Boomer Esiason on WFAN and CBS Sports Network Photo credit: CBS Sports Network

Boomer Esiason was live on his WFAN morning radio show when the Cincinnati Bengals announced he would be inducted into their Ring of Honor this year.

Getting his live reaction to the breaking news was pretty cool, but later learning Esiason was only pretending to be surprised by the announcement because he already knew about the pending induction was even better.

Throughout the morning, Esiason’s WFAN co-host Gregg Giannotti was teasing the scheduled Ring of Honor announcement from the Bengals. At 9am, Giannotti welcomed other station staff into the studio to announce Chad Johnson would be entering the Bengals Ring of Honor, before enthusiastically adding that Boomer Esiason will be granted the same honor.

“Wow, that’s amazing,” Esiason said. “It’s kind of surreal, actually…It was 39 years ago that I was drafted by the Bengals. Feels like another lifetime ago…I’m honored, and certainly feel very privileged to be able to say that I’m gonna be in Paul Brown Stadium. My name’s gonna be up there. It’s pretty cool.”

The Bengals waited until 2021 to start their Ring of Honor and they only induct two people each year, which is why Esiason is just getting in now. While Esiason said he is “humbled and grateful,” for the honor, he admitted being bothered by the Bengals taking so long to create a Ring of Honor.

“It’s something that irked me for many years,” Esiason said. “That I would go to Monday night games and I’d see all these guys on these other organizations getting honored for being a part of that organization’s history, and kind of linking fans together. Linking today’s fans together to yesteryear’s fans. Our time in Cincinnati was wild, for sure, on the field. We had a lot of great players, and a lot of great players who are certainly worthy of the same honor that I just received.”

WFAN shared video of Esiason reacting to the news, captioning the tweet with, “Boomer reacts live on air after finding out he has been inducted into the Bengals ring of honor.” The station sent out another tweet that said, “Boomer is being inducted into the Bengals Rind of Honor, and he found out live on air!”

Esiason reacted to the announcement live on-air, but the former NFL MVP didn’t exactly find out live on-air. Once Esiason was finished processing the news, Giannotti read the Ring of Honor announcement from the Cincinnati Bengals team website. Interestingly, the announcement included several quotes from Esiason.

“Well played, deceiving us,” said board operator Eddie Scozzare. “Because obviously, you gave quotes. So you knew. Well played.”

“Well, I did find out,” Esiason admitted, somewhat reluctantly. “I had to give a quote…I didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag. I didn’t want to ruin the Bengals press release.”

Well played indeed. Esiason has some acting experience, with cameos in The Game Plan, Blue Mountain State, Blue Bloods and more recently, American Underdog. That acting prowess came in handy Thursday morning. And Esiason’s acting would’ve had everyone successfully fooled, had they not found quotes from the retired quarterback already reacting to the Ring of Honor news.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to