It is a Thursday drive where the Carolina Panthers are back to work at training camp after a day off. And in the National Football League, year three is usually a very important year.
I don't want to get caught up in a ton of cliches like where the dust meets the road, where the men separate from the boys and stuff like that. But generally, it's where you see young players blossom into superstars or reveal that they're just ordinary guys. DJ Moore, he's heading into year three. And I think we're going to figure out if he's a superstar in 2020. Is he going to be Steve Smith or somebody you go, oh, yeah, I remember that guy at a sports trivia night 10 years from now. I think Steve Smith's a good comparison too. I remember on draft night, a very reliable source made that comparison. His name, Steve Smith Sr. saying this.
If you really want to know the truth of how I feel, they have never been able to replace me until today. DJ Moore will be at that organization for a long time. And I look forward to talking about him on the network. Wow is right.
That's something to live up to, isn't it? We'll learn this year if DJ Moore is that because Steve Smith, there are similarities. DJ and Smitty, they're both under six feet tall, feisty, high point the ball, can play outside, not just limited to the slot.
I like both of them. I mean, Steve Smith, maybe the most beloved Carolina Panther ever. And the numbers back up this comparison. Remember in 2001, 89, he was a punt returner. He was a pro bowler as a rookie, as a punt returner alone, was not a starting wide receiver. So 2002, 2003, those were his first two seasons as a starting wide receiver. He produced these numbers in terms of receptions. 54 catches in 2002, the year the Panthers went to the Super Bowl, 88 catches. 88 catches his second year, 54 his first. DJ Moore's first two years in the league, 55 catches his rookie season, 87 his second year. So the numbers, they're similar, 142 catches in their first two years starting at wide receiver. Steve Smith's next season, he broke his leg in the first game against Green Bay.
I'm not really going to count that. 2005 though, maybe the best wide receiving season we've seen in the last 30 years. Steve Smith having the triple crown of receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, something that we haven't seen done since 2005.
And before that, you have to go back to 1990, Jerry Rice doing the exact same thing. Also, it should be noted, Steve Smith, he lives in Charlotte still, and he's been mentoring DJ. Remember the Amazon series All or Nothing that came out last summer? This clip may be my favorite part of that entire series where Smitty is on the sideline with DJ during training camp and had a simple question for him.
Robert Walsh is the producer of this show. Just a very charismatic personality. Who would be a better hang? If I'm thinking about the most charismatic personalities in Panthers history, Steve Smith or Cam Newton, who would you rather hang out with? I feel like I could people watch with Cam. Steve would not be here for the slander, but Cam would roast people with me.
He would. Steve, I also feel like if we were drinking, he would maybe get a little too hot headed. Steve, there's a lot that can go wrong with 89. For sure. Not saying I don't love Steve.
I love 89. He's one of the most interesting NFL Carolina Panthers there's ever been. Maybe if you go broader than that, there's a reason why he's doing what he's doing on television now. Let's just put it that way. But I think Cam Newton's probably a better hang than Steve.
But if you disagree with that, 336-777-1600 is the phone number. This was just earlier this week. Steve Smith talking about DJ Moore audio coming courtesy of our friends at WF&Z in Charlotte. DJ Moore in his first three years has done an exceptional and first two years have done an exceptional job. But you and I know he can do better because we've seen the talent and also too.
What's the standard? Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, those guys are here. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, those are the standards that he's chasing. Now people can say that I'm hating. I'm gonna tell you this and I'm sick and tired of hearing it.
Even some of these folks on YouTube. Steve Smith, he has really taken DJ Moore under his wing. He's interested in him. From the very start, he saw a lot of himself in DJ and the productivity seems to be there.
So it's year three. What's a realistic expectation for DJ? What's a sign of him taking that next step? Well for Steve, he caught over 100 balls in 2005.
Caught 103, he was targeted 150 times. I don't think it's unrealistic for DJ to get there. I wouldn't bet on it because I think Curtis Samuel's gonna get a lot of touches, a lot more than he did last year in Joe Brady's offense. Of course Christian McCaffrey's gonna command the ball a little bit, I'd say. You got Robbie Anderson that you brought in for the Jets. So there's just more weapons there. But there is an argument you can make.
And the argument's this. Last year, you're talking about 135 hits 87 catches for DJ. That was with Will Greer, Kyle Allen, and Cam Newton on one foot throwing him the football. Now you got Teddy Bridgewater.
I don't care what your opinion of Teddy is, how low it might be. That bar is not lower than Carolina's quarterback play a year ago. Also, Christian McCaffrey, now that he's gotten paid, that usage rate should go down. If Carolina knows what it's doing, and they are talking about trying to rebuild, the owner of the team saying it's not gonna take one year, it's gonna take a lot more than one year, there's no way they're gonna risk spoiling their long-term investment, record amount money they've given to Christian McCaffrey, having him go for another 1,000 yard receiving season, 1,000 yard rushing season.
Just not gonna happen. So I think his targets are gonna go down. Greg Olsen's no longer at tight end. Ian Thomas, while I think he's shown a lot of great flashes and he's gonna take a step because he has to, is he going to command as many targets as Greg Olsen did?
I don't think so. So where are those balls gonna go? All to Robbie Anderson? DJ Moore, it seems like, has the opportunity to take a step in year three the same way that Michael Thomas took that step. In his year three, that's when he became an elite wide receiver. We could be talking about DJ Moore at this time next year the same way we talk about Michael Thomas, who right now is ranked as a 99 on Madden.
