He's amused Cam Newton. He's been insulted by Charles Barkley. When some idiot in the press asked him, if you know what you know now, would you schedule this game?
He's interviewed Matthew McConaughey. And he's taken on Big Blue Nation. He's just completely taken the wind out of my safety. It's time for The Drive with Josh Graham. It is a Monday Drive WSJS News Talk Sports for the Triad. And since the Carolina Panthers lost by two touchdowns and didn't score a touchdown on offense, we're going to talk about hoops before we get to football today. That's because the table's been officially set for Tar Heel basketball. The AP preseason poll is out. Predictably, the heels are at number one for the 10th time in school history. And with the season tipping off three weeks from tonight, it's clear North Carolina is going to be the most entertaining watch in the nation this year. See, I'm viewing it like a TV show, where I'm trying to scroll through Netflix and figure out what I'm going to watch.
Huh. Should I watch Stranger Things or what's this, Wake Forest Basketball? Heard a lot about that actor, Steve Forbes. He seems fun. What are the storylines?
Who are the characters at play? Nobody in college basketball is more compelling than Carolina, and they will be the biggest draw as a result. The expectations simply cannot get higher than they are for this team. I remember we had the voice of the Tar Heels Jones Angel on the day that Caleb Love and Armando Bacott officially announced that they were coming back for this season. When that happened, Jones immediately went out of his way to say, let's not do final four or bust. It's really hard to get there.
Yada, yada, yada. And he's right. You shouldn't do that. You shouldn't make that the expectation because March is random. It's hard to get to the NCAA championship game. It's hard to win a national title. It's hard to get to the final four. We know this, but it is final four or bust.
It is. They will try to tell you it's not final four or bust, but it is. That's like listening to Duke folks try to tell you that last season was a great success for them.
Here's how I know that's not the case. I went to Duke Carolina football on Saturday night and without even thinking about it, WD, I wore a final four pullover, had the New Orleans final four logo on it. I got a lot of mean looks from folks at Duke.
I'm like, wait a minute. You guys hung a banner for that final four. It's not like I'm wearing a t-shirt saying Carolina, whatever to Duke, whatever in the final four, but I might as well have. You see, they're not going to tell you it's final four or bust, but really they already have. Go and watch the announcement videos for those guys. When they decided to come back, every single one of them mentioned, oh, we're trying to hang a banner.
We're trying to hang a banner. That's all they were talking about. We have unfinished business.
Really? You guys were up 16 in the national title game. What else is there to do? Oh, it's final four or bust. That's what it is.
And we know who all the characters are. This is what college basketball misses. It's old school in this regard. It's what separates this team from other exciting teams we've had in recent years, like the Duke Zion team. That was like a rocket.
That was like a comet in the sky. Those guys were here for six to eight months and that was it. Zion and RJ and Reddish.
It was a great show. What's different about this is we know all the characters. And when I say we, I mean, even college casual college basketball fans.
If you've watched college basketball at all over the last couple of years, you know who Armando Bacott is. We still need him to give us that updated version. We do. We're waiting. We're going to make that happen. Bacott said he would do it.
We'll have it before the start of the season. I think people know who Caleb Love is. You know who these four starters are coming back.
They are all upperclassmen. So, yes, they were great on the biggest stage in March. But do you know what the next biggest stage is other than the NCAA tournament? The Duke Carolina rivalry. Just look at the ratings on ESPN or college basketball ratings in general outside of March Madness. These guys have played in a number of those games.
People know who these players are. So they're interested in what happens to them. And here's the rub when it comes to drama. There's a chance that this doesn't go well. There's a chance they don't achieve that goal of getting to the final four. And it's not some of the things that are going to happen.
And it's not some minute possibility. UCLA last year looks a lot like this North Carolina team with expectations after the tournament run they had to the final four for being one of the first four in in the 2021 tournament. Odds aren't actually in North Carolina's favor here to get to Houston. No preseason favorite has won a national title since 2009. Only four of the dozen favorites since then got to the final four.
Four of the last dozen. As I said, the last national champion to win it while also being the preseason favorite was North Carolina in 2009. This is the 10th time Carolina's been preseason number one. They've been to the final four four of the previous nine times that's happened with two national titles in 82.
And of course, again, 2009 on Twitter at WSGS radio. If you want to WD, am I being a buzzkill for your Tar Heels at all? No, I mean, it's it's good to stay objective about these things. You can be excited and cautious at the same time.
But this team does remind me of that 0-9 team a little bit. And partially a lot of it. And partially because of what you just said about we know the characters.
Yeah, a lot of it. We knew Ty Lawson. We knew Tyler Hansberry. But here is the one key difference between the two. This is the key difference. That Carolina team was preseason number one the year before. This is true. 2009. Not a team that we didn't know whether they were going to make the tournament or not.
