He's amused Cam Newton. He's been insulted by Charles Barkley.
He's interviewed Matthew McConaughey. He's taken on Big Blue Nation. It's time for The Drive with Josh Graham. Live from the Carolina Classic Fair, you are on a win stage drive. WSJS news talk sports for the Triad. Come on by and say hello to our team. We'd love to see ya.
We're set up adjacent to the Fairgrounds Annex entrance. Okay, one of the things that we like to do on this show is to talk about stories even before they become stories. And in order to do that, it requires some forecasting. And whenever you try to forecast, sometimes it goes well. Picking Pitt to win the Coastal Division, for example, a year ago.
Other times, not so much. Maybe the Panthers being a playoff team doesn't really age that well even after just a few weeks. So this could become an incredibly smart take or look pretty ridiculous in a few weeks, but I do think it's about time we start talking about Drake May as a Heisman candidate. For real, I don't think this is an exaggeration because sample size is something we always should value. Don't overreact to something that is so small like one game or even a couple of weeks. But don't look now.
WD, I'm not big on, you know, math. I'm not really good at adding two and two at points, but the Tar Heels have played five games. And last I checked, you only get a dozen of them every college football season, which means we're almost already at the halfway point of the year. And when I look at the stats that Drake has put up to this point, I don't know if many college football fans know but Drake May is currently tied for the nation's lead in touchdown passes with Will Rogers of Mississippi State.
And here's the difference between the two. Will Rogers has three interceptions. Drake only has one. Will Rogers is running Mike Leach's air raid offense.
Drake May, a little bit more pro style, which I think also makes it more impressive. So at about the halfway point of the year, if we were going to be handing out this award, how many players would you list off before you list off the guy in Chapel Hill with 22 touchdown passes through five games? On Twitter at WSJS radio, you can chime in. 336-777-1600. WD also tells me we've got an Instagram page now that you should be checking out. A lot for us to do on today's show.
We've got ticket giveaways we'll be telling you about shortly. The great Ian Eagle of CBS is going to be joining us at 4.30 to talk about the game he'll be calling Sunday, Panthers 49ers on CBS. But getting back to Drake May, you might be thinking, Josh, Carolina's not going to win the ACC. How can you give that guy the Heisman Trophy? I don't think you necessarily have to win the league in order to win an award like that. In fact, in the same conference six years ago, Lamar Jackson, he didn't win the Atlantic, never even went to Charlotte, and he won the ACC. And when you look, or won the Heisman, I beg your pardon, when you look at him through five games that year, we're only talking about a five touchdown discrepancy between what Lamar had, which was a historic season, and what Drake May's done to this point. North Carolina beats Miami this weekend, which Carolina's won five of the last seven against the Hurricanes.
I do think this conversation is going to intensify, which goes back to forecasting things. We picked the Tar Heels to win the Coastal Division. Not a lot of people were behind us on that. I still stand behind that, and we'll see what the Tar Heels do on Saturday against Miami. Because when you beat a national program like that, there tends to be a ripple effect to it, and I think the ripple effect might be paying close attention to Drake May at quarterback.
And let's just be honest about this too. Voters are susceptible to really good stories, and I think the voters are going to be receptive to the Drake May story if it's close with some of the familiar names from Columbus, or from Tuscaloosa, or you name it. Everybody loves that underdog story, and nobody was talking about Drake May going into the year. Nobody was talking about North Carolina as being a contender in the ACC. So if Carolina ends up in Charlotte, which I think they can do, and Drake continues this prolific pace that he's on, I think the story will be strong enough to, I think, turn the tide in his favor. The nation loves them some Mac Brown. That's how North Carolina ends up preseason top 10 team like they were a year ago. North Carolina is a national brand. A lot of that has to do with basketball. I don't think that hurts Drake May in this case, especially since his brother did a thing or two in Chapel Hill. I know there are a lot of folks in Winston-Salem saying, well, why would Drake May win the Heisman when he's not even the best quarterback in the state of North Carolina, making the case for Sam Hartman?
You're the Tar Heel fan, the resident Tar Heel fan on the show. Am I going too far? Is it too early five games in to start having this conversation? No, I don't think it's too early. I mean, just look at the numbers.
I mean, that's all you have to do. That's what I'm saying. 22 touchdown passes, one interception, and he has a touchdown run, a couple of touchdown runs to boot. So actually, he's not five off of Lamar's 20 touchdown pace through five.
He's four touchdowns off. Like I said, East Carolina education, not really great on the math end of things. However, and wherever you're listening, appreciate that.
If you think I'm wrong, I'd love to hear from you. 336-777-1600. And today and Friday, you have the opportunity to tell me how much of an idiot I am to my face, which is fine too. At WSJS radio if you want in. Last night, history was made in Arlington. We said when we were breaking into the show yesterday with Aaron Judge at bat updates that the nightcap was going to be his best opportunity to get to 62. If he didn't get it last night, the pressure builds with only two games remaining. And surely enough, in the middle of last night's game, this is what happened.
