Navigating through radio row

If you’re Falcons QB Matt Ryan or any of the other celebs trying to make your way through or around radio row, there’s an art form to making it through successfully.

The way it works is that the former and current players work through the room, stopping at a radio station table for a few minutes for an interview. Five to seven minutes pass, they get up, walk to the next table, and repeat. They’re on a hectic schedule, working through the room quickly to hit a few pre-determined interviews before exiting.

After chatting with Ryan for a few minutes — I’ve met him a number of times, and all the good things you hear are true —  I realized his gaggle (the term I’m using for the people who accompany the celebs) has a strategy.

First, there are usually one or two people (publicist types) who push their way through the crowd, keep the celeb moving, and keep things urgent. Then the celeb usually is third in line, buffered from all contact. Typically, behind the celeb are the last three gagglers. One almost always has a clipboard with the schedule. Another is almost always on the phone. The last one, the one you can tell is lowest on the gaggle totem poll, seems to not have a specific role but is readily available.

For example, Mike Ditka just walked by our set. He has a relatively small gaggle of three, but then a trailing group of four more. Oh, and we’re supposed to be talking with Ditka in a few minutes.

I want to ask Ditka who would win in a fight: One young tight end Ditka, or the Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers. I’m not sure I have the cajones.

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