First week of March. That's the one key difference between the two. We got to get to Panthers news. The Carolina Panthers traded our beloved Robbie Anderson today. And after yesterday's game, this is a move that simply had to happen. Robbie decided now that he's going to start acting up.
We all know that guy. We all knew that person, that classmate, that was fine when the teacher was in place. But when the substitute immediately stepped in, started acting up. So Robbie was sent to his room, was sent home. After acting up, he said he was confused why he was sent off.
Don't know if I buy that or not. Seemed like he was trying to do some damage control so that a trade could get done. But Robbie was sent to his room, was sent home after acting up. He said he was trying to do some damage control so that a trade could get done. You look at his social media today, he doesn't seem that bummed out that he's going to another team. I just don't think Arizona is going to be a great spot for him. It makes sense because Marquise Hollywood Brown might be having a season ending foot injury. Got banged up in Seattle yesterday. But he needs structure.
He needs functional. And Arizona is neither of those. They are not very structured.
They are not very functional. In fact, they are dysfunctional. So I don't think it's going to end well, but it will be better that he's there than in Charlotte, considering he was Matt Ruhl's guy. And now he's not a place anymore. But I'm going to miss Robbie. So much so that W.D. and I helped put together helped put together a loving tribute to a guy who's given us a lot of content.
Robbie with an IE, Anderson. I'm hearing. So that's, you know, it's a telltale. Huh? I'm here, right? I don't know if y'all seen, you know, they said the world has been spinning faster. Y'all saw that? To me, I've been like, damn time and going faster.
I wonder if it really is or not. But things have been going by pretty fast, you know. Do you think that this team has done enough? You should stay? Oh, yeah, of course.
What will he be going at? I'm gonna go to the house, kick back, eat me some crab legs and and just chill, you feel me? Where do you get crab legs from? Huh? Where do you get the crab legs from? A DJ hat got them for me. Maryland guy. Yeah. I didn't see it and I'm not a fashion.
I don't work in the fashion department. I got a candle. I ain't just got me no lighter. Does it give you solace at all?
That and even though it wasn't working for the first three quarters, the flip can turn? I don't even know what that word mean, I ain't gonna lie. What's that bear doing? Panther. That's Sir Purr, bro.
Who? Sir Purr. How you say that? Sir Purr. Sir Purr. Oh, Sir Purr? You call him that? Yeah, that's his name. So you be like, what's up, Sir Purr?
What's that bear doing? Oh. Getting emotional over here.
Unique personalities. We need guys like Robbie Anderson. He said I got a candle. I ain't got no lighter. Tough. Thank you for your service, Robbie Anderson. Your service to hashtag content. That was a lengthy review. What exactly are you doing during that review? Friend.
True. How is Antoine Green? North Carolina wide receiver Saturday night. Dancing his way into the end zone. Finding just a little bit of room it seemed like. I saw a green stripe between his foot and the white sideline.
The touchdown stood. North Carolina one by three against Duke on Saturday night. North Carolina six and one heading into Dubai. Let's just take inventory real quick on the coastal division race. We picked North Carolina in the preseason.
Plus 300 they were. Everybody it seemed like was picking Pittsburgh and Miami. North Carolina had the third most votes 18 of 150. We were one of 18 when we were one of one last year.
And frankly, I think North Carolina has it. I don't want to go as far to say it's a wrap here in the second week of October, but looking at the schedule, you play Pittsburgh. Let's put it this way. If they beat Pittsburgh two weeks from now, then I'll say it's a wrap. Because the three teams I felt had the ability to win the coastal was Pitt, Miami and North Carolina. It's not going to happen for Miami and North Carolina has the tiebreaker. Pitt could get the tiebreaker against Carolina in Chapel Hill a couple of weeks from now. That is the game I think that will lock it up for North Carolina if they should win it. Because after that they're going to crush Virginia who is hopeless right now. Wake Forest is a conference game this year.
You might lose that one. Georgia Tech goes to Chapel Hill since the game is in Chapel Hill. I feel comfortable in North Carolina winning that game. And I think NC State, now that Devin Leary isn't playing for the pack, State going into Carolina. I think that's a game Carolina is favored by a touchdown in, if not more. So even if they were to lose hypothetically against Wake and NC State, 6-2 with tiebreakers against Pitt and Miami is enough to win the coastal. So if they beat Pittsburgh two weeks from now, I think that's it. Called the match. North Carolina wins the coastal.
Not bad. Or the pick that we gave in the offseason. Two and three in best bets this weekend though. Or Graham's gambling. Still have to get used to the renaming there.
And here's the thing I hate about it. I was texting my friend Steve who works for The Swarm about this and some others who were asking, hey, who are some of the picks that you like? All throughout the week, I said there were two that I was in love with.
I even told you this. Two that I was in love with. Seahawks plus two and a half against Arizona, they won the game by 10. And Kentucky plus four and a half, a four point dollar.
