Is it summer? Depends on who you are, where you are, and what's happening around you. Let me start right here. We're going to play this game with our Roundtable guests, Randy and Jeremy, in just a second.
But I'm going to take your calls on this after them, so listeners get prepared. It's not summer in North Carolina until blank, right? And the easiest one is, if you're a kid, it's not summer in North Carolina until you're out of school. You guys got me at school till June 9th. Don't tell me it's summer and then tell me I'm still catching a big yellow bus. That ain't summer, dawg. So, like, if I'm a 13-year-old, it's not summer in North Carolina until at least school's out.
We'll get a it's not summer until it's not summer in North Carolina until blank answer from our Roundtable guests after we talk some sports with Randy Slack from ESPN Wilmington and Jeremy Green from ESPN Asheville. What's going on, fellas? How y'all doing? Hi, man. Thanks for having us. Appreciate it. I need to remember to do the thing where I direct my question at one of you in turn rather than throwing out an open-ended one and having you guess who should talk first.
Fill-in guy remembering how this thing works, but great to be talking with you guys as always. The College World Series is going on right now. We've got some North Carolina on North Carolina crime. NC State up 3-0 over Campbell.
UNC Wilmington and Duke tied at 2 in that game unless Duke's put another one up there. Let's start with Jeremy up in Asheville. Jeremy, what's up with UNC Asheville? Every other team in the state is in the baseball tournament. Why is UNC Asheville baseball dropping the ball? Well, I mean we got into the NCAA tournament in basketball, so you can only you can't have your cake and eat it too.
All right, fair enough. And this is a weird year for me because I'm a lifelong Florida State fan. They're not in it. I'm a West Virginia alum and they are in it, but apparently they're having to stay in like Kentucky student dorms because there's some country festival like Tyler Childers or something is playing up there. So they're bunking it in the dorms. That's the most West Virginia thing you'll ever hear in your life by the way. I feel like that could have been considered in like do you get to host a regional like do you have hotels open this weekend?
No. All right, then Campbell gets to host. Sorry Kentucky. Randy, how big is UNCW? Like UNCW, hold on. UNCW is looking at UNC Asheville throwing shade because I believe they've been making basketball and baseball tournaments recently, right Randy? We made the basketball tournament in I think 2017 just before I moved down here, but this is the first baseball regional since 2019 and it's huge. They've got it set up at different bars. Jimmy's on Wrightsville Beach is showing the game with audio. Buffalo Wild Wings in the area is showing the game. I mean baseball is so big in Southeast North Carolina at the high school and college level and UNCW is just, I mean they're killing it, you know. Conference chance regular season, post season. They're doing great. All right, I'm going to ask you guys a personal question. That's a great perspective of just what baseball is doing down there in Wilmington.
We'll go back to you, Randy. Do you care about the college baseball? And you can be totally honest, I'm in the, I don't really pay attention to college baseball at all until, you know, the canes are out of the playoff. Like basically, maybe if something compelling happens in a conference tournament, I'll be like, oh it's kind of cool or like two rivals are playing in the championship. I might watch that and then, you know, local teams playing in the NCAA tournament or certainly if a team from North Carolina goes to Omaha, then I'll, you know, make a point to try and watch their games, but where does the do you care meter hit for college baseball for you, Randy, or you slash the people up in Nashville? Well, full disclosure for you, we carry UNCW baseball and ESP at Wilmington, so on that end, financially, it's good for us to care about it, but personally, you know, when you're at a school like UNCW in the CAA, you really don't have a chance to compete for national championships in a lot of sports. However, when you play baseball and you're playing and you're competing against Wake Forest and you're doing really well when you sweep East Carolina, when you, you know, split with NC State, when you play and you're competitive with the big dogs in the state and it feels like in the country, you know, it is exciting down here because it is a really good team and it's a team that legitimately could make a super regional one day and it is exciting for the area for sure.
That's a good point. Like for ECU football, their biggest games are never like the other best team in their conference. Their biggest games historically have been when they play NC State, when they play UNC, when they play South Carolina, when they play Virginia Tech, West Virginia, when they get a chance to play against the quote-unquote big boys. So yeah, that makes sense. In baseball, you do get a few of those more opportunities and they feel like big games for a school like UNCW. Sorry, I think I mixed up who was in what place. So Randy, so Jeremy up in Asheville, where does college baseball hit you and your market's care level?
