The week before the Super Bowl – itself one of the biggest events in professional sports and popular culture – has become fabled for a non-stop blitz of media coverage from the host city. This week, three Ithaca College students are in Houston, TX to broadcast their live sports-talk show and podcast from the site of Super Bowl LI.
Jake Asman and Dan Budick, hosts of the aptly named Asman & Budick Show, along with their producer Jake Chernok, were credentialed by the National Football League to broadcast from the famed Radio Row, the designated location for media to set up shop.
They will broadcast live on VIC Radio, IC’s internet-only station, from 4-6 p.m. E.S.T. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week. They leave Houston on Saturday, when the beat writers and broadcasters who cover the actual game move in.
Asman, Budick and Chernok are all seniors in the Roy H. Park School of Communications, and will join scores of national and local radio, TV, and print media professionals covering the lead-up to the big game. It’s the culmination of an inkling they had from their first show together, which they began while freshmen at IC.
"When we first started the show, we always had an idea in the back of our head 'Hey, one day we could take our show to Radio Row,’” Asman said.
A team effort
The three start by covering Media Night on Monday, where they’ll have the chance to speak with players and coaching staff from both the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. They’ll work to gather interviews and other content to release on iTunes or Soundcloud, or play on their live broadcasts. The show is also on Twitter at @AsmanBudickShow.
They plan to release content online each day they’re in Houston. “The thing with our show is we're a podcast first, and we also have live radio elements to it,” Asman said.
While it will be just the three of them on the ground in Texas, those live segments will require help from afar, Budick said.
"Part of the thing about going live is that we're able to get more people involved, because we need people here in Ithaca, engineering and doing stuff in the production room," he said.
They also plan to shoot video to play on ICTV, the college’s television station. Meanwhile, student designers helped design the logo the show is using for their Houston broadcasts. And all three are quick to praise Diane Gayeski, dean of the Park School, and Bryan Roberts, associate dean, for the role they played in helping to fund the trip and broadcast fees for this venture.
"Really from start to finish, even though it's the three of us that are going, it's really been such a collaborative effort with the Park School to make it all happen," Asman said.
Student staff from VIC and sister station WICB-FM who will help Asman and Budick get their show on the air are: Alex Lebowitz, studio producer and lead engineer; Adam Brobst, WICB/VIC sports director; Emma Beltrandi, assistant sports director; Kemery Colbert, VIC station manager; Alex Bredikin, WICB station manager; Stephen Alteri, ICTV sports director; and Alex McKeen, ICTV station manager.
Rounding up the guests
As producer, Chernok’s role will be to cut, like a running back, through the crowds of media, sports icons and celebrities who flock to Radio Row to hawk their products and projects – and of course to talk sports – to round up guests for Asman and Budick.
“We're already joking, or half-joking – or not really joking – about [the fact that] I'm the producer, so it's my job to go out and get some guests and elbow out some other producers in my way,” Chernok said.
While they’ll certainly try to land current NFL players (the ones that won’t be busy on the field Sunday, that is), former greats, and celebrities as guests on the show, they also recognize the unique position being there as a college program offers them. It means some of their idols in sports broadcasting are also fair game as guests.
For Asman and Budick, who grew up on Long Island, and Connecticut-native Chernok, that includes names like Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton, Mike Francesa and Mike Greenberg.
"To us as college kids, and all three of us aspiring to be in the sports media business -- the opportunity to sit down with them and have them come on our show and do an interview with them would be phenomenal as well,” Asman said.
It’s well within the possibility. He and Budick have had some impressive names on their show, including golfing champ Tim Daly, NBC commentator Bob Costas and ESPN’s John Clayton.
All three admit that whatever their guest roster ends up looking like will really be icing on the cake to the overall experience of being in Houston in the days leading up to Super Bowl LI.
"Having the opportunity to ask Tom Brady or Bill Belichik a question is not something that college kids have every day,” Chernok said.
Budick said there’s just something about the Super Bowl that sets it apart from other major sporting events. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, chances are it’s on your radar, and even non-sports fans will likely be at a party.
“Everyone knows what the Super Bowl is. No one's like 'Where are you going?' We're going to the Super Bowl!" he said.