They beat Mississippi State outright and that wasn't even much of a contest. Those were the two I liked. Those were the two that hit. But it's not a good radio segment if you only give out two. So then we added some.
So what am I supposed to do? Like they all count the same, but those two, we even said it on Friday, I love these two. So we added a few more that I wasn't in love with. But the two that I really liked were the two that hit.
We had to figure out something to get around that. Graham's grades. Every week we dive into the NFL, the best, the worst, the meh. Let's get into it.
Every week is a test for your favorite sports teams. Who passed the test? If one of y'all says some silly ass name. Who dropped the ball? I don't know. Josh Graham has the answers.
I think you're very condescending and a know-it-all. Time for Graham's grade. This is incredible news coming out of Arizona that I just have to share with you right now. So Robbie Anderson is an Arizona Cardinal.
Yeah, he is. Why do you think the Cardinals decided to move and pick up Robbie Anderson now? Well, Hollywood Brown's probably out for the year.
You would think. Ian Rappaport just rapper reported some good news for the Cardinals. Hollywood Brown, following the MRI, his foot isn't as bad as was initially thought. It's a small non-surgical fracture, source said.
Recovery time is about six weeks. He is getting a second opinion from Dr. Robert Anderson before moving forward. What?
Dr. Robert Anderson. That's great. Listen here, bro. I don't think your foot's good at all. You know what I'm saying? Let's stop.
I don't know how it's offensive, but I just feel like what we're doing is offensive. Let's start with the really good from the NFL first. Hey, the Buffalo Bills that might have decided that might end up deciding home field in the AFC. I think it was the two best teams in the conference and Buffalo went into Kansas City and did something that they weren't able to do last year.
Well, they did a lot of the things that they did back in January. The difference was with a minute before to go, they didn't allow Mahomes to go the length of the field. Instead, their defense did something that they couldn't do in overtime or in the final 13 seconds of that playoff game.
They forced a turnover and good on them. I do think Buffalo is the best team in the AFC. So for them to win that game, it was exciting, really fun to watch. I hope they play again and it's played in Buffalo when January rolls around.
That was an A game and an A win for Buffalo. The New York Jets. The Jets are foreign too. And they just blew out Green Bay in Lambeau, a game that you could have listened to right here on WSJS.
It's finally starting to come together. I know exactly what Dave Pulaski and other jet fans are going through right now. I'm a Baltimore Orioles fan and it feels like the Jets are having an Orioles-esque type of season where they're going to be in the mix playoffs-wise and they went through a lot of bad seasons. That's what it seems like for the Jets. Don't you get that feel? Well, I get it for that other team in New York too.
I don't want to nuke any of your grades here if that's in there. No, no, no. The Giants? They're not in there, but really just New York football altogether. Last year, you could argue that the Giants and Jets were two of the three worst teams in the NFL at points and now they're both really good. I think they're nine and three?
Yeah. One loss only for the Giants. And the Jets are four and two. New York football really could be a B altogether.
C. The Philadelphia Eagles. They stay unbeaten. They beat Dallas. It's prime time.
You're at home. You should win that game. But Dallas made it airtight after falling behind 20 to nothing.
It's 20 to 17. Some butt-punching time at the bank or the link as they call it. The bank's their baseball stadium. Sure, they won the game, but I bet you Dallas leaves this game feeling really good. Hey, we went in there. We took their biggest punch. We made it a competitive game in the fourth quarter and we didn't have our quarterback. And if you watch the video and some of the interviews that he did after the game, Dak Prescott's close. Dak's probably going to come back next week. And I think it's one of those rare games where both fan bases probably feel pretty good about where they're at after the game, even though one has to win and the other has to lose.
D. Tampa Bay. Pittsburgh was seen to be one of the worst teams in the NFL going into the week. I mentioned the stat earlier. You see these analytic figures or these probability figures that are out there. The Carolina Panthers have going into this week, a 27% chance of getting the number one pick.
That's my nerdy voice. According to my calculations. According to my calculations. Pittsburgh and Washington going into the week had the second and third best odds. They both won this weekend. So Carolina, they are, I don't know what the calculations say now, but should be an overwhelming favorite to get that number one pick. Tom Brady lost to Pittsburgh again, lost to this team. Not good.
And he was called on a hot mic cursing out his teammates on the sideline as well. I can't think of anything that can make things better for this Tampa Bay team. Oh, wait, they got Carolina next week.
That'll do the trick. F. Cleveland. I didn't watch anything from this game. I got a one o'clock one 30 nap in yesterday.
That was great. Got a nap before the Panthers game started, but this is one of those that I that I turned on. Or I just looked at the stats, looked at the box score and thought the scores were flipped. Cleveland's at home. And surely they're the ones winning by 20. And then when I saw that New England was the one leading by 20, I thought, oh, Mac Jones probably played in this game, right? Nope. To quote Dave Chappelle in one of his bits.
