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. I see he's just completely taking the wind out of my city.
It's time for The Drive with Josh Grant. It is a Friday drive WSJS News Talk Sports for the Triad, where last night was one of those memorable, emotional, significant kind of nights that you remember years from now. If you stay up as late as I do, past midnight most nights, it was about time to go to bed, then it happened. It dropped like a bomb. And suddenly, I was up for the next hour, maybe hour and a half, singularly focused, fixated on this one thing, all the little details of it. Now, I get it. There are a ton of opinions on the subject, a ton of different angles to explore.
So let's not waste any more time. I'm of course talking about Taylor Swift's album that was released at midnight last night. Super good.
Oh, been listening to it all day long. Oh, Krista McCaffrey was traded last night too. And as he heads out West to join the 49ers, he leaves behind a complicated legacy with the Carolina Panthers.
Let me put it this way. He's one of the three most talented players in franchise history, but no Panther superstar has ever achieved less in the way of team success than Christian has. Let's get to the list of weapons first.
I think the list goes like this. Cam Newton, 89, CMC. Those are the three most talented offensive players the Carolina Panthers have ever had in franchise history. With respect to Greg Olsen and Wesley Walls, Musa Muhammad and Smashing Dash, I think those three guys, the most talented offensive players, please don't throw linemen at me. I get Jordan Gross was really important, but we're talking about skill guys. We're talking about quarterbacks here. Just look at the 2019 season where McCaffrey had 1000 receiving yards and 1000 rushing yards. That is historic stuff. The only two players to ever do that before are named Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk.
That's a pretty good company to be in. But getting to the team success piece, I'll say it again. No Panther star has ever achieved less in terms of team success than Christian McCaffrey. This is the part that bothers me when people complain that the Panthers are cursed or a bad organization, never really won anything.
Think about this. McCaffrey's been there for five, now six years. Went to the playoffs his first season, has not been back to the playoffs since then. This stretch is the longest stretch of Panthers history without an NFC championship appearance.
We're pretty close to it that I think we've seen now, I think 2005 to 2015. Yeah, that's a little bit longer, but there were some good football teams that were thrown in there. Some playoff appearances for Carolina 2013, 2008. So this might be the worst five-year stretch we've seen in the history of the Carolina Panthers.
You can certainly make that argument. When you look at all the other great players that I've already mentioned, Hall of Honor guys, Wesley Walls, 96, NFC championship, Sam Mills, part of that team too, part of that team too, Jake Delone, Steve Smith, Jordan Gross, 2003 Super Bowl appearance, 2005 NFC championship game, Cam Olson, TD, Luke, they were a part of the 2015 Super Bowl run. Much more team success. Christian McCaffrey, one of the all-time great talents in Panther history, never won a playoff game in his entire tenure. He's going to be forever linked to Matt Ruhl and the Matt Ruhl era. Matt Ruhl coached 38 games as Panthers coach. Christian McCaffrey only played in 15 of them, which means he didn't play in 23.
And we'll never know the answer. Kind of like we'll never know the answer, how it would have turned out if Matt Ruhl drafted Justin Fields, number eight, rather than going JC Horn. We'll never know what would have happened if McCaffrey stayed healthy more during Matt Ruhl's tenure. Would things have worked out better for Matt Ruhl? Here was Scott Fitterer earlier today when asked about Christian McCaffrey's legacy.
Special. I think he was a, like I was saying earlier, he's an impactful guy, just that he's a special guy in this community. He's an absolute warrior. He's a player.
He's everything that you want from a makeup standpoint. It's kind of the guy we look for. That's why it's so hard to move on from a guy like him because it's, you know, I understand, you know, all the factors that go into this. That was a lot of the discussion we had is like, why do we move on from this? And why we moved on is we had to do what's best for the organization. W.D., you've got your Panthers beanie on.
Executive producer of the show, Will Dalton. You're a Panthers fan, so I'll just ask you these questions real quick. Yes or no. Christian McCaffrey, top three in terms of talented offensive players in Panther history? For sure. Okay.
Would you put them over either Smitty or Cam Newton? No shot. Okay. So he is firmly at number three.
Do you agree with the assessment that he's experienced less team success? I don't even think you can argue it, can you? You can't.
There's no argument against it. Okay. 336-777-1600. That's a phone number to save, by the way. We've had four more pairs of Wake Forest tickets donated to the show in the last 24 hours that if you want to win them later this hour, your chance, we're going to be giving away two pairs of tickets later this hour.
Wake, number 13 in the country, playing BC tomorrow at Truist Field. And in the spirit of the new Taylor Swift album, this will be your cue to call in to win those tickets. It's so good.
