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NSMA Takeover with Dave Goren

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
June 29, 2020 6:10 pm

NSMA Takeover with Dave Goren

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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June 29, 2020 6:10 pm

Guests: David Glenn, Kevin Harlan, Tom Verducci, Dan Patrick

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Attention, please. This is The Drive with Josh Graham Podcast. Tune into The Drive three to six weekdays on WSJS Sports. I love it.

It's brilliant. Welcome back to The Drive. Dave Korin sitting in for Josh Graham on this Monday that was supposed to be the 61st National Sports Media Association Awards Banquet. Let's see, what time is it?

About 4.28. We'd probably be into our sponsor reception by now and one of the guys who would be joining us is joining us on the phone. Kevin Harlan of CBS, Turner Sports and Westwood One. Kevin, my friend, how are you? I'm doing well, Dave, and I wish we were together tonight. It would be a fun time to not only unite, connect, but see all the other great broadcasters around the country that descend on Winston-Salem and are part of this very, very special organization and a wonderful night for all of us. You must feel like you're part of the sports hub triad staff now. You were on with Josh last week, weren't you?

I was, yeah. In fact, I talk with Josh quite frequently. We were in town a year or so ago to do a Florida State-North Carolina Tar Heel game and saw Josh then in person, met him in person at the 2018 convention that you had down there. So it's with kind of a saddened heart that we're not together.

Of course, there's a much bigger story going on, but hopefully things will be rectified and next year we can all get together again. I had David Thiel on a little bit earlier, great reporter now at the Richmond Times Dispatch, and we were playing Old Man Radio. I know you just had a birthday, so I'm about six weeks older than you, so welcome to the sixth, I guess it would be the seventh decade, wouldn't it? You and I are both 60. Can you believe that? Yeah, no, I can't, because if I close my eyes, I still feel like I'm about 25, and then I open my eyes, look in the mirror and go, ah! Oh my!

So I've got to look away, but we'll keep sawing wood, won't we, and keep going until they take the microphone away from us. Yes, well, you know, for me it was, I was just talking about walking out to get my newspaper every day in the driveway. It was walking down the front steps and my knee went, and then my foot.

So, you know, just travels right down from head to toe. What have you been doing to stay busy during this pandemic? Well, a lot of things. Number one, we're in Kansas City is where we're based, and our kids have come home at various stages of this pandemic and quarantine, and so we've been really lucky to spend some extra quality time with them, which we've really enjoyed. We've kind of maneuvered here over the last couple weeks to Wisconsin. We have a small summer place on Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes, and we've kind of re-established ourselves here. We have a lot of family coming in this weekend, and weeks for the Fourth of July, and although parades and things like that have been canceled, it's a chance for us to get together as a family, so we're looking forward to that. But really, business-wise, we've cleaned a lot of attic space.

I've gone through many different mementos and letters and notes and just different pictures that I've accumulated over the years and tried to organize that. And in terms of what I'm doing now, going over some of my basketball broadcasts from the past six, seven months as I get ready to reignite for the start of the NBA season and at the same time get ready for the beginning of the NFL season. Do you know where you will be for the NBA, assuming they do play? They haven't really told us, although I think they're narrowing in on having us actually in Orlando and perhaps inside the arena, but nothing is said. It seems to change.

The story seems to change every day, Dave, so we'll probably find out ten days out or so. But there's always the option. We could be in Atlanta, the home of TNT, and broadcast from that location in a studio. We could be in a studio in Orlando. We could be in the arena in Orlando. So the clarity there is still a bit murky and I'm not sure that we're going to find out anything until we get much closer, but I do know players have begun to congregate in their respective NBA cities as they quarantine and get ready for the team trips down to Orlando and set up.

Not sure where we're going to be yet, but we'll be ready to broadcast if indeed they do get this season restarted. Do you have much experience with Remy's remote broadcasts? I don't.

I've never done one before. My daughter, who's with ESPN, she has been a part of a couple, and not many, but she has been a part of some of those productions, and so we've talked a little bit about that as we talk shop. The one thing that I do do, which is kind of in the ballpark, is when I record the NBA 2K video game, we're looking at clips all the time, but they've set up studios in our homes. So I've got one, actually I've got two, I've got one up here in Wisconsin, I've got one back home in Kansas City, and it's a very simple padded type of area where I can talk into a headset and drowns out the noise and there's no echo, but I watch a lot of video clips and I'm supposed to commentate when I see these clips. So if that is any inkling of what we're against, if indeed we are in a studio, I should have, you know, probably kind of a very workman-like feel for what that'll be like, but there's no doubt it's going to be different. We all use the crowd and arenas and stadiums differently.