This is deep cut Chappelle show. So if you know, you know, the Cleveland Browns got zapped, Bailey zappy zapped. They nearly dropped 40 on them in Cleveland with zappy zapped.
That's somebody they're now two and four. Cleveland, one of those two wins or gets the Carolina Panthers. Maybe they're not going to be in position to get into the playoffs when Deshaun Watson comes back.
I don't know. Jack Easterby was fired today, by the way, by Houston, Texas. If you want to read what a dysfunctional organization really looks like, read into his background and the level of influence he had over the last few years.
But that is Graham's grades for this week. Dr. Robert Anderson. That's where Hollywood Brown is getting the second opinion. And the comments are great where it's just Robbie's face on a bunch of white, like, like a medical coats. It's outstanding. Outstanding.
There actually is a Chappelle show bit where little John is a doctor, or I think is going to the doctor where he's sitting there. He's like, would you mind lifting your arm? I said, would you mind lifting your arm? Oh, would you mind lifting your arm?
Yeah. Dr. Robert Anderson. Here's Hollywood Brown walking in. Hey, Doc Anderson, my foot. Is it going to be bad? Oh, I'm going to miss Robbie.
Check this out. The perfect blend of sports and pop culture happens this evening at six with the Rich Eisen show. Now back to the drive with Josh Graham. Even though Matt rule wasn't on the Panthers sideline yesterday, that does not mean there were not Matt rule jokes told anytime a coach is fired, you know, you're going to get the behind the scenes damning story that gets published that has all the dirty secrets that makes the coach look terrible, air quotes, terrible. And yesterday that story was written by our friend Jonathan Jones at CBS sports guy who used to be a Panthers beat writer who covered the Panthers for a really long time, still lives in Charlotte. I believe he wrote the story and among the things we found the way of the Panther.
Oh, it's so embarrassing. CBS sports, according to this story obtained a document on the front that says the way of the Panther that is purported to have been created by rule early on in his tenure as Panthers coach and in it. And this is like a three page document. So if you're picturing Matt rule, giving this guy the players, a novel to read about his processes or processes or whatever his vision, then come on.
It's three pages here, but quoted in the document WD. It says Pepsi tastes like Pepsi 24 hours a day. We have a brand at the Panthers. The brand defines us both on the field and everyday life. We are the toughest, hardest working and most competitive team in the NFL. This was their plan to win focusing on football metrics, things that they want to do well, not be in a penalized team.
DBO don't beat ourselves. Remember the DBO sign that they used to have once upon a time, they wanted explosive plays on offense. They wanted to quote, win the line of scrimmage.
A lot of coach speaks stuff in here. They want to be great in the middle eight and in the final five, that's the final four minutes of the first half, first four of the second half. That's what they want.
Final five minutes of the game. They want to be there. And the document States, if you can't write this down, this plan, this brand, then you are not O O U an acronym used in the building that stands for one of us. Apparently this acronym has been mocked regular by staffers in the building for the last year plus.
So this is an embarrassing look for Matt rule. Not really though, when you don't win, everything is right for being ridiculed. This, do you know what this feels like? This feels like when in court, like in a defamation case, somebody starts reading clinically verbatim, a joke, a joke out of context or reads rap lyrics. You ever heard that in court, like the Duke lacrosse case, apparently someone's like, Oh, this look how bad this teen is.
This guy wants to do these types of things. And then the defense attorney was like, that's actually a rap lyric. Everything sounds bad. When you're reading it at a courtroom, generally speaking, text jokes, rap lyrics. And similarly, when you don't win, everything's right for ridicule, the way of the Panther.
That's not egregious. It's him hammering down what he wants the identity of the team to be. If reporters are going to constantly ask Matt rule, what the team's identity is to the point where it becomes a cliche question. Yeah. Who puts a lot of to the point where it becomes a cliche question. Yeah. Who puts it on a three page document.
If this thing was like a dozen pages long or 20 pages long, that's one thing it's a three piece, three pieces of paper that we're talking about here. Oh, but Josh way of the Panther. Are you kidding me? These are NFL players. Does anybody make fun of the Patriot way?
Anybody? Oh, well, no, that's the Patriots though. Oh, so if you win, it's fine, but if you lose, ah, look how ridiculous that is.
Oh, oh, you one of us. That sounds like how every football coach I know talks. That's how coaches talk. But when you lose, it's easy to mock, even though the Panthers trying to figure out who oh, oh, you is fine players who are one of us actually did pretty good. When it came to drafting players, they didn't miss on their top 10 picks. They found Jeremy chin in the second round.
They did a pretty good job with that. Oh, you how ridiculous. These guys are talking to adults. Is anybody making fun of Nick Sirianni right now? You remember him, mr. I'm going to be in draft meetings. I'm going to be at the combine.