This is the call from Yankees radio and the longtime voice of the Yankees, John Sterling. Swung on. There it goes. Deep left it is high. It is far.
It is gone. Number 62 to set the new American League record. Aaron Judge hits his 62nd. All the Yankees out of the dugout to greet him.
Just think of it. Three Yankee right fielders. The Babe hitting 60 and 27. The Jolly Roger hitting 61 and 61. And now Aaron Judge hits his 62nd home run, the most home runs any American leaguer has hit in a single season. And the American League has been alive for 120 years. This is Judgment Day. Case closed. That is a whale of a call from John Sterling from WFAN in New York.
Legendary radio station up there that Ian Eagle was a part of at its inception about 30 years ago. So perhaps we could get into Judge's home run when he joins us as well as well at around four thirty today. Now, this has sparked a conversation about history and about where, what should be the record given Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark Maguire having steroid allegations and PED use.
We don't need to relitigate all of that. But the conversation at the core is, what is the true home run record? Is it, do we validate Barry Bonds hitting 70 plus when he did nearly 20 years ago? Or do we validate Aaron Judge, since as far as we know, he's clean in doing so. And for this conversation, we will assume that he is. I will default to not erasing history, even though Roger Maris Jr. is out here saying he is the clean home run king.
It's good to see someone pass my dad who wasn't juicing. I'm not in favor of erasing history, and I don't think we should do it when it comes to the home run record. Regardless of what point of history you're looking at, the past never looks good when we apply today's sensibilities to it. It's a thing that happens all over the place. Like I was watching the movie American Beauty last night, which I hadn't seen in a long time. And a few of the thoughts I had while watching, you could not make this movie the same way today that you made it in 1999.
Plain and simple. And some of the things that they were wearing and the things you were doing, it just looks outdated. And this applies to some of our ideas too. We evolve over time.
The way that we think about things, our sensibilities, they evolve. And in baseball, the league turned a blind eye to PED use in the 1990s. It wasn't just Bonds or Maguire or Sosa.
We all know that. So it doesn't feel right to me that the league that benefited from their home runs and benefited from how prolific they were, now completely shunned them, banned them, and turned their eyes away from them, turned their backs on them at a convenient moment, such as Judge's home run right now. So to me, Barry Bonds, he is the king until somebody eclipses his 70 plus number. Details matter.
And how about you explain those details? This is not the first time in baseball that we've had a conversation that requires context when talking about a record. When Marist broke Babe Ruth's record in 1961, there were a lot of people who loved Babe Ruth. And you can watch the movie 61 that tells it well that said that this isn't the real home run king because Marist had more games to get to 61. There are some who will retroactively look at what Babe Ruth did and say, well, you have to put an asterisk on that because he never competed against any players of color. You can always find a line to move and you can find ways to change history, but the numbers should be the numbers. Don't erase history.
Explain it. And the AL record that Judge broke cleanly last night shouldn't be treated as any type of cheapened consolation prize either. The American League is 120 years old, as John Sterling noted on that call. It's also a Yankee record. It broke a 61-year-old record. You surpassed some guy named Ruth and the Jolly Roger, as he put it. So celebrate Aaron Judge today, but don't erase what Barry Bonds did. Don't erase history. Barry Bonds is still the home run king.
Aaron Judge, though, might have had the most impressive batting season given the context that we've ever seen in the sport. We are live at the Carolina Classic Fair. And coming up, we'll welcome in our first live guest to our set. And we'll tell you how to win Hornet Celtics tickets for this Friday night in Greensboro.
Keep it here on the drive. Introducing the world's greatest entertainer, the hardest working man in show business. Ladies and gentlemen, the star of the show.
Now back to the drive with Josh Flann. We're back at the Carolina Classic Fair, and for a moment, let's take a quick look at the sports calendar. It is October, and that means the NBA is pretty much here. In fact, right here at our setup, we're raffling off a pair of tickets to see the Charlotte Hornets face the Boston Celtics in Greensboro on Friday.
You don't have to be present to win, but you've got to simply be here to fill out a form and be set up at six o'clock. We're going to be raffling those off. Plus Hornets coach Steve Clifford will be with us on tomorrow's show. October also means hockey is near.
And speaking of coaches, Carolina Thunderbirds coach Garrett Rutledge has stopped by with us on our set. Okay, the T birds are going to be opening things up October 29, a stone's throw away from our setup here on the fairgrounds. Whether it's the Carolina hurricanes or you guys, I don't think a lot of people will appreciate how long it takes to get your legs in hockey. How long it takes really to get in game shape and to get ready for October 29.