It's like an orchestra in back of a performance, and so we're going to miss that orchestra, and the players are going to miss it too. Let me ask you first about the video games. How many clips per year do you have to voice? Hundreds, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, and trying to be clever and kind of spontaneous is a little bit difficult to do. They also give us, on a board, on a TV monitor, topics they want us to talk about, so that if I do it with Doris Burke or Chris Webber or Greg Anthony or whoever, David Aldridge, we have a topic that we'll talk about and they'll conference us in together, and then they'll take segments of our answers and insert it in the game, and that's really the genius in back of the video game, is it's so complex and so computer-driven that they can take 10 seconds of a cut here and 10 seconds of a recording there and 12 seconds here and 11 seconds there, and somehow kind of knit it all together so that it comes out sounding like we're talking about a live play, and they're geniuses, they really are, and I'm not sure how they put it together, but it has been, I think for quite a few people, kind of a nice way to escape quarantine, and I've gotten many emails and texts from people that I work with whose kids are playing the game endlessly in basements and in their room, and so it's kind of nice to know that even without basketball, people are still able to enjoy the NBA and the great stars in the league. And how long total, time-wise, does it take for you to get through recording all those?

Well, it varies, Dave, from year to year. This year has been about 50 hours so far, and I've had very limited hours left because they want to meet a deadline much earlier than in the past to release the game, but there have been summers where I've had to tape, you know, 60, 70, 80 hours, and it's a pretty tedious, it's a pretty tedious task, to be quite honest. You're by yourself, you've got to kind of conjure up a lot of emotion that is usually fueled by seeing something with the naked eye or by the crowd in the arena that you're in, so that's a little bit difficult. It may help me if we do do games from a studio with the upcoming restart of the league, but, you know, I've kind of found some ways to engage, immerse myself, lose myself in the task at hand, and it's probably as lifelike, I guess, as you could possibly make it by doing a game off of clips that you're watching on a monitor in a studio, or in the case I've got up here in Wisconsin, a walk-in closet, but it is kind of nice to stay connected to the game in that way.

That's an interesting look behind the curtain there, thank you for that. We actually ran a little educational seminar last Thursday, a Zoom seminar at NSMA on remotes, and had a producer, a play-by-play person, and an analyst, and I forget which one said, when you're in front of that big monitor, you will have no trouble conjuring up that emotion that you will have if you were there at a real event, so hopefully that will work for you too, especially with the experience doing the games. Yeah, I think it will. I think it's going to be interesting. I've heard with baseball restarting, and read a quote by Gary Cohen, who does the Mets, that they will do every game home and away from the broadcast booth at their stadium, what is it called, Citibank, I'm not sure, I forget, they lose track of all the different sponsor names, but wherever the Mets play, right near LaGuardia Airport, and they're going to, even when the team might be in Atlanta, or in Los Angeles, or in St. Louis, they're still going to do their television broadcast off monitors, but from that broadcast position, so I guess to help them feel like they're kind of in the moment, in the space where they normally might be, although in a same stadium, home stadium atmosphere, but it does give, I think, a chance to look inside a kind of a complex way of doing it. There'll be others that will be in studio, and they'll do all the games from there. I understand that NBA broadcasters will be certainly not traveling at all back in their studios, in their hometown facilities, so it's going to be a different world. I think NFL announcers and college football announcers, from what I've heard, one of the more popular and more relevant ideas floating around is that, you would know this being on the Demon Deacon broadcast, but I guess at least for play-by-play and analysts, they'll be at the stadium at home, and then they're not going to, you know, I guess be allowed to travel, and so at least some programs, pro and college, are going to leave their broadcast teams behind. And then for NFL preseason, if there is indeed a preseason, they're going to have the home broadcast crew broadcaster both their own network, so when I'm doing the Green Bay Packers, we'll do the Packer network, and then if we play, say, the Houston Texans, we would do their network as well. The two different preseason networks would just take the one broadcast. So it's a different world we're stepping into, whether you're on radio or TV, and both challenging, but I think, as we've seen in the past, broadcasters can adapt pretty easily and readily, and we'll look forward to that challenge. And you may have overlap between the seasons, correct?

Yes, unfortunately. My NBA season may extend a bit, and I may have to miss some NFL games. That's not the plan right now. The plan is to somehow go back and forth, but if we are indeed put in Orlando, it's going to be a situation where we probably would not be able to leave for a minimum of a couple weeks, and then if we do leave, we'd have to re-quarantine and go through protocol once again to re-establish ourselves within that bubble. So there are a lot of logistics here which are not going to be very easy, but I'm one of several broadcasters T&T has that do multiple sports, and a couple of us do the NBA, Spiro Didi, and I and Eagle, and myself all do NFL, and Brian Anderson does Major League Baseball. So all four of us are going to have, I think, some significant challenges in terms of travel, and how we're going to coordinate it with other contracts that we have.

It gets a little messy. And what is your confidence level that the NBA and NFL will be played? Well, the only thing I can think of, and again, I've got no more information than you or anybody in your listening audience that reads the stories and keeps up on the latest hour-to-hour details and developments, but I think that if there is indeed a pretty secure bubble in Orlando, that they may have less of a spread of the virus as opposed to football, because at least in the NFL, there is no talk right now of putting these individual teams in a bubble in their hometown. And you're going to have 80-plus players in training camp going 80 different directions, and then when you get down your 53-56 man roster, you're going to have, again, players that are not with the team under a watchful eye 24-7. They're going to be around their family.