I want to see how competitive you are. So I'm going to arm wrestle you that guy. Oh, no one's making fun of him because his team's undefeated. But I guarantee you, if Philadelphia was one in five, like Carolina was right now, everybody would be making arm wrestling jokes.
Everybody would be making fun at Nick Sirianni. So is it possible? Is it plausible that these things that are outlined in the story are only looking bad because Matt rules and easy target because Matt rule didn't, it didn't work out for Matt rule. That's to me joking about this, making fun of this. Now it sounds a lot like reading rap lyrics or reading jokes in a courtroom.
That's what it sounds like. Well, and at the end of the day, people are going to see what they want to see. Was that a Matt rule and cliche? Not intended, but yeah, you're not.
Oh, you know, no, let's get to something else. That's pretty funny. Leaky black is in the news today. Carolina basketball's in the news today. Number one in the country, AP preseason top 25. Did you see that social media sports illustrated cover that North Carolina put out there?
Yeah, pretty cool. So there's the historic cover ahead of the 82 season that has Dean Smith cover of sports illustrated, like writing something up on a chalkboard. And in the backdrop, you have four of the five Carolina starters.
I think you got Perkins, you have Daugherty, Jimmy black and James worthy. Michael Jordan was not featured in that photo because Dean Smith didn't want a freshman in the picture. So it's just four Carolina starters and it's Dean Smith on the cover.
That was when they were preseason number one. So what a brilliant idea for Carolina to essentially get all the same stuff that's in that picture again, but have Hubert with the chalkboard and have the four returning starters from last year on the cover. I guess Puff Johnson's going to be like Mike Jordan this year. We'll see if that's the case. I want to bet on that, but Leaky Black is one of the starters coming back and Leaky Black is finally taking advantage of NIL opportunities. This is outstanding.
This is an NIL deal that I think is, I think the on three NIL evaluation, he's worth like $134,000. Let's hear who he's partnered with. You know, East plumbing has been remarkable. You know, I'm the best offender in the country.
They're the best home defenders. We're just doing our job, giving back to the community. Man, I just think they got to thank for Leaks. All right, you're all set. No more Leaks in this house.
I get it. You know, Leaks. Leaky. It's crazy you're fixing Leaks now. Nah, I'll stick to the court.
I'll let them dominate the plumbing business. Bro, that's a dookie question. That's not that funny. Yeah, I think it is. Why are you laughing at that? Because it's good. It's not though.
This is so long overdue for him. Yeah, I agree. East plumbing is the name of the plumbing outfit. Cornelius, North Carolina. Isn't that in the triad? Where is Cornelius? I don't think that's in the triad. Where is it then? I've heard of it.
Let me take a look. I'm getting on the old Google. Yeah.
That's what we're going to do. I feel like I'm pretty good at recognizing triad area places. It's outside of Charlotte.
Okay. It's north of Charlotte. I would have felt really bad if that was in the triad. Yeah, I didn't think that was in the triad.
Not too terribly far from like Mooresville. Yeah. So, East Plumbing using the advertising slogan, no leaks in this house. It's great. It's great. Could have used more dookie jokes potentially. I think the punchline at the end was perfectly placed. I think that's all we needed. We got nothing to prove here.
Well. We need to come up with more NIL opportunities for some of the other starters. Armando Bacot already has Netflix and he's got Jimmy's Seafood. Shout out to those folks, John and company. Puff Johnson, like Cocoa Puffs.
Where you at? No, no. Well, Puff's already got, I think there's a company called Puff. Like Cheese Puffs, Cocoa Puffs.
You can, for sure. But I think there's already like a company that partnered with Puff Johnson that's called Puff. I think that's already happened because of his name. But where is the love for RJ Davis or Caleb Love? Are you kidding me? When Valentine's Day comes around in February, how does nothing happen in that regard? And they're so creative. Like when this stuff happened, like leaky, like it's just so creative.
It's not mainstream. We love to see that. So we need to figure out how RJ Davis and Caleb Love get involved in the fold. I don't know. What would be a good one for RJ?
I think there's like a genuine, like Italian, like New York style pizza place in Chapel Hill. That would be great for RJ and his thick New York accent that he has. See? That'd be good. And for Caleb, I don't know. It would have to be some type of pun, some type of punch on him hitting that shot.
Oh, of course. I'm surprised there weren't as many final four jokes I heard at the Duke Carolina football game on Saturday. I restrained myself the entire game until Carolina got the ball the last possession where I asked, what's Caleb Love up to? In fact, Antoine Green, Caleb Love.
Anyone ever seen them in the same room? Really makes you think. Is it too soon to look at bowl projections? Because CBS Sports does it every single week, and they've been doing it since week one.
This is the first time I paid attention to it, though. We're over the halfway point of the season. Teams playing six, seven games now. CBS Sports has Wake Forest playing Alabama in the Orange Bowl.
