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Jason Romano | Spectrum Sports Host & Media Director

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
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February 8, 2023 6:05 am

Jason Romano | Spectrum Sports Host & Media Director

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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February 8, 2023 6:05 am

 Spectrum Sports Host & Media Director Jason Romano joins the show from the Super Bowl festivities in Arizona!


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Learn more at today. My friend Jason Romano, who is the media director and podcast host for Sports Spectrum, was right in the mix of everything there in Phoenix. Jason, I know you were mingling. What did you see and who did you talk to on opening night? Yeah, we saw a bunch of, well, you always see these spectacles. Opening night is so interesting. It's like that old media day where everybody and their mom and sister and cousin come out, some of them dressed quite interestingly.

Interesting enough. And just asking the weirdest questions to these players. But I also noticed as we were approaching this night, I really went in not expecting to get a ton of content.

Just thinking that it's opening night, you just kind of want to be around. But these guys are just distracted to no end with so much going on. And yet we came away with a lot of conversations, even though they were two minutes long here and there. We got to talk to a few of the Chiefs, including their owner, Clark Hunt. We got to talk to the defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo. We got to talk to their kicker, Harrison Buckner. And with the Eagles, it was really interesting to talk to some of the lesser known names, if you will, with the Eagles. Like Jamal Singleton, who is the assistant head coach.

He's Nick Sirianni's right-hand man. And getting to talk to some of the coaches, getting to talk to some of the players was fascinating to me because it's a different type of conversation than maybe later this week when we get to sit down with them during their open media availability where there's not 15,000 people inside an arena and there's not a thousand people, some dressed to the nines, asking the weirdest questions. It's kind of back to football and for us, football, faith, and of course, you know, family.

So it was really good. We had a lot of great conversations and some of them are already out and many more will be coming later this week. Did you just walk up to Clark Hunt and ask him for a couple minutes?

So here's how that works. It's fascinating that you asked this. So I'm with my colleague Leah. She's down here doing our videography and kind of producing a lot of the content for us. And I said to her, we're going to hang in the back because I saw where Jeffrey Lurie was with the Eagles and it's very possible that Clark Hunt might come back to this area.

And if he is, I want to be ready and we can tape an interview. So the Chiefs players start walking out into their different zones and different areas and all of a sudden there's Clark, he's just standing there and with one of his people, I don't know if it was a security guard or a PR person or what, and he's just kind of standing there. And I looked at Leah and I go, let's go. And so I walked up to him. It was like within two minutes of the event starting and I said, Mr. Hunt, I'm Jason Romano from Sports Spectrum.

Would you be willing to take a few minutes? And he was like, absolutely. And he knew if he was out there that he was going to be doing interviews. And so we grabbed him and we got maybe two minutes, two and a half minutes, which I know is an extremely long time. But you don't get a lot of long interviews at the Super Bowl when you're covering the media like this or covering the games at the media availabilities. So we got two minutes, asked him three or four questions and he was great. He was gracious and talked about faith, talked about family and the importance of his prayer life and some of the questions that we might ask. It's a little different than your typical sports media company. Jason Romano is on site in Phoenix covering Super Bowl week and Radio Row again as the director of media for Sports Spectrum and also a host of the Sports Spectrum podcast.

And I've been honored to appear on it a couple of times. It's about faith. It's about family. It's certainly about football this time of the year. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio in the wake of everything that happened with DeMar Hamlin, which, believe it or not, was just over a month ago.

It maybe seems like forever ago. But when he suffers that cardiac arrest on the field, I think we saw a different side of the NFL, Jason. More players as well as coaches willing to speak out about faith, the anxiety and the concern for one of their brothers. We almost saw the league grind to a halt, which never happens. And I know you've spoken with chaplains and players. What have you heard about that moment, that event and how significant it was?

Well, it certainly had a bunch of ripple effects, I think. And first of all, we were all praying for DeMar and we all saw a man practically die on the field twice and be resuscitated and then survive. And a miracle happened and prayers were answered.

