This week, The Pip & Dodds Podcast interviewed Wayne Larrivee, who has been the play by play person on the Packer radio broadcast with Larry McCarren for 21 seasons since 1999. In this segment, we talked to Larrivee about growing up as a Packer fan in Lee, Massachusetts and attending Emerson University in Boston. Growing up on the border with New York State. Wayne was a Yankee’s and Knicks fan growing up listening to broadcasters Phil Rizzuto and Marv Albert. His favorite teams were the NY Knicks championship teams of 1970 and 1974 with Walt Frasier, Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley and Phil Jackson. Wayne would later cover Jackson as coach of the Chicago Bulls while doing TV broadcasting from the Chicago Bulls. Wayne said that Phil Jackson tried to implement the Knicks team concept of sharing the ball with all members of the team rather than depending on just Michael Jordan.
Pip & Dodds asked Wayne Larrivee when he decided to become a play-by-play announcer and why he decided to concentrate on NFL football. He said that Marv Albert announcing for the NY Knicks and for the NY Giants served as his broadcasting role model. I know firsthand that Wayne Larrivee is second to none when it comes to game preparation for a sporting event. He shows us part of his game notes which he puts together in a 4’ x 4’ scroll that he has laminated to protect it from rain in the open press box. The printed info includes game notes, player data and information that he uses to prepare for each broadcast.
Pip asked Wayne Larrivee about his signature reference to “the dagger.” It has become one of the more famous calls in sports and Packer fans cannot wait until Larrivee makes his “dagger” call signifying that the game is over. In this segment, Larrivee looks at the salary cap and how it is difficult to return to the Super Bowl when your QB is signed for big money. Wayne’s standard is 13% of the salary cap. When your QB earns that, whether you are GB, or Seattle, or Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes earning big money next year, it will be difficult to repeat and get into the Super Bowl.
Don asked Wayne Larrivee about how former WI OT Ricky Wagner, signed by GB as a free agent in the off season, will fit in at OT to replace Bryan Bulaga.
Wayne commented that the experts have not been generous with their early evaluations/ratings of the Packer 2020 Draft picks of a QB, RB and TE on the first two days. John Dodds compared it to the poor grades from the media experts after Ron Wolf’s 1995 Draft where the Packers were thought to have needed a WR to replace WR Sterling Sharpe who was forced into retirement and did not take a WR until the 3rd round, Antonio Freeman. Three years later the 1995 Draft was reviewed and Ron Wolf was the only A+ grade having drafted five starters and a draft pick was traded for a key reserve (TE Keith Jackson).