And how's this for drama? If that's not enough for you to make your head explode, how about North Carolina being matched up with Texas? Mac Brown facing the Texas Longhorns.
I'm in on both of those. Darin Gantt is with us, jet lagged. Darin Gantt, fresh off the trip to Los Angeles, watching the Carolina Panthers go all that way not to get into the end zone on offense, that is.
From panthers.com, Hall of Fame voter. Darin, how were your travels this weekend? They were lovely and uneventful, and we're happy to be home. I don't know that I would use the word fresh to describe anything about me right now. After spending about 12 of a 36 hours sitting in a plane seat, you know, it takes a toll out of a man. But we're here and we're safe and we're at home, and that's what matters. High school me would say you are fresh with a pH in my mind, though. Darin Gantt is with me here.
You go. Beat up a lot in high school, didn't you, Josh? Yeah, don't remind me. How surprised were you by Robbie Anderson's behavior on the sideline yesterday?
What do you remember about watching it in real time? Well, I mean, it's it's unusual anytime you see somebody yelling like that. I mean, again, those kind of things happen.
I remember 100 years ago, Kevin, Kevin Green going at Kevin Steele on the sidelines. These things happen in the heat of the moment. Guys are fired up. Guys want to do their best. And and Robbie tried to explain himself last night that, you know, it wasn't about anything other than wanting to be involved, wanting to make a play, but not being taken off the field on a third down. So, you know, I understand it from that perspective, but at the same time, that kind of stuff can't happen.
You can't you can't have that stuff going on, especially not when you're one and four going on one and five. You were obviously there in that postgame when Robbie chose to speak. Did it surprise you at all that he chose to speak after that?
Yeah, it surprised me that he chose to speak. But I think he, you know, and he kind of said, I think it was a preemptive strike on his part because he knew what it looked like. He knew that, you know, it was the kind of thing that people are going to think a certain way of.
And it's because that's not ordinary. And I just think Robbie was just trying to get out ahead of it. And and, you know, we all know what happened earlier this morning. You know, Robbie is now an Arizona cardinal and he's back on another plane heading the other direction.
He's he's got more frequent flyer miles this week than any of us. But it's he knew what was coming. And I and I don't think he's necessarily disappointed. There's he didn't like the way things had gone here the last couple of years. And honestly, I don't know that people were necessarily crazy about the way he reacted. He comes off a career year in 2020 and his former college coach advocated to extend his contract and give him a raise.
And Robbie came back with about half the numbers that he did the year before. So I don't think anybody was thrilled with the way this deal worked out. So, you know, he wasn't happy. They weren't thrilled with the production for the value.
And now he's a cardinal. And Panthers got a couple extra future draft picks to fool around with and add to the inventory there. I mean, they had nine picks in the next two drafts.
Now they've got 10 and an extra seven in 25. But it's you know, I think it's just one of those regrettable chapters. And, you know, I think a lot of people on both sides are just ready to move on from it. So let's move on from it. Darren Gant with us here and wonder what the next move might be. There are three names I want to throw at you. And you just let me know if this guy's viewed to be off limits or what it might take for Carolina to even welcome a conversation.
We saw Peter Schrager's report yesterday and I'll put it to you. Christian McCaffrey off limits or what exactly do you think the Panthers might have to listen to in order to entertain it? And this is not me trying to evade a question. This is just me explaining how NFL front offices work. Most of these guys have worked with each other at a certain point. And when personnel guys know that a team's going poorly, GM for Team A will call GM from hypothetical Team B and say, yeah, things are weird there.
You guys aren't going to trade Brian Burns, are you? And they think, OK, well, if you can give away one of your best players for a second round pick. Yeah, we do that.
You know, the little circle in every line of work. And I think there are a lot of calls made. And I kind of got on my high horse about this in last week's mailbag when I pointed out that we should remember the names of all our information merchants and keep score so that when they say things the next time, we know how much stock to put in it.
But some of these guys are right by accident. Sometimes they are not looking to necessarily trade anybody. That's a long way of saying if somebody calls and offers them a first round pick and a bunch of other stuff for Christian McCaffrey, will they listen? Yeah, of course they will. If somebody calls and offers three first round picks for Brian Burns, will they listen?
Sure, they will. But I don't think and listen, admittedly, Christian's a different case because he's got a lot more miles on his tires. The injury history is obvious. But if you look at what Christian's doing right now, Christian McCaffrey is getting it done at a high level. So they're not motivated to give him away unless they're getting a premium return. So that's McCaffrey.
And the other two I have are not just random. These are really good players. Let's see what Darren Gantt says in terms of if they're untouchable or not.
