Looking back at the history of SiriusXM NFL Radio, through its hosts and founders, as we approach the channel’s 10th anniversary on Aug. 2, 2014.
It’s safe to say that no one knows more people or has more friends in football on all levels than Gil Brandt. Call him the “Godfather” or the “Guru” or just plain old Gil, he is everybody’s favorite.
Brandt gets the biggest kick out of the variety of calls his programs get – in age, geography, jobs, everything. And he keeps a record of them.
“I have kept track of it for 10 years,” Brandt says. “On a legal pad. I know how many callers we have each night, from what states, how many first-timers we get.”
On June 9, hardly the heart of the football fever season, Alex Marvez was co-hosting with Brandt. He said to Gil that it seemed ridiculous that in early June the board was lit up with calls – for the duration of the four-hour show.
“The biggest complaint we get is that they can’t get in,” Brandt says. “Even for some of the coaches.”
When he was coaching in Denver and then in Washington, Mike Shanahan was a regular listener to channel 88. In his team’s previous game, there had been some controversy over using timeouts properly, and Shanahan knew the perfect place to explain his thinking.
“I am on the morning show and about 6:30 am the phone rings and it is Shanahan,” Brandt recalls. “And he says: `Gil, let me explain to you about this timeout.'”
That has happened often to Brandt. Once, Saints coach Sean Payton called SiriusXM and asked to go on the air with Gil.
“It’s the power of the shows,” Brandt says. “How many local or ESPN shows are there where you see these guys call in and say this is what really happened.”