed starstruck by the award-winning actor’s presence, imploring his coaches and teammates to greet him on the sidelines. Seeing the quarterback in this sense, along with peregrinating New York City over the last several months, seems to communicate an invigorating sense to take the field.

“What I see now is a guy that is really motivated, actually very funny – and you can see how smart he is; he knows everything that’s going on around him obviously,” Esiason said. “Who knew that Liev Schrieber was a football player, supposedly – I’m not so sure about that – but he had some pretty good lines last night as the ‘voice of God’ as Aaron Rodgers described him.”

Earlier in the week, Recco watched the season premiere of One Jets Drive, the team’s award-winning behind-the-scenes digital series, and thoroughly enjoyed the content within the episode. There was footage from organized team activities (OTAs) leading up to training camp, along with access within the team’s quotidian routines. The series was extremely detailed and comprehensive, leaving him wondering just how, if at all, Hard Knocks would be able to top it.

“I actually even wavered on watching it to be quite honest with you because I’m like, ‘What else could they show us,’” Recco said of Hard Knocks, which is produced by HBO Sports and NFL Films. “There was a lot of crossover – there was 100%… crossover with the footage.”

Both Esiason and Recco recognized that one of the illuminating moments in the episode was seeing defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich lead expletive-filled meetings and coach his players. Ulbrich is familiar with much of the Jets defense, being in his third season on the coaching staff and leading a young, explosive unit that continues to improve each year. Led by star sophomore cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, they are adopting a mindset of exceeding their job descriptions in order to compete for a Super Bowl championship.

Hard Knocks had some different stuff as well, and the one thing that stood out to me – and I wrote a whole bunch of stuff down – was Ulbrich,” Recco said. “I thought he stood out in this episode.”

“Jeff Ulbrich, the defensive coordinator, how many F-bombs can you drop in one session?,” Esiason said earlier in the segment.

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Jonathan Hood: ‘I Don’t Understand the Chip on the Shoulder from John Schriffen’

“If any of those radio losers clip it and try to make fun of you, nobody cares about them anyway.”

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Photos of Jonathan Hood and John Schriffen

The Chicago White Sox have not been much to talk about this season; however, their new television play-by-play voice has been talked about a lot in the first quarter of the baseball season. John Schriffen had big shoes to fill when he took over for fan-favorite Jason Benetti and some have been critical of his upbeat style while others have taken him to task for particular things he has said. This was a topic on the Kap & J. Hood morning show ESPN Chicago with Daniel Kaplan and Jonathan Hood.

Kaplan and Hood played a recent clip of Schriffen where fill-in analyst Gordon Beckham had made a mistake during an ad read. After the read Schriffen remarked, “If any of those radio losers clip it and try to make fun of you, nobody cares about them anyway.”

“That is one of the stupidest things I’ve heard…that’s just a dumb comment, dumb,” said Kaplan.

Hood added, “He has, what I consider to be a dream job. To be the voice of a team is just amazing. People turn to you, especially during these dark times for the White Sox, for some optimism, some entertainment, some hope. And you decide that you want to be able to take time out of the broadcast to address criticism that you’ve received as the voice of the White Sox?

“…You always have big shoes to fill when you are the new guy. And so, for you to step on the rest of the Chicago media, saying people that clip things you say are ‘radio losers’ and ‘they don’t matter’ you’re not currying favor with your listeners or the people that are supposed to be here to support you.”

Kaplan added, “All you did was set yourself up for that to be another drop that continues to get played on multiple stations.”

Hood talked about the difficulty of being in a new market and mentioned Benetti had not had the smoothest of transitions taking over for Hawk Harrelson. Still, Hood said he is just not understanding why Schriffen would go after the media. Hood said, “I don’t understand the chip on the shoulder from John Schriffen…I don’t get that, I don’t understand that…No one is out to get John Schriffen…he is new to this city, he is new as a White Sox broadcaster. What I would say to him is “what is the point of all of it if you’re arguing with The Score or you’re arguing with us about clips?’ How about just focus on being the best broadcaster you can be.”

Kaplan later said he would probably react similarly to how Schiffren has to some of the criticism saying, “I actually sort of respect Schriffen doing it, I just think he did it in the wrong place. You shouldn’t do it on the broadcast.”

Hood added, “It’s just not been a good start for him.”

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Fred Toucher Takes a Jab at Rich Shertenlieb

“At 8:20, a new bit ‘Putting You on Blast.’ I put you on blast and then I give a nice chunk of change to charity and let you know all about it.”

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Photos of Fred Toucher Rich Shertenlieb

Boston radio had a major change this morning when former 98.5 The Sports Hub host Rich Shertenlieb started his new morning show, The Rich Shertenlieb Show, on 100.7 WZLX. Shertenlieb was paired with Fred Toucher for 17 years before leaving the station just over six months ago.

On his debut show on the classic rock station, Shertenlieb addressed a feud he had with his former employer over access to social media accounts which he says were personal accounts he had started. He said he spent “five figures” with an attorney but then gave up and gave access to the station. “My rationale was this,” he said. “Instead of me spending all that money paying attorneys to fight this why not spend that money in a much better place…The minute I get back my 150,000 followers…I am writing a check to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.” Shertenlieb’s X account currently has 18,000 followers.

Fred Toucher and Rob ‘Hardy’ Poole came out of a break during Toucher & Hardy talking about how someone told Toucher old promos for Toucher & Rich had accidentally aired that weekend and joked about putting their boss “on blast.” Then Toucher says, “At 8:20, a new bit ‘Putting You on Blast.’ I put you on blast and then I give a nice chunk of change to charity and let you know all about it…If you listen to me, I’ll give you a chunk of change to charity.”

Shertenlieb hosts his new show with Boston television personality and sportswriter Michael Hurley on a full-time basis and has a rotating cast that includes former New England Patriot Ted Johnson, Charlotte Wilder, formerly of FOX Sports, ESPN and Sports Illustrated and Mike Giardi of the Boston Sports Journal.

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Jim Rome Announces Launch Date on X will be May 28

“We have been building this thing since the end of Super Bowl, we are finally ready to roll it out, or we will be a week from tomorrow, I am hyped.”

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Screengrab of Jim Rome broadcasting on X
Screengrab from Jim Rome X Account

Jim Rome announced back in February he was ending his simulcast with the CBS Sports Network and that his show would go dark on video “for a short period of time.” That short period turned out to be about three months and will end on May 28 when the show launches a video stream on X.

Rome announced on his show today, “Tremendous news, tremendous news and I’ve been waiting but I am finally ready now to announce it…This radio program is going to launch on the X platform a week from tomorrow, May 28th…That’s how you can watch the show going forward on the live stream on X.”

Rome stressed that nothing changes as far as how people can listen to the show on one the many radio affiliates across the country or on SiriusXM. “But, if you want to watch this show, the live stream begins a week from tomorrow on the X platform,” he said.

Rome introduced the hashtag, JimRomeOnX, and told his fans they “have a much better chance of getting your post read and seeing your post on the stream as it is impossible for us to get to all of them anyway.”

“Tuesday, a week from tomorrow is the big day,” Rome said. “It is go time. We are all fired up. It is finally going to happen. We have been building this thing since the end of Super Bowl, we are finally ready to roll it out, or we will be a week from tomorrow, I am hyped. Make sure you’re a part of this. It’s going to look great. If you’re seeing this now you are getting a taste.

“We will be streaming for the first time ever. As many of you know, I have been on cable, some national TV, but we have never even streamed our content, ever.”

Rome then gave his fans a quick look at what the studio will look like for the X live stream, a screengrab of which is the featured image on this story.

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