What does that entail? How long does that take? Well, basically nowadays all the players are prepping the whole summer basically getting on. As soon as the season's over they take probably a couple weeks off and then they get right back to it whether they're in the gym or doing cardio and stuff like that. So a lot of guys nowadays are all coming into camp pretty much in shape, but the thing about hockey is it's so tough to replicate the skating of your legs and all your muscle movements and stuff. So I know they try rollerblading and stuff like that, but nothing just is the same as being on the ice skating and your lung capacity and all that. So it does take a couple weeks for the guys to get their legs under them for sure. The lungs stop burning and stuff like that. How do you manage that as a coach though?
We have more information than ever. Dave Klossen, Wake's football coach, tells us in the ramp up period, he calls it in August, he takes it easy and follows a lot of scientific data so that guys don't suffer soft tissue stuff before the season starts. How do you approach it as a coach going hard enough to be prepared for the opener but not going far enough? Well a lot of drills you're always doing, you're incorporating that endurance and stuff so guys are getting their reps in and all their stuff to get in shape. So when I'm building practice and the drills we do are all kind of building towards that. So whether it be a replica of a shift that you've done for 35 seconds, so they're on the ice for 40, 30 seconds or so, so your practice plan involves that player going for 30 seconds doing that at practice.
So then he's at a high tempo and then basically he can go in the corner and catch his breath and then basically like a line change kind of thing. You've been in the state of North Carolina since last October, yes? Yes I have, yep. October 1st I actually showed up here. You are the second head coach in the history of the Carolina Thunderbirds. What's been, before you arrived in North Carolina and specifically Winston-Salem, where were you? I coached in the Ontario Hockey League so there's a lot of NHL prospects come out of that. Like I was in Saginaw, Michigan with the Saginaw Spirit and I was actually in Flint Firebirds before that. Same thing, a lot of NHL talents are coming out of there and the guys that play on the Olympic teams and the World Juniors and stuff like that so it's a very high level of hockey. We actually had Nick Suzuki, Ryan Suzuki sorry, his brother is captain of Montreal and then the Carolina Hurricanes drafted Ryan Suzuki, he was the first rounder a couple years ago so we got ties there so yeah, it's pretty crazy. What's been the biggest culture shock from being in the Ontario Hockey League to living in Winston-Salem, America?
So when I came down here I didn't even know, like I'm going to be honest with you, I got the call from Kelly Carroll which I'm much appreciated for the call and stuff and I was like, literally I was like, who? So then once I started doing research I came down for a visit, seeing the place, seeing all the fans and stuff like that and seeing how hockey crazy the state of North Carolina is, is crazy. Like it's amazing the amount of sports that the state has. Like it has everything, football, basketball, hockey, racing, golf, you name it.
It pretty much crosses all the dots right? It's a unique sports market. Anytime someone comes from outside of it, it takes a little bit of time to understand, oh wait college sports are that big? Oh and you got hockey and you got racing and you got golf and you got the conventional like NFL, NBA types.
Oh yeah, we have all of that. Like being in Michigan when I was in Michigan, like they battled a lot of times like with the Michigan University and the Wolverines and Michigan State and all that kind of stuff. Like so our crowds weren't overly great when football was on just because of the Spartans and the Wolverines playing and stuff.
So after that stops, it kind of ups, people start showing up to play hockey and stuff and then the Red Wings, the NHL teams obviously draw well. But with that being said here, like it's crazy our fan base. Like I was like over the moon, like just almost head shaking when I seen like the amount of fans we have here. Like there's 2,500, 3,000 at the Annex every single night and every person has a hat on or a jersey or something of the Carolina Thunderbirds.
It's absolutely amazing. Like literally you can't go in the city of Winston-Salem without seeing something hurricanes or something Thunderbirds or Wake Forest, you know what I mean? So it's crazy to see the passion that these people have for the sports that are in the area. So it's awesome to see and it's great to be part of. It's Garrett Rutledge that's with us here.
He is the head coach of the Carolina Thunderbirds. The concept of a state fair or county fair in this case, the Carolina Classic Fair. That's something I've heard as well could be culture shock where it's like, I'm going to get some deep fried Oreos or I'm going to go and try to see if they can guess my weight. Have you had a chance to walk around it all yet? Yeah, well like we have a booth here and stuff so I've been around and stuff like that. It's amazing the people that even recognize me. It blows me away just walking over here. I had two or three people stop me and ask me about the hockey season, making sure we're all ready to go and stuff like that. So it's definitely a culture shock being from Canada and stuff like that. Coming down here where I don't think anybody's going to know who I am and stuff but there it is.
I put a face on and it's great. People are ready for hockey. I was in the Panthers game on Sunday.