Oh, great stuff. Don't call now. Next time you hear that.
336-777-1600. How about we talk about the game the Panthers are going to be playing Sunday? How about we do that?
Do we have to? They still do have to face Tom Brady and Tampa. They're still coming in. And now that McCaffrey isn't in the mix, this game looks like a lost cause for Carolina. Just think about the timing of the trade last night.
It is absolutely devastating. Let me put it in perspective. Christian McCaffrey has been the Panthers offense the last month. The offense hasn't been good, but he's been the offense.
He was the one bright spot in LA when they moved the ball in the first quarter. Carolina has not had an offensive touchdown scored by a man not named McCaffrey since the New Orleans Saints game four games ago. So McCaffrey scored every offensive touchdown in the last three games Carolina has played. And this week, the game plan was put in on Wednesday and Thursday. And you have to think McCaffrey was a piece of that. If you're game planning, you're building an offensive game plan, going up against a really good defense with Christian McCaffrey at the center of it. And he practiced Wednesday and he practiced yesterday. And then suddenly he's not there on Friday.
That, how do you recover from that? There simply isn't enough time. You, Christian got all the refs. And it's almost to the point I would be surprised if Carolina scored a touchdown in this game. Tampa Bay is fifth in scoring defense, seventh in yards allowed. And you don't have McCaffrey or Robbie Anderson now, nor Baker, nor Donald, none of them. So you can't run it and you can't throw it now.
That's not a good recipe. It almost seems like if Carolina wants to win this game, we talk about what does Carolina have to do to win this game. You have to start with being plus three in turnovers. That's where you have to start to have a shot. And you need a non-offensive touchdown, which Carolina has gotten in two of the last three games and still gotten blown out in those games.
That's the crazy part. You look at the numbers of how often teams win when they get a defensive touchdown. Look at Arizona last night, two back-to-back pick sixes.
It is drastic. Like if you get a interception for a touchdown or a defensive score, you win those games the vast majority of the time. Carolina has gotten them in two of the last three and lost in those games in blowout fashion. We are talking about a historically bad football team that we're looking at right now. And Tampa kind of needs to win this game. Their backs are against the wall. They had a bad loss against Pittsburgh.
You're talking about Tom Brady. Team that's going to be motivated coming in and I don't think they're going to let up. So I think Tampa wins this game 31 to six. That's what I'm looking at.
I don't think Carolina scores an offensive touchdown again. There's only one perfect guest to have in studio today. And it's Fox 8's Clara Goodwin. And I'll tell you why she's the perfect guest for today's show when she joins us next. Taylor Swift asking the right questions.
I can't say I've kissed anybody in a crowded room, specifically a stranger. We have the perfect guest in studio on a day like this. She is a fellow Swiftie. She covers high school football and the Carolina Panthers, among other things, for Fox 8.
And she happens to be a San Francisco 49ers fan. On top of that, it is Clara Goodwin joining us here in studio. What's a stronger, what feeling is stronger today? Your feelings about the Midnight's album or the McCaffrey trade? See, I feel like both of these have been hyped up for a while.
I have been waiting for this album for a month or so since she first announced it. Panthers trade, you know, that's something we were anticipating. I did not expect to be the 49ers.
I had a very emotional 30 minutes yesterday from about 1130 till 12 last night trying to process that. I think as of this exact moment, I'm just all in on Taylor Swift. But come Sunday, seeing what CMC will do for the 49ers, I think that might change. Kind of like Taylor Swift, at times I throw Easter eggs out on the air. W.D., I've told you a little bit more than I've mentioned on air during the week. But you might have noticed everybody was talking about the Buffalo Bills this week. Who was the team that we threw out there? Oh, you know, just hearing a few things. Spitball.
We threw out the Niners. Just sometimes this is all I'll say, huh? Sometimes it's not guesswork. Sometimes it's not random. I was worried mid third quarter during Thursday night football that Taylor Swift was actually going to break the Christian McCaffrey news as her surprise. See, I think that might have been the three a.m. surprise.
Saw someone else maybe dig this up, too. That chef the snoot just scooped Chris Taylor Swift's three a.m. surprise that Christian McCaffrey was going to be a San Francisco 49er waited till the morning. He should have known that this was all Taylor Swift's moment.
He was trying to steal it from her work. You're a bigger fan of Taylor Swift than I am, though, because I didn't know that there was going to be a three a.m. drop, which is midnight on the West Coast. You knew that ahead of time. And you're you just showed me before we came on air an alarm that you set at two fifty nine in the morning in order to hear six more songs that dropped, including Taylor Smith, Taylor Swift coming at John Mayer with the machete. Well, first of all, seven songs.