That's possible for DJ. He is, aside from McCaffrey, the most talented Carolina Panther. The most talented player on the roster. Not the most important, obviously quarterback, more important of a position left tackle as well. But without Cam Newton, without Luke Kuechly, Christian McCaffrey is the face of the franchise. DJ Moore, he's the next most talented Panther, followed by KK Okun, Shaq, and Brian Burns.
So this is a really important year for DJ. Shifting things to hockey, the Carolina hurricane season it ended yesterday. Believe it or not, I'm at peace with that right now, Robert.
I was in pain yesterday, but I'm at peace now. And I'll even go a step further. I was satisfied with what Carolina did.
And I'll explain to you why. For one, we were without local sports for a very long time. The hurricanes, that was all we've had in 2020 since things got suspended in Greensboro way back on March 12th. So I enjoyed that piece of it. The second piece is this. Do you have younger relatives, like a niece or a nephew, you don't see but just once or twice a year?
Yeah, for sure. Usually you see them during the holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas. I have those and when they're young, you're talking about elementary school age, they grow so much. And it seems like large leaps of growth between times you see them because you only see them just a few times a year.
If you see them every single day, it doesn't seem to be that much growth. Well that's what the Carolina hurricanes growth has been like the last two years. The hurricanes, they've come so far, so quickly.
Let's just turn back the clock two years ago. The state of this franchise at this time, August of 2018. Carolina is coming off their ninth straight season of not making the playoffs in a very public disastrous fashion. They're parting ways with their general manager who happens to be a player who's had their number retired in Raleigh, Ron Francis. He's replaced ostensibly by Don Waddell who the best thing on his resume is that he was the general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers when they moved out of the south to the Winnipeg Jets. They hired a guy who's beloved in Rod Brind'Amour but he's never been a head coach before. There's a new owner and that can go wrong whatever sport you're talking about.
A hundred ways that could go wrong. So Carolina really was in a bad spot, constantly thrown into the relocation conversation. Seattle's looking for a team, are they gonna be an expansion team or are they gonna be Carolina moving things a bit? Hockey in the south, does it really work?
Are they drawing enough? Is it because of interest for the team or the fact that the team's not that good, Quebec will take them and sell out every game? It was never discussed in NHL administration circles, Gary Bettman always shot it down, but there was real concern by people within the organization that Carolina couldn't go much longer not making the playoffs. Nine straight seasons not making the playoffs. Now as we turn the clock just two years back to back playoff appearances, an Eastern Conference Finals appearance last year and just that alone is a feat for this organization considering it hasn't been done back to back playoff appearances since 2002. It's only happened in this organization's history since they moved from Hartford twice, counting this time.
So that's an achievement. Carolina is relevant. The Hurricanes, they are more relevant right now than they've been at any other point in their history and I say that including the time they won a Stanley Cup in 2006, a year after the lockout. The sport was still recovering, that was one of the least watched Stanley Cup finals. It was on a network called OLN that then turned into versus which I think turned into NBC Sports Network but I don't know for sure. So it wasn't a great time for hockey when Carolina won.
Now they have the bunch of jerks, they have great social media presence, they have the storm surge, they have tremendous young players who are exciting. Sebastian Ajo, 23 years old. Andrei Svechnikov, when he comes back from injury, he's only 20. Mr. Svechnikov!
Playing those lacrosse style goals. The core of this team is going to remain. You don't have to part ways with goaltender. Neither Peter Mrazek or James Reimer is a free agent. The only UFAs, there are key players who you might lose. Sammy Votnin, Joel Edmondson, James Van Reems-Dyke. If you lose all three, easily replaceable. And you might not lose all three. The biggest loss is Justin Williams in all likelihood, who probably played his last NHL game yesterday.
Three Stanley Cups, one with the Canes in 06, a couple with the LA Kings. Not the ideal way for him to go out, but Carolina, they played without him for the first three quarters of the season. So they're going to be fine. The core is where it needs to be. This is a lot better of a place to be. Having a playoff team and being heartbroken after they lose in 5 to Boston than not being in the dance at all. Isn't that the age long question, Robert? Is it better to love and get your heart broken than to not love at all?
I don't think so. I think it's better to take some chances, to compete, be a part of the dance. And that's where the hurricanes are. And that's a really exciting thing. We've been learning a lot about Panthers coach Matt Rule this week. At the start of the week, allowing players to show up late to practice because it's the first day of school and he believes everybody who has a child should be there for their kid on the first day of school. We also saw Matt Rule tackling practice dummies, which is something I can't really picture Ron Rivera doing.
Maybe John Fox before him. Then I read our next guest story from the athletic Joe Person. Matt Rule's path from cutting VHS highlight tapes to disappointment to the NFL. And I learned a little bit more there, but going back to the practice dummies, Joe, you've been at these practices and I'm starting to think to myself, up tempo, accountability, guys doing pushups, running to every single drill, blaring music. It sounds a lot like what I've covered in college more than the NFL. What do you think is the biggest difference in the practices you've seen so far with Coach Rule versus what you saw during Ron Rivera's entire tenure?
You know, the funny thing, Josh, is you're talking there and mentioning the college feel. The other guy was thinking about Pete Carroll. I know his practices were all upbeat and a lot of music.
I don't think he was necessarily tackling the blocking dummies, but he would jump into a drill occasionally is my recollection at Southern Cal and would do that kind of stuff at Seattle. So yeah, I think there's definitely part of that with Matt Rule. The interesting thing to me is, are the NFL players, are the Carolina Panthers players going to respond to that or are they going to think it's like rah rah hokey? I think the answer lies with how the rest of the message is coming across and more to the point, whether the Panthers are getting better under Matt Rule. It's new now, so I think everyone's okay and will roll with it.