They're going to be going out to dinner. I mean, I don't know how that spread is going to stop in pro football. It seems to me to be a gargantuan task to try to stop that. The NBA will be more in control, the Players Association, and because you've only got 15 players per roster and only 22 of the 30 teams are going to be down there, you're going to have a little bit more control, and surely there will be some spread, but I think it will be muted to a degree which the NFL cannot really bank on right now. And the NFL, just by virtue of the way the game is played, where you're up against other bodies and tackling and blocking and all this, I just don't know how you're going to stop the spread.

There has been some talk that football, both college and pro, and I guess high school, if we've gotten that far down the line, and I know under development right now they're developing masks in addition to your face mask on your helmet, there would be perhaps an eye shield that you could wear with a mask that you perhaps have in the lining of the face mask of the helmet to somehow spread or limit the water droplets they talk about, but it's going to be a massive chore, and these are details which have not yet emerged. The NFL has the benefit of waiting a couple months until they start, and the benefit of watching hockey and baseball and basketball try to restart, but it's going to be difficult. There's no doubt about it. Absolutely. Well, Kevin, best of luck. The most important thing obviously is to stay healthy. Let's get a vaccine as soon as we can and get to see you here in Winston-Salem next June. Appreciate the time as always. Dave, I appreciate what you do for our association, which has so many members, coast to coast, young and old alike, big name and beginner, and it's because of the guidance of you and others on your staff and the terrific sponsors we have in Winston-Salem and around that region, which make that organization possible, the wonderful night that we celebrate the business possible, and believe me, I speak for all the members that you have under your umbrella.

We can't wait to get back there, see you, and be a part of a very wonderful experience. Thanks for having me on. Take care of yourself, and I look forward to the next time we chat. Kevin, thanks again.

Appreciate it. That's Kevin Harlan, our National Sportscaster of the Year, actually two-time National Sportscaster of the Year, joining us from Wisconsin, and coming up after the break, we'll be joined by the voice of the Carolina Hurricanes, John Forslund, who is now a two-time winner of the North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year. Stick with us. We'll talk some hockey with John right after this. David Glenn, D.G., how are you this afternoon? I'm doing great, D.G., how are you?

Good, that sounded like an echo. D.G., D.G., all the cool sports guys, right? Dino Gaudio, too.

Dino Gaudio, there are a few, there are a few. What's new with you? A lot's new. I'm still writing. I'm still talking to a lot of folks about rebooting the radio show post-pandemic, but in the meantime, I'm really enjoying, Dave, the first break, extended break, you know, besides like a little family vacation, since I figured out 1991.

Wow. So that's a 30-year buzzsaw grind that was a lot of fun, but yeah, family time, some health-related time, just time with friends, time to play golf. It's nice recharge the batteries time, given the struggles that a lot of other people are having right now.

I have nothing to complain about. As much as I hate the fact that my younger son sleeps till about 1230 every day if he's not working, and my older son till about three, it's been great having them home for a few months. Actually, my older son went back, he was on a voluntary three-month furlough from Delta Airlines, but he will start back July 1st, so he's already gone back to the triangle, but good to have the family there. My wife and I were doing our dual jobs. She was teaching kindergarten from the kitchen while I was doing my job in the dining room, so that was interesting if we were on any kind of conference calls, as you might imagine, but you know, that family time, you don't take it for granted once you have it, I think. I'm with you. The lovely and talented Maria, as I call my wife, she and I seriously have watched more Netflix together in the last three months than, I'm not kidding, like the rest of our lives combined.

I guess Netflix hasn't existed for 25 years, but she and I have been together for 25 years, and I can also identify, by the way, with the rest of that family dynamic you described, because I have a 20-year-old son who's at ECU and a 17-year-old daughter who's headed to App State, and the one reason I don't make much noise when they sleep until noon, as you mentioned with yours, they have some days where they're getting up to work at 6.30 a.m., so I say, hey, you put in those rough days of work, getting up to the crack of dawn, you can sleep until noon on the days you're not working. Absolutely, absolutely. What are your thoughts on getting back to playing games here? A couple of our, all of our guests so far we've asked, and then there's kind of a very tenuous confidence about getting back to playing some sports more than others. Yeah, the first thing that comes to mind for me, Dave, and I think you and I agree that we believe we live and work in a state that's one of the best blends of college and pro sports in the entire country. I mean, I grew up in Philadelphia where it's 95 percent pro sports, and the colleges have to do something spectacular to get in the headlines, and there might be a state like in Alabama where it's 95 percent college sports and only occasional pro sports, and in North Carolina we just have the best of both worlds into a great degree, and I bring that up because my answer to your question, even as none of us is sure what is going to happen as MLB and the NFL and the NBA and the NHL are all getting close to the doorstep of returning, I see a different dynamic at the professional level than at the college level because for the most part, you know, it's millionaires represented by attorneys negotiating with billionaires represented by attorneys through a collective bargaining agreement, and they can accept whatever levels of risk they want to accept or not, right? There's no one to feel sorry for in the sense that they're being exploited in some way in professional sports. Not easy decisions, but they get to negotiate however they like. At the college level, it's a lot different, and yes, they get room, board, and tuition and cost of attendance, but they're not represented in a collective bargaining agreement. They're not in a union. They don't have the same kind of power structure, and that means, you know, it's less of a fair trade, if you will, and that's why I'm going to be watching really closely, especially the college football return and other fall sports because if we see something tragic, it can change the narrative for college sports very, very quickly, whereas I think most people will put up with even some negative, you know, backlash when it comes to pro sports because, again, it's kind of consenting adults, negotiating with consenting adults.