Let's get that right. And we I didn't know it was going to happen. My biggest fear was that she was going to announce a tour and maybe it was going to go on sale immediately at three a.m. So I'm thinking, you know, if this is happening, I got to get my tickets right away and I will happily wake up at two fifty nine to do that. I didn't know if it was going to be that or the other thought would be that it was a documentary because three a.m. is midnight on Pacific Time, L.A., where all the production is done. So that would have made sense to release it at midnight Pacific Time. I didn't know it was going to be, but I knew I had to know what it was and that I couldn't miss it. OK, so 1130, you're a Niners fan. Yes. Krista McCaffrey becomes a Niner.
You also cover the Carolina Panthers. And then at midnight, Taylor Swift drops an album. You get finished listening to the first 13 songs of this thing. You go back to sleep for an hour, wake up at two fifty nine. When do you go back to sleep? Well, I listen to the seven songs and then I went back to sleep. I had, you know, my emotional sobbing for a little bit. I probably went back to sleep around four fifteen.
And now you can see I have a 32 ounce energy drink with me right now. And I've got to make it through a night of 18 high school football games. Yes, 18 high school football games. You're actually going to be at the same game that we're broadcasting tonight. Dave Pulaski and company has the Tabor game. You're going to be broadcasting out there for Fox eight later on this afternoon evening. Yes, correct. Yeah, we'll be live at five and six for being those games.
OK, I'm going to be previewing that. So high school football tonight, we're excited about that. Last thing on Taylor Swift before we get the football. I'm sorry. We can't go the full three hours. I mean, we could we actually could. We just won't see five minutes for us. Two and a half, two hours and fifty five minutes for you guys.
That's what I believe. It seems how things work here. Give us the pitch for give us the review of the album. Put your critic hat on your Taylor Swift fandom hat, your critic hat.
Give us your best review of what you listen to. I can't. So this album feels like if a grown up kind of 1989, if 1989, a reputation merged together and had this child past Taylor Swift album. That's yes.
Yes. Those are past Taylor Swift albums. That is what this album is. But also coming off an album like Folklore Evermore, which her last two albums that she did during the albums. Yes. And we're just lyrical storytelling genius.
Following up on that is so hard for anyone to do. Do I think it has the storytelling that folklore does? No.
Do I think it needs that? No, I'm a poppy girl. You know, reputation is my baby. That's my that's my album. I love the little dark side.
I love the devil. I can get into it. I am definitely I also listen to anything she does, but I think this album is a hit. I think it might be a hit, too. Antihero coming out as number one soon. So let's get away from Taylor Swift.
Just one thing I try to get out of it. You pull me back in three, three, six, seven, seven, six hundred first two to call in, get tickets to see Wake Forest in Boston College at about this time tomorrow. Three thirty kick Wake Forest NBC.
Clara Goodwin is in studio with us from Fox 8 McCaffrey. I've been getting tweets, texts from Niners fans who are now convinced we're the best team in the NFC now. That's what they're saying. As if Philadelphia isn't top 10 in the top 10 on offense undefeated right now. How far are you willing to go fresh off a loss last week by two touchdowns to Atlanta and talking about how good the Niners are now in the NFC picture with the addition of McCaffrey? The thing with the 49ers, their defense has been so impressive this season.
It has really been what's been carrying along this team. And then you take an offensive weapon like Christian McCaffrey added into that. I mean, you look at Christian McCaffrey in the Panthers when you look at the Panthers offense, it's absolutely awful. But when you look at any bright spot, when you look at any touchdown the last few games, it's Christian McCaffrey. Yeah, I put that stat up and we mentioned it a second ago.
The last offensive touchdown Carolina had that was not scored by Christian McCaffrey was the Saints game four games ago. I didn't even know that. It's been a while.
To quote obscure rock band stained in the two thousands. It's been a while. That's what I'm saying, though. So when you take that someone who you get the ball in his hands and he is going to be productive with it, combine it with that defense. That is a winning team. You know, you lose a game last week.
OK, it happens or slip ups. But now with changes like that, with momentum like that, people are hyped. The San Francisco fan base is one that needs a little bit of good news.
Oh, shut up. You went to the Super Bowl just a few years ago. That's the thing when I hear from like I have Baltimore Ravens fans in my family.
They should fire John Harbaugh and the more they shouldn't pay. And I watched the Carolina Panthers every Sunday. You watch the Carolina, but we also have been through two win seasons, three win seasons. So I mean, the Carolina Panthers were in the Super Bowl a few years ago. We got a top five coach in the NFL and they're the Super Bowl. No, the Panthers were in the Super Bowl seven years ago. How many Taylor Swift albums ago that was?
