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REShow: Chris Fowler - Hour 2 (1-6-2023)

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen
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January 6, 2023 2:33 pm

REShow: Chris Fowler - Hour 2 (1-6-2023)

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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January 6, 2023 2:33 pm

ESPN announcer Chris Fowler joins Rich in-studio to preview the College Football Playoff national championship game between defending champ Georgia Bulldogs vs Cinderella underdog TCU Horned Frogs, says why calling a game at the Rose Bowl was like “a religious experience,” reveals how he landed at ESPN and turned ‘College GameDay’ into a weekly must-watch event each fall, shares his favorite Lee Corso stories from the GameDay set, talks Serena Williams’ future and much more.

Rich and the guys discuss the NFL playoff changes in the wake of the Bills-Bengals game cancellation and possible locales for a neutral site AFC Championship Game.

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This is the Rich Eisen Show.

Y'all ready? Can you tell the Randy Moss story? Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles. Randy, he just hit his fingertips. Probably back at a wide receiver scope. Moss was like, hey, don't you come over here with that F.U. Moss was like, no F.U. Camera's right behind him.

I ain't gonna let him punk me on national TV. Earlier on the show, NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero. Coming up, ESPN broadcaster and host Chris Fowler. Plus your phone calls, latest news and more.

And now, it's Rich Eisen. Ah yes, hour number two of the Rich Eisen Show is on the air here on the Roku channel. Free on all Roku devices. Free on Samsung Smart TVs and Amazon Fire TVs. Free on the Roku app because the Roku channel is within that app.

And guess what, it's free. for those on the internet tubes watching us every single day. We love it. We say hello to the Rich Eisen Show. Terrestrial Radio Network and Sirius and XM and Odyssey and our podcast listeners. You're very important to us as well whenever you darn well please listening to us. We appreciate the subscribe button there as well as our YouTube page.

Chris Brockman and Mike Del Tufo are right there. Del Tufo is still here despite, you know, you have not yet gotten your nomination for Speaker of the House. But I appreciate it. Keep working on it.

Keep working on it. Like I said, we'll be sad to lose you. TJ Jefferson, good to see you over there, sir, for hour number two. We got a central PA connection.

Yes, we do. I could not be more thrilled. It's so great when I have dear friends on the program and this is yet another such situation. I have known this individual for a quarter century plus and I'm going to stop talking about him as if he's not looking at me to my right. He is the voice of college football and tennis on the worldwide leader in sports. My friend Chris Fowler here in studio. Good to see you, sir.

Rich, it's I'm dizzy at all the platforms we're talking on right now. I'm not trying to sort that out, but great to see you. We were your mother in law's living room a couple of weeks ago.

And that's not a metaphor for anything. Another nice. Literally were on the upper on the Upper West Side. Yes, exactly right. Good to see you, sir. Good to see you. You bet.

Same to you. So what number national championship games is this for you coming up? Nine. This is this is the ninth year of the playoff. And Kirk and I have had the good fortune of calling now nine championship games and what is it? Eighteen out of the twenty seven playoff games and grateful for that every day.

I'm quite like this obviously. This is a different feel from the other eight. Why is that? TCU. It's a story we've never seen in college football. I mean, two hundred to one preseason to make the playoff, which makes them probably a thousand one to win the championship.

And here we are. It's not supposed to happen in this sport. Basketball.

OK, right. Get Butler, get Gonzaga before they were a powerhouse. You get in there and play for a championship. But football is supposed to be for only the five or six elite programs that everybody knows who in the playoff every year. Here's TCU with five dudes who had been to any bowl game before this year. Not that the playoff, any bowl game. So it's it's it's the craziest, unlikeliest roster to ever get here.

And that makes it interesting. Now they've got to take down a big bad Bulldogs who walk into the ring wearing the belt from last year. So, I mean, Georgia's a favorite for a reason.

I'm not trying to sell or spin the game because people know Georgia should win. But I just think that the landscape for this game, it's almost you have to keep reminding yourself it's a championship game and TCU is in it. You know? Yeah.

And you're kind of touching on something that we talked about on our show yesterday while you were coming back from Joshua Tree, where we saw on your Instagram feed. That that this, I believe, is the beginning of the way we're going to be seeing college football play out forever with the 12 team playoff coming. And by that, I mean not only TCU making it and a team that you didn't think could.

Now you're going to have more of that pool of teams that you don't think could making a playoff and potentially going on a run. And then to the game that you called the Peach Bowl, you know, my alma mater goes into the home of its long standing rival and curb stops them. And they still have a chance to win the national championship anyway. And damn near made this game up to the last second. I think that's the way these things are going to go right now, that your long standing rival could potentially beat you.

And whereas you used to leave them behind and buried no longer. They can make a playoff and go on a run and win the whole damn thing. Yeah, it's a big conversation. Ohio State made it because Tennessee got shocked by South Carolina. Right. And because Utah came back with Kayla Williams hurt his hamstring and pounded USC. Those things had to happen to get Ohio State in the bracket. But I think that when you have an expanded playoff, inclusion is good.

More teams involved in the conversation is good. I thought, though, Rich, you can bring it to eight or 12, whatever. You're still going to have the same four. So TCU has blown that up.

