The alarm sounded, the eyes blinked a little. The head was a little foggy. One more day. Hot shower was needed to get the eyes to stop operating well. It’s days like this that I wish I drank coffee.
I get myself cleaned up, grabbed my daily omelet (back to Ham, Cheddar and onion today) and headed over to radio row. Who drinks Mountain Dew at 7:30 in the morning? This guy.
As I enter the SiriusXM compound, the first thing that happens to me is being introduced to Sean Payton. Sean was chatting about his conversations with Russell Wilson and how the job interviews went with teams. He was talking casually off the record and had several interesting things to say that I wish I could share, but that would break the trust that Payton has chatting with those in the media he knows well. Let me just say this, Sean Payton doesn’t care who you are, he’s going to tell you how it is.
As I begin to settle in, I help bring Marshall Faulk over to a set. Some people may tell him they loved him on the Rams, I told him I loved him in Life in Pieces. That brought a big smile to his face. That’s a great show by the way. It’s on Hulu, check it out.
Just about 30 minutes before show time, I happen to see none other than Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet walking by. I hustle over and introduce myself. Cole and I are both from Barrington so it’s an easy in. I ask him if we can chat a little for my podcast (check out the channel for the interview) and he obliges. Great guy and my goodness is Cole tall. I’m a shade under 6’3 so I don’t look up to too many people, but Cole is every bit of 6’6 and felt 6’7 or 6’8. He’s a giant target for Fields. My goodness. I spoke with Cole about his season, his development, Justin Fields and his contract situation. He was pretty open about everything but kept that contract situation pretty close to the vest.
As my show is about to get going, my first guest of the day is Christian Watson. If you remember, yesterday, Adam Thielen threw off the first hour because he was late, this time Christian Watson threw off the show because he rescheduled from segment one, to the final segment of the final hour. Now I’ve got an open segment, and if you are producing a national show from Super Bowl radio row on a Friday, that’s a no no.
I look around and see CJ Stroud. I talk to his publicist but he’s already late for his next interview. I see Aidan Hutchinson, but he was just sitting down for an interview and no way he was going to be done in time.
Suddenly I see him, like a beacon of light. Tony Dungy is getting up from another interview and I hustle over and convince his publicist to have him join the show. He does and I love that Dusty Dvoracek immediately brings up Devin Hester’s Super Bowl touchdown (Dusty was a rookie on that team) and gives a little light jabbing to Dungy.
After that, it was time for my favorite 30 minutes of radio from the week: back-to-back interviews with Stefon Diggs and Myles Garrett. First of all, Diggs was phenomenal. Forget being one of the best in the league, he’s an engaging interview and gave absolutely fantastic answers on Damar Hamlin, the Bills season, his own career and his brother’s play in Dallas. Myles Garrett comes in, and of all the athletes that I’ve had the privilege to meet in person, there’s Shaquille O’Neal and then there’s Myles Garrett. He is a mountain. Not a mountain of a man, an absolute mountain. He also gave a great interview and was just fantastic to listen to.
The second hour kicked off with Tony Gonzalez, but our next guest, the one and only Dick Butkus, happened to arrive about 10 minutes early. So, twist my arm, it’s my job as the producer to chat up the legend and make sure he doesn’t leave. Had a nice chat with Dick who is a genuinely nice person, which when you watch highlights of how he played football, you would think he’s a mean SOB, but he’s funny, engaging, and while he does use a cane, he is in fantastic shape for 80 years old. Here’s hoping Dick’s with us another 20 years.
We had a chat with Chicago’s own Donovan McNabb, and Christian Watson did in fact show up to end the show. It was a jam-packed week. By the end, nearly 40 guests came on my show. Another 50 came on the other shows on the channel, and we gave the listeners the best content we can.
Listening to Super Bowl radio row isn’t for everyone. There’s a lot of product placement and sponsors with athletes pitching their products but in the end, from a content production standpoint, fans don’t get a chance to hear much from Stefon Diggs, Myles Garrett, Joe Montana and the like the rest of the year. But this is the chance to hear them reflect on their seasons and talk about their peers.
My flight leaves in a few hours. I’ll be home probably around two in the morning and I’ll be looking forward to the one thing that Super Bowl week doesn’t provide: sleep.
Thats a wrap from #SuperBowl week! pic.twitter.com/h3gMhbBwn9— Bill Zimmerman (@ZimmermanSXM) February 10, 2023