I don't know. But there are there are only right now, as we speak, two players on this roster that were on the Panthers last playoff team, not Super Bowl team playoff team in twenty seventeen. That's Shaq Thompson and J.J. Jansen, the long snapper.
That's the list of players on this team who have been to a playoffs with the Carolina Panthers. So, no, I'm willing to let you inflate the Niners. I'm willing to hear that, but I will not hear a grieved victimhood Niners fan.
I will not listen to that. They are equivalent to NC State. What? The Niners are NC State? The Niners are NC State. Are you listening to this? I am.
This is coming from a girl. My family is from the Bay. I was raised on 49ers football.
That is my team. We were at the stadium. How many Super Bowls do you have? Second in the history of the NFL?
NC State. I've never seen one of those. I know. So it didn't happen. Nothing that happened before. Claire Goodwin never happened.
But of recent history, it's not there. I would have accepted Washington commanders as NC State. But see, they don't get your hopes up the same way. The Cowboys are NC State.
No, because again, the Cowboys are America's team. I don't think anyone would say NC State is North Carolina's team. But I'm saying it's a team that is constantly getting your hopes up. I understand that.
And then breaking your heart. I get it. Great analysis of the album and also football discussion. Have fun with the high school football tonight, Clara. Thank you. Thank you. We're looking forward to it as always.
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. This cheers me up.
But if T. Swift doesn't do that for you and you're a Carolina Panthers fan. Not feeling great after Christian McCaffrey was traded. We got something else for you. It's Friday. It's the end of the week.
And I think we want to lift morale going into the weekend. It's our public service for the Triad. As a radio station, I don't know if people know this, you have to fill out sometimes paperwork. What do you do for the community? What kind of stuff do you do that benefits your constituents in this election season or your listeners benefits the area? There's some stuff that you have to file, hey, these are some of the things that we do as a radio station that we're proud of. Our radio shows contribution to that is weekly positivity, lifting people up in a way that's unique to us. If you want in 336-777-1600, it's time for weekly positivity. Good man, Lloyd.
You set them up and I'll knock them back one by one. Hi, Will. Hello, Josh. There's so much good going on. It could be sports related.
It might not be sports related. If you got something good to share 336-777-1600 is the phone number. I will start. I had lunch at Costco today. Wow. Got some gas. Did you get a hot dog? And then I went in and got a hot dog.
Yeah. Have you done this yet? Have you gone to Costco and gotten the Costco hot dog?
I haven't, but you know what I have had? Gas. Gas. I need to get some gas. Gas and the chicken bake. Oh, you still get the chicken bake.
It's so good. Oh, man. Yeah. Have you done the Costco date yet? You're still on the market, aren't you? I'm very much on the market. Then I'm telling you, do you want to meet your future wife or not?
Costco date. It's good. Part of me believes you don't believe me. I can't take you seriously sometimes. What about how I'm talking right now or our relationship would make you think I can't be taken seriously because you're whispering.
I'm just trying to help. And I think the Costco date would be a good idea. Maybe we'll see what happens this weekend.
I need to go to Costco, so you never know. Kill two birds with one stone. There you go.
Three, three, six, seven, seven, seven, one, 600. Or as PETA would prefer you say, feed two birds with one scone. That's an actual thing that they want us to say. I don't think I'm going to, though. I had a Costco lunch today. This is the part I want to know if it's weird. Is it weird to just grab food and eat without shopping at Costco? Because all I did was get gas, get a hot dog, and I actually brought in a bag of chips with me. I didn't have anything else in my hands. I brought a bag of chips. You brought a side?
That's right. So I had Costco, hot dog, and a bag of Lay's potato chips for lunch today. I just don't know how weird that is. Is that a weird thing to do?
No weirder than taking a girl on a first date to Costco. That's a life hack. I see.
It's a smart thing to do. Let's go to the phones. Who am I speaking with?
It's Joey and Thomas Phil. Hi, Joey. Hi, Josh. Tell me something good. I'm going to tell you something good. I'm sorry to interrupt.
That wasn't really good. For the first time in weeks, I do not have to work this weekend. Wow. I think that's good.
Wow. What are you going to do? A whole lot of nothing. Actually, I'm attending a fundraiser on Saturday and dinner with my wife on Sunday. But other than that, I'm going to chill. That is good. Thanks for the call, Joey. Have a great weekend.
There goes Joey and Thomas Phil. You got anything good for me, W.D.? Yeah. For the first time in quite a while, you and I are going to a football game together. Yeah, we are. We're going to be at Wake Forest and Boston College.
