Pat McAfee, Ian Rapoport, and A.J. Hawk on The Pat McAfee Show on March 7, 2023. Pat McAfee, Ian Rapoport, and A.J. Hawk on The Pat McAfee Show on March 7, 2023.

It’s been a long-standing part of the sports media world to have insiders appear on radio or TV to discuss their work and general developments in the league they cover. But timing there is always interesting; if the insider breaks news just before an appearance, that’s obviously ideal, but sometimes, they’re finding out things while on air, or shortly afterwards. Pat McAfee got into that a bit with NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport Monday, discussing how he thinks Rapoport always breaks news right after his appearances on The Pat McAfee Show:

McAfee introduces Rapoport (who had just been covering the Derek Carr to the Saints news on Twitter and NFL Network) with “Ladies and gentlemen, joining us now is a guy who can break every piece of information in every news article the NFL has moments after exiting our show every ******* time!” He and co-host A.J. Hawk then boo Rapoport.

Rapoport then responds. “Hi guys, I’ll say this, with all apologies to my great sources, some of them watch your show. For instance, I had a high-ranking source reach out to me before and say ‘I hope you got coffee,’ which was very nice. Sometimes people think it’s funny to not break news on your show. I just want to make sure I’m available to the people to explain what the Derek Carr numbers actually mean since I know the meaning is important.”

McAfee then does a slow clap and says “Thank you for being such a hero, Ian. You’re right. That’s what we should have been thinking about. And to the sources, what the hell? Let’s send the info a little bit earlier. You know he comes on every Monday. We do appreciate you watching.”

This all feels pretty tongue-in-cheek. And it’s notable that there’s a long history of back and forths between McAfee and Rapoport on this show (including some involving another recurring McAfee guest, Aaron Rodgers), so many so that the show put out a 13-minute compilation of them last July:

But it is interesting to hear McAfee and Rapoport discuss the timing of reports on the air. And there have been some cases where on-air reporting gets a bit awkward (but sometimes it works). It also certainly seems like Rapoport isn’t particularly trying not to break news on McAfee’s show; news happens when it happens (as an ill-fated 2017 ESPN social media policy discovered), and given the competition in the NFL insider world, it’s unlikely Rapoport’s holding much back for long.

It is possible some Rapoport sources do indeed think it’s funny to tell him newsworthy material only after his appearances on McAfee’s show. That definitely is conceivable as a thing NFL sources might do. (And, along those lines, there’s nothing wrong with McAfee putting it out there that he’d prefer Rapoport’s sources to text him pre-show, whether he’s fully serious or not; it’s not something he controls, but it’s a request he can make, and a logical one given his position.) But it’s also possible that’s just part of the standard Rapoport-McAfee back-and-forth, and not meant to be taken entirely seriously. At any rate, it made for an unusual conversation, and one that brought up some of the past discussions around on-air reporting.

[Barrett Sports Media, photo from The Pat McAfee Show on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.