He's amused Cam Newton. He's been insulted by Charles Barkley.
He's interviewed Matthew McConaughey. And he's taken on Big Blue Nation. It's time for The Drive with Josh Graham. We made it to a Friday Drive on WSJS News Talk Sports for the Triad. And when it comes to the Duke Carolina rivalry, it just always delivers, right?
Wrong. Usually once a year, these two teams meet and there's a game that's pretty forgettable. Let's just look at recent seasons. Josh can't do last year, can you?
Will Dalton's the executive producer of this show. He actually asked me this question today. Josh, when's the last time these teams played a game that was forgettable? And I told him last year. For all the talk about the last game in Cameron and the game in the Final Four, how about when AJ Griffin dropped 26 or 27 and Duke won in the Smith Center by 20 points? What'd you tell me after I brought that game up? I totally forgot about that.
Yeah, that happens a lot actually. Two years ago. You probably remember watching on as Caleb Love dropped buckets all over Duke and it was a great game. No fans were allowed inside Cameron and that was a great ball game. He went for 25 points I think at the game. Don't really remember much about the blowout in Roy Williams' final home game.
I think they won that game by 18 or 19. The year before that, right before COVID hit, I was at the game in Cameron. I remember running into Fat Joe before the game. As Fat Joe was playing when he walked into the building, couldn't tell you a game. Couldn't tell you a thing about that Vernon Carey game. Don't remember really anything about it. The Zion shoe game had all that hype. Zion shoe exploded. What memory stands out to you about the actual basketball game that happened after that?
So it doesn't really always deliver. And I don't think tomorrow's matchup is going to be anything special. I see Duke winning the game in a normal, unspectacular way by seven or eight points. Because at the root of drama is tension. And where's the tension really coming from tomorrow?
Who's the revenge angle really here for? Coach K's not coaching in this game. This is John Shire's first team. The only players that are back from last year are Jeremy Roach and Shire. Is North Carolina ticked off at Duke? No, they took those two important games off of them a year ago. John Shire actually joked about this yesterday when it comes to trying to drum up motivation for some of his guys.
If he did that, oh yeah, you got to beat them because they beat you last year. You're only talking to a very few amount of people. You know, you're talking about last year, you're looking around and who's with us last year.
So it makes it harder to do that. You know, it'd be like me and Jeremy just having a conversation, the two of us. Oh yeah, Jeremy.
Gotta get ready to go. But Kyle Filipowski was telling a story that he was watching this game at his boarding school last year, as we were all watching. And many of these guys on Duke's team, they weren't on campus when this happened.
So where is the tension? It's not coming from Carolina. It's not coming from most of these Duke players who weren't on the roster last year. Unlike the last two games of last year, tomorrow night doesn't strike me as a game that's going to deliver. It would require a superhuman effort for North Carolina to win in that building. And this team hasn't really demonstrated, hasn't really shown us that they can be special when playing away from the Smith Center. They haven't really shown that to us yet. They're two in the Smith Center. They haven't really shown that to us yet. They're two and four on the road this year. Without Brady Manick, who's not walking through that door. W.D., do you know how many Division I teams there are in college basketball?
No. 350, 360, that number fluctuates. North Carolina is ranked 309th in three-point percentage. That's a problem when you're playing on the road. Just think about what was required in order to win those two games the last two times they won at Cameron. Last year, for all the talk about Coach K being knocked off and that being the story, North Carolina to me that night was the story. Sitting there courtside, it was the greatest second half of basketball I have ever seen up close. The details are still not lost on me. North Carolina shot 60% in the second half of that game and had just one turnover and they didn't make a substitution in the second half.
I have never seen anything like that. Two years ago, that Caleb Love game where he went off when there were no fans at Cameron. North Carolina shot 10 of 15 from three-point range in that game.
They won it by four. Think about what had to happen in order for North Carolina to win in Cameron. You might be thinking, Josh, this Duke team is not that special either and you might be right but they have been special at home and I think that's going to be the difference.
They're unbeaten there. North Carolina not so great on the road. Jeremy Roach, he's shooting 58% in his last two home games.
Also, Duke probably will have some answers defensively against some of North Carolina's weapons. Armando Bacott. You got two guys you can throw at him if you're Duke. Ryan Young, pick up some fouls. Maybe it's Patrick Davidson style for those who remember the Chris Paul game from 15, 16 years ago.
Maybe it's Derek Lively. You got guys you can throw there. Maybe even Mark Mitchell in some switching situations.
North Carolina, really good defensive team. I think Mitchell also could be an answer on RJ Davis. I don't think it's going to be a memorable game.