They're interesting situations given the headlines and maybe future headlines that we might see. Brian Burns still hasn't signed an extension and he might be set to do so after this season. Given where the Panthers are at right now, how does that affect how touchable or how available Brian Burns might be if a team should call? Well, we already have a precedent for that one in Khalil Mack, don't we? I mean, haven't we already established what the baseline for that kind of deal would be? And again, I think Brian Burns is a guy they want to keep around here because even though they've got an interim coach right now, this just in, and I'll break the news here on your show, Josh, they're going to hire another coach.
Whoa. He's going to want to have a pass rusher. So Brian, you would either want Brian Burns or the means to acquire someone as good as Brian Burns.
And there ain't all that many of those. So I don't think, I would be very surprised. They would have to be knocked off their feet for Burns to not be here, I would think.
Given the timing of the DJ Moore contract, which is to say before all the madness happened this off season at wide receiver, which I think Carolina got him at a bargain for the contract that he sits for the future, and the fact that they just traded away Robbie Anderson, would it surprise you if they moved DJ Moore at this point? You just answered your own question, didn't you? You kind of talked yourself out of that one mid question.
I mean, it doesn't make any sense. No, I didn't talk myself out of it. I just put it on the tee for you, Darren.
I'm a good teammate. Yeah. That's what I'm saying. I mean, it's almost like with Burns, but because of those things you mentioned, because of the scarcity of proven weapons at wide receiver, because of the extreme value DJ Moore presents on that contract compared to what it would cost to replace him, why would you consider trading him right now? Again, if somebody came and offered you many, many things, do you listen?
Of course you do. But I don't think they're trading DJ Moore. I don't think they're trading Derek Brown.
I don't think they're trading Brian Burns unless somebody just blows them away with a premium offer. Darren, any Charlotte Hornets ride by in a scooter while we're talking? No, I'm still stuck in the stadium because it's been a little bit of a long day.
So I haven't actually gotten out into traffic yet. So we're here burning the midnight oil for you, our readers of Panthers dot com, because you know what, Josh, we do it for the people. That's what you do. And and you're spending time with me.
And I appreciate that on the way out. What's the next? I know you went to Farm Aid and I was jealous of you that you went to Farm Aid a few weeks ago. What's the next show that is on Darren Gant's radar screen? You know, I tell you what's on the radar screen and I need to get some work done earlier this week. Lizzo's coming to my city. Let's go.
Let's go. See, I don't know if you like the NPR, like tiny desk things that are put on YouTube. I love tiny desk on that might be that might be my favorite one. The Lizzo. She burned the entire place down. She is an incredibly talented musician and a classically trained musician and an incredible entertainer so she can be in my city. I'm not guaranteeing I haven't secured tickets yet, but I got a feeling I'm going to I'm going to make a run at that one and and try to line up some help because, again, she's just one of those people. I mean, and I think, again, the deal with the James Madison flute the other day got her in the news. It just underscores how talented she is. And that's kind of stuff you want to see. You want to be in the room with people who are that talented. It's a thing they do. Let me ask you this on the way out, since I made it the poll question today that people are answering and it seems like an obvious answer.
But when you think about it, maybe not. Which fan base do you think had the best weekend in sports? Tennessee fans? Philly sports fans talking about, of course, the Phillies beating the Atlanta Braves and the Eagles last night or the San Diego Padres hosting a playoff series for the first time since 06, knocking off some team from L.A. that everybody thought was a foregone conclusion to win it all. Which fan base do you think had the most fun? Well, good for the dads.
I'm I'm I'm pro Padre and not necessarily pro Dodger. Don't tell Kyle Bailey, but I won't. I'm OK with the dads coming out victorious. But who had more fun this weekend than Tennessee fans? I mean, I think once they figured out, I don't I guess there's an engineering school in Knoxville, but once they figured out how to get those goalposts out of the stadium, they ended up in a river.
And the good news for Tennessee fans is personal flotation devices often come in orange. So they didn't even know that. Oh, yeah. You got the right answer, I think. And a few callers have already called in. Apparently, half of Clemens was at this football game on Saturday and responsible for those goalposts being thrown in the river.
So there you go for the population of Clemens, the dry half and the wet half. I love it. I love it. I you can't replace memories like that. And if you're ever a part of that thing, I know, you know, my daughter was rushing the field after the Troy game a couple of weeks ago in Boone. And, you know, do you have scars from things like that? Sure you do. I mean, it gets a little crazy down there sometimes, but nobody's ever going to forget when they were there.
No doubt. Darren, thanks for burning the midnight oil and spending some time with us. We'll talk to you soon. See you, buddy. There it goes. Darren Gantt, Panthers.com.
Whoo! Who sings this? The Osbourne something brothers?
I have no idea. Three, three, six, seven, seven, seven, one, six hundred. What fan base do you think had the most fun this weekend visiting that poll? Fifty make it sixty two percent now say it's Tennessee fan.
Here's the only part that I didn't like about that on Saturday, or I guess since then. Did you know that the university has been fined by the SEC a hundred thousand dollars for that? So apparently it's twenty five or fifty thousand the first time that it happens, like you storm a floor or you storm like the field.
