After 17 regular season weeks and two exhilarating playoff weekends, seven-eighths of the National Football League now knows its couch position as well as its draft position while only four teams remain active. Sadly, only two podcasts remain in-season. To answer all those who have asked me about it on Twitter: yes, I will still host this podcast every week in the offseason that I’m able and in-studio.
In other words, this podcast is not locked out but rather locked in.
As for this particular Championship Week podcast, we lock in CBS’s top analyst, Phil Simms, fresh off calling the most-watched divisional playoff game in television history. That is not an exaggeration. Over 42 million of our fellow Americans tuned into watch the Jets turn the 14-win Patriots into a one-and-done team, and we quiz Phil on virtually every aspect of the game. How did the Jets do what they did to Tom Brady? Why did the Patriots methodically march down the field in the fourth quarter of game they were trailing by 10 points? Does he get a new CBS blazer every season?
Of course, we also flash forward to the fabulous AFC Championship Game rematch between the Jets and Steelers that he will call with Jim Nantz Sunday night and also get Phil’s thoughts on the most red-hot quarterback on Planet Earth, Aaron Rodgers.
Next up, your humble host takes a moment for himself. I’m a University of Michigan graduate (Class of 1990) and with my football program trying to pull itself out of major doldrums, I phoned up the new head football coach of the Michigan Wolverines, Brady Hoke. To the hardcore Buckeyes and Spartans and Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions in my listenership, bare with me as I bare my Maize and Blue soul to coach Hoke. But, keep listening – we do talk some NFL, including the exploits of former Wolverines Brady and Charles Woodson as well as that of his brother, Bears defensive backs coach John Hoke, who has his hands full with the NFL’s A-Rod coming to town Sunday.
Then, we get back to our roots here on the podcast. We welcome in some of my in-house colleagues. NFL Network reporter and host Kara Henderson joins NFL Network senior producer Bardia Shah-Rais to talk Hot Topics. I know a lot of you have been missing The Worm (join the club), so we know we have our work cut out for us when we run through the water cooler subjects of football conversation – from last week’s games to this week’s games and even the hubbub caused by a couple of New York Giants essentially wishing they were New York Jets. Plus, we phone up a surprise guest for Kara and Bardia.
We finish the show with a flourish when Paul Rudd dials into the podcast. A long-time, big-time Chiefs fan and everyone’s favorite bromantic actor, Paul does not disappoint. Preparing to fly off to Germany to promote his film “How Do You Know” and then return for the Sundance Film Festival, Paul found enough time to call in and brag about his surprising Chiefs. He also lets us in on the back story of the “Afternoon Delight” scene from “Anchorman” as well as the Steve Carell chest-waxing scene from “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” and then tells the funniest skiing story I’ve ever heard. Well, second funniest.
Be sure you stick to the end. Bottom line, Rudd brings it on this podcast.
Enjoy the latest show from all of us here at NFL.com and, of course, enjoy the games this weekend. It’s the last weekend with multiple football games in quite a while. Soak it in!