Market care level is probably not really high. This is the one time a year in Asheville where it's not really, really cold or just oppressively hot. So you got people at breweries and doing things outside. Now my level of care, I will watch West Virginia. Like I said, Florida State's not in, so I can't watch them. And I've become kind of a bad sports fan because anything that's tournament or things like that, they're so big that I care when we get closer to the actual finals. So like the College World Series, I will watch. I watched the Eastern Western Conference Finals and the NBA. Did I watch the first round? I wagered it.
I didn't watch it. And I just, I'm finding myself doing that more and more often. With the NFL, I watch every snap of the Hall of Fame game, which just really says more about me than anything. Hey, the Jets are in it this year. We actually had Hall of Famers for once.
Usually the Hall of Fame is just look at everybody else and their success while you wallow in your own self-pity. Jeremy, I got to ask, what's your tie to being a Florida State fan? And I'm just going to put this out there. Did you justify being a Florida State fan because Bobby Bowden, West Virginia alum, was down there coaching? Is that your connection there? I actually didn't know that until West Virginia and Florida State played each other in his last game. I grew up, I was a Charlie Ward guy. He was a football basketball guy, so was I. So that's, I don't really have a better tie than that.
And now I loosely know Charlie. I grew up in similar time frame and Florida State was super cool and easy to be a fan of, so I'll accept that. Did you grow up in West Virginia? No, no, no, I'm from Asheville. Gotcha, gotcha.
I wanted to go somewhere where I was going to be in the higher level of smart. Excellent. Keeping it with baseball, do you guys want to see Major League Baseball in North Carolina slash do you think there will ever be Major League Baseball in North Carolina?
Randy? I don't think there, it will, it will come here. And secondly, I mean, we have enough teams, you know, like they're not selling out enough attendance in, you know, the cities they're already in. I don't really understand the need or desire to add teams in places like Nashville when, you know, my Cincinnati Reds, the oldest team in Major Leagues, even in a good year, is not at capacity all the time. If we're not selling out, if we're not, if Major League, I say we, like I run Major League Baseball, if Major League Baseball isn't crushing it in the markets they're already in, why add more markets? That's fair. So I hear Randy Slack saying he wants to move the Cincinnati Reds to Nashville. I'll put you down for that.
Jeremy, what about you? Major League Baseball in North Carolina, yes or no? I think the Braves have such a stranglehold here. It would be hard for a team to survive, say, in Charlotte. I'm a fan of contracting teams. We have too many teams in Major League Baseball. I mean, I get that the Oakland Jays are moving to Vegas, which I think is a phenomenal idea. But I mean, the Tampa Bay Rays are good, yet nobody goes. And nobody, the next Tampa Bay Rays fan I meet will be the first one.
And I think they hang out with Sasquatch because I've never seen either one. Very fair. My solution to this has always been, and I still, I think this will happen now that we've seen, you remember a few years ago, we got a 4th of July game at Fort Bragg. They've been doing the Field of Dreams games a couple years. So they've shown an appetite for like, hey, we need to mix it up. There's 162 freaking games.
Do something a little bit different. I do not want Major League Baseball in North Carolina because I think we are a minor league baseball state. I think there's something super cool. I'd love to get a minor league team in Wilmington. I know there has been before.
I know there have been talks about it. But now that Live Oak Arena is doing so well on that water setting, I feel like we can put a baseball stadium somewhere near it. Obviously, the Asheville Tourists have a great history. The Durham Bulls are basically the flagship of minor league baseball because of their history and their movie. My solution to it is the Tampa Bay Rays should play two series a year in Durham.
Like it seems to make the most sense. Don't give us a major league team. Just give us six or eight games a year. They'll sell out. It'll be more people than are going to those games in Tampa. You may be able to create some more like a five-year old that goes and sees Tampa play here will be a Bulls fan at home and Tampa will be the team that he's like, oh, that's my team.
Like that's always been my solution to it. They need to just play at least one if not two home series every year in Durham. But anyway, I could do that with every series for Tampa Bay and just move them all around the country.
They'll probably still get more people even with no home market. Just have them be a minor league baseball touring team. Yeah, like we do with the Jaguars. They're good and we still have to move two other games to London a year. I'd be okay with the Rays playing two series in London every year.
Take baseball over there. Absolutely. All right, I know you guys love it and the people that run the radio station love it when I talk NFL.
