On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Oct. 02, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Alumni Appearance (Murphy, Koch)

    TTZ: Mark Murphy
    Club Level: Greg Koch


  • Thu., Oct. 02, 2014 7:25 PM - 10:30 PM CDT Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings (Gold Pkg.) Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings (Gold Pkg.)
  • Thu., Oct. 02, 2014 10:45 PM - 11:15 PM CDT Live McCarthy, Rodgers press conf. Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy and QB Aaron Rodgers will be available to the media in the Lambeau Field media auditorium, following the Packers-Vikings matchup.
  • Tue., Oct. 07, 2014 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM CDT Jarrett Boykin appearance Jarrett Boykin is scheduled to appear at the Bellin Health Algoma flu clinic on Tuesday, October 7, from 4-6 p.m., in Algoma, Wis.
  • Tue., Oct. 07, 2014 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM CDT Shields appearance Sam Shields is scheduled to appear at Kohl's Home Store in Menomonee Fall, Wis., on Tuesday, Oct. 7, from 6-8 p.m.
  • Wed., Oct. 08, 2014 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila appearance Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila is scheduled to appear at the Bellin Health flu shot clinic on Wednesday, October 8, from 5-7 p.m., at the Bond Gym Center in Oconto, Wis.

News

Print
RSS

A.J. Hawk tackles “Broadcast Boot Camp”

Posted Jun 21, 2013

Veteran Packers linebacker explores the media biz at NFL Films

GREEN BAY—Attending the NFL’s “Broadcast Boot Camp” this past week was an eye-opener for A.J. Hawk.

It also has sparked an interest in a possible post-football career for the eighth-year linebacker.

Along with two dozen current and former players, Hawk spent 3 ½ days at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, N.J., getting an introductory crash course in the broadcast business and trying his hand at various duties.

He wrote a script, loaded it into the teleprompter and delivered it. He tried studio analysis, giving opinions and debating topics in a talk-show setting. He also conducted interviews.

“That was really different for us,” Hawk said. “I’ve never been the one asking questions. It’s not easy, I know that much.”

Hawk said he talked in advance with former Packers teammate Brady Poppinga, who has attended the camp in the past, so he had some idea what to expect. He was impressed with the number of big-name network personalities and producers who served as the “faculty,” led by CBS studio host James Brown.

“They tell you that giving interviews does not help you,” Hawk said. “Just because we’ve given hundreds of interviews over our careers, that’s nothing. That doesn’t compare to when you’re on the other side and you’re the one asking the questions and trying to give intelligent opinions on things. You have to really prepare, and they made sure to let us know how much they prepare.”

The professionals didn’t hold back in their evaluations of the novices’ work, which Hawk appreciated.

“Whenever we filmed something, we’d come back as a group and watch it, and they’d critique us just like we do when we watch a game,” Hawk said. “They weren’t nice all the time with their critiques. They were brutally honest, and we need that.”

Hawk’s favorite part was stepping into the booth as a color analyst alongside a play-by-play announcer and calling the action. He wore headphones, had a producer in his ear and gave it his best shot.

Even though most of the week Hawk felt out of his comfort zone, he said being a color man in the booth felt the most natural. It has him seriously thinking about honing that craft and seeing where it leads when he’s done playing.

“As football players, we’re used to talking about football, and you’re trying to convey what’s happening and why teams are doing certain things,” Hawk said.

“Watching the Heat (in Game 7 of the NBA Finals) last night, they’re pros. The announcers make it look easy. They make it sound like a conversation going on during the game, but it’s tough to make it natural.”

Hawk, the Packers’ first-round draft pick in 2006, has no plans to hang up his cleats anytime soon, but he wanted to attend the boot camp while he was still playing to make some contacts and start planning ahead. He’s very glad he did.

“It’s something I was pretty passionate about going into this week, and then now that I’ve been in it and seen how much work it takes, I think I’m more into it,” he said. “I’m inspired to try to get better and explore all the different opportunities there are.”

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • How will rain impact Thursday night's game?

    (2:34) Posted 13 minutes ago

    With rain in the forecast for the Thursday night matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers, the "NFL AM" crew debates which team the rain will impact more.

  • Inside the NFL: Packers vs. Bears highlights

    (2:52) Posted 20 minutes ago

    Check out all the best sights and sounds from the Week 4 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.

  • Trailer: Packers vs. Vikings

    (1:50) Posted 1 hour ago

    After a 38-17 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 4, the Green Bay Packers return to Lambeau Field to face their division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings, in Week 5.