I thought that do what you want. Have a bigger bracket. Teams can call themselves playoff teams. Conferences can stay in play. Fan bases in all parts of the country can be involved.

That's all good. But after you play the first round of the quarterfinals, you're going to still have the Bama's, Georges, Clemsons, Ohio States, Michigan. You're going to have the same teams battling for the championship because it's just too hard to win multiple playoff games. Now, TCU, you know, Michigan was complicit in their own demise. I think we probably litigated that here plenty. Right. That's a great one. What what what tour? That's like sounds like somebody's tour name, right?

It's the complicit in their own demise tour. I was on the peloton this morning at the hotel gym and he's still pissed off about the call. The touchdown. I said, which call? I mean, was it the call on the goal?

No, no. The call. The call when the guy's butt was in the end zone when he caught the ball. But they took off the board and they fumbled the next play.

That was the main call. No, no, no, no. The the but to buttress your point, sir. I thought, oh, God, I'm sorry. No, fellas, I didn't mean to.

No, no, no, no, no. I thought the call you meant was Michigan's call on fourth and two. Play calls.

The Ann Arbor special that came out of nowhere. I tried to divert Desmond's attention to those calls that the staff made and not the ones the officials made. He wasn't having it.

But hey, that's I get it. I mean, it was it was a disappointing result, obviously, for Michigan fans. And, you know, I just screening the game back because obviously we were getting ready for our Peach Bowl game and I'm watching it back, you know, in great detail.

And there were so many chances after they clawed back in the game. And then you give up a 75 yard touchdown on a crossing route, which he pointed out was a pick play. I pointed out the ball was thrown behind the line. So then we get into a whole thing in the gym about this with the rules. Was there a third person in the gym listening to this whole thing? It's a third person in the gym going, wait a minute, I have to get in between these two guys. I didn't mean to go there in the morning.

He's trying to have a bite. But no, no. But I know what you're saying. Like, again, but TCU deserves to be there. You know, and they're so they're a lot better than people think. OK, they have a roster, even though that they hadn't been in bowl games for heat, Sonny Dykes comes in and assembles a great roster of of portal guys. Keeps guys there who are out the door who said, wait a minute, we got the Sonny Dykes offense.

I can stay and make plays. Quinton Johnston, Darius Davis, Taye Barber, they were receiving corps that that is is arguably as good or better than the one Georgia faced with Ohio State, especially when you took Marvin Harrison out of the equation. And that really did change that game. So they're very capable of gashing Georgia's secondary work in the middle of the field where the dogs have been more vulnerable than the edges and making big plays. If they can't get to Max Duggan, I mean, don't be surprised to see TCU score points.

Now, can they stop Georgia's physicality and Georgia's weapons on offense is another question. Chris Fowler here on the Rich Eisen Show here in Los Angeles calling the national championship game with Kirk Herbstreet and the rest of the worldwide leader in sports crew here. So did you realize in the moment that as Ruggles was attempting the game winning field goal, the ball was dropping in Times Square at the very same second? Like, yeah, I mean, we had we actually had New Year's Rockin Eve, Dick Clark hosted by Ryan Seacrest on our monitor wall because we had to constantly promote it.

And so we had a little and, you know, we became a topic of conversation. Kirk Herbstreet goes, have you actually been to that? Yeah, I lived in New York for a long time, as you know, and I did once when I was young and dumb, actually go to Times Square. Is that right? Just to have an experience as it was in the late 80s, 80s. Yes. In your in your Scholastic Sports America. Before I was busy every other New Year's Eve college football.

Yes. He was just incredulous that I had gone to that. I said, well, you know, come on, you're young in New York. You do it once, right?

You do it once and then you realize, you know, why did I do this? It wasn't the worst New Year's Eve I had in New York. Getting pickpocketed at a club was worse than that. It wasn't my favorite New Year's Eve either.

You know what it is? You get to New Year's Eve, you cover the Rose Bowl. I mean, you celebrate East Coast New Year's and then you kind of tuck it in because you wake up calls four o'clock to go out and sit in a frigid Rose Bowl stadium.

I don't believe I've. Suzy and I with our three kids have seen the midnight. We celebrate nine o'clock. In our house, you know, we were watching you and Kirk call the game, of course. And Zan, our oldest, is just like, are we going to see the ball drop? And I had to keep back and forth in between plays saying, see, the ball hasn't dropped yet. To get back to your question, it was incredible because we were aware, first of all, the game was going really long.

Right. It was supposed to be last year's semifinal game and also Michigan was on the different end of the score. We were in Miami on the tarmac to take off to come out to the Rose Bowl and watching the fireworks from from the plane. So this game ran much longer than that. And I started to notice, boy, it's almost twenty three here. And then they told me in my ear, literally because Kirby Smart frozen with the one time out that by the time he kicked it, it was kicked in twenty two and landed. It wasn't in the air very long, but it still spanned into the new year. It was twenty three when they were signaling no good. And we're never going to have that again.