This is the first time I've brought it up in two days guest hostings. We'll see if I ever get invited back but because I got you guys, I'll ask you the question, will Bryce Young, should Bryce Young be the Carolina Panthers starter week one? Jeremy, we'll start with you. 100% and if he's not, I would love to have a five-minute conversation with Frank Reich on why. If it was anybody but Andy Dalton, Andrew Dalton is just the ham sandwich of the NFL.
I know exactly what he's going to be. You'll be competitive but not good and with Bryce, I think he's one of the most pro-ready quarterbacks we've seen in years. That Panther offense is actually good. I like what they've done with the line. Now you've got a year where they've built the cohesion and even though you don't have DJ more anymore, I've said Carolina receivers are a lot like my dating record before I got married.
It's a whole slew of threes but you have five threes. To me, that is enough to sustain Bryce early. See what you have with Miles Sanders and I mean, what's the worst case scenario? You go seven and ten, pick at ten next year or you don't have your first one picked next year.
Add a couple weapons in the all-season because you do have cap space and just see what you have. Randy, what do you think about the quarterback's panther room? The panther's quarterback room, excuse me. You compare Andy Dalton to a ham sandwich. When I was in Cincinnati, I always compared Andy Dalton to an 18 in blackjack. It's pretty good but would you put all of your money on an 18 in blackjack?
You wouldn't do that at any given point in your life. The only way that Bryce Young can't be a starter or isn't starting week one is if something catastrophic is happening. He has to be the starter and Andy's a great guy he can learn from. Andy's a guy who's been in the league forever.
He's a great guy but he's a much better guy on the bench than under center. Excellent. I didn't mean to get to this topic but since it's come up, Jeremy brought up his dating record. Did I catch that you got married recently, Jeremy? I did. It was, let's see, two weeks ago Saturday. I actually did the round table from the parking lot picking up her dress the day before the wedding.
Unbelievable. That was great commitment and possibly a little out of my mind but I am committed to the cause. Where was the wedding? We got married on top of a building in downtown Asheville, the Capital Club and beautiful views and you could see every part of the city. It rained right as the vows were happening but we were covered under a little awning and then as soon as the rain stopped you had a big rainbow pop out and it was very beautiful. My wife is a beautiful woman and I look like a homeless person in a tux but it was very photogenic and wonderful and everything we wanted it to be. Well this is amazingly sweet and love must be in the air on the round table because, Randy, do I have it right?
Didn't you just recently make a big move in that department as well? Yes, I just got engaged. In fact, she is dress shopping tomorrow maybe at the same place Jeremy's new wife is shopping.
Probably not. It's on the other side of the state but yeah, we're getting married in October, downtown Wilmington, right across from a Waffle House. We're going to beat it. Look at you guys getting married right in the city.
You guys truly wear your cities. You're not going anywhere else. ESPN Asheville, ESPN Wilmington getting married in your own cities and something might, gold must be doing something right. He's bringing you up in the world because both of you guys getting married at the same time, that cannot be an accident. So love is indeed in the air here on the round table.
Congratulations to both of you guys. All right, before we get to our final question about It's Not Summer in North Carolina Until, I want to hit on sports gambling. It seems like it's been a long time coming. It seems like it's going to happen. Does it affect how you watch sports to know that we might be able to soon legally gamble on them in North Carolina?
Randy, start with you. I love playing poker. I love playing craps and I'll occasionally hit a blackjack table. I really don't get into the sports betting. I love, I will make my picks on NFL games on the show against the spread because I've been waiting for this to happen and because you know I'm a financially motivated person and I'm looking for advertisers. Sure. It goes legal.
Yes. But for me personally, I don't really like the sports betting. I know a lot of people that do and God bless you if you do and I'll give you my picks but it's just not something that really changes how I watch sports. What about you Jeremy?
Where does it hit? So, Randy and I are on the exact opposite end of the spectrum. If I sit down at any kind of table game, I might as well just take all of my chips and hand them to the dealer and thank them for a lovely time because I am awful at poker. I'm awful at blackjack but I will wager on anything sports. I have a cricket guy if that tells you anything and you said when it was legal.
Well, it's not statewide legal but there are ways to do it that are not sure illegal per se. Yeah. So, I mean for me it changes everything. I watch sports that I don't care about at all because I wager them. I've always said that's why the NFL is so popular is because we found a way to monetize fantasy football. So, even if your team is bad, which my jets are every single year, I still have a fantasy team to care about which keeps me invested. We don't do that on the same scale with the NBA, with Major League Baseball.