Correct. What did you make of the Cam Newton signing with the New England Patriots news today? How about that, right? Bill Belichick seems to be good at finding those less expensive reclamation projects who have something to prove, and we know, well, we don't know how Cam's going to be physically. We do know that that is going to be one driven young man who wants to build on, you know, the MVP season and other success he had with the Panthers at a time when he knows so many people are doubting him, and who better to hook up with than one of the greatest coaches in the history of the NFL and the most successful franchise in recent NFL history, so I think a lot of folks were wondering, you know, was Cam going to have to wait until mid-season when other guys got hurt to find the landing place? Now he has an avenue to a starting job, and as long as he's physically able, it won't surprise me at all if he makes Bill Belichick look really smart with this acquisition. I would tend to agree with that.

I think it all depends on his health and, of course, whether we indeed play football in the fall. Yes. Have you ever, well, obviously the answer to this is no. This pandemic and what it's done, talk to me a little bit about just the constant having to deal with unknowns, especially on the sports side, and how that affects people's psyches.

I'll take it even one step further. I feel at times that I lived the first five decades of my life without what I would call sort of extreme questions, extreme uncertainty, et cetera, and right now, you know, our country has a lot going on, right? We've got the no sports angle, which sounds trivial, but is a big jolt for many of us who live or work in that world. We have the pandemic angle, which is a medical threat. We have a very polarizing, divisive time politically in our country. We have a big election later this year. And many people have family divisions related to some of these things, either politically or medically.

My mother-in-law is 85 years old and lives alone, and just this weekend had basically person-to-person, face-to-face interaction for the first time in four months. So your word is a well-taken one, psyche. You know, 50 million Americans almost have lost their jobs over the last three or four months. That's a psyche issue. Those who are alone, that's a psyche issue. Those who are medically at risk, that's a psyche issue. The politics, the hobbies that you have to put off to the side, including sports, you know, all of these things factor in one way or another into the psyche, and that's why I think a whole lot of therapists are working overtime, a whole lot of psychiatrists and psychologists are working overtime, a whole lot of help lines have their phones ringing off the hook, and it's just a time that I would hope the best person in each of us comes out, either to help those who are hurting or to reach out if it's one of us hurting ourselves. Very well said. I think it's, you know, not to play amateur psychologist or psychiatrist here, but I think it behooves each and every one of us to at least, at the very least, have some kind of empathy toward our fellow man. You know, some of us are fortunate we're still working. I feel empathy for anybody who has lost a job or can't currently work. I mean, it's the least I can do. And same thing with the people who are of a different race, gender, color, religion than you. Think about the fact that they were raised differently, they may have been raised differently from you, were brought up with a different set of beliefs, and you can't expect everybody to believe what you believe because they were raised differently. So at least have that kind of empathy.

Wait, wasn't this a sports talk show? Well, you know, you and I have been on the same page for quite a while, but some folks will say that a locker room in sports can be the closest to equal that we get, because you have people working toward a common goal, mostly not caring, whether you're rich, poor, black, white, this religion or that, this nationality or that. You know, why? Well, because you have to band together. Everybody likes to win, right? And you put aside whatever negatives there might be, and you just do your best to work toward a common goal.

And for various reasons, we're not seeing as much of that in society as we see in those successful locker rooms. But your point is well taken. And even when it comes to something like wearing a mask, sometimes I'll tell somebody you don't know who around you might be medically at risk, regardless of what your feelings might be about the coronavirus. You know, the mask protects others more than it protects yourself. And, you know, just do your best to be the better version of yourself by wearing a mask, so that hopefully, you know, the more of us who do that, the more quickly this stuff gets behind us and the more quickly we can get to our new normal.

That's empathy too. Absolutely. And hopefully our new normal will include a David Glenn radio show sometime soon because I miss it. Thank you.

Thank you. I've gotten a lot of great feedback along those lines, and I thank you for having me on because I don't always have a chance to say thank you to all the folks who have shared those sentiments over the last three months. So it's great to be missed. I have some folks that would love to relaunch our show in August.

I have some others that say we may have to wait until 2021. So things are cooking, and you'll be among the first to know when something hatches. Well, D.G., I appreciate it. As always, thank you for your time, and as I said, I will look forward to the first day when you're back on the air. Thanks for joining us today. Thank you, Dave, and I celebrate all the other honorees that you are highlighting today.

Absolutely. Take care, D.G. You too, bud.