I ran into Steve Levy and Steve is like, October 11th. October 11th the NHL starts, October 29th the Carolina Thunderbirds are going to be starting things off at the NX. Speaking of the Hurricanes, see I'm a huge Carolina Hurricanes fan.
I grew up in the state of North Carolina. Love the Canes, of course support the Thunderbirds too. When you watch the Canes in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs towards the end of last year and you see that young core. Does that get you pretty excited about what potentially could be for this team?
Oh yeah, absolutely. Watching the Hurricanes play. Like I said, I think they just dried up the power play kind of thing. They kind of ran away with the division last year, didn't they?
They did. One of those teams, you just got to play meaningful hockey. So sometimes when you get comfortable and those teams get rolling along and they don't get much adversity during the year. Like they faced that Rangers team and the Rangers had to fight to get in the playoffs. They were battling for every single inch, right?
So you get those battle tested teams. Those are always the scary ones to take on. So with that being said though, the Hurricanes are going to be a good hockey team and like getting Freddie Anderson and stuff like that in net and building that core and you can obviously see their coach there. He's one of the best in the business and he'll get them going here. Yeah, we'll see if you can get in the same shape as Rod Brind'Amour.
Figure it out. You're not in bad shape but none of us are in Rod Brind'Amour shape. I don't think many NHLers are in his shape. So credit to him, he's been a pro his whole life and like look at how obviously his players don't have much to say to him when he says you need to be in shape. It's hard to look at yourself and look at your coach, right? So good for him.
Garrett Rutledge is with us here. I've got to ask, do you have a good story in terms of losing teeth or anything of that sort? I do actually. I tell people all the time and a lot of people ask me that don't know much about hockey and stuff like that, like about hockey players losing their teeth. The one thing I've learned about hockey players and at any level I've been at, and they're now coaching like 20 to 30 year olds or 16 to 20 year olds, when a player loses his teeth, and I have a story to build on this, they always say, my mom's going to kill me.
Like it's just, I don't know what it is about it, but it's like they'll come to the bench. So I was coaching a Flint Firebirds kid named C.J. Clark, which is a good hockey player.
He plays in the East Coast and stuff like that, he's been around. He got hit very hard and set her ice. I mean his visor came off right in front of him, he got popped really good. So he comes to the bench and he looks at me and he's like, he goes, am I all right? And I look at him and I go, well your two front teeth are gone.
Like they're completely sawed off like right in half. And I go, well your teeth are gone. And he's like, he just looks at me and goes, my mom's going to kill me. So at the end of it, I look at him and I go, where's your mouth guard?
He throws his glove to me, he's got his mouth guard tucked in his, a lot of hockey players will wear their mouth guard in the little ring that says a bower or warrior on their gloves kind of thing. So yeah, and then like I said, they literally, it doesn't matter how much they're bleeding or how painful it is or whatever's happening. They'll always probably just say like, my mom's going to kill me.
It's always mom, not your wife? Yeah, it's always, my mom's going to kill me. I had a kid, Josh Bloom, which is a high, a Buffalo Saber draft pick in Saginaw when we were there and just before Christmas we were playing like a small area game with center ice and a puck got tipped and hit him up, up in the mouth.
And it was literally the practice before everybody was going home for Christmas. And it broke the bridge of his front teeth like up top and he's down on the ice. And I mean, there's blood everywhere. And all he was saying was my mom's going to kill me. My mom's going to kill me. Okay, so how does that relate to you then?
Uh, I don't know. I just try to pick up the puzzle pieces when that happens kind of thing and keep them calm. So it hasn't happened to you? No, I have all my teeth actually. I swear my teeth are like cemented in my jaw here.
So luckily enough, I've, uh, I've escaped, uh, not getting them knocked out. Man, that's a pretty good sign going into the season. Garrett Rutledge is here.
He is the new head coach at the Carolina Thunderbirds, October 29th. We look forward to watching you guys out at the annex. Thanks for doing this.
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. The Drive with Josh Graham only on WSJS. It's not every day you're joined by an ACC legend. He is the pride of Syracuse and will be on the CBS TV call for Panthers 49ers Sunday. It's Ian Eagle joining us on WSJS. Ian, your 5-0 orange are off this week, but we'll be hosting top 15 NC State next week. Is it national title or bust for Dino's group?
You know, there's definitely a broadcast group chat out there, no doubt. When Syracuse is playing well, the football part of the university comes alive. So it's been nice. It's been fun to turn on the TV on Saturday when I'm preparing for my Sunday games and have it on in the background and actually walk away feeling good about things.
But it's it's been a blast. Maybe we can circle back and get some Jim Boeheim stories out of you by the end of this. Ian Eagle is joining us here most weeks, you're the radio voice of Thursday Night Football that we hear on WSJS. But getting to the game you've got in Charlotte, so much of the story this past Sunday were the crowds when Matt Ruhl was struggling.
