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Aaron Rodgers: ‘Hard Knocks Has Not Been a Distraction At All’

“When we’re a connected group and everybody’s pulling in the same direction, that’s when you can get something done.”

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Aaron Rodgers
Courtesy: Vincent Carchietta, USA Today Sports

Following the premiere of the first episode of the new season of Hard Knocks, New York Jets fans took to social media to express their excitement about the opening kickoff for the 2023 campaign. “Gang Green” is led by new quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and his presence at training camp has seemingly catalyzed a young Jets team to compete for a Super Bowl championship. The Jets were one of four teams eligible to appear on Hard Knocks and reportedly expressed resistance about appearing on the show. 

After the NFL selected the Jets to appear on the program, the team went about planning how they would ensure the cameras would not be a distraction. Now with the new season in production, the team’s leader feels that the show has had a surprising, yet positive effect on the team at training camp.

“We want our team to be as authentic as possible,” Rodgers said in an interview with Boomer & Gio on WFAN Tuesday morning. “When we’re a connected group and everybody’s pulling in the same direction, that’s when you can get something done. But I will say this has not been that at all. To me, it’s been very authentic with our guys and not a distraction at all.”

Boomer Esiason, co-host of the show, chimed in on the discussion and pointed out to Rodgers how he especially enjoyed a scene involving the quarterbacks. Rodgers, demonstrating the value of veteran leadership, implored his teammates to converse with others and get to know them. Throughout the interview, Rodgers stressed the importance of cohesion and the group playing together in order to snap a 12-year playoff drought and win an elusive Super Bowl championship.

“I don’t know how much we’re limiting access on certain things that may be more [distracting], but I think it’s been great,” Rodgers said. “They’ve asked for me to be mic’d up a few times and I’ve gladly done it. I think the content’s been good, it’s been real and I’m having a good experience with it.”

The second episode of Hard Knocks in training camp with the New York Jets premieres Tuesday night at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on HBO and will also be available to stream on Max.

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Paul McCaffrey on a ‘Murph and Mac’ Reunion: ‘You Just Might Get That at Some Point’

“If you’re hoping for a Murph and Mac reunion down the road, just know that I’m hoping for that as well.”

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A photo of Paul McCaffrey and Brian Murphy
Courtesy: Paul McCaffrey X Account (L to R Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey)

Exactly six months after being let go by KNBR in San Francisco, Paul McCaffrey talked about his exit from the station and a bit about his future with SFGate Sports Editor Alex Simon. McCaffery was a part of the Murph and Mac show with Brian Murphy and had been since 2005.

The end came on November 29 last year and McCaffery told Simon he was asked to meet with management, separate from Murphy. McCaffrey was out, Murphy was still in. Others, including nighttime host and former MLB outfielder F.P. Santangelo were also let go in a round of layoffs.

McCaffrey said since that time he has been paying a lot of attention to former radio hosts such as Damon Bruce and Larry Krueger have done since leaving the medium. He told Simon YouTube is of particular interest to him and that he has visited Bruce’s studio.

“You don’t need the 50,000-watt station, not in 2024,” Simon quoted McCaffrey as saying.

Simon’s article says McCaffrey has something in the works he hopes to announce in a few months and that there would be familiar names involved. Asked specifically about Murphy, McCaffrey told Simon, “If you’re hoping for a Murph and Mac reunion down the road, just know that I’m hoping for that as well. And you just might get that at some point. I’ll just kind of leave it there.”

Simon spoke with Brian Murphy as well, who said he is enjoying working at KNBR with current partner Markus Boucher but that he “would never rule out — never rule out — being anywhere with Paulie Mac anytime.”

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New England Patriots, Beasley Media Group Agree to Multiyear Broadcast Extension

“We are honored to continue broadcasting the games to our fans for at least the next decade!”

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New England Patriots; 98.5 The Sports Hub
(Illustration) | 98.5 The Sports Hub Logo – Courtesy: Beasley Media Group New England Patriots Logo – Courtesy: National Football League | Gillette Stadium – Courtesy: David Sarnevitz, New England Patriots

The New England Patriots and Beasley Media Group have announced a multiyear broadcast extension that will retain 98.5 The Sports Hub as the official flagship station of the team. The Patriots will be broadcast on the outlet through the 2033 season, continuing the partnership between both entities since the launch of 98.5 The Sports Hub in 2009. Fans can also listen to games utilizing the 98.5 The Sports Hub website or app.

“Patriots fans throughout New England have come to rely on the sound quality, reach and overall coverage that 98.5 The Sports Hub has delivered since they launched 15 years ago,” Murray Kohl, vice president of corporate sponsorship sales for the New England Patriots, said in a statement. “Bob Socci and Scott Zolak are perfectly paired to deliver all the action to Patriots fans throughout the region. We are happy to extend this partnership for another 10 years and hope it will continue for decades to come.”

“The Patriots are a religion in New England,” Mary Menna, vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group Boston, said in a statement. “We are honored to continue broadcasting the games to our fans for at least the next decade! The Kraft family, the Patriots staff and the entire team are such amazing partners.”

Patriots gameday broadcasts will begin three hours prior to kickoff with Patriots Preview, primarily hosted by Jim Murray and also including Marc Bertrand during select weeks. Chris Gasper, Boston Globe columnist and co-host of Gasper & Murray on Saturdays, will also make a return for his 10th season as the pregame co-host. The Patriots postgame show will air for three hours following every game broadcast as well.

“The Patriots have been a cornerstone of our programming since we launched the Sports Hub,” Rick Radzik, program director of 98.5 The Sports Hub, said in a statement. “As the team enters this new era, I’m thrilled that 98.5 The Sports Hub will be the home of the game broadcasts for the next decade, while also continuing to provide an outlet for Pats fans to talk football year-round.”

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Mark Giannotto Leaving 92.9 ESPN and Memphis

“Mark has been terrific on 92.9 FM ESPN starting as a guest some 6 years ago and then joining us as a host for the Giannotto & Jeffrey Show 5 years ago.”

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Phto of Mark Giannotto and a graphic for Jeffrey Wright and Friends on 92.9 ESPN Memphis
Photo Credit: Memphis Commercial Appeal Graphic Credit: Audacy Memphis

Mark Giannotto, one half of Giannotto and Jeffrey on 92.9 ESPN in Memphis and lead columnist for the Memphis Commercial Appeal is leaving the area and moving closer to family in Chicago. Giannotto’s last day on the air will be this Friday, May 31.

In a staff email Barrett Sports Media obtained, Audacy Memphis Sports Brand Manager/Operations Brad Carson said, “While I’m super happy for Mark personally, obviously we’ll miss him here at 92.9 professionally. Mark has been terrific on 92.9 FM ESPN starting as a guest some 6 years ago and then joining us as a host for the “Giannotto & Jeffrey Show” 5 years ago. Immediately the daypart grew to that dayparts biggest numbers and Jeffrey and Mark demonstrated a new standard for mid-afternoon sports radio for us. Jeffrey and Mark both have been integral to our brand and I want to recognize them BOTH.”

As for what is next in the daypart, co-host Jeffrey Wright will continue on with a new show, Jeffrey Wright & Company, featuring Wright with various personalities.

“This gives us an opportunity to try some different things and reset using Jeffrey’s leadership,” Carson said in the email. “I want to personally thank Jeffrey for his unrelenting work ethic, can do attitude for our brand, and ease. Jeffrey gets it done in all aspects for us and has done so selflessly since he started here producing Geoff [Calkins’] show daily and running his own show 8 years ago.”

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