All right. Bye-bye. David Glenn, North Carolina Co-Sportscaster of the Year, along with John Fordland of the Carolina Hurricanes. We're going to step aside, take a break, and when we come back, we'll be joined by Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated Senior Baseball Writer. You know him from MLB Network and Fox as well during the World Series. He's actually one of our Hall of Famers, going into the Hall of Fame as a sports writer, in addition to his sportscasting duties, if we don't put Sawyer to sleep behind the glass first.

Stay with us. Welcome back to The Drive without Josh Graham this afternoon. My name's Dave Goren, Executive Director of the National Sports Media Association. Sitting in for Josh on what was supposed to be our 61st annual awards banquet day. And one of the people we were...another, I should say, of the people we were to honor tonight is Tom Verducci, who was supposed to be going into the Hall of Fame. Longtime Senior Baseball Writer for Sports Illustrated.

You may also know his work on MLB Network or Fox. Tom, how are you? I'm doing well, Dave. How are you? I am doing great. Are you getting ready for some baseball?

I am. Hopefully we get to the starting line and we get to a finish line as well, but I'll take any kind of a season we can get at this point. You have about three weeks or so till we're supposed to be starting play.

What are you looking for in these next three weeks? Well, it's a little bit scary. The last couple of weeks, I think, with the surges, we've seen a lot of the states. You know, it's reminded us that the virus is really in control. I mean, Major League Baseball and the Players Association have a 100-page plus protocol. They're being as careful as they can be with this. But when you see these hot spots developing and understand there's a lot going on, when you see these hot spots developing and understand there's 30 Major League teams, 1,600 Major League players, plus another 1,000 or so Major League staff and support people, it is a very big universe that they're trying to protect. I just hope everybody is as safe as possible. People do realize that this is a serious issue, that they need to be as careful as possible. That being said, if we have baseball, I'm hoping it changes the narrative after a couple of months of acrimonious negotiations, that the best thing about the game is that it happens every day and stories happen every night.

And listen, we need that, right? We've seen golf come back. We've seen international soccer. But there's nothing like baseball, especially since we're going to start in the middle of a pennant race.

A 60-game season equates to a season of a pennant race. I think that's pretty cool in terms of the episodic nature of the game, that it'll be there every night, hopefully for us, just like we're used to. So it's location, location, location. Where will you be during the baseball season?

Well, that's a good question, Dave. It's still to be worked out. I know it's going to be limited access as far as media. The home team will produce these games for television, so the road team will not be sending their broadcast crews. For me, with FOX, when we have exclusive games, we will be essentially the home team.

And then for MLB Network, we're really the third team, so to speak, in. So it'll be a combination of doing games out of the studio, and hopefully some of us will be at the ballpark as well. Because I think these games do need some kind of accounting at the site, rather than just having everything done sort of antiseptically from a studio with piped-in crowd noise.

I think you really need to capture how unique these games are. And I think, starting out at least, there's certainly a curiosity factor of what the environment, what the vibe is going to be like. We can guess what it's going to be like, but there's nothing like actually being there. When you can hear the players getting on the umpire from the dugout very clearly, that's something we're not used to. And especially we'll be able to hear the exact language very clearly.

Yeah, that's interesting. To me, I think it's an opportunity to kind of start with a blank slate in terms of how these games are produced. The game becomes an all-studio game, so to speak, and not so much for, well, there will be no live audience. So I think the enhanced sound of the game, especially in baseball, I think should be played up. And I think that's something that people would really find pretty cool in terms of really hearing the crack of the bat, the cleats against the dirt, people sliding, infield chatter.

I don't think they really do much of that anymore, to be honest with you. But to hear the sounds of the game, and I'd be more than willing to have the game on a five to seven second delay, because, you know, let's face it, sometimes words get spoken that people find offensive. But I think playing up the natural sounds of the game might be pretty cool for us.

If you can't be at the game, to bring the fans really inside the game via the sound, I think is a good idea. I agree. What do you make of the number of players so far who are electing not to play?

Yeah, you know, I'm expecting we're going to see a few more of these. I don't think it's going to be, you know, a really high number. I have no problem. It's a personal decision, you know, especially, you know, if you have, you know, in some cases, these players have wives who are expecting children, family members who may be at high risk if they are not high risk themselves. So it's an individual decision. I respect that. But I do think there's something about, you know, this is what players do.

It's a very finite career. Games that are lost will not be made up. And, you know, I also think there's something to the dynamic of your team, right? I mean, the 60 game season, so virtually every team has a shot at the playoffs.

I would estimate 20 or 30 teams have a pretty good shot at getting to the postseason. And for some people, you know, I understand, again, it's a personal decision, but there's also that pull of being part of your group. When the rest of your buds are out there and, you know, they're out there grinding and they're adhering to these social distancing protocols and a lot of other things that players have to do to stay safe, you know, it's a powerful thought to be part of a team and to know that your friends are out there and you're not there. Listen, again, I respect that decision, but I think the majority of players will feel almost an obligation to their team and to their teammates especially to be out there. Let's talk about Rob Manfred for a minute.

