Players On Players: Songwriter Erin McKeown Meets NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth

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Yesterday, we introduced you to Players On Players, an experiment from the Soundcheck test kitchen with a simple recipe: Select one (1) professional musician who loves sports and one (1) pro athlete who loves music. Add microphones. Then, sit back and enjoy.

Our idea was inspired by the familiar taste of so many interviews: Musicians grow bored of talking about a new album they finished making a year ago. Athletes give the same post-game interview, game after game.

But get that same athlete talking about a YouTube video of Jay-Z freestyling about a civil rights hero, or ask that musician about her childhood hero, Cal Ripken… now that’s a conversation with a kick.

Singer, songwriter and Ripken disciple Erin McKeown returns for our second installment, armed with a bunch of questions for Domonique Foxworth, a former NFL cornerback who now wears several hats: president of the NFL players union, graduate student at Harvard Business School and serious Jay-Z fan.

Foxworth kicked off the interview with a psyche-out.

“Being the competitor I am, I assure you I am going to win today’s conversation,” he said, like the Joe Namath of public radio podcasts. “I will have better questions and better answers than you. I guarantee it.”

But for the next 40 minutes, the scrappy McKeown held her own with the tenacious Foxworth – and the results were funny and insightful.

The two traded “pre-game rituals,” like Foxworth’s affinity for listening to hardcore rap tracks before taking the field. “How else do you get riled up to run headfirst into another man without listening to these crazy rappers?” he asked.

They also talked the people they admire most from the other person’s profession. For example, McKeown grew up in the 1980s admiring Washington-area stars like Art Monk, Doug Williams, and of course, Cal Ripken.

“I’m sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop about Cal Ripken,” McKeown said of the affable “Iron Man,” who famous played in a record 2,632 consecutive games. “I’m waiting to, like, find out that he was actually a terrible person.”


Listen to the full podcast here – and then tell us what you think. You can email us (, leave a message at 866-939-1612 or post your comment below.



Singer, songwriter and producer Erin McKeown released her first album while she was still a student at Brown University. Since then, she has released eight studio albums, toured like crazy and hosted her own online TV show, "Cabin Fever."  She has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Later with Jools Holland, NPR, BBC and has placed her songs in films, TV shows and commercials. She has even written a song via text message with her friend Rachel Maddow, which appears on her latest record, Manifestra.

Former NFL cornerback Domonique Foxworth played for seven seasons with Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons and his hometown Baltimore Ravens. In 2013, he was elected president of the NFL Players Association after serving on the union’s executive committee. He publishes periodically on the Huffington Post. This fall, he is enrolled at Harvard Business School.

The Players on Players production team includes Joel Meyer, Jacob Kramer-Duffield, Rebecca Lehrer and Chris Bannon.