No, I hope not, because you know how many people are probably having arguments in their households about, you know, what, you know, what the hell to watch. My buddy Tariqo texted me and said it's the first time he had not flipped over and watched the ball drop in his life. And I said, well, I'm glad you stuck with us. He's hardcore. He's hardcore. If Syracuse is in the game, he definitely wouldn't have switched over. But yeah, I mean, what a game that was, man. I mean, what a C.J. Stroud, best game he's ever played.

Right. We played his heart out. Yeah, but the Rose Bowl out here would have been his two postseason games that he's played, you know, tearing up Utah. But this was Georgia. This wasn't Georgia using running backs at corner, which Utah did a year ago in the state of Georgia. This was going down to the Bulldogs backyard and ripping apart that defense and the way he did it. Toughness, scrambling, doing things he's not known for, being physical as a runner, tucking it.

Yes. And I think that you felt badly for him because it's his last game at Ohio State. And I get a little soft late in my career. I really do feel awful for the teams and the individuals you've gotten to know and respect when they come short and their career is suddenly over. And you saw a moment of respect between Bennett and Stroud and you saw the realization almost on C.J.

's face that this is it. Now he's going to play on Sundays. Some of the guys you saw in that game will never put the pads on again.

And that's the same thing Monday night here. That's right. It's not just that their college career is over, their football career is over. Right. For the vast majority of the guys whose eligibility is gone, that's it. No doubt. They'll never feel that. I actually get goosebumps talking about that because that's what's so powerful about these postseason games.

You know, whether it's a semi or a championship game, one team is done and a lot of guys on that team are done forever. You know, so. So it's great. It's just their first trip to so far. Have you been in the building?

I have not been in the building. I'm excited. It's amazing. It's giving me a great scouting report is that everybody else has been in there. Right. So the booth is nice. It's I mean, absolutely.

Al might have left you something behind or something like that. I love the stadium. But for those of you, the office is the booth.

That's what really matters. Is there a bathroom? Is it within the same zip code as the playing surface? Are you not in the clouds?

OK. Do you not need oxygen to work up there? And all the NFL booths are positioned much differently than many of the college booths. So I get excited to go into something like this where the office is spectacular and the stadium looks pretty.

So it's amazing. It's really bright and it's loud in there because, again, it's a canopy over. It's an outdoor stadium, by the way.

And there's a canopy over it and it gets really loud. It's going to be it's an incredible spot this last year. Super Bowl. It was it's a great big time spot, but nothing does beat the Rose Bowl that you were at last week, too. I mean, what's that like for you to call a game at the Rose Bowl?

Chris, what's that like? Religious experience. I mean, I think that that that's one of the shrines for me. Wimbledon center court and the Rose Bowl kind of stand alone. So so anything that happens on those playing surfaces is elevated because it's the Rose Bowl. And I think that you get the feeling you've been to those games, everyone in there, even when the weather is not perfect. Yes. Feels like there's no place else on earth I'd rather be than right in the spot right now. Utah fans took it over for the second consecutive year, but Penn State fans went away happy.

Yeah. And I think that I'm just I'm blessed. I think Kirk and I have called seven Rose Bowls.

He's analyzed more than anybody in history. And and so in our twenty seven years working together, we've talked a lot about what sort of what the Rose Bowl means to two kids who grew up in the Midwest. Or you turn on the TV on New Year's Day and just the quality of light, which is this golden afternoon light, warm temperatures. And I still feel like the same. I took my shoes off, by the way. I saw that. Yeah. I decided to do what is called earthing or grounding to plenty of people in California would know what that is.

You can't bring a I guess, too. I mean, you tell your shoes off and you put your feet on your ass. And it has a powerful effect on you. Seriously.

Tell me what this is. Again, you took your shoes off earthing or grounding. And if you walk around on grass, which I try to do as early every day as I can when we're in Miami, I don't walk around the pavement on the Upper West Side.

But I try to get to Riverside Park or something. And you take your shoes off and you feel the earth and it has anything primal like that. Right. Now we're really deviating.

What the hell are you talking about? It just came from Joshua Tree. You feel the sun on your face.

Yes. And you feel your feet on the ground. And I thought, why not do it here?

The grass was cool and damp. And I took the shoes off and rolled up the the dress pant legs and I walked around for a while and I felt great. And so, yeah, I did. Kirk's kid took a picture of it. So I posted that on your Instagram.

I saw that. Let's take a break here. I want to just go down memory lane with you here a little bit.

Because, you know, I've known you for for quite some time. Chris Fowler is here in Los Angeles to call the national championship game. Do not move. We will be back with more with Chris Fowler here live in the Rich Eisen Show studio in a moment. Hey, when was the last time you seriously considered your dream? I mean, come on. You used to think about it all the time.

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Head to the Mercedes Benz van dealership and get that Sprinter. Tell them your dream sent you. Welcome to Talkville, the ultimate small rewatch podcast where each week we watch every episode of Smallville. A show that changed our lives forever and perhaps your lives, too. I'm Michael Rosenbaum. Hello, I am Tom Welling. What was the sign off now? Always remembers Talkville.

That's it. Always hold on to Smallville, folks. We love you. Can do without you. Got a great season two coming up.