But if they're 2-6 at the end of October or something like that, that kind of stuff may not go over as well. He's definitely brought a lot of energy to your question about what practices are like. Fast pace, that was my real impression the first couple days being out there. Guys are moving in between drills, they're getting to the next station quickly, and when they get there there's not a lot of standing around.
They're all kind of getting going. It's been interesting to watch for sure. It's quite a departure from the Ron Rivera era.
When I'm thinking about what this offense might look like, LSU was great last year because they had these speedy wide receivers and they had a lot of pre-snap motion and they had a running back who could catch the ball really well out of the backfield. Gee, I wonder if Carolina has somebody like that. And then of course you have the New Orleans Saints influence as well. Just looking from your vantage point in Charlotte, does it look a lot like what the Saints were doing? You know, a little bit. It's hard to tell.
Yes, there's certainly strong elements of it. But they're going from station to station. Today they did a lot of teamwork.
But Tuesday's practice in particular, they were doing various situations but it might have been seven on seven or nine versus seven. But listen, Joe Brady, Kety Bridgewater, this is where they cut their teeth. Especially Brady, Bridgewater more with the Vikings. But he spent the last two years in New Orleans, as you and I have talked about. That connection, that vibe is very real. They had one former Saints receiver, Keith Kirkwood, break his clavicle within the first week.
What do they do? They go sign another former Saints receiver, Tommy Lee Lewis. And I'm not suggesting he's going to be like the number one or even the number four receiver. But there's clearly a comfort level where Joe Brady is concerned with these guys who know that Saints system, no one more important and critical than Teddy Bridgewater. Who's the guy that stood out to you the most?
I see a lot in your updates. Joe Person's with us here, longtime Panthers beat reporter. I see a lot of Mike Davis opening some eyes. And on top of that, Omar Bayless. I'm a political voter, so I follow a lot of the wide receivers in college.
His numbers were stupid at Arkansas State last year. Undrafted player. He seems to be turning some heads as well. Who stood out to you? Those two guys, Davis just more so because he was a forgotten man after he was acquired last year in November. Of course, he got here late and the Panthers were kind of in meltdown, so he kind of got lost in the shuffle. I think we were all sort of ready to anoint Reggie Bonifant again as the backup tailback to McCaffrey. But I don't know, right now if I had to call it today, I'd say the job's Mike Davis'. You bring up Bayless. Yeah, that kid looks good.
He's big and he's got good hands. Unfortunately for him, he has missed the last two days with a knee issue. He came into the building Tuesday and has some knee swelling. Matt Ruhl and company have shut him down. With no preseason games, you can't afford to miss time any preseason, but he's got to get back out there if he wants to make that 53.
If nothing else, I think he's a lock to be on the practice squad. Read Joe Person's story, Matt Ruhl's path from cutting VHS highlight tapes to disappointment to the NFL. A couple of things that stood out to me. Matt Ruhl meeting his wife while they were working together at Chili's. Robert was dying for more details about that. Do you know anything else about how he met his wife? He sounded like Ruhl was a jack of all trades at that state college, Pennsylvania Chili's. I think he may have started as a busboy, worked his way up to waiter, and by his second or third summer, he was tending bars.
I think maybe she was waitressing and he was tending bar, and the rest is history. I appreciate you mentioning that story. I hadn't done it during the offseason. It was such a weird offseason, and then we had the draft.
So I wanted to kind of dive in deep. He is from State College. I just mentioned State College, right where Penn State is. I grew up not far from there in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, so I enjoyed talking to his dad. I enjoyed talking to one of his former high school coaches, Matt Ruhl's high school coaches at State College.
It was cool. It gave me a kind of good impression, a little better idea of what makes Matt Ruhl tick. I'll be honest, the story I didn't really know was how Al Goldin gets the Miami job, packing up his stuff, and he takes pretty much his whole defensive staff with him to Miami. Well, Ruhl had worked his way up to offense coordinator at the time, and I was kind of thinking, hey, here's my shot. Well, Al Goldin didn't take him to Miami, and Matt Ruhl didn't get the Temple job. So he went from offensive coordinator at Temple to barely hanging onto any job. He was a tight ends coach, but he said he learned a lot from that experience. He kind of started kind of putting more emphasis on his relationship with players.
I think he'd gotten a little bit caught up in the burnout that coaches have and X's and O's and all this. So that was a cool story I did not know about Matt Ruhl. Yeah, the Robbie Anderson angle was really cool as well, and also the old school hip hop that Matt Ruhl put on some of these highlight tapes.
In order to find out what specific songs there were, you'll have to read the story in The Athletic from Joe Person, who's kind enough to be here with us. I got a stat for you, Joe. I know you like stats. Year three generally is an important year for young players, especially when you're talking about skill positions. DJ Moore, he had 87 catches last year. Steve Smith, he wasn't a starting wide receiver his first year with the Panthers, but he did end up a Pro Bowler as a punt returner. His first two seasons as a starting wide receiver, Smitty caught 142 balls.
The same number of balls DJ Moore has caught his first two years. And on top of that, Steve Smith may have said on draft night that he has not been replaced as a go-to receiver for the Panthers until now. He has been mentoring DJ Moore, and I'm interested what you make of the wide receiving group for Carolina, where Curtis Samuel, he's looking right now in a contract year to stand out and take a step. Robbie Anderson seems to have already chemistry with Teddy. They were both in South Florida during the quarantine, and they were together with the Jets briefly. And what I just mentioned with DJ, he seems to be blossoming into a superstar wide receiver. Whose storyline do you find most interesting, Joe Persing?
