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An Inside Look at Day Four of Super Bowl’s Radio Row

Bill has been at the Super Bowl all week, and on day four he saw a popular Chicago Bear roaming the convention center.

SiriusXM At Super Bowl LVII - Feb. 9 Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

After reading these, I hope you are beginning to appreciate the hectic chaos that radio row is, but that there’s plenty of fun to be had there as well.

But let’s make no mistake about it, there’s work to be done. Outside of regular producing duties that I won’t bore you with, you’re on your feet for hours all day, the days are long and the chaos adds to mental stress as well. It doesn’t take much for a show to go off the rails, so after three days of Super Bowl shows, when the 6:00 AM alarm sounded, I’m not going to lie, I gave myself an extra 30 minutes of sleep.

After I slapped myself awake and had some breakfast (added a little jalapeno to the omelet today), I headed over to the convention center to start getting ready for the day.

When I arrived, Shaun Alexander was just wrapping up an interview, and we had a chance to chat for a little bit. One, Shaun is as classy of a gentleman as you can find. Two, how is this man not in the hall of fame? Have you ever looked at the numbers? The man averaged 20 touchdowns a season for a FIVE year stretch. He averaged over 1500 rushing yards a season during those years as well. Are we holding a running back out because he doesn’t have the longevity? Well what about Terrell Davis or our own Gale Sayers? I mean, come on. Who’s in charge over there? But I digress.

My show is packed today. 12 segments, 10 guests. I need this show to operate like clockwork, but to do so, you are relying on PR agencies to pull their athletes through the crowd of fans and media members, as there are radio stations from all across the country hoping to get a few minutes with these guys on their show. There are plenty of smaller local markets here as well, and many of the big names there, they don’t get an opportunity to speak with them, so they’ll do whatever they can to try and get a minute with someone that isn’t sitting down at their set.

The first guest of the day is Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen who was going to kick off the show, but he’s late. I scan the horizon and can’t find him anywhere, I tell my hosts, Dusty Dvoracek and Danny Kanell, to just start talking and we’ll go from there. Finally, Thielen emerges, but he’s seven minutes late. That may not seem like the end of the world, but when you have Brian Urlacher, Carson Palmer and Justin Fields headed to the set in that hour, plus you need to get your commercial breaks in, suddenly your who hour is messed up, and it’s only eight minutes past the hour.

The hosts did a good job managing the hour as we kept Thielen just a couple minutes past his window, got the break in, spoke with Urlacher for about 10 minutes, blew off our update at the bottom of the hour and got another break in so we were free to get some time with Carson Palmer before Justin Fields sat down with the guys.

I had a few minutes to burn while we were transitioning from Palmer to Fields so I was able to talk to Justin for a couple of minutes. Let me tell you, the reputation is accurate. What a genuinely nice person. He’s not the chattiest fellow, but he’s engaged with you and seems to genuinely take an interest in people. Plenty of athletes will just sit there and wait for their interview and look at their phones, and that’s not a knock on them. Talking to dozens if not hundreds of people in a 4 or 5 hour stretch has to be exhausting for these guys, but Justin took it all in stride.

Our next hour included Josh Jacobs and Emmitt Smith, a true running back extravaganza. But what was amazing? Despite all the NFL stars past and present, the biggest entourage of anyone walking around radio row was our next guest, and that man is Stephen A Smith.

It’s not just that Smith had a large group traveling with him, it’s that the hoard of people around him hoping for an autograph or a picture OF him (forget with him!). It’s remarkable what that man has built up in his media career.

Noted Chicago Bears fan George Kittle gave me an excellent, “Daaaa Bears!” before he headed onto our stage and the rest of the day consisted of other notable NFL folks like Ron Jaworski, Aidan Hutchinson, Shannon Sharpe and Louis Riddick.

Thursdays are usually a great day for night time activities and parties, but the time change (and my age), just really worked against me. Didn’t have it in the cards this year knowing how busy Friday was going to be and how painful the alarm already sounded this morning.

It was just a few cocktails and catching up with some old friends before calling it a night and getting ready for one final day of chaos at Super Bowl Radio Row.

ICYMI, catch up on Bill’s day 1, day 2, and day 3 in the links provided!