Catch up with season one or start season two on YouTube or wherever you listen. You got a call from ESPN to say, come join us for the first time when when did you get 1986? Geez. I was a year out of school working in Denver, doing all the the cub reporter things at a great TV station. Very lucky to have an on air gig out of school.

I went to see you and it was right down the road at intern there. But I had a little tape out floating around wanting to do scores on the weekends at various local stations. Yeah. And that's been somehow got a hold of the tape. And I thought I was going to get a call for Sports Center.

They had they had a high school show in mind called Scholastic Sports America. And I looked 11 years old, so it was appropriate. Oh, my God.

Eleven is being generous. Look at that sweater. Where's the sweater? Look at you, Fowler. Wow. Look at that. Dude.

Damn you for finding that picture. That sweater is is a that is a catastrophe when I'm wearing it. It's always the era when, you know, like the coogee sweaters and the whole.

Yes, I had a I had a whole collection like a steamer trunk full of sweaters that looked like that. So Scholastic Sports America. I remember you doing that. No one said it was a good idea to do it, by the way. This is just not to get off of my life lessons, but sometimes listening to your own inner voice and queuing out the static of people who are telling you what you should do.

Here's the path is crucial. And nobody said I should go to ESPN because it was this startup thing. It was seven years old, seven years old. We didn't have the rights to anything really back then. And high school show was not a pathway into this business for for a lot of people.

So I did it because it seemed fun and seemed like it would be a challenge. And two years later turned down the opportunity to come out to L.A. For the job they eventually hired Chris Myers for when they had no L.A. presence. So they're going to put a report out here for the first time to cover Lakers, Dodgers, USC and you turn down the Showtime.

Kirk Gibson, Dodgen, you know, Lakers, Showtime, Kirk Gibson, Dodger High School show again. They checked my sanity, but it just didn't you know, something said this didn't feel right. Something said stay in Bristol, not go to L.A. I didn't say I didn't see it felt logical. I just look it's it's where you finish.

It's how you finish. Whether you I probably was too young to even meditate back then, but I figured out that a month later they said, hey, how about college football sidelines and be a reporter for this little show called Game Day, which is a half hour long that people were not watching. And that just clicked instantly.

So, I mean, no, no, no, we wouldn't be none of the path I took had I taken the conventional choice any point along the way. So. So who was the first host of Game Day? Who's the host? Tim Brando, Tim Brando, Tim Fox now did a couple of years then. Bob Carpenter hosted it in eighty nine. His wife was giving birth.

He left town to be with her. Obviously, I was I was pulled up from from Triple-A and put in that host seat, hadn't done live hosting before. And it wasn't a disaster. So the next year when when Bob moved on, I was I was tabbed to host it with Lee Corso. Oh, my God.

Look at you and one of the camera. Yeah, we did. Yeah.

And that that show people go, how would you how are you doing Game Day at that age? Well, no one wanted to do it, really. I mean, it was it was one of the biggest sources of pride I'll ever have, as you know, is just building something brick by brick.

You get a very few chances in life to do that. Correct. And in this business to do that, you've done it here by sort of starting something. But but Game Day was was a core group of people, including Lee Corso, of course, who who were there from the start and built it into something. And twenty five years was a great run.

I don't miss the wake up call. But when did when did they when did you first put that when did the idea like, let's go to the campuses, let's get that energy. Let's go to the kids to convince them to spend the money in the regular season. Right. Cover bowl games. But ninety three, Florida State, Notre Dame, one versus two in South Bend in November at everything you could want.

Holts, Bowden, North South. I mean, it was going to decide which team is going to go on and play for the championship. And we convinced them to we didn't have a clue we were doing.

We're out there using live over there. Mikes, we couldn't be heard indoors in South Bend, outside of their basketball arena, in the Hall of Fame, where all the statues are. And we just kind of plopped the set down on the floor and put a rope around it. And that was it. And so it kind of went OK. And then next year we started to go on the road. And that's that's obviously what what catapulted the show was was differentiating from everything else.

The students and the people behind us were members of the cast of the show. And you feel the energy sitting at home. You feel the energy.

And you were such a terrific host and conduit, for the lack of a better phrase, to to to give everybody that sense, sitting at home of what you were sensing and feeling at the site. And it's intoxicating. It's intoxicating.

And kids love it. They were intoxicated behind us. That's true.

I mean, we tried to stay sober, but some of the signs, too, like people. I mean, it's now it's now a it is now. Where's game day going? You know, now it is now part of forever more organic landscape.

What's cool is that, you know, when it when it began and grew, it was organic. It's sort of we got bigger and bigger crowds. Coaches begin to figure out, hey, this is an infomercial.

Yes. Let's put five or ten thousand people behind them and show the world what our campus is like when a big game is here and use that as a recruiting tool. So, you know, motives, whether they're pure or not, it was an organic growth of the show. And I think our job was to differentiate what was different about Texas A&M from Oregon, from Florida. You know, we didn't want it to be the same every week, even though there were some common ingredients. There's different cultures, there's different parts of the country.

And the morning of the game isn't the same in Eugene as it is in Gainesville, you know, so you want to sort of capture that. And then whose idea was it for Corsa to put a headgear on? His, his idea used to be like a baseball head. And then he was at Ohio State.