Why are you so aggressive with your whispering? Because I'm really excited. Okay. I'm actually going to do something before I go to the Wake football game.
Wow. I'm going to get a look at Wake's basketball team at practice, get a chance to watch them practice, and then I'm going to head to the stadium to watch football. I saw on Twitter that Josh Howard's back in town at Wake's practice.
So that's good. Really excited tomorrow for all of that. And then I have to watch the Panthers. I'm not so excited to watch them, but I've never seen Tom Brady before.
Yeah. And I've really never seen any GOAT when you think about it. Never saw Jordan or LeBron in person. You never saw LeBron in person?
Never have. So watching Tom Brady, that's going to be a really cool deal that I'm excited about. And that's been Weekly Positivity. Got some Christian McCaffrey news. The 49ers have officially listed McCaffrey on their roster. He will wear number 23 with San Francisco.
He will wear 23. The Panthers got a tremendous haul for McCaffrey. Carolina had him valued as a first round pick. All that talk about him being worth multiple first rounders. That's just a bunch of bluster to try and get one first rounder. But the problem was the two teams that were most interested did not have a first round pick. Rams haven't picked in the first round since Jared Goff in 2016. That was Jeff Fisher's last year in LA. So Sean McVays literally never picked in the first round since taking over. And San Francisco traded three first round picks to get Trey Lance. Scott Fitterer broke all that down today.
Talking about the compensation. A couple of teams did have a first round pick. They never got there.
It was never an option for them. So it was going to be a combination of something. What that was, was very fluid. That was really the talk over the last 48 hours. Yeah, and it's what can you get out of the Rams? What can you get out of the 49ers? And they got a second round pick, a third round pick, a fourth round pick for next year, and a 2024 fourth round pick.
Think about it this way. What would Carolina have gotten for Christian McCaffrey in the summer if they traded them? I don't think they would have gotten more than a second round pick, period. Not with McCaffrey only playing 10 games in the previous two seasons. So for him to get off to a good start this year, it raised his value. And you got what equates on the draft chart to a first round pick. Second, third, fourth, and another fourth equates to about that.
So I have no problem with it. None of these picks are worse than a fourth rounder. And you got two more in the second round.
It's pretty good. And the Panthers, I think have sufficiently stock their draft cupboard, which was a problem at this time yesterday. They only had four picks for 2023. Now they have seven, including one in the first, two in the second, one in the third, that Matt Corral trade didn't look great last year, still doesn't.
Or I guess from earlier this year. And they got a couple in the fourth round. You know who's paying attention to that? Whoever's going to be coaching the Panthers. If you talk about what appeases football coaches, it's stability.
Am I going to be fired at the first sign of trouble? Matt Ruhl was not fired after last year. So somebody, dysfunction's not going to be a knock for a future coach when they look at the richest owner or one of the richest owners who wants to win really badly, but waited 38 games before firing Matt Ruhl.
Second thing you look at, quarterback. Carolina doesn't have that, but they will have the number one pick of the draft. And how good, how many draft picks do you have? And Carolina now has a pretty good cupboard of picks, in addition to an offensive line that is all under contract for next year, which includes a top 10 pick and a pretty good defense. I don't think there are going to be a lot of jobs more attractive out there than the Carolina Panthers when this season ends.
And there are a lot of good coaches that are wanting to be that are wanting to be head coaches. So I think Carolina is going to get themselves a really good by how they set things up. And I give Scott Fitterer credit for doing the right thing and trading McCaffrey and getting a sufficient return for shipping him off. Panthers have selected Kristin McCaffrey.
Third and three for Camden. Here comes Hughes. There goes the pass. What a catch by McCaffrey. Terrific catch by the Heisman runner-up. Dumps it out of McCaffrey.
He's got tons of room to run. Makes a move and gets in the end zone. Kristian McCaffrey undresses a handful of Buccaneers for a second touchdown of the day. Fourth and two. McCaffrey is going to pass and wide open Martinez.
How about it? Usually when we do this, there's a punch line that makes you laugh. This one legitimately hurts. I remember that McCaffrey fourth and two pass. I was there for that one. Oh, you were on the Monday night game. I remember that game. Unreal. That place was rocking when that happened. I remember getting home at two thirty, three in the morning and complaining to somebody about it. And that person rightfully told me, what would Josh five years ago say to Josh right now, complaining about going to a Monday night football game and getting to do what you do?
I'd imagine he'd want to punch that Josh right now in the face. Probably. I think you're right. Good perspective to always have.
Nice work on that. Now let's get to your favorite segment of the week. Your words, not mine.
It is called. Keep it simple, where we efficiently recap as efficiently as possible. The week in sports. Five words or less.