Oh, man, probably DJ Moore's. I got to tell you, I watched him have a hell of a season last year. But when you look at this Panthers receiving corps, I think collectively the parts, I think they're better as a whole than they are individually. And that's not a knock on any of them. You want to put DJ Moore up against Michael Thomas or Julio Jones and get them in that discussion.
Michael Evans down in Tampa. I have a hard time putting them in that echelon yet. I just don't. I think he's heading in that direction. Can he be another Steve Smith? That's a tall order.
That is a high bar. He made a big step last year. I am fascinated probably with his story. He was a guy one year going to the combine. I sat next to him on the plane to Indy.
Just a good dude. I like his makeup. I think he's a good player. I'd love to see him take that next step and become a great player. It'll be interesting to see if he can do that in this offense. He gets the middle of field should be a little more open with Robbie Anderson commanding presence deep.
But the future is bright for DJ Moore. But boy, that's some tall company when we start wanting to lump them in there with Steve Smith. And I know Smitty did that himself, just like you said. He's the one that attached his name to him very early on.
And it seems that he's a mentor to him as well, as we've learned with some of his comments. Joe, great work again on the story. Find it at the Athletic.
A lot of neat stuff to learn about Coach Rule. Enjoy the rest of training camp in Charlotte and we'll catch up sometime soon. Appreciate it, man. Thanks for having me on, Josh. You got it. That is Joe Person on Twitter at Joseph Person. And now, on with the show.
Showtime. You're on the drive with Josh Graham on Sports Hub Triad. I want to update our poll real quick because it's right now at 50% a piece. Cam Newton, Steve Smith, Who's a Better Hang, Darren Vaught joining us. I think it's a perfect way to start comparing with Darren as we do this each and every week before Robert hits the music. Who's a better hang, Steve Smith or Cam Newton, you think? I saw this right before you guys called me and voted. It's an emphatic Cam Newton vote for me. There's no way on earth Cam Newton is not a better hang than Steve Smith, who I think could be fun, but is a little bit more of a no-nonsense guy.
And Cam, I think, is just going to be a little bit more accessible as a person, weird as he might be, which I think would be the case in certain instances, but accessible. Listen to Darren's podcast this week, the USA Baseball Podcast. He had a chance to catch up with Philadelphia Phillies world champ, former world champ, and great Ryan Howard. You didn't get into the old Subway commercials, did you?
No, but I have since tweeting about it yesterday, gotten about a million replies that are just simply eat fresh. So you're heard and I respect it. Bill Belichick is the new Ryan Howard. Robert, let's get into comparing with Darren.
Darren, a lot has been going on in baseball and I'm going to want you to compare a couple of those things. Tom Brenneman had a big night last night. I would like you to compare him having to call a home run during his apology to the villain of Master of Disguise farting every time he tries to do his evil laugh. Well, one is at least a little bit relatable, I think right.
The flasher lens in public. He gets to walk away, whereas Brenneman got to walk away from broadcast booth. And I think eventually for both, maybe not for Brenneman quite yet, because he's just suspended indefinitely and not actually fired as the TV broadcaster for the red. But I think eventually for both, the slapping time she comes.
The slapping time she comes. That was great Darren, 10 out of 10. Josh, I would like you to compare Sage Surratt opting out of this college football season to your prom date, finding a boyfriend a week before prom. Well, one was more classy than the other, I'll say.
Sage is at Wake Forest University. This happened in the city of Wake Forest for me. This happened to you? Well, it did happen to me. A woman opting out of prom.
Someone opting out of prom a week before prom. I mean, I was 16, this was junior, junior year that this happened. Robert, you have really good memory. And I just remember getting a phone call.
I remember it wasn't a text, I had one of those sliding phones. Oh yeah. And she was just like, listen, I got a boyfriend, he's 24 and he said, I can't go to prom with you. Your boyfriend sounds like a real winner. I wonder what he's doing now.
I wonder what she's doing now. Maybe him, Darren. I would like you to compare Fernando Tatis hitting a grand slam wallop 10 to three to Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt. Um, all right.
Hold on. I'm trying to find the, the, the eloquent wording here, but there's something along the lines of it was better. It's better the second time around, right? Better than it was the last time. Whereas in Tatis on that side of the example, it's not necessarily a grand slam, but it's a, it's a, uh, take an easy take on a 3-0 count.
He should have swung, Cash should have covered Hurt and done it better than the original. Awesome. We're moving right along here. Josh, I would like you to compare Matt Ruhl to Eddie Murphy in Daddy Daycare. Gosh, you really like these, these kid comedies.
How often do you bring these things up? Like Drake and Josh, Daddy Daycare. Holy bleep. Get out of here with this. Uh, it's uh, I guess Matt Ruhl has little experience on the job.
Uh huh. Little experience as an NFL coach. Kind of like you got, and he has a bunch of assistants who don't have as much experience in the NFL too.
Just like Eddie Murphy and his assistants do not have much experience running a daycare. So that's a pretty good comparison. Also, Matt Ruhl very possibly could be in over his head that it would not surprise me reading Dr. Spock's baby book. And it turns out not to be about the Star Trek, Dr. Spock. That's a great movie.
Check it out. Maybe not a great movie. Robert, the only thing I remember from that movie right off the top of my head is the kid. I believe he dresses at one point as the flash, but he has the bathroom visit and walks out and explains to the cast, Eddie Murphy and company, I missed, I missed and turns out he's just urinated all over, not just the toilet seat, but the entire bathroom. Well, Darren, you're going to wrap us up here.