He saw Brutus Buckeye and Kirk Herb Street's wife, Alison, was part of the cheer squad. And she had connections because no one had touched that thing. Certain things are sacred. Like you can't touch the mascot. The idea that you should take off Brutus's head.

Yes. And put it on a human on TV was shocking. Blaspheming. Shocking. It almost was blasphemy.

So it's like stealing the king's crown and how do you like me now? But we convinced them. Kirk convinced them. Alison convinced them. And he did it. And obviously instant connection.

You just know right away that it's TV gold and every other school wanted in on that. Yeah. So, yeah. So the first ever headgear was the actual headgear of Brutus.

It was. And then he put on Brutus. The most recent pick he's made, I think, was he picked Ohio State to beat Georgia. Had the same Brutus head on in Atlanta.

I think it's the most picked mascot. I think we've been there a lot and he's picked them a lot. Sure. I mean, and it's just I mean, Rod Woodson tells me a great story of him being recruited into college and how, you know, he was Mr. Indiana.

Right. Rod. And so I asked him, like, you know, you went to Purdue.

What about Indiana? Like, did and he said Corso recruited. Did I tell you the story? Did I ever tell you the story?

I think I think Lee told it to me. OK, so is that is that is that he's at his house. Corso's coming to visit him. Corso rings the doorbell and sits down in the living room and says, you know, Rod, I just heard on the radio on the way over here that I've been fired.

But Indiana is a great place and you should still go there. That was the recruiting pitch to Rod Woodson to go play football for the Indiana Hoosiers. And, you know, that's the kind of guy Corso was, but they're fired on the radio.

That's what he said. I just heard on the radio. I've been fired. I was the place that gave him a lifetime contract, then apparently declared him dead. The president had just told him, you're good.

And then boom. But you got to get a day like Woodson must not have been a blue chip guy. But how was Michigan on Ohio State not in on him? He said he went to Michigan and and he saw Bo peel the paint off the walls during a halftime speech that they were up in a game. He goes, that's not my guess.

Because Bo and Woody used to give Corso when he was in Indiana a list of guys they didn't want like this guy. He'd be good for you. I'm going to win. I'm not these guys. No, I'm not. Come on.

Really? You would give a list of here's some Indiana guys. We have no.

So you should go on. Here's the guys in the Big Ten region that we can't take. And by the way, there was no eighty five scholarship limits.

You could take a lot of guys. That's right. Back then. Right. But but rather than he knew he was going to beat those guys head to head in recruiting. So they just were doing them a favor by, hey, here's some guys we think are good, but not good enough for us, but they're good for you. Right. So you recruit him and then we'll beat you by 40.

But yeah, knock yourself out. Do you have a good favorite Corso story that you can tell people here that go through your mind of like a good a good dropping an F bomb on the air in Houston? Did he really? You don't know that story? No, I don't. Oh, it's on YouTube, folks. I mean, do you know this story, Chris? You're looking. I think I've seen it. OK.

I mean, what do you do? Well, we had guest pickers. Yes. Houston played SMU. Carl Lewis, ex Houston.

Great was the guest picker. SMU was the big underdog. But at that point, Lee liked to fake left, go right.

So rather than being straightforward, Houston's the obvious pick. Yes. Rather than do that, he had to build up some theater. So SMU's colors are red, white and blue. And he's going through this whole thing where SMU, America's team, red, white and blue. And he was going to point to the cheerleaders and reference them, point to the Mustang mascot and reference him and build this whole thing about the how could you not love SMU and then go, whoop, Cougar had gotcha. Right. But in a moment of live television, he wasn't in sync with the director.

And I don't even know if he believed his B.S. period. Yes. So he's trying to build up SMU. The visuals are not matching. And he's getting a little frustrated. And I still don't think I can say what he said, because one of these platforms is probably over the air. Yes.

You need to clean it up. That's correct. So he finally just gives up and goes, ah, eff it. And grabs the Cougar head and puts it on. I've never seen this. You never saw it? Oh, you got it.

You got to go on YouTube. So what do you do? I go like this and just go forehead on desk. It's 2011. Kirk literally distances himself by pushing his chair away from the desk and wheeling it as far as he can get from Corso. Carl Lewis is laughing, going, yeah, he's looking at Kirk. Good thing they have seven second delay. And Kirk's going, no, no, we don't. Because, Rich, you know, you've been in live settings with a lot of noise.

Sure. You know, we have these double ear pieces that are that completely block out outside noise. And they're super loud.

You've got to crank it really loud to get over the crowd. So I hear effing as clear as day. But I'm thinking, like, maybe that wasn't on the air. Maybe it was the speaker. It was, by the way, blaring on the speaker when the entire crowd is going crazy. And I'm thinking, oh, my gosh, did I hear that? Was it on the air?

And then it's pretty obvious. I think I hit my box. Did that go out?

And there the room is like either laughing or silent. Yeah. Yeah. It went out. And so we had to leave. We had to go out after the show and do an apology written for him.

But the first take wasn't quite good enough because he was like, I'm so sorry. I a word got out. And, you know, so this is a post game day alone on the set.

The crowds cleared out. Right. Yeah. That was the producer. That was good.