And in basketball that happened in 2006, I want to say. So that was their first offense. Fifty thousand.
This was seen to be their second offense. Sixteen years later. Hundred thousand.
Third offense is two hundred fifty thousand. And then with the goalposts getting torn down, it costs money to replace that. And apparently they're asking people with a GoFundMe to help fund the replacement of these goalposts. Stop it.
We know how much money you make. We see the TV revenue going up. You can afford to replace the goalposts, OK?
You can replace the goalposts. Money well spent. It is. There's that video of the university president. Yep.
It's like, hey, how much is this going to cost? Don't care. Don't care.
Take it to the river boys. Great picture. Support local journalism as always, where a local photographer thought it would be a good idea to go outside the stadium and take a picture of the celebration. Well, how can you see the celebration outside the stadium? All you can see floating above the stadium is cigar smoke. It looks like Snoop Dogg's car, but it's a stadium. That's just smoke coming from the stadium.
Twenty thousand, thirty thousand with cigars after that game ends. It's unbelievable. And Dan Wetzel made this point in a call of the day. That's what makes college football really great. It is the campus atmosphere that you can't really replicate in the NFL or anywhere else.
It's something that Sarah Bradford pointed out to me. It's so obvious to anyone who watches that you just don't have that. Like, Sarah Bradford saw that crowd, the opening shot where Smokey's barking and he's fired up. That's when I knew Tennessee was going to win.
I was wrong on Friday picking Alabama. I knew Tennessee was going to win when they showed Smokey and Smokey is one of the best players and Smokey is wanting to kick some butt. The Dogg just barking, barking, ready to go. He's hungry. Dogg going to eat.
You're not going to let Smokey down. But I wanted to make a point. The point I was going to make is why don't we have that in the college football playoff? See, you have these sterile, neutral environments that you play these games. With the expanded playoff, it looks like we're going to get first round games on the road. So you get a lot more of that. Games that feel like, hey, here's Alabama going to Tennessee or Tennessee going to Clemson or Wake Forest going into that environment.
Games that really, really matter and they're played on campus. That's good. What were you going to say? I was going to say, I mean, you felt like Tennessee was good enough that you just didn't know if they were ready to take that next step yet. No. Because to your point, Friday, Alabama wins those type of games. They do. They do.
Do I regret making the pick? Yes. Because I was wrong. But also on paper, you can kind of see it now. OK, Bama doesn't really have this skill talent. But then again, they scored 49.
Yeah. They scored 49 in the game and lost. If it don't be Bama scored 49 in the game, they're winning it by three touchdowns, probably. I didn't think in regulation Tennessee was going to drop Fittie.
Just think they have one of those memes. They have one of those memes where it's like an old guy with a beard that says Tennessee by Fittie. Well, it went by Fittie, but they scored Fittie on Alabama just in regulation. Just think, OK, fans, that was your quarterback. Was. That was your quarterback. Do you know where Hind and Hooker went to high school? So, you know, he's from Greensboro. Was he it's either Page or Grimsley?
Nope. Neither Dudley. Dudley with the Dudley. Dudley guy. Going back to where we started this segment, though. Which game would excite you more given the CBS projection, Wake Forest, Bama and the Orange Bowl or Texas, North Carolina?
Slight bias, but Texas, North Carolina. No. Nick Saban playing Wake bleeping forest. Think about that. I mean, that's going to be incredible. Just that. Yeah. Just think about that. We win either way.
You got Brad Nestler's voice or somebody. You're looking live at the Orange Bowl where Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide is facing Wake Forest. That's what makes. That's another thing that makes college football different and special. What is the equivalent in the NFL to Wake Forest playing Alabama? And I'm not talking about David and Goliath. I'm talking about the way they play stylistically. I'm talking about pedigree. I'm talking about, hey, where you're from is Winston Salem, North Carolina, at a school that has 5000 students playing the University of Alabama. I don't think you have an example in the NFL. There isn't. I don't think you do.
It's what makes your sport special. You want to take a guess what the enrollment at Bama is. I have no idea. Thirty nine thousand. So for real, for real, you're talking about eight times as many people, eight times as many students at Bama than Wake Forest. Oh, yeah, we're playing for the same thing.
It's awesome. And I'd take Wake Forest to win that game. Oh, we want Bama.
Mostly because I bet half their team would opt out. Yeah, you're not facing Will Anderson or Bryce Young, if I had to guess, if they're going to the Orange Bowl. Yeah, we need Bryce Young healthy. You're probably going up against Milro or whatever that guy's name was, who's also pretty good.
But, yeah, I don't think you'd have to deal with Bryce Young or Will Anderson if I had to guess. The Panthers need him healthy. I heard you the first time. I know. Oh, oh, wait, the Panthers. I like how you threw that in there. It's pretty good. Keep pounding.
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