I would like you to compare the Falcons being up 28 to three on the Patriots to your uncle getting a little too sauced at Thanksgiving. In the end, he's going to blow it. He's going to blow it. I mean, he, he, he's funny, right? He's charming.
He's near the line, but not over it. And then, you know, a highlight of Rhonda Rousey playing or competing in USC comes on the TV and he says more like, oh, Ralph's me. Oh, that was great.
That's a perfect encapsulation of my uncles and both vomited all over themselves. That was great. You guys did great this week.
I really enjoyed that. Robert, you are very positive today. I am very positive.
Gosh. You're like annoyingly positive today. I can't help it. I'm just in a great mood.
Like laughing very loudly. You got a really infectious laugh. That's that's a compliment, buddy. Well, I appreciate that. Making me feel better right here in the middle of the day. Darren, you make me feel better.
Comparing and this music, it always delivers. Thanks for being here, buddy. Of course.
I try. I'll see you guys later. And listen to his podcast with Ryan Howard covering the bases, the USA baseball podcast. Darren Vaught spending some time with us today. I do want to mention we had Dick Vitale, I think on last week. Time is only but a flat circle.
So I don't know if it was last week or longer or shorter. But Dick Vitale was with us not too long ago. And he was applauding the hire of Steve Forbes. I think he went as far to say that he's incredibly he's heard a lot of great things about him speak extremely high of him as a tactician, a guy who can manage practices and coach who can win. Dickie can be another person who's always very positive whenever we catch up with him. But Les Johns, he had a story for Demon Deacon Digest that you could read at his website, the 24-7 Sports Wake Forest site. And here's what Dick Vitale or excuse me, what Steve Forbes had to say about Dick Vitale giving him a ton of praise here, Robert. Coach Forbes said, quote, I don't know, probably because back in the early 80s, when he wrote his first book, my grandma stood in line and got his autograph.
Can this dude miss? Did he just pull the Robert Walsh, I'll let him date my mom? I knew I liked this guy.
Yeah, I'm sure he remembers that. Obviously he's a big fan of college basketball and talks to a lot of people. Now I've been an assistant coach at a high level when he's called our games, his study of college basketball and talking to some of his friends have probably said some positive things.
I appreciate it. Anytime we could get publicity for our program, that's a good thing. When people were talking about Wake Forest basketball, that's a good thing. Some of it is just him being a new basketball coach, it's new energy, but he really is, as you said, somebody who struggles to miss.
Really great comedic timing. We need to get this guy back on the show. That's what we need to do. The goal's going to be, and I hope Wake Forest is listening to this right now as I'm sure they are. We need to get Forbes on the show and the mission is how can we get this conversation on PTI again?
That's it. What can we say? Who can we go after? We did Kentucky last time.
Who are we going after this time? It's gotta be one of the North Carolina Blue Bloods. St. Coach K's hair is not naturally jet black. Say Roy Williams didn't pay for all that UNC stuff Wanda did. This is fun.
What can Coach Forbes say to get on PTI? You also gotta remember that was May. We didn't have any NBA. We didn't have any Major League Baseball. We didn't have hockey. So the drive with Josh Cram, leading highly questionable in PTI.
I'm getting interviewed in other markets about some clowns for Kentucky Sports Radio. That's where we were in May. And then we had Luke May on.
That was the content we were looking for. Great times. I miss those banjos. I thought about at one point trying to learn the banjo. Then I just went headfirst into the piano.
The piano is another instrument that I feel like that's the one instrument if it's at a party and you start to play it, you instantly look like the coolest guy at that party. Yeah, I remember my brother was chasing after women and we kept jumping party to party on New Year's and I was ticked off because I was trying to watch Johnny Manziel play Duke. Like it was A&M versus Duke and it was a great game and A&M came back to one to win that game. And your brother's dragging you to meet all these women. Yeah, that's right.
And he said all to Josh, Josh, don't worry. I'll be I'm just going to drink at the first party and then I'll sober up and then and then I'll start driving and that way you could start to get your drink on. Right. And then we get to the third or fourth place. This girl is now with 12 other dudes and there's maybe two other girls in the entire place.
Like I'm right out of college at this point or actually I might have been. It doesn't matter. So I just remember like, OK, well, how are we going to watch the game? There's no TV in this place. They don't have a TV. And then I started thinking about it.
OK, I'm not going to be the guy that asks to get a game on. I can pull it up on my phone. But how are we going to bring in the new year? Like, have you ever brought in the new year without a television to count it down? Someone had their phone out and they were just refreshing to see what time it was. You can you have a clock app.
You can look at the clock. And the only reason I'm bringing this all up is because after it struck midnight, the way we celebrated was we chugged a beer and some guy started playing piano, Boston by Augustana. Oh, nice. Very ritzy. That's right.
It was ritzy. That was I've never been more upset than that night. I've had a couple of weird New Year's bringing innings, whatever you want to call it.
Yeah. Maybe we'll get to that later on in the year. We've got massive breaking news and the ever changing, fascinating life of the Triad's most beloved producer, Robert Walsh. I'll share with you what that is next on the drive. Providing you with the latest sports news, commentary and analysis.
Plus tips on how to cheat at Bingo. You're on the drive with Josh Graham on Sports Hub Triad. Robert Walsh, I've got good news and bad news.