That's all Josh gets to tell you where your favorite teams are at. It's as marvelous and as simple as that. Let's keep it simple before you start throwing things at me that I have not prepared for at all. So I have an idea one of the things might be. Let's get a dance break in there.
Oh my God, it's corn. You didn't dig up anything new in that one, did you? Did I miss anything? This segment is young. Oh boy.
What's the first thing you got for me? Devin Leary being rolled out for the season. I hope he returns soon. Specifically next year. We thought at this time last week he'd probably be a draft pick next year. Peyton Manning was on college game day in Knoxville saying the Panthers should draft Devin Leary.
It would do him a lot of good to come back. I think next year's NC State team would have a better chance it could be a team would have a better chance at competing than this year's NC State team does. No divisions, another year older for many of the offensive starters. The defense I'm not worried about.
They will be fine. And we'll see if Dave Doran's back to either. That's assuming NC State's not going to overreact if things go south the rest of the way. Talking about administration, which I don't think they will, or Dave Doran doesn't decide to leave himself parachute out of there, getting another offer somewhere else, realizing he might have hit a ceiling in Raleigh. But with Devin, I hope he returns soon because I do think he could have a Kenny Pickett-like season next year.
That impresses enough, improves his draft stock, and his team takes a big step. Tennessee, stunning Alabama. The best story in college.
It's the best story. Appalachian State was the best story of September. Nearly beating Carolina, dropping 60, upsetting Texas A&M, hosting college game day, hitting that miracle at the horn against Troy while game day was there.
They were the story of September. The larger story of college football is the Tennessee Volunteers. When you consider they're ranked in the top six. The reason I narrow it to six is because going into the year, you knew who five of the six contenders were going to be. You had a sense it was going to be Bama and Georgia and Clemson and Michigan. You knew that those teams, Ohio State, that they would be there. Tennessee was off the radar. And here they are as a true contender to potentially win a national championship.
I love stories like that. I can't wait to make my maiden voyage to Knoxville next weekend and see Triad native Hendon hooker play. Robby Anderson being traded to the Cardinals.
Where's that bear going? I know that's just for, but that's the best I could do there. Robby Anderson, unique personality.
I don't think Arizona is the best place for him, but Carolina, it was time for him to go after he acted up with the substitute to teacher running things. And you got something in exchange. It wasn't much, but you got something. You moved off of them.
Memorable player, lovable player guy that I always found interesting. I wanted to get the start of the NBA season in here. So we'll go with the Hornets tank for Victor campaign. They're not bad enough. They are not bad enough. That's the problem San Antonio is.
This is a question I want to ask Scott Fowler in an hour. Whose approach do you like more? Both the Hornets and the Panthers aren't going anywhere. The Hornets are going to try and see how good they can do rather than tank and embrace the suck and bottom out. Carolina has taken the exact opposite approach, getting draft picks as a result and playing for the future.
Whose process do you appreciate more? That is it to say Charlotte can't change paths, change its tack. I just don't think it's going to happen under Mitch Kupchak. Personally, if I haven't already made it clear enough, I think Carolina, the Panthers are taking a better approach at this than the Charlotte Hornets are, but that's, they're not going to be bad enough.
They aren't. Two more. NCAA tournament expansion. Expanding is all about greed. Greed's not just financials though. That's what greedy that's what greedy football first commissioners, Jim Phillips get off greedy commissioners like him. That's where it starts for them.
And probably where it ends. He said day one, he cares about football more than basketball. When you're the commissioner of the Atlantic coast conference for Greece, for God's sake, come on. The other piece of greed is sacrificing the sport. What might be worse for the sport for your own interests. That is greed. That's a form of it. And Steve Forbes told us other coaches voiced this to me too, just not on the air, but the reason why they like the idea of expansion is because many of their jobs are predicated. Do you make on whether you make the NCAA tournament and if more coaches make it less coaches lose their jobs. And that's what they're about versus what is best for the game.
And expanding is not that. The last one. It was the big breaking news story last night. The big headline.
Taylor Swift's brand new album. I simply don't have words. I have words on everything WD.
I don't have the words on this. So good. Wow.
Made Josh Graham speechless. Yeah. Awesome album. Incredible. I don't use those words lightly.
Let's get a dance break in there. That's true. Well played. The place at the table.
Darling, light of my life. I'm just going to bash your brains. That's pretty good. See it at the table. Let's keep it simple for this week.
WD. We started today's show. You are not in a place where you cared much about this new Taylor Swift album. It's true. Has your opinion evolved as we had to play Taylor Swift an entire show today?