And this guy is now alive. It looks like he's going to be OK. Immediately after you're watching that, you saw the response on the field. You saw social media everywhere offering thoughts, offering prayers, offering their best wishes and praying for a miracle here, not knowing how severe I think it was for DeMar on the field. And then from that, you go into the next few days and you see somebody like Dan Orlowski praying on ESPN for DeMar, not offering prayers, but actually praying, which you very rarely ever see on a national broadcast of any sort, much less ESPN. And so then you start to see the teams talking about prayer and you start to see players and others really be open to the fact that, hey, this is a guy who almost died. And for all of us, you know, our mortality is is real.

Right. Where none of us are going to live forever. And so what does that mean when faced with our mortality? And I think a lot of us gravitate towards prayer and more spiritual thoughts and like the afterlife and questions. That's why I think it was bigger than just the NFL, even though the NFL responded in a really powerful way. I think the NFL is one of the more open leagues to being, you know, willing to go into the spiritual space, the faith space, the Christian space, the prayer space. Then when you saw DeMar starting to get better and better and better, it was, oh, my gosh, we're witnessing a real miracle here that, yes, the doctors and all the first responders had a big hand in.

But really, at that moment, all you can do is give it to God and say, OK, God, we're trusting you here because there's not much more that we can do. So I think you saw some ripple effects to that that I think still transition into today being at the Super Bowl here in Phoenix. And you see guys more open to talk about prayer, to talk about their faith. And, you know, team chaplains being equipped inside those locker rooms to talk to so many players who had so many questions and were fearing for their own mortality in many ways.

There's a lot of layers to this, Amy, I think. And I think they still continue here at the Super Bowl as we talk to people. But I thought it was really candid of Josh Allen to admit that inside the Bills locker room, they were discussing things like prayer and church.

And as you point out, mortality. Now, you've had the chance to talk to both of the team chaplains of the Chiefs and the Eagles. What are their roles in locker rooms in the NFL?

That's a great question. Yeah, each team in the NFL is equipped with a team chaplain. It's basically a spiritual adviser, a spiritual coach, you know, some call it a character coach. But really, those guys are in charge, if you will, to work with the players. And in many cases, I know for the Chiefs and the Eagles to work with the coaches as well to help them grow in their faith, to lead and offer up opportunities to study the Bible, to attend chapel services and small group settings, to be able to grow in their faith spiritually. Because, you know, the grind of an NFL season, as you know, Amy, is just so encompassing and all consuming that these guys really, if they're not careful, can get so caught up in what they do for a living, whether they're a coach or a player. And to have a chaplain like Ted Winsley with the Eagles or to have a chaplain like Marcellus Casey with the Chiefs to be able to pour into these players and be there to guide them spiritually is, I think, obviously the NFL recognizes how extremely important that is. Because every team has a chaplain and they're not employed full time, you know, by the staff or by the team. In most cases, there's a couple chaplains that are full time with their teams, but for the most part, these guys are volunteers, they're pastors at their local church, and they've earned the trust of the players and coaches to come in when invited and be able to share with them, you know, the hope that's found in God. More and more we're seeing conversations around mental and spiritual health when it comes to pro sports. So yes, their roles even more critical as we move forward and athletes understand that there shouldn't be any type of a negative connotation talking about these things.

And so they're more willing to speak up and support one another. Jason Romano is with us from Phoenix Sports Spectrum podcast host. He's an author, he's a speaker. I know this because we're friends. And you mentioned six years on Radio row, two of those years have featured the Eagles in the Super Bowl and you as a longtime Cowboys fan.

Sometimes it's hard to put that aside, isn't it? Oh, Amy, you got to put your fandom aside and be a professional. I always try to do that, to be honest with you, not only am I a Cowboys fan, but my middle brother, you know, my hero and my hero in faith and, you know, a professor and PhD and biblical studies and a Bible professor. He's a diehard Eagles fan and his two sons, my nephews are diehard Eagle fans. So we go at it every single football season with the Cowboys and the Eagles. And I'm not saying I'm rooting for the Eagles this Sunday. I don't think I'd ever say that publicly, but at least the experience of talking to the Eagles and being around them, I can put myself, I guess, in my brother's shoes and my nephew's shoes and understand how much they would give their right arm if they could to have the experience that I get to have in covering this Eagles team.