Easy target. Deserved or not. But what I think some people fail to realize is that the decisions usually are not his because he works at the pleasure of the owners. Yeah, he does and I think there was just a lot of distrust from the start between the two sides and he's going to bear most of the responsibility and, you know, that comes with a job. You're the commissioner of baseball and, yes, he works for 30 owners, but, you know, part of his responsibility is to be the one who's out in front. But I do think the owners started out looking at this as a one-off season.

Like, this is something no one's experienced, the global pandemic which shut down everything, and how does baseball find a way to return to play during a pandemic. Whereas the players saw not only that, but they saw this as an opportunity to talk about the economics of the game and understanding that the collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of the 2021 season. To the players, I think it sort of jump-started negotiations about the economics of the game and working towards a new CBA. So I think they came at this from different perspectives and, you know, it's just a shame that it played out so publicly.

You know, the distrust that's there, okay, we understand that. Baseball's kind of got a long history of that. But the fact that each side was trying to win a PR battle, when most fans don't care, you know, most fans don't want to hear the ins and outs of, you know, who's bargaining in good faith, bad faith, you know, what's being leaked to the media. They just wanted to know if baseball was going to return.

And I think, you know, both sides lost as far as trying to win a PR battle. I think that's something that fans didn't care about, and in fact, I think it backfired on both. So I just hope that it can be put behind. I'm not sure that it can, but to the average fan, I'm just hoping that, you know, once the games begin, they kind of allow Tony Clark and Rob Manfred to fade in the background, start talking about Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. What would, in your opinion, what would you like to see happen, assuming the 60-game season and playoffs are played, to make it easier to get to another collective bargaining agreement at the end of next season? Well, I think there's, you know, Tony Clark hinted at the possibility it might be too late now about having, you know, re-examining an expanded postseason. I think that would be really exciting.

And that the owners would want, whether they have time to get that done now, I don't think so. But, you know, for instance, cooperation in terms of how the games are broadcast, having the players miked up, I think would really be a fun thing for fans. I mean, you saw that with some of these golf events, and again, that insight access, if you will, is a great selling point for the game, and it actually sells the players and their personalities really well. You know, finding these little areas of common ground to get some agreement and start working in a collaborative way, I think is really helpful. So even if it's, you know, as simple as players being miked up for games, I think that's helpful going forward here.

The idea is to grow the game, not shrink it. Tom, I certainly appreciate your time today. I know you stay busy whether there are games or not. And congratulations again on your soon-to-be induction into our Hall of Fame. We look forward to hopefully seeing you here next June.

Yeah, I look forward to that. I figure, you know, if Derek Jeter could wait to go to the Baseball Hall of Fame for another year. Derek Jeter, who once made 56 errors for the Greensboro team in the South Atlantic League, and I covered it.

Yes, he did. It's a difficult sport. Tom, thanks again. We'll talk soon. Thank you. It's always a pleasure, Dave.

All right. See you later. That was Tom Verducci, the 2019 NSMA National Sportscaster of the Year. And hopefully he will be able to come next June for our awards banquet, which was supposed to be tonight. Batting cleanup today will be Dan Patrick, and he will join us. I noticed Sawyer's done a great job of playing his promos all throughout our show, so that should make Dan happy. He will join us after we take a break for this. And welcome back to the drive without Josh Graham, who is on vacation.

Dave Gorin sitting in for Joshua this afternoon on what was supposed to be the day of the 61st Annual National Sports Media Association Awards Banquet. And the gentleman joining us now on the phone was supposed to be inducted into our Hall of Fame and was grinding on what his speech was going to be tonight. Dan Patrick, how are you?

I was told Josh was going to be hosting. Oh, sorry. Can we get somebody else on the line, please?

I'm sorry. How are you? I'm good.

I'm good. Yeah, I was grinding over what I would say there because you want to have a good speech, so then people go, oh, that's why he's a Hall of Famer. I was worried that I'd get done. They go, is he a Hall of Famer?

So, I'm glad I put it off for a year. Well, what we could do is, you know, we could move you in the batting order so you can either go first when everyone hasn't caught their breath yet or go last. And by that time, they've all drunk themselves into a stupor and wouldn't remember. So, that's negotiable.

How about I just do a video? No, that's unacceptable. That's unacceptable. We will revoke your induction.

Wait, do I get kicked out before I get put in? I like that. So, how are you adjusting to Zoom life? Actually, it's been interesting and just a whole new added dimension because the show is on YouTube and, you know, it is a radio show. I tell the day, this is a radio show. It's on TV, but make sure you play to the radio audience because they can't see anything that's going on. And then you have Zoom and that just adds a little bit more element to the YouTube portion of it that I didn't have before. So, it's been a welcoming sight to have people where you can actually see them having a conversation because most of radio is you're talking to somebody over the phone. Now, I get to actually see you. Does it drive you nuts to, well, they probably have it set up in your studio where it looks like you're looking right into the camera, but I'm always looking at the person talking on the screen. I have the monitor set up right underneath the camera. I'm giving the appearance that I'm looking into the camera and or I'm looking at the person. I sort of change both, but I don't like looking directly into the camera. I like looking down a little bit or off to the camera. So, it doesn't look like I'm eavesdropping or being a voyeur in your life, but it always feels a little creepy. And you're always looking down at the Danettes, correct?

