If you’ve ever listened to “The Really Big Show,” you’ll know Shaker resident Aaron
Goldhammer. He is the wildly enthusiastic and boyishly charming co-host and producer
of this ESPN WKNR 850 sports talk show. Although “The Really Big Show” is mostly
geared toward sports, this fast-paced, four-hour broadcast is as fun and funny as it is
informative, and for that reason, it has broad audience appeal.
Goldhammer hosts the show with Tony Rizzo, whom he affectionately calls “Riz.”
Part of the show’s energy comes from the differences between the two personalities. Riz
is from Cleveland, he’s Italian, and he’s middle-aged. Goldhammer is from Denver, he’s
Jewish, and he’s young. This contrast makes for entertaining banter. The two bicker back
and forth, but they’re great friends and they love working together.
“We talk sports but we definitely don’t take ourselves too seriously. We try to have
fun with each other every day,” Goldhammer says. “We do a show that appeals to the
general Cleveland public.”
It is no surprise that Goldhammer, a sports enthusiast since childhood, spends his
days (and plenty of evenings) immersed in all aspects of the sports world. In addition
to producing the show, Goldhammer manages various team members at the Cleveland
station, works closely with ESPN, and hosts an afternoon sports talk show called “The
Insiders.” He also is tasked with choosing how to commemorate significant moments
(and there are many) in Cleveland sports history.
Goldhammer has landed some memorable interviews during his career, including
with former NBA player Magic Johnson and former NFL running back Marcus Allen. Not
just a sports enthusiast, Goldhammer’s range extends beyond interviews with athletes
to include conversations with actors Willem DaFoe and Dennis Quaid, and local chef
It would be hard to talk about a career in the Cleveland sports arena without noting
the king-sized impact of LeBron James. Cleveland’s love-hate relationship with their
home-grown superstar impacted Goldhammer’s career in a way he will never forget or
take for granted.
“It’s a story of forgiveness and moving on; it has nothing to do with sports. It’s all
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about life, and it’s quite the tale,” Goldhammer says.
In 2016, the Cavaliers won the city’s first championship sports title in 52 years and
Goldhammer and Riz were in the building to witness the winning shot in Game 7. Talk
about a significant moment in Cleveland sports history!
So what brought Goldhammer to Shaker Heights? He heard about the City even
before his job brought him to Cleveland. He says Shaker’s national reputation as a diverse
community, its strong emphasis on education, and residents’ appreciation for the arts were
particularly enticing. In addition, Shaker’s proximity to Cleveland was vital for his job.
“I like to be able to jump on the Rapid and go downtown,” he says. “Shaker afforded
me the opportunity to do that.”
Looking ahead, Goldhammer says he wants to raise kids in a diverse and accepting
community, and especially in one that values education. Shaker checks all the boxes.
“Shaker’s such a cosmopolitan community. The values of the people here
and my values jive really well,” he says. “The residents are all from different
parts of the country and the world. Shaker should be proud of that. It’s a
unique place in that sense.”
For now, Goldhammer is eagerly awaiting the completion of the Van Aken
District. “My wife and I are excited to see what comes of the construction
project. We believe it’s going to help every resident of Shaker because it’s going
to increase property values and make Shaker a more desirable place to live,”
he says. “It’s been a painstaking process, but when it’s done, it’s going to be a
home run.” SL
Julie Hullett is a senior Journalism major at John Carroll University.
She serves as Managing Editor of The Carroll News and News Director of WJCU.
By Julie Hullett
Photo courtesy of ESPN