You had the chance towards the end of last year of fire. Matt Ruhl and you're getting that in October already. And there's some boos as the team's coming off the field.
And now you got the Niners coming in to cap a three game homestand. How central do you believe the Ruhl storyline to be and you and your production team's storytelling at Bank of America Stadium this week? Yeah, I think it's certainly going to come up on the air. I don't believe it's going to be the main narrative of the telecast. We'll cover the game and we get to the fourth quarter. If you can sense that things are going in the wrong direction, then it'll be dealt with.
I've done many, many broadcasts over the course of 25 years of doing the NFL that turned out to be the last game for a particular coach. And they don't normally come out of left field. It's something that you can sense. It might be based on that week's performance or something that has been building. That's certainly not the focus going in. This is still very early in the season. The team easily could be two and two, as we know, or maybe even three and one if things break a certain way. But the NFL is a very unforgiving league and it's hard to push back on the chatter when it starts to build and build and build. The only way to cure it is to go out and win and to have a crisp offense performance, to have Baker Mayfield play like he's capable of playing, to have McCaffery put up big numbers. And the defense has actually been very good. I don't believe that has been the central issue here.
It truly is an offensive problem. And they just happen to be going against the best defense in the early going of this season. So, big challenge ahead. Going into Monday Night Football this week, we felt Philadelphia might be the best that the NFC has. And then we started to wonder, who's the next best team in the conference? Maybe you default on the defending champs, the Rams, and then they get beaten the way they were beaten by San Francisco, who's coming into Charlotte this week. So, I'll put it to you. After Philadelphia, who would you venture to say right now, Ian Eagles, the next best team in the conference? Yeah, it's a great question.
I don't believe there's a clear-cut choice. Tampa Bay obviously has not played up to the level that was expected before the season. They've dealt with a ton of injuries and I do think it's had a huge effect starting with the offensive line and then skilled position players and Tom Brady trying to fight through it. Green Bay, when you've got Aaron Rodgers, you've got a chance to win.
It's just pretty simple. But he does not have the kind of support that he's had in previous years with big, explosive plays. They're just not happening. We're seeing a lot of rookie mistakes with Green Bay, and I'm sure that's chipping away at the confidence level of one Aaron Rodgers, but a team that you certainly have to still respect because of who they have at the quarterback position. It's Ian Eagle with us here on WSJS. You'll be on the call with Charles Davis and company on Sunday as it's the 49ers visiting the Panthers on CBS. A few New York-centric things to get to you while we've got you here. You've five times in our backyard been named the NSMA New York Sportscaster of the Year.
You're the TV play-by-play voice of the Nets. But way back when, you did some work at WFAN at its inception and we all heard the home run call from John Sterling last night. Aaron Judge hit number 62 and has the American League record in much of the conversations today. How far are you willing to go in talking about the significance of the American League record considering what we know about the National League side? How far are you willing to go in terms of the significance of this? Well, I felt it was significant on a number of levels. We have this very interesting debate going on in baseball in regards to history, and it's unfortunate because it has tainted what was, for me as a kid, I don't know how you felt Josh, growing up, that was the go-to sport for statistics. When I was forming my love for sports, all sports, it was baseball that led the way because of the history, because of the comparison of numbers, and there was just something so enticing and mesmerizing about studying it and committing it to memory and being able to call it out at a moment's notice.
And we've lost a lot of that, and I think it's unfortunate on so many levels. And I can't fight those that don't want to refer to it, but we have a disconnect within the sport. So when you have something that is pure and feels like it was authentic in the way Aaron Judge did it, the dominance in which he showed this year at the plate, it should be celebrated, but it isn't the major league record.
There's no asterisk in my mind. There's still a number that's out there that Barry Bonds hit that I still recognize as the record. So the fact that people went gaga over it, I think it shows that maybe there is still in us that love of baseball and the love of the records and the numbers, but you can't just replace a stat with another stat because you feel like it. That number from Barry Bonds still lives in my mind. It still does excite me as a baseball fan going through numbers. Everybody's talking about what Judge did last night, but two nights ago, Albert hit number 703 and won that home run. He passed pay-per-roof and RBI for second all-time, just the way that some of those numbers still hold up.
Last thing for you. Jim Boeheim's been at Syracuse for quite some time, and ever since he had those comments about Greensboro, people have paid a lot of attention to what Jim Boeheim says and what Jim Boeheim does. What is a good Boeheim story you've got for us?
