DawgNation Daily: Behind-the-scenes for Brandon Adams and his 1,000 shows
Peyton Manning had his “Omaha” play calls. Brandon Adams starts his days with a specific play, too.
Bacon, egg and cheese. Donut Shop coffee. Kiss the wife.
“DawgNation Daily” quickly became an instant fan favorite by starting every day that way. We thought the occasion of the showrunner’s 1,000th episode would be a good time to share an insider’s view of the program.
Let’s first explain that play call. Those are the staples of every Adams morning as he makes his way out the door to Cox Media Group Studios in Sandy Springs. He broadcasts the signature show Monday-Friday for DawgNation.com.
- Bacon + egg + cheese: Adams has a breakfast sandwich of this variety every morning. The bacon gets a few laps around the microwave. This takes place before his morning shower.
- Extra bacon, egg and cheese Intel: The eggs are scrambled. The bacon cooks for 65 seconds and the cheese is Sargento.
- “Donut Shop” coffee: “BA” is usually a two-cup guy. The first one usually goes down while he is the only one up at his house. Sources say he puts down two cups before he leaves and a third in transit to the studio.
- Kiss the wife and hug the fam: He kisses his wife, Gina, and shares the same private sweet sentiment every day on his way out the door.
The football games that provide the source material for his show will split into four quarters. That’s what the aim of this missive is for today. That’s why DawgNation thought it was time to shine a little light into the first, second, third and fourth quarters of the “DawgNation Daily” program.
Adams would rather a lot of these details remain private. But there’s something here that folks need to know about the man and the work that goes into his “Daily” grind.
It is not the fact he was once an elementary school teacher. He was “Mr. Adams” before he started working his way toward the first name “BA” basis he now enjoys with his daily audience.
DawgNation Daily: Humble roots for a flagship program
The first quarter would be the family moments before he hops on Georgia state Route 400. His show combines the elements of sports talk radio with a live on-camera show. It will air with graphics and produced segments for the DawgNation video channels.
How did this all come about? Adams knew the Georgia faithful wanted to listen to more about UGA each day than just snippets and morsels from ESPN, SEC Network and local sports talk radio.
They wanted 450 or so like-minded individuals around their water cooler at work. Adams also believed they wouldn’t mind one bit if that water cooler chat took longer than five minutes, too.
He was right. On both counts.
His first show was cobbled together with a sweat ton of ambition and inspiration. “DawgNation Daily” started as a podcast before it evolved into the Facebook Live video stream in February of 2017.
It now also airs on Twitter and YouTube. His show averaged 33,000 daily listeners from all sources in 2018.
The very first one was in the closet of his master bedroom. He converted it into a studio. A trip to Wal-Mart was required for the foam to aid the acoustics of his makeshift podcast delivery room.
An early show will always be a happy memory. But it was not the news of a 5-star recruit. It was when his son, Charlie, was playing downstairs.
Somehow the sounds of him saying “Come on, Daddy” and “Let’s go” got by all that Wal-Mart do-it-yourself soundproofing. Young Charlie was just that ready for a vacation.
Adams will rise sometime between 5 and 6 a.m. every morning. He’ll read the news of the day and start work on his regular DawgNation blogs that support his show.
At some point, he’ll wake his wife, Gina, up and she’ll cook him breakfast, including that Adams-household famous bacon, egg, and cheese. If anyone wants to test the strength of their marriage, try asking your spouse to do the same every day.
He aims to leave at a certain time but rarely does. When he does by 7:30 a.m., he will have his eyes on the clock. The DawgNation morning conference call every morning takes place approximately one hour before he goes on the air.
The target launch time is 10 a.m. for every DawgNation Daily morning. It will vary by the time it takes to cook maybe 10 strips of bacon in his microwave every morning.
“He feels blessed,” Gina Adams said. “Blessed. He is very grateful that he gets to do this daily.”
DawgNation Daily: The 999 pregames that add up to 1,000
Connor Riley has been producing “DawgNation Daily” for over a year. He sees a specific side of Adams that few do.
That’s before the red lights on those two robotic cameras in the DawgNation.com studios go on.
“His entire show is planned out in his mind as far as I know as soon as he steps into the building, “Riley said. “It is just so much putting it down on paper and getting the audio and visual clips he wants.”
Mailing it in? Come out with something off the top and see how it goes? Wing it with something generic? Those choices would not get a man to 1,000 shows in front of DawgNation every morning.
