With a monster Super Bowl Week looming in Dallas and a Pro Bowl week underway, I figured I had to put together a podcast lineup suitable for the moment at hand. And, dare I say, what ended up happening could be groundbreaking.
I mean, I don’t listen to every podcast. But I can’t think of another one that includes or has included Snoop Dogg and Drew Brees back to back. Please let me know if there’s been another such occasion. It truly is just how I roll.
First off, though, we phoned up AFC Champion linebacker LaMarr Woodley and checked in with James Harrison’s bookend to see what’s going on behind the Steel Curtain. After dispatching the New York Jets, the Steelers are suddenly knocking on No. 7’s door. Or on the “Stairway to Seven.” How is Woodley handling it? What does he expect from the quarterback of the moment, Aaron Rodgers? My fellow Michigan Man gives us the scoop … and another Michigan Man, too. Give a listen.
After that, I call up the biggest Pittsburgh Steelers fan I know – Snoop. Phoning in from the road, Snoop breaks down the AFC Championship Game and previews Super Bowl XLV with some high-precision analysis. After all, Snoop is a football coach, too. Indeed, Snoop is going to Dallas not only to watch the Steelers take on the Packers, but he’s bringing his youth football team with him to play in the annual youth football game called The Snooperbowl. This year, however, The Snooperbowl has a twist: for the first time, Snoop’s team is not taking on a stranger, but rather a long-time friend. You bet: Snoop’s opponent is Deion Sanders’ youth football team, The Truth. It’s a battle royal in the making, set for the day before the Steelers and Packers have their own. We talk about it all, including the afterparty on Saturday night. I now have a special role in it with a pledge from Snoop that might leave my wife a bit unsettled.
Next, we switch gears to say the least with Brees, last year’s Super Bowl MVP, joining us during Pro Bowl week. It’s Drew’s fifth Hawaiian all-star rodeo and, sure, while we discuss the upcoming Pro Bowl I would have been remiss if I didn’t ask him about the way the Saints’ season ended. As usual, Brees tells it like it is and proved quite candid about what happened Wild Card weekend in Seattle and why it’s so tough to repeat as champions of the NFL. Brees also delves into the Super Bowl matchup and gives us his thoughts on Cutler-gate in Chicago.
That brings us to the biggest Bears fan I know — Jeff Garlin, who took time out from shooting “Curb Your Enthusiasm” to phone in and get a few things off his chest. What did he think about Jay Cutler’s Championship Sunday? Was the subsequent criticism unfair or on target? And what about the poor schnook who lost his job at the Chicago-based car dealership for wearing a Packers tie to work? Jeff hits on it all.
We have a new victim for our Hot Topics segment. NFL GameDay Morning coordinating producer Dan Fleschner joined the podcast for the very first time and teamed up with podcast veteran (and, judging by your comments and tweets, podcast favorite) Kara Henderson, who was fresh back from a six-day stint in Chicago covering the NFC Championship Game. Did the media’s coverage of Cutler’s injury get out of hand? What does it say about the role of Twitter in sports coverage? And exactly how long is the Super Bowl pregame version of NFL GameDay Morning? Could it possibly be longer than an actual morning?
Finally, my old ESPN tag-team colleague Dan Patrick calls in. Every Friday, I appear on Dan’s popular, superbly produced and executed national (television and broadcast radio) program and enjoy it. This podcast conversation, essentially, is a 20-minute long version of the rollicking 8-or-so minute long chat I usually have with Dan on his show. It goes in every possible direction before ending with a crescendo. Or a thud. It certainly ends with a “Booyah.”
Either way, it will end with you fully primed and prepared for every possible storyline heading into Super Bowl Week.
So be sure to listen to the end. I reveal the guests already in the hopper for next week’s first ever Super Bowl podcast.