Wednesday, September 03, 2008

John Jurkovic

I recently conducted this mini-interview of John Jurkovic for SHORE Magazine...

Ivan John Jurkovic // ESPN Radio, Chicago

Jurko, as he’s known to his radio fans, is the cohost of the #1 rated afternoon show in Chicago, the Mac, Jurko & Harry show on sports-talk radio ESPN (AM 1000). Before beginning his radio career, he was a professional football player in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cleveland Browns. He grew up in Calumet City, and currently lives in Northwest Indiana.

Radio Philosophy

To inform and entertain. If you keep those two things in mind, you can never go wrong.

Favorite Brush with Greatness

I’ve met just about everyone in the world of sports without really being affected by it, but the day we had Dale Earnhardt, Jr., on the show at McCormick Place before the 2003 All-Star Game at Comiskey Park had to be the biggest moment for me. I’m a huge NASCAR fan, and that was unbelievable. I was so nervous, I was shaking . . . I had to settle myself down. For me, that was the cat’s meow.

Least Favorite Brush with Greatness

Some of the bad ones are with young college kids that are about to turn pro, like Julius Peppers. I don’t want to pick on him; I’m just using him as an example. We interviewed him down at the Super Bowl a few years ago, and it was amazing to me to see how little he had to say and how unaware he was of what he was getting into. His lack of preparedness was stunning. He’s not alone in that regard. These guys really need some coaching before they deal with the media. The first guy that sat me down was Dick Blasczyk. He was a coach when I was with the Green Bay Packers. He sat me down and said, “Do you know how often you say ‘you know’? Slow down and think. It’s better to have silence than to fill the silence with ‘you know.’”

Better Perks: Radio or NFL

The NFL has better perks because they treat you like a king, but I get to do more interesting stuff in radio. Now I get to go to the Super Bowl, and All-Star games, and the World Series, and the draft. I never got to do any of that stuff when I was player.

Something Listeners Don’t Know about You

I really think I’ve shared it all. How about this: I have a mole on my left butt cheek. It’s true.

Best thing about doing radio here

I’ve always had opinions and thoughts about Chicago sports growing up, and now having an outlet to share that with people more than just the corner bar is fun and interesting. I love to hear the views coming in from everywhere. It’s like hanging out at the world’s biggest tavern.