Welcome to Should I Listen To This?, where we deep-dive into a podcast to find out what it’s about, what works, what doesn’t, and whether or not you need to make the all-important decision to hit subscribe and add it to your rotation.
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Podcast: Eisen Extra: Rich Eisen Real Fast
What Is It?: It’s the best of each day’s Rich Eisen Show, usually in an hour or less.
Who’s The Host?: Rich Eisen, former SportsCenter anchor and face of the NFL Network, leads the discussion. He’s joined by producers Chris Law and Chris Brockman, and audio mixer Michael Del Tufo. Eisen refers to his producers as the “Chris Command Center.”
What’s a Normal Episode Like?: Eisen and the others preview the upcoming interviews and show highlights before veering into a conversation that usually isn’t focused on sports. One recent conversation has been the annual “Burger Draft,” an event Law and Brockman love but Eisen cannot comprehend. There are usually three guests on the Eisen Extra. This includes one football-related guest almost every day. One of the guests also tends to be outside of sports, usually an actor/actress on a press tour. The third guest is usually a wild card, focused on that day’s big news story. Sometimes, a non-guest segment is included, such as a recent Marvin Harrison “sound-alike” contest and Tiger Woods’ future.
Who Is It For?: You have to at least like football to listen to this show. Even if it’s not your favorite sport, you have to be okay with all other sports furrowing behind the NFL, no matter when you’re listening. Eisen is knowledgeable on all sports, but he’s also employed by the NFL Network. During football season, this isn’t a big problem. But in the dog days of summer, some fans want a vacation from the Albert Breers, Peter Kings, and Jason La Canforas of the world.
The non-sports guests are also an acquired taste. If you’re familiar with Hollywood and the careers of Chad Michael Murray, Steven Bochco, and Michael Chiklis, for example, you’ll be okay. Personally, I’ve only heard of Matt Damon and Hank Azaria out of the last three weeks’ entertainment guests. Not knowing the actors/actresses isn’t a deal breaker since it’s only part of an episode.
Who Is It Not For?: Sports fans who don’t want their sports talk tainted by non-sports topics and guests. Since the show originates from Los Angeles, it’s easy to have in-studio guests from the entertainment world. With all the guests, it also depends on whether or not you want to hear what they have to say.
It’s also not for anyone apathetic toward the NFL. The show was at the Pro Football Hall of Fame late last week for induction weekend. Considering I live about an hour away from the venue and have never been, it’s clear football is front of mind for Eisen and co.
Those looking for something to listen to during their morning commute will be a day behind. The Rich Eisen Show airs from 12-3 ET, with the Eisen Extra podcast dropping a couple hours after that. It usually makes it for my drive home, but not always. It’s not something I can listen to while I’m at my desk, but I guess that’s what the full Rich Eisen Show is for.
How Many Episodes Are There?: The Eisen Extra podcast started on July 18. There are 15 episodes so far: one for every weekday over the last three weeks.
Can I Jump Right In?: Considering it’s updated every day based on timely sports news, definitely! It’s very easy to jump in and out because there are new guests and topics on a daily basis. Hearing everyone talk about the “Burger Draft” without proper context can be a bit confusing, but it’s usually only the first few minutes when most shows have pre-roll ads. Every guest is previewed ahead of time, which means you’ll never be going into the “meat” of the show completely blind.
What’s Not Great?: Like I said, it’s a tough sell for people who aren’t football fans. And if you’re looking for a traditional podcast-style deep dive with a single guest, you won’t find that here. But it doesn’t try to sell itself as a typical podcast, either. It’s a sports talk show, minus the callers and most of the banter. For some sports fans, that’s exactly what they want in a show. For those wanting the full sports talk experience, there’s the Rich Eisen Show podcast.
So, Should I Listen to This?: If you like football, you’ll enjoy the Eisen Extra. It’s not a typical podcast because it moves quickly between multiple guests. Find a day with guests you want to hear and you’ll likely enjoy it. For me, the Eisen Extra is best as background noise while I’m doing other tasks. It’s like sports talk radio, but with fewer commercials and no annoying callers. Plus, it’s easy to jump in and out of because it focuses on current sports news and refreshes every day.
Bottom Line – TL;DR: It’s the best of a sports talk show that leans toward football. If you are a fan of all sports but want the NFL to be the A Block of your life 24/7/365, then give this a shot.