It was good. But just you did it. That smile. Yeah. Right. Yeah.

A little more serious. Like you mean it. And then you recorded it. And that was it. So that was the end of it.

Or so f bomb at Houston. I mean, that story is one of many. There's so many that were behind the scenes where you learn so much from the guy, from his humanity. His sense of show business and theater, but his commitment to the sport, his passion for it and commitment to players. He was the ex coach they work with. So, you know, you've known many and you get from them what it meant to them to have an impact on young people's lives. Right.

It sounds corny. You think they don't care. It's about the money and the fame, the ego. I promise you, for coaches, it's about. Contributing to these guys lives, whether it's the high school level, college, NFL, NFL less, maybe because they're grown men and they're millionaires. But I mean, of course, I really bought and believed all that stuff and still does. And so learning from him the commitment that he made and what it meant to him to leave is, in his words, a piece of himself.

And every guy who played for him was powerful. And so I mean, there's so many lessons. Chris Fowler here on The Rich Eisen Show here in Los Angeles calling it the national championship game on Monday night. I'll share this. I don't know if I've told you this, but I'll share it on live, you know, wherever we are.

No, seriously. So so being at ESPN in ninety six and then getting to meet a whole bunch of people and still be able to call them friends. It is truly something that I cherish that that you and I are friends and and, you know, our wives are friends and we're all we're all, you know, hanging out. But I learned a lot about this business from from a handful of people.

And you're one of them. You know, for instance, just watching Dan and Keith, I picked up so much from them. Picked up from Toriko doing sports centers with him that you don't have to you don't have to when you're doing a highlight, describe everything. You can just talk over them and tell a story. I learned that from him. And one of the things I learned from watching you and you may have even given me this tip, you know, that memories kind of fade. If something you just mentioned, this is what sparked it is you don't when you're surrounded by screaming people and it's loud.

You don't have to scream to you just stay even keel and present your way in a very understated way. And you could you could talk. I think you even told me this. You say, hey, the microphone's right in front of you.

Just talking. Did I say that? You did.

You did. Because, you know, and and and and and any time I'm in Super Bowls and it's crazy and it's screaming, I will just and on Thursday night football, I would just continue to just talk like this and you can be heard. And I learned that from thank your audio guy. No, sometimes we're screaming over the crowd in these games.

We do Saturday. We can't hear you. We can't hear you.

The crowd's too loud. I mean, Mike Del Tufo's that you'll take credit for that. And that that by no joke, you do well like that. But but I learned that from Chris. I learned that from you.

And Chris, you guys do it amazing. Well, I think what's interesting when you do football and tennis, you know, they're so different. Yes. Because you feel you're Augusta 18th Green, Wimbledon Center Court has a glass wall because the courts right there. So you can't be open air.

The open U.S. Open is open air and you're with the people and you can be as loud as you want. But but you don't want to be because the sports are so different on college football. And I've learned from from people like Al Michaels.

You're a great friend who was a mentor to me long distance. But, you know, you have to pick your spots in football, even college football, which is different than the NFL. It's different. It's announced differently.

It's consumed differently. But you can't yell for these games are four hours. You can't scream every time the chains are moved right in the first quarter. You know, when you have to be you have to modulate. Yes. So that when a game winning touchdown, a walk off touchdown to win a championship is scored. When you get a moment like that. Yes. Be nice Monday.

I'm not counting on it. You know, then then you lose your stuff, but you can't do it for four hours. And so the tennis is is very different. You'd be like an idiot screaming, you know, unless it's called for. And then just being able to sort of feel that. So I'm happy that you learned something.

I did. And then, of course, striking up a friendship. So here's a story I want you to tell here, because I was not there. Susie and I on our wedding day took pictures right afterwards. So we we it's one of the things we lament is we missed the cocktail hour of our wedding. I need you to tell the story of Dan Patrick getting a little bit impatient about about the service at the bar that you were there.

Right. I don't remember what he said, but it was one really impatient about things like that. But but what happened again? Do you recall what happened on that night? I remember sitting at the same table as Dan, and I think he was, you know, confused about why things were taking so long. We were at this beautiful I mean, it was a beautiful setting, the old house at Central Park, which I think was closing down tragically.

I know that we're very upset about that. It was it was a very lovely event, a very civilized event. Did he get behind the bar? Did he start serving the drinks? I think he may have slipped behind the bar and taken matters into his own hand, which doesn't usually go over well with most bartenders, even if you're like TV's Dan Patrick. You know, I think things were not unfolding for him. Did it get a little wanted?

OK. I don't know if they wrestled him to the ground. I know that he wasn't escorted out before dinner because he was sitting next to me there. You were at the table. And so there was sort of a Greek chorus going on, I think, in a lot of weddings. I think, you know, Dan, Dan was quick with the quip.

He was, always was. I heard again that that that that he got behind the bar because the drinks weren't coming fast enough and that he started, you know, that he dispensed with the you know, you know how these weddings always have like that, that silver little cup that to just measure the shot, the actual usage of the hard alcohol that he dispensed with that to like this. He didn't serve me.