Well, I do that naturally. And I still have to thank Fritzi for playing along to get me on in January when we told you you were going in the Hall of Fame and they almost blew the surprise, they told me, beforehand. Oh, Fritzi has blown many surprises.

Shocking! I cannot keep a secret. I bought my wife an Airstream, this is 12 years ago, and I told the Danettes that I bought it for a special occasion and I was going to surprise her. We were going to go camping with the family and then we stopped by and make it seem like we were just stopping into this place that sold Airstream RVs and I was just stopping in there and one of the kids had to use the bathroom.

Then I was going to take our wedding picture and put it inside the Airstream that I bought her and while we're here we should just look in these Airstreams. And so I told Fritzi and really it was my mistake because I didn't realize what I was doing. Well, we're kind of losing you there Dan. Are you driving on I-95 right now? No, did you lose me? Now you sound crystal clear. Oh, but yeah, Fritzi blew the surprise on the air mentioning that I had got my wife an Airstream before I gave it to her.

So just the fact that you got on and you were able to sort of surprise me, consider that a success with my show. Where do you think we are with playing games, team games, as we look forward to maybe getting going late July, early August? I don't know Dave. I really don't and I've just tried to be realistic about all of this. You know, in sports we're taught to hope. You hope for the best and as a fan I'm hoping for the best but as a host I have to prepare for the worst.

And it's not fun but that's the approach I have to have because I'm just doing the math, doing the numbers and trying to figure out how do you pull all this together in this time frame. It's not going to come off smoothly I don't think for anybody. The question is what is the collateral damage when it's all done?

And is that a sport, players, a team, fans, all of the above, none of the above? I don't know but I want to be cautiously optimistic. It's tough. It really is. I don't think that we're going to have as much success as we think we are.

Yeah, one of the things I hadn't really thought about and then I was talking to somebody. Even if you play these seasons, baseball now and then try to finish NBA and NHL, well then next season gets pushed back. And what's this going to do to especially NHL and NBA seasons for the years to come? We're going to be playing a different schedule.

Yeah, I think you're going to have that shortened season in both of those sports and the NBA would probably start maybe after Christmas. I mean they love to have that Christmas day but I don't know. I just don't know how they do all of this. And the only reason why they're doing it and trying to cram it in is because there's hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars at stake and that's it. I think if they looked at this from a rational point of view, they'd go, there's no way we can get this done. But in their minds, it feels like we have to get this done because of the amount of money that's at stake here.

And I think it's a formula. It's a recipe for disaster. What I think about is, I'm sure you've had several people on who have talked about it, but all these protocols and these scenarios that they have had to build that may never get used. Just think of all the time that has gone into this knowing full well that you might never be able to put it into play. Yeah, it's a shame that you have this where you're looking at all the work that's been done and all these players, all the safeguards, and it may not matter. We may just go, can't do it. Hey, four guys from the starting five of the Lakers tested positive.

They're out for two weeks. We're in the playoffs. Now what do you do? You can't say, give me the what if scenario.

You have to cover all of the what if scenarios because you just don't know. Who thought we would be in this situation? So when somebody goes, oh, you're overreacting. And I always go, who thought we would be here back in March? Who thought we would be here if I brought this up and said, hey, by the way, all sports is going to be put on hold for a couple of months because of a pandemic. First thing you say is, what's a pandemic? And then we would be going, okay, but we're going to be back stronger than ever. I have no idea.

But as much as I want to think that way, I just don't know. It makes me nervous. I'm right there with you. I, you know, I don't know how you can play a football season with the number of contact points there are among a football team, not just the players, but the coaches and all the ancillary personnel. Well, Philip Fulmer says they're going to put 100,000 people in Mayland Stadium for the volunteers. And I go, I'm going to take the under on that. I don't think you're going to get a thousand in there.

If you get a thousand in there, I'll go, hey, all right, that's success. But it's, I think we feel like we're the United States and this stuff doesn't hold us back. Nope. Nobody holds us back. And we plow through this and we get these things done.

And I just, I hope. Unseen opponents? Yes.

Yes. We, we, we're pretty good against opponents, but this one right now, it's, it's one nothing pandemic. It's nuts. Has this been more challenging for you to host your show? I, there's been a lot of storylines and people usually they'll say to me, gosh, there's no sports.

What are you talking about? Well, there is plenty to talk about. It's just stuff that we might not have spent as much time on.

We're spending more time on. Cam Newton. God, God love you, Cam.

Thank you. We needed you today. You know, you just, you have these stories that come along.