Because he's been there long enough that when you were cutting your teeth in the business, he was still there. Yeah, and Josh, it just brings the memory for me. One of my first really big assignments for the broadcasting side of things in college was the Big East ACC Challenge in Greensboro, North Carolina, Syracuse against Duke, and I remember, I don't know why the one name just pops into my head over and over. I remember making my charts by hand, which I still do to this day, and Billy McCaffery was the name that I recall writing in and doing background information. This is pre-internet, of course, so you're just trying to get as much info as you can, newspapers, talking to coaches, trying to make phone calls to people that would be in the know, and that's a very distinct memory in my brain flying down there and calling that game, which was a fun game. It was highly competitive, and I just thought it was cool to be in ACC country and to call a college basketball game. That was 1989.
A lot of people still talk about it because it was the first time that the two all-time wins leaders played each other in 1989. Yeah, and for Coach Boeheim, look, he is an institution there. He was tough on students that were coming through the ranks. If you asked a question that he didn't think was fair or thought that you were pushing the envelope, he would clap back at you in press conferences, and I know that firsthand, but I also know the other side of him because I did get to know him better once I graduated and called a bunch of Syracuse games for CBS and have been there for alumni events and have been in his company.
He is a sponge. The guy watches so much basketball, consumes so much basketball. The thing that's insane to me, many, many years later, I'm now year 29 calling the Nets, so you can do the math of how many years now I've been at this, whether it be doing college hoops, NBA. I'll run into Boeheim, and he'll quote something that I said on the air to me on a Tuesday Nets Sacramento Kings game, and I'm thinking, really?
You were watching the game? He is so into it. And the interesting part with Jim, I think he would have been an excellent NBA coach.
I really do. He's got a way with players where the respect level is still there, but he can talk to them in a manner that they understand what he's trying to say, and I think it would have translated to the NBA. There was probably a window somewhere that if he really pushed it, but he realized his life was in Syracuse and it was a really good life.
His wife, Julie, is a superb human being, and they've given a lot back to that community. I don't know how much longer it's going to be for Jim. I think you might be looking at the last year or two, but you just never know with him. He still loves it. He still enjoys doing it. And if you ever asked him, well, why don't you retire and just move on? He'd say, what else would I do?
This is what he loves to do, so I do respect that part of it. I guarantee you that question will be asked next week at ACC Media Days. We'll be out there and catching up with Coach Boeheim on the show. It's always great to visit with him, just like it's great to visit with Ian Eagle. Have a great call of Nets preseason basketball, and then we will see you in Charlotte for Panthers Niners on Sunday.
Thanks for the time. Yeah, I'll be there. I saw temperatures, 60s or so. I'll take it, trust me. It's been raining here in northern New Jersey all week, so it'll be a nice respite to get out of this and get a little bit of sunshine this weekend.
So really excited for it, looking forward to it. Always great talking to you, Josh. You're on the drive with Josh Brail.
WSJS. Connor O'Neal is somebody that I trust on a lot of things. I trust him on the Deeks. I trust him on the Blue Devils. I trust him in general.
He's sitting next to me, and I trust him to shoot me straight and tell me when I say dumb things on the air, such as asking how many points would win Army-Navy when I clearly meant Wake and Army coming up this week. A significant fewer number of points will win Army-Navy this season than will win Wake-Army. I read a crazy stat that in games featuring service academies, something like 13 to 20 in a row have gone under consecutively, including last week between Navy and Air Force, which was just a gross. I think the total was 35, and it still went well under that. I think it was 13 to 10.
So Wake-Army. Dave Claussen was talking about this matchup yesterday, and he said watching the tape gave him heart palpitations. Let's listen to Coach Claussen. I just went and watched last year's game, and my heart started beating again. That was one of the most torturous games I've ever been through. We just couldn't get a stop, and if Trey Redd doesn't make that pick six on the fake field goal and the guy was wide open, that thing probably comes down to a two-point play, and every game we've played with them has been like that. Yes, a lot of close games. 2014, I believe, was a tight one, but last year was 70 to 56.
So what do you do the next time that they play each other? Well, you go on DraftKings' website, and you see what's the total here. What's the old over-under between? Have you seen what the over-under is, Connor? Maybe allusions to it, but not concrete. W.D., what would you guess the over-under for Army Wake Forest Saturday night is?
Oh, boy. No clue. Wouldn't even know what to guess. It was 70 to 56 last year, 126 combined points. The total is 66 this year.
I had to double check and make sure that wasn't just a Wake Forest team total. Right. Whether or not they get over 66 themselves. I don't know. See, Connor, we do a segment called Graham's Gambling on Thursdays that is accented by the great coach at North Carolina A&T, Sam Washington.
Tell them to bring me my money. And I got a feeling, I'm tempted right now to say that this is something that might end up on the list. Not the 17-point favorite portion, but 66 points. How many points is required, though, if you had to guess, for Wake Forest to beat Army on Saturday? If you're Wake, I think you're comfortable once you cross the 35-point threshold. It's a weird game.
