600 ESPN El Paso’s Super Bowl Radio Row Recap
Spending the past week on Radio Row in anticipation for Super Bowl LVII with 600 ESPN El Paso was a career bucket list item of mine. Nothing could have prepared me for the jungle and madness that was Radio Row. Of course, Kansas City-Philadelphia was all the talk among the different radio shows, podcast networks and shows, but the week-long event felt like a reunion among players, coaches and media members.
2023 Radio Row Broadcast Sponsor: Raiz Federal Credit Union
- Technimark El Paso
- Border Pallets
- Chick-Fil-A Airway
- New Start Homes
- Oscar Arrieta Agency
- Synergy Temperature Control
- El Perro Grande Tequila
- Expert HVAC and Refrigeration
- Burger Bros
- Papa Eric's Burgers
Check out all the podcasts of Super Bowl Radio Row week here:
Tuesday: Drive to Phoenix
Steve Kaplowitz and I jumped in our rental Tuesday morning and left to Phoenix. Our goal was to get a good feel for the area we would be broadcasting from Wednesday through Friday and get our credential. After we familiarized ourselves with the layout, we met up with Stephen "Foss" Foster and Chris Fernandez from Laying Down the Law for the media party that was taking place at The Farm at South Mountain, a farm-to-table experience. We had a blast mingling, eating and drinking with other media members. Foss and Chris even did a few reviews on their top dishes:
Day One: Wednesday
In the morning, we had a chance to meet with members of the Kansas City Chiefs ahead of our start on radio row. Head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes were available in a press conference setting. All other players and assistant coaches were available for one-on-one's.
Most in El Paso know that Reid was an assistant coach under Bob Stull at UTEP in the 80s. What people might not know is that Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub and outside linebackers coach Ken Flajole were also on that staff at UTEP.
Throughout the first day broadcasting, we had a chance to speak with both former and current players across the NFL. Giants/49ers great Bart Oates and Steelers/Seahawks linebacker Chad Brown joined us to start our show. Warren Sharp from Sharp Football Analysis joined us in our second hour to talk about the breakdown of the game. Then, we had current players like Marques Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore of the Chiefs to close out our show.
Day Two: Thursday
On Thursday, we had one main goal: load up our shows with the best guests that are available. It was NFL Honors day. It was the Thursday before the Super Bowl. We expected Thursday to be an absolute zoo.
Most of the high-profile players were accompanied by their agents and had a strict schedule for brands they were endorsing. This meant it was nearly impossible for us to bring on names like Rob Gronkowski or even Aaron Jones, who we had a chance to talk with off air. Still, we were able to grab guests for Laying Down the Law such as former Buccaneers quarterback Shaun King, former Rams quarterback Jim Everett and even former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander. For SportsTalk, we were loaded too. We had players like Josh Booty and Carl Eller join the show. Even current Royals player Vinnie Pasquantino made an appearance on SportsTalk Thursday.
Day Three: Final Day
After the craziness that was Thursday, broadcast teams assembled Friday to wrap up what was an eventful week. We had an agenda for interviews that we wanted, along with a few surprises like Poison's Bret Michaels.
As the day winded down, not many broadcasters hung around. Most were packed away and cleared their tables. However, one of the more prominent football and wrestling personalities did hang around and agreed to join SportsTalk. Pat McAfee spent almost 20 minutes with us on the show hours after his show ended in the FanDuel broadcast area. What was so impressive by Pat was the fact that he hung around and did each and every interview from people that were still there on radio row.
So for an incredible work trip, I say thank you to Phoenix. And for Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, see you in 2024!