I mean it happens but it's not the draft with your friends and the all-encompassing experience. I fully believe that sports gambling, A, should be legal in all 50 states. B, the more legal it is in more states, the more you're going to see viewership go up because of it. Yeah, that's interesting.
And also, I know that I'm not one who's going to try to paint a falsely rosy picture. There's pros and cons to gambling in general but like some people will point out like that Alabama baseball coach that got caught, you know, basically phoning in a tip from his dugout. I'm assuming you guys heard that and they got fired. Like that got caught probably because sports gambling was legal. Like we're going to be able to more quickly, like somebody was able to say, hey, some dude just put down $300,000 on an Alabama baseball game that no one else had bet on. I'm pretty sure I saw that there had been no action and then this huge bet drops.
It's a lot easier to be like something's up with that. We've seen it in tennis for years where like there'll be a first round random non-grand slam tennis event and somewhere in Slovenia there's like $4 million that gets bet on it in one place and then the dude retires, you know, after starting the match. So officially the match started and he loses or whatever and the sports book and tennis together will be like, you know what, let's just hold up on that payout and it's because the systems are connected and can talk to each other because it's legal and not underground. So there's something I've always thought with sports betting. There's this thought that it will corrupt the game.
That's how Tim Donegal got caught. The bettors figured out that there was that there was an anomaly in the games he called. I actually think sports betting makes it makes things more on the up-and-up because you get somebody like me, I get burnt by the same official four or five times, my spidey sense rises and I think it's good for the game and I always have. I won't be able to say definitively if it'll make more corruption but I agree with you in that you may not want to know about the corruption but like the corruption is already out there it'll just bring more of it to light than we know and we'll see how comfortable we are with knowing something. Again like I have no doubt that that Alabama baseball coach had probably done something similar before.
His dude was just placing a $300,000 bet with guy on the corner instead of legal casino in Cincinnati or wherever he was. All right final question. I did actually did the smart host thing and prepped you guys for this so you can give me fantastic answers and since you represent multiple corners of the state they should be good. It is not summer in North Carolina until, it's just gonna be things like your shaboomie has come out, NC State has gotten screwed in the college baseball tournament, things that traditionally happen that kick off the summer.
Randy Slack, what do you have for me? It is not summer in North Carolina until... Two things. First of all when the northerner asks me if we should evacuate for this hurricane, no it's in the Gulf of Mexico we're fine don't worry about it. Okay good. You are at the beach though.
It's a fair question. You're at the beach and that's where hurricanes come. I feel like you got to be open to that one. We have a guy Stanley B for one of our stations. He's lived here in Wellington his whole life. When Stan gets worried I get worried.
If he doesn't care I don't look at any spaghetti models or nothing because I'm like Stan ain't sweating it, I ain't sweating it either. But number two, it's not summer in North Carolina until I go to the grocery store and everything's out of stock because the beach house has bought everything. Ah that's yeah you have that seasonal market I guess things do.
A lot more people coming at you. Asheville is a touristy market but I guess it's sort of year-round probably. Some people are trying to get up there in the winter, some people trying to get up in the summer or whatever. So not summer in North Carolina until the Wilmington grocery stores are aisles are cleared. Jeremy what about you? It's not summer in North Carolina until...
Mine's a little long-winded answer. I love that. It's not summer in North Carolina until I have driven to a cookout, hit a bug so big that I actually think I hurt its feelings, drank 12 domestic lights and then celebrated my nation's independence by blowing up a small part of it. All right so you're one of those you got to wait all the way to fourth of July before it's summer or could it be any do you guys start shooting off fireworks at like June cookouts?
Well I mean there are times that depending on how many of those domestic lights you have you set fireworks off on at St. Patrick's Day. So this is really a moving scale but for me my wife's birthday is on the fourth of July so that's really the that's the the official start of summer for me. I'm not one of those Memorial Day I get it but there are still times here where it'll get down to 50 degrees at night and I just that's not quite summer to me. It has to be oppressive hot before it's summer in North Carolina to me. All right it is not summer in North Carolina. I won't even be able to repeat that whole one but I do agree you guys do grow the bugs a little bit bigger up there in the mountains. They're only here for like six weeks and then they disappear but they're they're like Florida-sized bugs for a month and a half.
Unbelievable. Randy Slag, dad in Wilmington, ESPN Wilmington, Jeremy Green, ESPN Asheville. Thank you guys as always hopefully we'll get maybe another chance to do this this summer. Take care and my best to your lovely ladies. Thank you guys.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-02 20:25:07 / 2023-06-02 20:34:40 / 10