It's interesting and it's weird and it's a balancing act. Army has not been that good this year. When service academies are bad, it's really bad. When they're really good, given the offenses that they run, they are really good. Like top 25 good and scary and you don't want them on your schedule. But then what happens when I tell you that when Army has played P5 opponents in the last four or five years, I think Wake's 14-point win is the largest margin. Army, I think, beat West Virginia last year in their bowl game. No, it was Missouri, and they lost to West Virginia by three in a bowl game recently. They took an Oklahoma team with Kyler Murray as the quarterback to overtime and lost in Norman. I remember that. They took Michigan to double overtime that year. That was a pay-per-view game. I remember that no one could watch it unless you have paid to watch that Oklahoma Army game. But you have a team that gets up to play the P5s, historically. And they're going to be confident, the guys who were back from last year's team, remembering that they dropped 56 on many of these guys a year ago. Now, maybe this is just my PTSD as being an East Carolina guy when it comes to this. I was doing a TV interview earlier today, weird flex, I know. And the guy asked me when talking about Wake and Army, man, can Service Academy score that much?
And all I could think was, this isn't my first Rodeo, bro. It's not 56. It's not the 56 that Army scored last year that's molded my opinion. I've watched Navy play my Pirates four times in the last dozen years or so.
Here are the scores that were scored in the games that I went to between ECU and Navy. 76 by Navy, that was in 2010. 56 in 2012. 66 in 2016.
And for good measure, 42 when I saw them in Annapolis. But in Greenville, 66-56-76 in succession. They not recruit players to play against the triple option there in Greenville? That's a good point. When you watch it, when you watch Wake Forest and Army on Saturday, I can guarantee you this, you will know the result of this game in the first quarter.
You will know if Wake's going to win this game by 30 in the first quarter of this game. Because when it comes to the triple, either you're stopping it or you're not. There isn't the in-game adjustment Brad Lambert's making. Oh, guys, we figured this thing out. Now we're going to start stopping the option.
That's not how it works. That's the thing that last year, you know, they had an off week, so they had two weeks to go into that Army game. They worked extra starting in fall camp a little bit every week, mostly in the Sunday practices, to defend that offense. The fact that it still scored 56.
Yeah, I'm taking the over. That is why in Charlotte back in July at the ACC kickoff, I'm one-on-one with Rondell Bothroyd, and I ask what the low point of adversity was that he faced last year. Army, Army by a long shot was the direct quote. It's like, that's the game you won. You lost three games last year.
The defense didn't play well in the three games that you lost, but the low point was the game you won. I'm taking the over. There it is. Wake will win the game. They might even cover the number. General principle. You got to have principles when you're doing the Graham's gambling thing, so you might as well just hit the Sam Washington clip one more time.
Tell him to bring me my money. Unless somebody changes my mind at WSJS radio, I don't think Wake, Army is going to be off of the card for this week. We mentioned something in the news flash, the sports flash going into this segment about Aaron Judge hitting the home run last night. It was number 62. I love the John Sterling call from last night.
I thought it was great. If you missed that, this is how it sounded on WFAN. Swung on. There it goes. Deep left, it is high. It is far.
It is gone. Number 62 to set the new American League record. Aaron Judge hits his 62nd. All the Yankees out of the dugout to greet him.
Just think of it. Three Yankee right fielders. The Babe hitting 60 and 27. The Jolly Roger hitting 61 and 61. And now Aaron Judge hits his 62nd home run, the most home runs any American Leaguer has hit in a single season.
And the American League has been alive for 120 years. This is judgment day. Case closed. But what isn't closed is the conversation that we have with Diane Eagle, that we've been talking about for much of the day. How far are you willing to go in talking about the significance of this? Roger Maris, Jr. says it's good to finally have somebody clean past my dad. Okay.
That's fine. To me, I am never a fan of a racing history. Just provide the context. When Roger Maris passed Babe Ruth, there were people that were mad saying that Roger Maris played more games. He's not the real home run king. Now people look back retroactively at Babe Ruth and say, well, you never played against people of color when you hit all those home runs.
You can apply asterisks everywhere. And this isn't just a sports thing. This is happening in a lot of places in our culture where it's like, let's dig up some of the things that were said by who's the old country cowboy from like the 60s and John Wayne. Oh, man, John Wayne.
Did you hear what he said? Yeah, in a public magazine that nobody cared about at the time, but 50 years ago now people were upset. Don't apply today's standards and today's sensibilities on the pass. The reality is that Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, and Sammy Sosa were not the only ones juicing. And the fact is many of the same major league baseball people that are celebrating Aaron Judge as being the home run king now were the same ones celebrating those guys 25 years ago while also benefiting from what they did and willingly choosing to look the other way. Barry is the home run king as far as I'm concerned. But you can still label. That's not to cheapen what Aaron Judge did at all. That's still a 61-year-old record in the 120-year-old league in a sport in a league on a team that had Babe Ruth and Roger Maris on it that you eclipsed. So that's how far I'm willing to go.