What would you like first? Always give me the bad news. Much like North Carolina earlier in the week, NC State is going to go online with its instruction this semester, all online. NC State athletics putting out this statement that's a lot like the one the Tar Heels put out earlier in the week. NC State student athletes will continue to attend online classes and may remain in their on or off campus housing. The health and safety of our student athletes is our unconditional priority. We will continue to hold practices and workouts for our teams under the previously established protocols by our university, athletic department and local health officials. NC State is progressing with the expectation to complete this fall and will be transparent with our student athletes and programs in the communication of our plans.
We will work in conjunction with our campus, the ACC, state and local health officials towards the safest and most responsible course of action. So that's the bad news. You want the good news, Robert?
Of course. Well, it centers on you, the Triad's most beloved radio producer on this national radio day. What are you what are you buttering me up for? So anybody who's listened to this show for any period of time knows that Robert is a fascinating figure. Robert, he is a he almost seems like a cartoon character. The fact that he has this thick southern accent, he still has braces. He is somebody that, you know, is pretty debaucherous with what he does on a regular basis. Pretty debaucherous guy, but a very transparent guy, which we enjoy the character on on the radio show. Last week, or again, it might have been two weeks ago, I have no reference of time during covid. Or maybe let's go back a little bit further. About a month ago, we learned that Robert had a girlfriend.
I do. And at the same time, Robert got a girlfriend. He told us that she's moving in with him.
She's that is true. She's still there. How many days between you getting together as a couple? Did you figure out that she's going to be living with you? Oh, probably before she ever moved back from Florida, she was going to move in. And you weren't officially dating until she moved back. Correct.
So the moment she moved in was also the moment she officially became your girlfriend. Correct. Robert is a fascinating character. Then we learned Robert likes to scare that girlfriend with a five foot metallic, uh, Yeti. Yeah. Bigfoot.
Yeah. A five foot metallic Bigfoot that he bought online and that he was really excited to buy online. Then I learned today Robert has another addition to his household. He is now the dad to a cat. I am a cat daddy.
Cat daddy Robert Walsh. Can you do the cat daddy? I could when I was in school. All I know now is the wheelchair motion. I don't even remember the dance. It's like you hold your hands here, cross your hands in front of you, then wheel yourself down. Oh yeah, Kate Upton did it once upon a time.
Yes, she did. I don't remember the song is what I meant to say. Cat daddy.
And I go to work when, uh, something, something. Got it. So you have a cat. What is this cat's name?
His name is Winston. Wow. All this time that you made fun of me for having a cat named Winnie, you yourself are a cat owner now. Yeah. How do you feel about all of the times you made fun of me posting cute videos and such, you know, posting like black and white pictures that we're going to post and that we're going to drop an album. That wasn't me. That was Sarah Bradford that roasted you on that.
Right. But you've also made fun of me saying, oh yeah, yeah, look at you and your cat. Now you understand it. You understand the love between a cat daddy and his cat. Now that you have a cat named Winston.
The worst part of it was last night we were, we were laying in bed playing with the cat and the cat. I go, Oh Winnie. And I was like, Oh no, you said someone else's name in bed. Oh no. I was like, now I have my own little Winnie. That is unforgivable.
Robert unforgivable crime on your part. This is also the first time you had a cat as a pet ever, ever as possible. I've been a dog guy. You've had horses, you've had, I mean you were on a farm. How did you not have a cat at any point of your life?
I mean I, my family has had cats, but it's never been my responsibility to take care of them. We had an outside cat named farmer. We've had outside cats named Gato and other lazy cats. Farmer was a great little kitty, man. He would bring mice up to you like as gifts and then just hang out, fight at the random dogs that came up. Farmer was a great cat.
Gato, not so much. We've got breaking news to bring right now about my kitty or so Tom Brenneman was pulled right off of the reds broadcast mid game yesterday for dropping a homophobic slur on a hot mic before returning from a commercial break. It's rare that you say something so offensive that you have to be pulled out of a broadcast.
They're not even waiting for it to finish up. But Tom Brenneman, for those who don't know, in addition to working reds games was the number three Fox NFL announcer. So you had Joe Bach, I think Kevin Burghardt's the number two, Tom Brenneman's the number three. Our good friend Adam Amin I think was up for that number three as well. So this might be good news for Adam Amin. Because Joe Reedy reports from the Associated Press, Tom Brenneman's been pulled off NFL broadcast. Not a surprise there. He is suspended indefinitely from the reds.
Interested to see what happens with that moving forward. But that was a hilarious thing that happened last night. Not what he said, not the homophobic slur, but the last bit of airtime he had. Him being told clearly, yo, you need to say goodbye and pass off the reins. You're being pulled off of the broadcast right now. What transpired over the next minute and a half is amazing.
I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith. As there's a drive in a deep left field by Castellanos, it will be a home run. And so that'll make it a four nothing ball game.
I don't know if I'll be putting on this headset again. I don't know if it's gonna be for the reds. I don't know if it's gonna be for my bosses at Fox.
I'm gonna apologize for the people who signed my paycheck. This has renewed my faith in God hearing this. The fact that he drops BS that I think of myself as a man of faith as if that has anything to do with the homophobic slur that he said earlier. And the baseball gods slapped him in the face with a home run less than a second after he dropped that BS. Let's again hear the amount of time that passes before he has to call a home run after he gave the BS answer about, I believe I'm a man of faith, as if people who aren't men of faith still don't know enough in 2020, not to say a homophobic slur. I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith.
As there's a drive in a deep left field by Castellanos, it will be a home run. I respect this professionalism, man. I really do. Yeah. I guess if I'm going out, man, you know what? I'm going out with a bang.
