It seems like everyone is working from home these days. But former NFL lineman Ross Tucker takes that to a new level, podcasting from his garage in Paxtonia, Pennsylvania.
“To be able to walk across my driveway in a t-shirt and shorts and talk about football, it’s why I’ve never called any of the things I’ve done work,” Tucker said.
The Pa.-native has built a podcast empire reaching tens of thousands of listeners every week across his four shows.
“You know in 30 minutes or less, I’m going to give you the player’s perspective on everything going on in the NFL,” Tucker said.
He started with the Ross Tucker Football Podcast, releasing episodes five days per week. However, the host quickly saw a need for expansion into fantasy football and betting. Now, he releases weekly episodes of the Fantasy Feast, Even Money and The College Draft during the season.
His podcast network also houses The Business of Sports hosted by Andrew Brandt.
The former NFL lineman spent seven years in the league on five different teams. He played in 42 games over the course of those seven season.
He went undrafted to Washington in 2001, moved on to Dallas, Buffalo, New England, Cleveland and then back to Washington. He retired from football in 2007.
He played college football at Princeton University where he earned a starting spot all four years. As a freshman, he played defensive end, but was moved to right guard in his sophomore season.
Annual Reminder: College football was great, NFL was a dream come true, but football is NEVER more fun than it is in high school.— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) August 26, 2021
There’s magic in those lights. 😍💡 pic.twitter.com/Re6LYKYLz6
“College football is awesome, and the NFL was a dream come true, but football is never really more fun than it is in high school. There’s magic in those Friday night lights.”
That’s where his love of the game began, like so many others, on the high school football field. Tucker grew up outside of Reading and attended Wyomissing High School. He was all-league in football at both offensive tackle and defensive end. He also played basketball for Wyomissing.
Start in podcasting
After Tucker retired from the NFL, he was writing for Sports Illustrated when ESPN came calling. They asked him to write for them and host podcasts. It was before 2010.
“I said sure,” Tucker said of the ESPN ask, “having no idea what a podcast was.”
From there he began hosting a daily show focused on NFL, and saw there would be opportunity to branch out on his own in this space.
“I realized pretty early it was the only thing in the media that you could really own,” Tucker said. “I talk about what I want, when I want. I record when I want. I get the guests that I want. I take the advertisers that I want. I mean you really have total control and autonomy.”
That was the exact appeal, getting to share his perspective on the game in his own way through podcasting.
“I’m here in this garage in Paxtonia, Pennsylvania and these people listen to me all over the world, it’s really humbling.”
Hey, you’re the Press Box Food Guy
Tucker splits his time among a number of different ventures. He has the podcasts, has written for multiple national outlets. He’s a game commentator for Westwood One and CBS sports, and television analyst for the Eagles preseason games. Plus, Tucker is the founder and CEO of GoBigRecruiting.com helping high school athletes find a program to play in college.
Despite all the success in his football career and in media, some people simply know him by one name: the Press Box Food Guy.
Best Press Box Food of the year BY FAR!!!. Two filets, chicken parm, garlic mashed, and a couple asparagus. pic.twitter.com/juwykXoJDv— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) November 2, 2020
For years, Tucker has shared an elusive look at the biggest perk of working in sports media: the free meals at games. He tweets his finds under the hashtag #TuckSpreads and apparently gets noticed around the country for his tweets.
Connect to Ross Tucker
Tucker says he has one goal in mind when it comes to how his audience perceives him.
“If they said he’s just a normal guy, just like an awesome dude who happened to be good enough to play in the NFL for a while,” Tucker said of his audience. “That’s what I want. I want to have a close relationship with my listeners, I want them to feel like we’re friends.”
There’s two keys to a successful podcast, according to Tucker: getting people to listen, and getting them to come back. He says there are many philosophies in podcast about content and structure, but he thinks it’s as simple as getting the audience to like you.
You can catch The Sports Extra Podcast presented by abc27 each week. The team drops new episodes every Thursday. Listen wherever you get your podcasts or right here on abc27.com.