How about you? Yeah, this is going to make for terrible radio, but I agree. I mean, everything needs context.
I think the discussion that's gotten lost in the Aaron Judge stuff is it's got to be the greatest contract year anyone's ever had in any sport. Betting on yourself. That's the Sam Washington clip. Yeah. What's up, Coach Washington? Yeah. Do you know who else is also saying that?
The guy who caught that ball last night. Yeah, I hope he doesn't hang on to that thing. I mean, the only things to do is sell it and get your family safe financially.
Because now people know your name. Or you just give it back to Aaron Judge and take your season tickets and autograph bats and balls and whatever else you get for it. But, W.D., you were saying he should get how much for the ball? About a mil. About a mil. You're not getting a mil yet for that baseball.
Well, the experts say one to two. There's some crazy Yankee fans, man. Please. They're not going to get. I get what the projection is.
I get there are crazy Yankee fans. That doesn't mean you overpay because you can. I mean, if you can negotiate. The Honus Wagner card goes for how much these days?
Millions. I get it. I get it. The Honus Wagner card.
I understand that. And that's rare, but there are hundreds of those things. There's one ball that was hit for a 60-second home run.
But what do you have to do to acquire one of those Honus Wagner cards and have it at this point? This guy just paid for a ticket at a game and got a ball. And now it's worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. If it's more than half a million, I'm surprised. I would be surprised if it's a million dollars that he gets for that ball. Because who in their right mind would turn down half a million dollars? You're saying you're surprised if it's half a mil, and then you're saying it's not going to get a mil.
It can land there. I'm saying it can't. It won't be more than a million dollars. It can't be a million dollars or more. I'm saying if it's more than half a mil, I'm surprised. So you're taking under 500. I'll take 500 to a million, and WD can have a million plus. I'm taking 500 down.
Tell them to bring me my money. I do want to give a shout-out to the fan that jumped from the seat into the bullpen. He's getting mocked today, but that guy is crafty. I'm of the belief if you run a great trick play and it doesn't work, that doesn't mean it's a bad trick play. It just means it didn't work out in that spot. Sometimes the execution isn't what you thought.
The execution doesn't always match how well drawn up or thought up an idea was. So this guy clearly watched number 61 in Toronto, saw it go into the bullpen and thought, I'm going to get some left field seats in Texas, and if he still hasn't hit the home run yet, if the ball is hit to me, great. If it's not and it's close and in that spot, you can't tell if that's in the stands or if that's going to be going into the bullpen. I'm going to jump into the bullpen because, sure, you're going to get thrown out for jumping into the bullpen. But I honestly don't know what the policy is if you jump into the bullpen to grab a home run ball, whether or not they're taking the home run ball away from you. Yeah, we could have had the second instance this week of what happens when a fan and a player come together. Like what if the relievers are fighting the fan for the ball, like Bobby Wagner knocking out the... Yeah, he went all Mike Curtis. Mike Curtis back in the day for the Baltimore Colts in the 70s.
There's that famous picture of him just knocking someone out. I probably watched the same clip you did on Twitter of Mike Curtis just saying like, I didn't hurt him, I just gave him a flipper. Just gave him a little flipper. Gave him a little flipper.
That's outstanding. Is there anything that we should be watching in terms of your coverage or paying attention to, Connor O'Neill? The Duke football coverage is kind of wrapped up for the week.
I need a couple more things to come together. The Wake coverage is going to ramp up. I mean, they've got a basketball practice tomorrow that's open to us, so I'll have a report off that.
And then, you know, there's going to be some features. There's going to be some catch up with Keyshawn Williams this morning to talk about his huge third down catch and that last drive that sealed it against FSU. He had a big catch against Liberty, too. They got five really strong receivers. Kevin Higgins has got to be in the conversation of the best position coach in college football, or at least at ACC. Is there an award for that? They got an award for everything. I know you got the Broyles for assistant. It's the Broyles, but I think Broyles only applies to coordinators or it's always just coordinators that win the Broyles. Yeah.
I think it's the top assistant, but they only give it the coordinators. Which is a shame. Yeah. But, yeah, I've got things cooking. I might grab myself a dessert here at the fair and then head home. Dessert is brain food, right? Ice cream or funnel cake. That's good brain food. Cotton candy. Funnel cake.
I just – I can't pull the trigger on that one. I'm not a cotton candy guy. All right.
Fair enough. I was always a Dippin' Dots guy. They have Dippin' Dots funnel cakes. Is that a thing? I'll have to check. Connor, appreciate you being here, buddy. My pleasure. It's always fun to come out.
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