But yeah, let's put it that way. I, I, I appreciate the Eagles though, because they're extremely accessible. They have a strong faith journey, faith culture within their locker room, and they're really good. Like they're set up for the next few years with this team, if they, if they play their cards right. And it's been cool to kind of follow along on their journey, even though I do root for their arch rivals with the star in their helmet. Well, the Cowboys didn't have a bad season themselves, the NFC beast as we like to call it this season.

So you would think that the potential is there too, for that division to continue getting stronger moving forward. You and I are about the same age. I go back to John Elway and the helicopter play in the late stages of the Broncos Packers game. I think that was 1998, but 97 season. Do you have a favorite play or plays from Super Bowl lore?

I love this question. See, one of my favorite topics is the Super Bowl, you know, and I love kind of looking at the history of the Super Bowl and being able to remember games and scores and highlights. So, one of my favorite Super Bowl plays it was probably there's this play that happens in Super Bowl 13. So this goes way back and I don't remember watching this on TV, but I've watched so many like Super Bowl 13 NFL films highlights right that I, there's a play in this game that happens where Terry Bradshaw is rolling out right and he's trying to, you know, get ready to throw a pass and Thomas Hollywood Henderson and another player on the Cowboys come and sort of corral him and they steal the ball from home and they run it back for a touchdown, and the Cowboys take the lead Steelers ended up winning that game, 35 to 31 but there's an announcer who makes a call in that game, who talks about one, you know, held him the other one robbed him, and it was just, I don't know that that brings back the lore of Super Bowl certainly I ran into David Tyree this morning. Who I mean you just run into a Super Bowl hero right right but I ran into him and I thought wow it's been 15 years since he made the helmet catch, which at the moment you're not even sure he made the catch and then the more you see it and the more you watch the NFL films, you know footage of it, you realize it's one of the great catches if not the greatest of all time. And I think it was voted number two in great moments in Super Bowl history was the helmet catch.

So that's probably another one I think that stands out. That's more recent, and it was held here in Phoenix, 15 years ago. I cannot believe it's been 15 years, I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I was in a group of people who went nuts so some of them were jumping on couches at the Super Bowl party where I was back that was probably one of the last Super Bowl parties I ever attended so yes, it's a vivid memory for so many sports fans, Jason in addition to the sports spectrum podcast and the interviews that you do on site when you travel sports spectrum also has a magazine. What will people find when they pick up this magazine. Yeah, so I'm really excited about our sports spectrum magazine that's coming out because we got to travel to Norman, Oklahoma. Late last year, and sit down for really two days with the Oklahoma University Sooners softball team, which might be if you notice Amy, the most dominant sports team in America right now, Patty college or pro, and they have a strong faith culture within their team as well led by their, their head coach Patty gas so their manager, and then their players like their top players. The best picture their best hitter their best defensive player are all strong in their faith and so we got to go down there and sit down we interviewed, maybe six different members of the team, got to do some really cool photo shoot, you know opportunities with them that's going to be on the cover of the magazine so this spring edition to me, I could not be more excited about it I think it's the best magazine that we've done thus far since I've been on board with sports spectrum, because of the fact that we were able to go and create this content that nobody else will have it wasn't just stories that we wrote based upon other people's views. This was us going to Oklahoma, sitting down with the players sitting down with Patty gas so and really finding out what is going on within this program, not just in how much they excel on the field as softball players and dominate, but really a culture program built of love of family and certainly a faith so I'm excited. Patty has built incredible legacy there, and also Joe Castiglione as the athletic director there, he really puts his coaches in position to succeed. So you want to go to sports that's where you can order the sports spectrum magazine, and then you can find Jason and the links to his sports spectrum podcast on his Twitter at Jason Romano, it's always good to catch up with you and hear the latest, enjoy your time in Phoenix, I prefer the cold myself but okay whatever with your 75 and sunny. Amy, come on, nobody prefers the cold.

Do they really. I gotta go back to this in three days so come on here you know this is just how it is. We're waiting for you in the Northeast.

A spring can't come soon enough we'll just say that, but I appreciate you with my friend and always appreciate you inviting me on your show test here. I've always had problems sleeping, and once I fall asleep. I couldn't stay asleep, I searched, getting to sleep ASAP.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-08 08:34:04 / 2023-02-08 08:41:34 / 8

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