Adams is never the most tech-savvy guy in the room. Pretty much in any room. That’s why his desk sits in one row of cubicles and he shifts to a desk in another row behind him to print out the rundown for his daily show.
Why? Because that’s the one connected to the printer. It has become a tradition by now. When that is done, he’s ready to go on air.
“When he walks into the studio, he’s not checking his hair or making sure everything needs to be where it is,” Riley said. “The second he walks in, the red light could be on and he’d be ready to go.”
He will line his show up with guests. Those usually consist of an anchor telephone interview. Those usually stretch around 10 to 15 minutes, unless that guest happens to cover recruiting.
Adams begins with a set eight-to-nine minute monologue on the headline topic of the day. That’s the one which scrawls across phones to let viewers DawgNation Daily is on the air.
He’s highly analytical and reads as much on Georgia football as anyone in that media space. There’s also a special way he handles every sponsor read.
“As impressive as he is about talking with Georgia the stuff he does with sponsorship is he can look at it one or two times before the show starts,” Riley said. “Not even necessarily do a practice read for it and it will come out like you think he has done it a thousand times.”
Its been pizza. Or lawyers. Or a trade organization. Whatever it is, he synthesizes that information like he’s breaking down a brewing QB controversy in Athens.
DawgNation Daily: Once the red lights go on
His daily show is for DawgNation as much as anyone else. It is everyone’s 1,000th DawgNation Daily.
There might even be a few folks who have heard all 1,000 of his shows. With this, it is their turn to tell their side of things.
Miriam Martin Corbin (Marietta, Ga.) — “It is so great to hear him voice many of the feelings we in Dawg Nation have, both good and bad. His down-to-earth, self-effacing approach makes him very relatable and I feel he is more of a friend than just a broadcaster. He always tries to be upbeat, even in our darkest moments and is as excited as I am during the golden times of winning.”
Steve Burnett (Roswell, Ga.) — “The reason I tune in to Brandon and DawgNation Daily is it is a true daily update for hardcore Georgia Bulldogs fans. There are obviously many podcasts and news sources out there but Brandon has connected as the Pied Piper of the DawgNation community. Whether it’s reporting live from on the field at the Rose Bowl, at one of the Marlow’s Tavern remotes or on the podcast Brandon keeps plugged-in fans tuned in to the biggest news in Georgia football at that moment.”
Bob Hayes (Ball Ground, Ga.) — “I’ve been a Georgia football fan for more than 50 years but DawgNation has been a big part of my life ever since I started listening to it. Every morning I can’t even go workout in Forsyth County at One Life Fitness because I’ve got to make sure I listen to my 10 o’clock program before I even go work out. As far as I’m concerned, you guys ought to have a TV show. I get so excited when I get through listening to it that I want to run outside and get out on all fours and try to hit somebody. It is that good every day. It really is.”
Mark Morris (Anna Maria, Fla.) “Absolutely the best. Superb. I watch him every day. It has been very rare that I get to listen to his whole live show. But every afternoon, I will turn it on and listen to it and watch. I just love it.”
Bryce Dixon (Blackshear, Ga.) — “The reason I tune into DawgNation Daily and Brandon Adams is it is where all the fans go if they want that special fix for Georgia football news.”
Corbin: “I plan my day around listening to his show as much as I can… His show has created friendships I would have otherwise missed out on.”
Dixon: “His favorite spots are in Jacksonville talking about those stinky Gators. Or playing in The Rose Bowl. There isn’t another show I’d rather watch talking about the ‘Dawgs. Let’s watch 1,000 more!”
Hayes: “You have no idea at my age how much of a joy it is to start the day off listening to ya’ll. You have no idea how much you mean to my wife and I. It just starts the day off right and makes it seem real. It makes it seem life-like. … Brandon makes it seem like we are right there on the practice field each day watching the ‘Dawgs. … I tell you, Brandon is the best.”
Burnett: “Brandon presents UGA football news from the fan’s perspective. As he says on DawgNation Daily, he’s not there to present news from the ‘objective media.’ For example, when the Dawgs land a 5-star or lose a 5-star he speaks in the mindset of a UGA fan.”
Morris: “I can’t even describe how much he connects me to the team. Because I live in Florida. I’m out of the physical loop and he brings me back in. I feel like I’m living right next to Sanford Stadium.”
Dixon: “He just has passion talking about (UGA) and he means it.”