You had the draft, you had Brady, you had Gronk. You, I mean, just run down the list of all the things that have come up that are truly sports related. It's just, we place more value on them now because there's no games to talk about and it's challenging, but I also think it's, it's made us work harder. It's made us think more. It's made us really look at, do we have enough pertinent topics for three hours? And what are we going to add to that? Cause I, I always say to Fritzie and you know, Paulie's really good at sort sifting through a story and saying, what can we do that is different than somebody else?

Who's the guest we have on? And, and that's what we've kind of prided ourselves on, but I also think it's, it's, it's made us better because now we know we can deal with months of no actual sports on the field or on a court. And, uh, and I'm very proud of our guys with what we've done.

All I can say is God bless you. Cause I fill out, I filled in on this show maybe once every six months and my voice is gone where I'm waiting for the end of hour three. And so how you do it on a, on a daily basis, I don't know how much of you starting your career as a reporter. Um, do you feel has given you the background to be able to pull all this off effectively? I it's, it's been immeasurable because I learned at CNN and it was never about the talent.

It was always about the story. And I was there and then I replaced Keith Obermann in New York and I was there for three and a half years. And I was covering Baltimore, Boston, Philly, New York, DC. I go to the Preakness. I go to Celtics versus Lakers, NBA finals, world series, boxing events, you name it.

I was able to cover those, but I had to go out and cover them. I had to meet people and I got sources as, as a result of that. And I wouldn't be where I am today without it and having that ability to understand a story, cover a story, talk to people on the record, off the record, interview people, put something together and have it ready for a certain timeframe. Um, I'm lucky, uh, very lucky to be able to do that.

Well, and very good. I mean, for, for some reason, I don't know why I remember this distinctly, but I was freelancing at a TV station in Boston and remember you fronting coverage of the baseball lockout or strike, whatever it was in 85 or 86. Damn, this guy's a good reporter.

I did probably 60 live shots. Like I would just do, they'd say, Hey, uh, news needs you for another update. And I just would get ready, fix my shirt and tie and my hair. And I'd go on camera and give a three or four minute updates on CNN and sit back down and wait for, you know, the both sides to come out and give us the soundbite. And it was just, it was monotonous, but it was, I needed it.

I needed to understand how to tell a story, find a story, build a story, get sources. And instead of just getting on the air and looking decent and doing highlights, because there's so much more to this, if you want there to be more than this. I think you just gave us some breaking news. Did you say you actually had to fix your hair at one point in your career? Well, I had somebody do it.

Very nice. I'm like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Hey, don't touch the hair. I have never not known what it's like not to have to fix your hair every day because mine was always going in 17 different directions. But when we did SportsCenter, you know, after a while, I just didn't care what I look like. It was more of, you know, if I, I would grab a tie just from, there'd be coat racks in there. And I remember one anchor put all these ties out on the coat rack. There'd be times I would just be walking to the set and I would grab a tie.

There wasn't a whole lot of thought that went into some of those SportsCenters because we were doing over probably 200, 225 SportsCenters a year. And I did over 2000 of those things. And after a while, you just, you're like, okay, does anybody care what I'm wearing as much as how much fun we're having here? And I realized nobody cared what you were wearing.

They just wanted you to give them the highlights. And you and Keith Olbermann and a cast of hundreds did a great job of that. Dan, I can't thank you enough for joining us for a few minutes here today. And congratulations on what has been a great career.

And I hope it keeps going for at least a little longer, at least long enough to get back here to Winston-Salem next June with the best speech we've ever heard. Oh, my God, Dave, don't do it. I'm cringing at this. I want somebody else to talk about all the great things I did. I was considering bringing all the Dannettes, all of my kids, and then just have them say something nice about me. And then I say thank you and good night, everybody. Well, I think the best speech so far was actually Bill Raftery's presentation was, was Eagle and McDonough. And they just did, they switched doing one liners at the podium. And then here's Bill. And that was, they brought the house down. That's who, that's who Raft is.

I mean, that's, he's not a singular, he's team, team all the way. It might've been the first time I ever met him. I met CNN in Atlanta. I know you got to go. You're probably up against a heartbreak here, but I walk into a bar that Craig Sager owned and called Jock and Jill. And I walk in and Raft is at the end of the bar. As soon as you walk in, the entire corner is filled with Budweisers, the entire corner. There's probably 30 beers there.

And I just got done working at CNN. I go over there and I walk in and he had ordered, it was last call. So Raft ordered, he ordered 30 Budweisers. And I just, if that doesn't speak to who Bill Raftery is, I don't know what does. He's like, come on in, stay awhile. What is it? McDonough's line on him was he's got Irish arthritis.

He gets stiff in a different joint every night. That's great. Hey, I appreciate you reaching out and thank you again for coming on the air to surprise us, sort of surprise us.

And, um, we'll, we'll be in touch or you be in touch. Well, thank you very much, Dan. I always appreciate it. Thank you, Dave. All right, Dan, take care. Dan Patrick, NSMA Hall of Famer, who will be inducted, we hope, let's cross fingers next year here in Winston-Salem. We're going to take a break. We'll be back to wrap things up right after this.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-12 01:23:55 / 2023-02-12 01:46:38 / 23

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