KSK: I come from more of a print background. I’ve heard stories, most famously Malcolm Gladwell when he used to work for The Washington Post, about reporters having bets with their colleagues about being able to squeeze certain words or phrases into their pieces. Have you encountered anything like that in the broadcasting world? Not necessarily anything beyond the pale, but maybe even a small turn of phrase that someone intentionally worked in for other reasons.
Menefee: I’ve never done that before. I know Joe Buck has done it. He’s been open about it. He’s had friends text him a word that he would try to get into a game broadcast. I’ve never done that. I have people always ask, “Hey, can you give me a shoutout or can you say this?” And I’ll say, yeah, sure, whenever I say New York Giants, then that’s a shoutout to you, how about that? Let those people think whatever they want to think.
KSK: Are you involved in this year’s Madden game? I saw online that you had a part in the last two.
Menefee: That’s one of the biggest misnomers that I encounter. Did you get that off of Wikipedia?
KSK: Yeah, guilty.
Menefee: About once a year, I get asked that. I’ll say no I never did. And they’ll say, “Well, that’s what Wikipedia said.”
KSK: I was thrown off by that when I saw the mention. I buy Madden each year, so when I saw that you were involved, I couldn’t remember ever seeing you or hearing your voice in the game. I’m thinking to myself, where is he buried in this game?
Menefee: Somehow, someway, that got on there. I guess it’s still on there. I’ve had nothing to do with the Madden game other than purchasing it.
KSK: Is that something you’d be interested in doing if they approached you? Though it seems they’re going the CBS route right now, since they just got Phil Simms and Jim Nantz to do the commentary.
Menefee: If I were approached, I’d love to do it. Like I said, I enjoy playing or attempting to play the game. I don’t do it very well. I don’t have the time to devote to it that I’d like to. But, yeah, absolutely. That’d be something that’d be fun to do. That’s the good thing about the point I’ve reached in my career. I’m able to do some things now that are fun.
KSK: When Caliendo was let go by FOX, Mike Florio wrote a post for his site saying that the NBC crew considered Frank their favorite segment from another show, that people there would stop everything and watch. Are there any segments that the other NFL studio shows do that you really enjoy in particular?
Menefee: I’m honest when I say that everybody does a great job. Everybody does their own little thing. I watch everybody’s show. Or I TiVo it and eventually watch it, because I can’t watch them live. One of my favorites is “C’mon, Man!” on ESPN. I know it’s more of a Monday night feature. That’s one of the more enjoyable things I look forward to every week. You agree with them most of the time. Not only is it the perfect segment to highlight some of the things that happened in football the Sunday before, it’s kind of the perfect phrase. That’s a great segment. It’s one of those ones that I wish that we had, that were that perfect.
KSK: Take me through your schedule on a typical Sunday during the football season. What time are you getting in? When do things get the most hectic?
Menefee: Sunday morning, 5:30 a.m. is our call time. We do the show in Los Angeles, so we’re on West Coast time. We get in, we’ll have a production meeting. We’ve already had conference calls during the week, but this works as a final meeting before the show. How long it goes depends on how many stories Jimmy and Terry have to tell. Usually, it’s anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. We see each other because we spend our Saturdays together watching college football most weeks. So we’ll laugh and talk and go over what we plan to have on the show. By 7 o’clock, we’re supposed to be on set, dressed, get our make-up put on, all that good stuff. We’ll have rehearsal for about an hour, hour and a half. Now, our show is 70 percent ad-libbed, so rehearsal is mostly seeing features that we need to see. Or we’re checking in to make sure Pam Oliver is in Green Bay and she can hear us and we can hear her. Hopefully we’ll get done by 8:30, gives us about a half hour to relax and adjust before we get on the air. The show comes on at 9 and we do that for an hour. As soon as the show is done, we start taking in the games. We got a giant monitor wall where we can watch every single game. Not everybody sticks around set all the time. I have to stay there on set the entire day. I practically have to raise my hand to go to the bathroom. It’s almost like school. I have to do game breaks. Anytime there’s a touchdown or a score or something controversial happens in one game, I have to take it around to all the other FOX feeds. Usually there are four games going on at a time. Sometimes there can be five. Rarely there are six. I’ll be watching the games and doing the game breaks, then halftime rolls around. There’s a live halftime segment for each and every show. That’s the fire drill I tell people they should see. It’s one of those, you’ve got Detroit-Green Bay, you do that halftime. Sometimes, it can be literally 15 seconds after you’re done, you’ve got Giants-Eagles hitting the half. Then that one’s done. Then you gotta do one for Arizona-Seattle. Once the halftimes are over, we kind of start the same thing for the second half. The same thing does on and on all day, until about 5 o’clock, because we have to be on until 8 o’clock Eastern. If it’s a doubleheader weekend, we have The OT for that last half hour of the day until the top of the hour. If not, we’ll just a regular postgame show. So it’s a 12-hour day, essentially. And it’s 12 hours of being on, except for maybe that first hour of prep work.
I want more like this!
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