This might as well have been from one of those clear mirrors at a jail and him talking through a phone to a relative. I don't know if I'd be putting on this headset again. I don't know if it's gonna be for the Reds. It's like, do you call the home run excitedly? He did make a good choice. He did make a good choice acknowledging a home run happened, one, respect that. Two, he made an even better choice to stay in the same somber tone because what would make it a lot worse is... Don't do it!
I like to believe I'm a strong man of faith. And this one's jacked! Diesel left field! It has a chance! It's gone! It's gone!
Home run Cincinnati Reds! Oh my goodness! I don't know if this is gonna be the last time I'm on the air.
I don't know. Let's hear the rest of this horrendous apology. For the Reds, for Fox Sports Ohio, for the people I work with, for anybody that I've offended here tonight, I can't begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am. That is not who I am and never has been. And I'd like to think maybe I could have some people that could back that up. I am very, very sorry and I beg for your forgiveness.
Jim Day will take you the rest of the way home. It never has been? Well, clearly it was. Think about this, okay? If this happened in 2008, I might think, okay, let's not say that anymore. Imagine saying this at work in any context in 2020. Like, if we were just hanging out in this break room... 2020, how does that happen? And let's know at the beginning of that clip who he's apologizing to. My bosses, the folks of Fox, the Cincinnati Reds. How many people are you going to apologize to before you get to the people you slurred?
I'm hoping someone could stand up for me here. But if he said this, not on the air, there are production people who can hear him say this. Just play the very beginning of that.
The very beginning of that second clip. For the Reds, for Fox Sports Ohio, for the people I work with, for anybody that I've offended here tonight. I'd like to think none of the people you work with are gay or lesbian because otherwise, why are you saying that at all on an open mic?
What are you doing? A lot of people have made this joke, but it's true. If you've watched the show with Hank Azaria, Brock Meyer, that's exactly what this is. It is Brock Meyer come to life. So Tom Breniment, I don't think he's coming back with the Reds.
And he's been pulled off a Fox NFL broadcast, not surprisingly. Yes, Rob? Nothing, nothing. I just got toasted by a caller. Oh yeah.
What did the caller have to say? Hadn't you guys ever said something you felt bad about? Yeah, all the time. Not that word. Not like that. Nope.
Went to WSJS, Winston-Salem, WCOG, Greensboro, WPC, and Burlington, WMFR, High Point, those signals make up sports up try. Now let me be clear. We had our own instance where we were discussing something that was made public that wasn't supposed to be made public with John Fokie, with the Hornets, right? That's an instance where we're like, intent matters.
Intent matters for sure. What he did was not racism. It wasn't.
What Tom Breniment said there, confidently saying that word at work, it's homophobic. And there's no way that's the first time. There's no way that's the first time.
Saying it that confidently, saying it at work, one, saying it while you have a microphone on, it wasn't muffled. You can find it. It's easy.
There's no question. I was waiting for the defense. Actually, you heard me wrong. I said a different word than that. No, it was so clear because you said it right into your microphone.
That's how comfortable you were. And you were live four seconds later. Bleep it, we'll do it live. Adam Gold is going to join us in 30 minutes. Next hour, Panthers reporter, Joe Person. So really a caller was mad at you about this?
Oh yeah, for sure. Toasted. Toasted me. I was just like, have a great day guy.
Okay. Josh Graham loves to talk sports. He also loves to daydream about sports.
Mostly about being the locker room towel boy. You're on the drive with Josh Graham. It's a pretty good sports day when Tiger Woods is out on the golf course. Even better when he's shooting it well to start playoff action in the PGA tour, the Northern Trust.
Tiger shooting three under earlier today, four strokes off the lead. As of right now, somebody I know who loves golf and baseball and a lot of other things is Adam Gold. Kind enough to join us.
Our early afternoon host drops by once a week at about this time. You also follow the Carolina Hurricanes closely. The Canes had their season end yesterday.
So give me the sense. What's the outlook for Carolina heading into the offseason? Well, I mean, they have some I think they have some things they need to kind of address. They need to figure out why they couldn't get to their game against the Boston Bruins. And I would argue that while they were the better team in the first two periods, I think significantly so yesterday. And they were probably the better team in the second and third in Game 2. It was rare where they were the better team than Boston. Now, Boston was a hundred point team before the pause. So we're talking about arguably the best team in the league.
So maybe it's not that surprising. But Carolina needs to figure out how to impose their will on good teams. They really didn't do that against Boston. So, I mean, there are some things they need to address down the middle, need to address. I don't think goaltending is really a problem. I don't think they have elite goaltending, but I think they can have average to above average goaltending with what they've got.
But to me, it's about, you know, what the makeup is of the guys in front. Total free agents, unrestricted free agents, I should say. You got Joel Edmondson, James Van Reemsdyke, Sammy Votnan, of course, Justin Williams, who in all likelihood, a lot of people are leaning towards the fact he's probably going to retire. Shoot Adam a follow on Twitter at a gold fan.
Listen to the Adam Gold show noon to three right here on Sports Hub Triad. So North Carolina earlier this week announced that they were going to go all virtual. Back Brown said, well, it helps seal off this pseudo bubble that they have now on campus with the football team continuing to work. I say that as they are still suspending things until at least five o'clock. So for the next 30 minutes, North Carolina has athletic participation suspended for now or athletic activities. NC State is following suit with the all virtual passes for this semester. Football is still going to go on. It might have been a carbon copy and a statement that NC State athletics put out in the last hour or so.