The needle has moved in a positive direction in a positive direction. But I like to hear that's what we call education. Scott Fowler. I've learned a lot reading his stuff over the years. Apparently, if you're going to put this, I got to know, I know you probably haven't filled out a resume in a really long time. But if you were filling out a resume, Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer, who joins us now, at the very top of it, it has to be David Tepper's biggest fan, right?
Or David Tepper, huge fan of Scott Fowler's work. That exchange, a lot of people took offense to what he said. But in that exchange, I thought it was a great compliment to you. What do you think?
Well, somewhere in the middle there. Yeah, we had our little 60 second testiness at the Panthers press conference when he had just fired Matt Ruhl. I thought, you know, I'm glad he reads the column for sure. And that's why I addressed the follow up column.
You know, since you're reading this, Dave Tepper, this is what I want. And I, you know, I'm not mad at him at all. I'm just disappointed in him as an owner. That's, that's the difference.
I thought the exchange was harmless. But the larger picture is the Panthers are 23 and 48 under him. And they've got a lot of problems, a lot of problems, and I just want them to be better. Read his stuff, charlotteobserver.com. Also listen to his podcast, Sports Legends of the Carolinas podcast. I've got a few of them.
The Dale Earnhardt Jr. one was fantastic. Charlie Scott, for those who love college basketball around here, Muggsy Bogues. Wake, great. Charlotte Hornets, great. How about we start with Christian McCaffrey here?
And this is the part that's tricky to me. I hear Panther fans complain sometimes, Scott, about what they haven't been able to do. Oh, goodness. Haven't been to the playoffs the last few years. Haven't won a Super Bowl before.
And I wonder how it sounds to Jacksonville Jaguar fans or to Washington Commander fans of the last 20 years. And you can insert a handful of other franchises too. The Panthers have been lucky enough to have a lot of great players like Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly in recent years, going back to Steve Smith, Sam Mills. And when you go through like the Panthers Hall of Honor, the best of the best that this franchise has had.
And in just a quarter century, they've had a lot of great players. Every single one of them played in at least an NFC championship game. Most of them played in at least one Super Bowl.
Right. Christian McCaffrey played in one playoff game. So I don't think it's an exaggeration to say no player more talented in Panthers history achieved less in terms of team success. Now, I'm not putting that on McCaffrey. I'm just saying it makes it a little interesting when you start talking about a word that gets thrown around when guys move on. Legacy.
How do you assess it? Yeah, that's a good point. McCaffrey's legacy here will be largely, I think, the 2019 season where I thought he was the best running back in the NFL that year and really is one of the best seasons in NFL history as a runner. Injury prone would definitely be part of it. And yes, he only played in one playoff game here in 2017.
And that was it. And that wasn't his fault. He was the best thing on a bad team many times, as recently as last week. So you're right, though.
Most of the greats, and I would consider him a Panthers great, he will be in their Hall of Honor one day. Wow, really? Yeah, I think so. I mean, just a big enough resume. I think not the next class.
He was here, what, five and a half years, roughly. But I think it's enough, ultimately. I mean, they're gonna have to get through the Musen Mohameds and a few others. But yeah, McCaffrey will be there one day. How many players, Scott Fower, would you say had more talent than Krista McCaffrey did? Pure talent than Krista McCaffrey did in Panthers history? We could start with Cam, probably. Maybe Cameron, Steve Smith did, Julius Peppers did.
No doubt. Luke Kuechly? Luke Kuechly, that'd be a close call.
I mean, Luke Kuechly was a great player, but he sort of made himself also into a great player. But the best... Yeah, I mean, McCaffrey would be right there. He would be right there. Scott Fower with us. He's on Twitter at Scott underscore Fower.
Again, Sports Legends of the Carolinas podcast, also charlotteobserver.com. You can read his stuff. I heard you earlier today asking a follow up to Scott Fitterer, hammering him down on where he stands about drafting a quarterback up high. I thought he slipped a couple of times in the presser where he was talking one time, I think Joe Person put it to him pretty frankly, hey, where are Brian Burns, Derek Brown, and who was the third?
Oh, Shaq Thompson, untouchable players in your view. And he said, well, we want to keep our young core together and guys like Brown and Burns check that box. And I'm thinking, well, we didn't say Shaq Thompson there, which might make a lot of sense for a guy that teams have interest in and Carolina might be wanting to move off of. And then you got him answering a question about O line and D line, what they have, what they've been building and said, it makes a lot of sense when you have a young quarterback coming in, what's his exact quote.