Hayes: “Both my wife and I are addicted to ‘DawgNation’ every day,” he said. “We can’t stop. When I can’t get it on my phone or my iPad hers comes on before mine so I’ve got to listen to her phone first before I get mine going. It is just amazing every day with Brandon. It really is.”
Morris: “I like it when Brandon just is himself. His self-deprecating humor. He talks about his gut. The bald spot on his head. Says things like ‘This is a bigger word here than I should use’ all the time. He just personalizes it with all his content.”
Corbin: “I always try to find ‘BA’ at all the games, because I do consider him a friend. It is truly a blessing to have BA’s show to tune in to during this magical time for our ‘Dawgs.”
DawgNation Daily: The view of an Atlanta broadcast pro
Matt Chernoff is a savvy professional broadcaster. His work on WCNN-AM’s “680 The Fan” is closing in on his 7,000th show by now.
The co-host of the well-liked “Chuck and Chernoff” show can also call Adams a friend. There was a time when they were co-workers. He’s heard Adams go from weekend shifts and other duties in the Atlanta sports talk radio market to his current work for DawgNation.
“I always thought he was ahead of like the sports radio curve,” Chernoff said. “In other words, his creativity was always three steps further than we all were down the road. If that makes sense. We were all doing the general sort of boring sports talk radio (such as) who won the game and he was always developing topics. He always had a creativity that I’ve always loved and respected which made him a great listen.”
Chernoff brought up two clear things with Adams: 1) He loves talking UGA and that’s in his wheelhouse; 2) When a professional radio voice loves talking about a subject, it will come off sincerely to their audience.
“Brandon is a great listen,” Chernoff said. “He’s a fun listen. He’s a light listen. He can attack serious topics and discussions in a way that it makes for the audience incredibly easy for a listen. It doesn’t sound like he is trying to complicate things. I always think Brandon does that very well.”
There will never be another Larry Munson. Scott Howard is a polished play-by-play man who has found his own space in Bulldog lore. But Chernoff feels Adams is carving his own niche between the ears of DawgNation.
Chernoff feels Adams wins over his audience by not trying to make it sound like he knows more about football than he does a good bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.
“You could be 18 or 88 and Brandon is going to make it interesting and relatable and enjoyable and entertaining,” Chernoff said. “Talking recruiting. In the game. A coach’s decision. Whatever it is. I don’t think right now there’s somebody in this market that’s going to give it to you better than he is on all angles Georgia.”
DND1,000: The CoolDown after every show
Adams enjoys his ability to connect with his audience through the thread of a love for all things Georgia. That’s his fourth quarter.
He spends about 45 to 50 minutes of his show for his podcast, but a new wrinkle has emerged over the last 250 shows or so. It comes off the script and it can lapse anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
That’s the R.S. Andrews “Cool Down” segment where he directly engages his audience in whatever they want to talk about. Riley joins him in the interaction. Adams is so appreciative of the contributions made by Riley he even gives up some of his own air and face time throughout his show.
“This is the time of our lives,” Adams said recently to a group of more than 125 DawgNation fans who attended the “Dawg Days of Summer” preseason event at Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa in Young Harris last week.
He’s very passionate about his show and his audience. The daily podcast will go on. No matter what happens with his show or whatever media property he works for.
There will be a daily podcast for DawgNation tomorrow. Of that, he is certain.
When he comes home, his children never know whether or not he had a great day. The last thing he will do is bring up Georgia football. That’s because his day meant he already did that all day. It could be the exact opposite of his audience.
“He comes in full of energy,” Gina Adams said. “Even if he’s ‘Dawg tired. No pun intended. He’s just a great Dad. He leaves work at work. I mean he usually does do some work at home but he usually separates that pretty well.”
He’ll likely crack his 2,000th show sometime in late August of 2023. Adams hopes Kirby Smart will have brought DawgNation at least one national championship by then. Maybe even two or three.
If all goes according to plan, his show staple “Gator Hater Countdown” will be knocking on the door of 2,500 days by then. The DawgNation team will never be quite sure which one of those feats might mean more to him. The national title? Or hating the Florida Gators?
That’s a toss-up. He hasn’t figured out that play call just yet. But he’d sure like to try.
Check out his 1,00th show below.
Join us for episde 1,000 of DawgNation Daily! Congrats, BA https://t.co/332Qa3xLmJ
— DawgNation (@DawgNation) August 5, 2019