Here's what I'm interested in. Dabo Sweeney, I think he kind of started this about a week or so ago when he said, you can be an athlete or you could be a student and do so virtually. You can't be an athlete and do that virtually. Athletes, student athletes, they are different than the regular student body. They arrive sooner than the than the other students. Mark Emmert says he's open to there being a bubble. Other places, Wendell Moore yesterday said that they essentially have a bubble in Durham. Is this what sports is going to look like this fall? Is it going to be on campus bubbles, you think? It all depends on how serious we are about having college sports. You know, two months ago, there's no way I would have sat back and said, hey, students aren't on campus, therefore we can't have sports because to me, the athletes are students. But when the more you think about it, it's a bad look, because what you're saying is athletics are the most important thing. But once the university has made the decision to essentially encourage, strongly encourage students who live in the dorms to go home, once you've gotten rid of campus life, then now what you've done is you've made it more feasible to have college athletics. So what I would suggest and everything after we say this, we can all go in unison, well, I guess it's time to pay the players. But if you want to have college sports, it's just going to take somebody with some gumption to simply say, what's the safest way to do it?
Safest way for the athletes, and that is clear campus of all non-athletic personnel, put all the athletes on campus, don't let anybody else on campus, and now we can go about the business of practicing and everything we need to do to get sports played. Are they willing to make that admission and essentially give up the game? I don't think they are.
Let me ask this question as well as I answer my own question. What do you think is the bigger threat to virus spread? In-person instruction or dormitory, fraternity, campus bar life? I think it's the latter. You could, the other one's more control.
Absolutely. And so, I mean, I get getting, you know, people off, you know, you know, online learning. I get that. My son is not going to sixth grade classes.
He's taking his classes at home or at my wife's office. But the problem is dormitory life. And I keep hearing people say, well, you can't tell 18 to 22 year olds that they can't go out.
I'm like, I get that. So we tell 18 to 22 year olds that they can't drink legally anyway. I mean, for public health reasons, you can do anything you want. But don't we already tell, don't we already tell these athletes what they can and can't do at times? They can't go out on Friday nights during football season. They can't, their social lives are affected. Their schedules are affected.
And here's the thing. The turning point for the NBA, Adam, was when the players call happened with LeBron, Chris Paul and others. And for Major League Baseball, the turning point in that labor dispute was the players saying simply when and where. Every player I've talked to and every player, not saying every player because you can't opt out if you want to and some are. But it seems enough for saying sign us up. We're begging to play that at least the administration can tell them how if they are wanting to play so badly. If the player and look, it takes a lot of leadership.
I've talked to Sam Howell about this. We've talked to coaches about this. They are they are asking their players to make sacrifices in their normal day to day.
If they if the players are willing to make sacrifices and Dave Clawson said, look, this year, nobody's making anybody play. But if you want to play, here's what has to happen. And that means you give up some of your freedoms. Hell, we have all been asked to sacrifice.
It isn't that hard. Some people refuse to sacrifice and those people are making it more difficult for everybody else. But the players, yeah, they want to play. We still don't know if it's really safe for them to play. But until it is obvious that it isn't and there's no other way forward, you know, to keep to maintain the illusion that it is somewhat safe to go about this business, then at least everybody can do their part. And players are relying on each other to do it.
And they're really relying on the community around them to do it. Judy Mofalo on Twitter at A Gold Fan. Listen to The Adam Gold Show noon to three right here on Sports Up Dryad.
I've got two quick questions for you. For one, who's a better hang you think is a better hang? Cam Newton or Steve Smith?
Ooh, it all depends on what you want to do. I think I think Steve Smith could be a little bit more dangerous because if you if you if you rub him the wrong way, you just might get cold cocked. So I'd probably want to hang with Cam. Although I don't like cigars. I really don't. And he's a cigar guy.
So I'll say Cam. But I'm not sure either is a good is a good hang for me. Real quick. When's the last time you had a cigar?
Let's see. 1992 at a wedding on Hyannis on the back porch of the country club on Hyannis. And it nearly made me vomit. I've only had a cigar once in my life. It was last year in Baltimore. I haven't told Robert Walsh this story.
He's going to be amazed by it because he's a massive Ravens fan. I would never accept a cigar from anybody unless that person was in a VIP setting. Ed Reed handing me a cigar. So you don't tell Ed Reed no when he asks you if you want a cigar. So I took a cigar and I smoke a cigar. I wouldn't smoke it.
I would just hold it. What's for dinner, Adam Gold? We'll do barbecue pork nachos.
Whoa. Celebrating National Radio Day in a big way with the barbecue pork nachos. Absolutely good. Yeah, that's fantastic. Enjoy that.
A little Chipotle ranch. Very good. Happy National Radio Day, Adam Gold. Thanks for doing this. See you too, Josh. Take care. There you go. On Twitter at a gold fan. Let's go around the horn.
Robert. What's for dinner? I'm going to my dad's tonight. I think it's a seafood pasta with a little salad on the side. And I think she's making these little Caprese salad too because she has some homemade like basil plants.
That'll be nice. I got new hot sauces to try and I got this new taco seasoning. Got leftover tacos tonight though. Nothing wrong with leftovers. I'm a big fan of leftovers.
Yeah, I'm fine with leftovers. Remember when Coach Rule earlier today said he was fine with Joseph Charlton as a punter? I do. He said that, but the Panthers have also claimed kicker slash punter, Kerry Vedvick off waivers from the Bills. Yeah, Ravens traded them to the Minnesota Vikings for a fifth round pick and then he missed like two extra points, two field goals and they had to cut him.
There you go. He's not great either, but he's got a big leg from Marshall. Yeah, he does. Is DJ Moore becoming Steve Smith? A very credible source thinks so. That's next on the drive.
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