I mean, I'm not surprised that they got bothered by that. But if you're given this setting, we've all I shouldn't say we've all jumped behind the bar before. Have you not jumped behind the bar? I've jumped behind the bar. Chris and I have seen Jim Kelly jump behind the bar at Hall of Fame. You do get certain privileges. I have jumped behind the bar of my friend's bar, of other bars. I mean college towns. Usually they've invited me.

I mean, I've not just just taking I've not I've not stepped into a bunch of people wearing fancy clothes in Central Park and elbow the bartender out of the way to pour drinks. That would be uncharted territory. So are you you're heading to the Australian Open when? When's that start for you?

In like a couple of weeks? I'm not heading to the Australian. Oh, you're not.

We're doing it from the home office. OK. And the third shift for again. OK. So then not ideal. But so the college I mean, the college season then bleeds obviously into tennis. Yes.

You get to see it in the college. You haven't starts a week after. OK. And then then there's some downtime. And then you win then Wimbledon. Wimbledon feels like a long time off.

But yeah, there'll be some. Is Serena done? What do you think?

Didn't she? I do think so. You do think so. I think at this point, you know, it's one of those transition times when those of us that have covered tennis since they were young players. Serena and Federer finally, you know, north of 40, 41.

Right. I think they got to look at what was going on in the sport at the at the next gen level. I mean, Roger, you couldn't watch U.S. Open and not go, oh, wow. Carlos Alcaraz has arrived. He's 19 and Yannick Sinner, not even to mention Medvedev and Zverev.

And there's a roster of guys or this generation who sort of like were reinventing themselves. And I would say elevating the game. Well, Alcaraz and Roger goes, oh, yeah, no doubles with Rafa at the Laver Cup as a swan song was emotional.

Perfect. But he's covering like half the court to get out there. I think no one wants to see, of course, a great champion be unable to do it and have that be the lasting memory. But I mean, one of the great U.S. Open moments ever was watching Connors in his late stages do what he was doing. And there were shades of that significantly with with Serena this past year.

That's a good parallel. I mean, Connors was 39, but he also got stopped in the quarters. Right. He won some matches. Correct. When reality hit in the form of Jim Currier, our buddy, it hit real hard.

Yes. But it was a magical run. I mean, Serena, I don't think she wants to stick around and play to make the quarters around a 16. But it was it was an amazing event by her. It put the place on fire when she came and made that final push. And I think it was it was powerful. That's unbelievable.

Unbelievable. And you're great at it. And I can't wait to watch you and well, I'll be at the game. So I'll miss your call. I'm bringing Coop on Monday. That's awesome. I'll be the fact that we can be friends.

It means as much to me as it does to you. And and you're now bringing your three kids around the games. And I can remember like pre kids, you know, I know.

I remember the, you know, Zander's very early years and Cooper, obviously. I know. So it's cool that you can have that that kind of moment at the game.

Absolutely. I mean, we just established you and Jen were at the wedding. Linda Kohn was at the table. Tarika was at the table.

Stuart was at the table. And Dan, how many lifetimes ago does that feel like? You know, I mean, it's 20 years coming up, 20 years. Thanks for coming in. My pleasure. Appreciate last. Thank you. Absolutely. Everybody.

Oh, and your pod. Are you you're doing you're still doing the Fowler Who You Got podcast is in a hiatus. OK, but we're bringing back season six.

Season six. It was fun. We had we had we had Johnny Mac on and we talk about things that are outside of the normal realm right there. And we had had the lethal shooter who basketball fans know who that guy is. He's the shooting coach to the stars. And he's going to work with me on my shot.

But he was we have all kinds of people that I enjoy knowing. And James Clear, who wrote Atomic Habits, the global bestseller, is the current guest on right now. Jennifer's producing it. She is co-producing. OK, fantastic. We're all podcasts are acquired. I look forward to a season six.

And then national championship game number nine. Yes. Fantastic.

Chris Fowler right here on the Rich Eisen Show. Everybody follow this man on Instagram. Some very serious. You have some very deep. No, Chris, you do. You do. You give you give yourself, man. And you're and then we also never know when you're going to be seen without your shoes on. It's a combination of self-indulgence and self-expression, which I think is where social media is.

I don't know. We don't go for deep, but there it is. Namaste, Richard. I must say there you are. We got to have you sign those seats. Chris Fowler. Thank you, sir. Good to see you. Our number three, what's more likely?

My top five, your phone calls and so much more. I thought I knew everything about Chris Fowler. You know, I've known him for a while. I did not know. He told ESPN, I'll stick around in Bristol on Scholastic Sports America rather than take a job in Los Angeles, covering L.A. sports when there was, you know, the Dodgers and Tommy Lasorda and Kirk Gibson and the Lakers and Showtime and Pat Riley. Yeah, that's like what? I think not a lot of people would have done what Chris did.

I know. And so Chris Myers got the gig. So if Fowler had taken the gig, is it possible that I'd be friends with Chris Myers and Fowler would be the one who blocks me on Twitter today? Is it possible that that would be it?

Like this whole thing that switches? You're here and we're here. I'm here at your house. Could have been. Who knew? Like the sliding doors of the Chris's just could have been. I can't imagine Chris Myers going to work out at Gold's Gym. That's where he's going right now, right?