And you followed up on that. What did you find most interesting about Fitterer today? Well, he was, uh, yeah, I mean, he was, he was interesting on the trade stuff for sure. I'd throw another name in there that I think may get traded at some point is Dante Jackson. They do have a little bit, you know, if you, if you count JC Horn, if he's healthy, then they've got, they like CJ Henderson for whatever reason, they really like CJ Henderson. So Dante, they have three corners in a league where corners are tough to get. So Dante Jackson would be one.
I think he may have a little more value than Shaq Thompson, who's getting a little older right now. Uh, so either one of those might be potential, but you know, I don't think they would say no to Burns or Brown if they got, as he said it quote, astronomical offers and some teams, you know, see a distressed asset like the Panthers right now and think, Hey, we're one player away from the super bowl. And I think they'll field some offers.
I'm not sure we're done yet here. There's still, you know, 10 more days left to go until the trade deadline. What will the crowd look like Sunday? Oh, Tampa Bay always draws, you know, not very well. So it would be nothing like San Francisco or a Green Bay or Dallas game where you could see a potential takeover. I think there will be some people voting with empty seats, mad and just not showing up. I think they might have, let's see, Tepper said in the last game, Josh, they had 63,000 seats, 63,000 actual people there. They never give that number out.
So that was interesting that he said that because they always just announced, you know, tickets distributed, which is far different. They had 63 in that one. I think they'll have more like 50 in this one and 10, 15,000 of them, maybe Tampa fans. See, in addition to covering the Panthers, you also keep a really close eye on the Charlotte Hornets too, who tonight are facing Zion and the New Orleans Pelicans are in town. And it seems like this organization here right now, in fact, in front of their arena, I'm about to walk in to watch that game.
How about that? And what's interesting is both the Hornets and the Panthers are in places where their fan bases just are, I'm not going to say they're checked out, but they're upset about where things stand in the Hornets case. Some of it's out of their control. You didn't get the coach you want in Kenny Atkinson and you know, the Miles Bridges situation's horrific and James Book Knight earlier this week. It seems like though, Mitch Kupchak's old school and he's not trying to tank or at least not trying to take as much as San Antonio, like we saw the other night and some of these other teams across the league. Meanwhile, Carolina is clearly bottoming out and is the far and ahead favorite to get the number one pick. Whose approach do you like more out of the two teams right now that are underperforming in Charlotte, the Panthers or the Hornets? I think probably the Panthers. I think that that's in the NFL.
That's the way you get better. It's so quarterback dependent as you know, Josh. So without the quarterback and when he said young quarterback, he didn't just mean drafting one. I meant to get to that earlier, but he also means, you know, they pick Matt Corral. Matt Corral would be starting right now if he was healthy.
I think that's where they would be. They would like be like, oh, let's get Matt Corral some reps. It's a lost year anyway, you know, let him play. It's just really unfortunate that he suffered a season-ending injury, but next year, I think they'll have Corral, whoever they draft at the top be that, you know, Bryce Young or Stroud or one of these other guys and a third guy who's probably not Baker or Sam Darnold, but they'll need a veteran somewhere in that room to, you know, you don't want to go in there with all young guys.
You got to have somebody showing you how to be a pro, but I think the competition comes between the, you know, the top five draft pick they have and Matt Corral. Yeah, and it might be a guy like PJ Walker. Who knows who will be getting the start on Sunday. Yeah, you know, it could be. I mean, PJ Walker's, you know, this will be a second start this week and oh my goodness.
I haven't seen a line lately. I'm sure it's 13 with McCaffrey's trade. Yeah, 13. That may be conservative. Yeah, I don't think it's enough. I threw this stat out there and it's still a crazy one to think about.
The last time someone not named Krista McCaffrey scored an offensive touchdown for the Panthers was against the Saints four games ago. So, for what it's worth. Yeah, that's bad. Yeah. I mean, their offense has been awful. Their quarterback play has been just terrible and when that happens, you know, it really doesn't matter what else you got. I mean, they're boring too. That's the problem.
They're bad, but they're also boring. If they were losing game 38 to 34, people would feel so much better about it. Who's your next guest on the Sports Legends of the Carolinas podcast? Phil Ford, the UNC legend, is our next guest.
That episode drops on Wednesday, Sports Legends of the Carolinas. Also, it's online in Q&A form and that's free. So, your listeners can get that online or the podcast, the first part of it, which is the majority of it, is all free. So, yeah, we talked Phil Ford about the Four Corners and all his various memories of UNC.
It was just a really fun interview. charwoodobserver.com. You can find that again for free in Sports Carolina or Sports Legends of the Carolinas podcast, wherever you get your podcast. Scott, I'll see you, I'm sure, on Sunday. I don't know what we'll be watching, but I'm sure I'll be seeing you then. Thanks, Josh. Always a pleasure.
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