Yeah, the famous Gold's Gym. Here he goes. I came out from the backside, never met Chris before, and I don't see his Instagram. I come out and I was like, you guys know Fowler is Jack, by the way. Oh, you guys are like, yeah. You didn't know? I was like, I had no idea. Diesel. I'm not going to say how old he is, but he just said it, didn't he? Oh, OK. Well, at any rate, one of my favorites.

Impressive. And his wife as well. The owners have approved the playoff scenarios and the seedings and all that business. Does it surprise you that it only got 25 votes and a bunch of owners abstained? No, it doesn't, because I'm sure a lot of these owners are like, you know, understand that if they vote, no, it doesn't.

It's a it's it's a bad look. But you know that the fact that the do we know who abstained? We don't. OK. Yeah. You know that again, the fact that they're not going on just winning percentage alone when it comes to the AFC North.

Right. That the the Ravens, if the Ravens beat the Bengals, then it goes to a coin flip and the Bengals are probably like, well, look, I mean, just go straight up on winning percentage. That's the way it goes in the rule book. Under circumstances where not all the games are played, but I think the rule book also says that the commissioner in emergency circumstances has the right to do what he sees fit and he just did it.

And it's Roger Goodell is the one who chooses the the the site of an AFC championship game if it must be neutral. Mike, do you have a can your boat handle it? You know, if we have it, if we have it at the at the condo in Redondo, can you can you handle it? The game and the and the cross to Redondo Union High School, beautiful field right down the street from me. Boom. I was calling for Indy. Sam Farmer pointed out that there is a national volleyball tournament there that weekend. So Indy is out. Oh, bro, Indies. I mean, the combine. Let me tell you about Indianapolis. Indianapolis has events all the time. Yeah. All the time.

I'm not surprised by that at all. First combine I ever covered. At the same time, there was a convention, I think, of like plumbing and sewage.

Portage. They were like so. So the old RCA dome was directly connected, literally connected to the convention center.

Yeah. To the point where you would walk down a hallway and they would have the setup for the NFL scouting combine where you checked in. There was security. And then you walk down the hallway. And at the end of the hallway were the revolving doors to get into the RCA dome, which is one of those things like the carrier dome. Yeah, that's what pressurized, pressurized to keep the roof open. Yeah. So you would always walk through the the revolving doors and like the air would hit you in the face.

OK. And just watching, you know, like Al Davis get the air hit him in the face was really weird. But one year. So so so outside of the combine would be just the convention hallway where the convention of the day was taking place. One year we would walk past like some pumps. Oh, it was important.

Like the latest in Porta John Technology. You know, there's this Gil Brant walking by the porta potty with that with Bill Parcells. And then another year it was like, you know, like a cheerleading convention. There was I remember that. Yeah. I remember. And it was really weird.

Like there was all these. I shouldn't. But it's true.

Like these John Benet Ramsey looking type girls like walking around. And there's a combine. It's weird. Yeah, it's weird. It's really weird. So I'm not surprised.

What is it, a volleyball convention or a national tournament? Oh, yeah. Take any out of the mix.

And he's out. Yeah, I remember those combine days. Yeah, that's when I first came up with the idea of running.

I remember that 2005 bored out of my skull waiting for NFL total access to roll Davis sitting next to me. And I say to him, how fast do you think I can run the 40? And he laughed at me.

I cursed him out, sort of like Lee Corso, but I wasn't on camera. By the way, your first time was six, seven, seven. Not good. No, it wasn't.

Yeah. So I was wearing lace up dress shoes and I had never run in a straight line like that before. Never run a 40. Oh, I forget what year I got hurt, but I got hurt. And I'm like, I ran it a third time and I got hurt. And I remember saying, well, I guess we're not airing it. Mayock goes, why? And I'm like, what do you mean?

Why? I didn't finish it. He goes, what do you care? And I'm like, what do you mean? What do I care? I didn't finish it.

I blew out my hamstring. He goes, actually, actually he goes, it shows that you're human. It shows that you're human. And so you should air that.

Just show that you're human, Rich. And I'm like, oh, OK, then we'll air it. And as soon as it airs, Mayock starts making fun of me on the air. Go, oh, there's a sniper in the dome.

Took you out. And I'm like, wait a minute. You told me to air it to show my humanity. And now you're clowning me. The hell's your problem? Oh, well, many times I looked at Mayock.

I said to him, what's your malfunction, bro? This year is your 19, by the way. Really? Oh, gosh. Wow. It's a lot of running or combining. Which one is that?

Same thing for some. All right. We'll take a break.

What is more likely to happen this weekend? And I got my top five wildcard matchups I want to see. For over 40 years, Jim Ross has been the voice of wrestling. Nobody has stories like Jim Ross, and he shares his tales with co-host Conrad Thompson on Grilling J.R.. This man was the top heel in the Attitude era. It was a fresh character. It was new. It was material that we had not seen or heard to that date. We could have created a bigger or better heel. Now, we wanted to make more heels and we tried to make more heels. And we did, but nothing compared to Vince, the Grilling J.R. podcast. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-06 16:45:53 / 2023-01-06 17:07:37 / 22

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