I don't think it's going to be something we talk about years from now. It's going to be one of those things where we say, oh yeah, you remember John Shire's first game against North Carolina as the head coach? Yeah, I know he won it but, oh yeah, Derek Lively. I remember that guy. Ah, Tyrese Proctor, oh yeah.
He's from Australia, right? That's how you're probably going to remember this game years from now. On Twitter at WSJS radio if you want in. 336-7777.
1-600 is the phone number. What do you think is going to happen in North Carolina Duke tomorrow? Today's been dubbed Michael Jordan Day. Get it?
It's 2-3-23. So to celebrate, I've got some Jordans on. Got my Jordan 1s.
Trying to be balanced here. If you're wearing Jordans, well that's Michael Jordan's domain, right? A Carolina guy. So I decided to wear the Royal Blue Jordans today. So that way there's some appropriate balance as we get set to talk about Duke North Carolina for most of today's show. I think I'm going to use one of our two or three tokens that we have a year to talk about the most popular sports radio topic of the last 10 years that we only give ourselves the ability to talk about but just a few times a year. And that's the LeBron-Michael Jordan debate. WD, when I used to do producing work for David Glenn back in the day statewide, if you said Michael Jordan's name in the same sentence as Lebron's, the phone lines would light up like they're lighting up right now to talk about Duke in North Carolina. I remember.
That's it. Like that topic, it's one of the greatest sports radio topics ever. To me, if we're going to revisit it right now, we haven't had this discussion in a while, it seems that it's getting close to being settled for good because Lebron, in my opinion, needs one more title to make it a really strong case, but he isn't close to one right now. And look at his birthday. He's going to turn 39 years old this year. The Lakers, they're not a contender.
We'll see what they do with the deadline over the next week. And Lebron, four titles. That's not just short of Michael, that's short of Kobe, that's short of Magic, that's short of Kareem. I think Lebron's greater than some of those guys, but it makes it really difficult to argue him being the greatest. You might say, well, he's the all time scoring leader, or he's going to be, he's going to pass Kareem shortly. Well, that alone isn't enough for you to be the greatest when you have two fewer titles and you also didn't play college basketball. This isn't argued enough in the Michael discussion. Everybody just argues the NBA stats side by side, but Lebron didn't play college ball, which gave him more years to play in the NBA. And Michael had a hall of fame college basketball career in which he won a national title and hit a game-winning shot to be Georgetown. That should count for something.
It does, in my opinion. Lebron's last hope is that he gets traded somewhere, I think. Traded to a team that can contend. But the problem with that, who's going to want to take his contract? He signed a two-year extension, during the last off season, that makes things a little tricky. So we're getting to that point where the Michael Lebron debate is close to being settled.
I think Lebron is the second greatest and Michael is the greatest of all time. I'm worried about where we're headed to the phone line to start today's show because the human highlighter is making an appearance for the first time in a long time to talk about Duke of Carolina. Human highlighter, go right ahead. It's back. The man, the myth, the living legend.
The human highlighter. Let me tell you something, Josh. I've been sent out of retired. I've been living a highlight. But away comes the Carolina Duke. You can always count on the A.K.K.
making an appearance. I want to tell you something. You said one thing that I can agree with. It won't be a memorable game. And that is because the Carolina boys are going to walk in the dark and walk the dog all over John Shire and the Duke Blue Devils.
I know what you can say. I know you can talk about this past season and what we've been going through. We haven't been playing that well.
We wake low in three point percentage. But when the light shines, when the spotlight is on, Caleb Love, Armando Baycock and all the rest of the bullets will rise to the top. And they will make the statement that we are always happy and will continue to be Duke's daddy.
Excellent. There goes the human highlighter. I'm open for taking calls today, especially if they're as good as that call is.
We'll always make room for the human highlighter. There was big news that was made official in the morning here on Triad Today, and it involves the host of Triad Today and Wake Forest P.A. announcer Jeffrey Griffin, who's going to join us in studio to discuss that news next on The Drive. Now comes the moment you have all been waiting for.
All right, whenever you're ready. This is The Drive with Josh Cram. Later this hour, your chance to win tickets to tomorrow's Carolina Thunderbirds game. Those games have been selling out. So hot ticket, your chance to go see them. We'll have opportunities to get tickets every hour of today's show. Working double duty today is Jeffrey Griffin, now host of Triad Today in the morning, popping into the studio here in the afternoon.
We'll be right back with today in the morning, popping into the studio here in the afternoon. Jeffrey, big news now official. We've known about this for a while, but Wake Forest, unless John's had the story about your retirement as the P.A. voice of Wake Forest Athletics after this basketball season, correct? Right. We're going to finish out the season, whatever that entails.
We'll be there for the ride. But we've been waiting for Wake to move forward on the announcement and all that. We had some discussion of back and forth. Most of that discussion went, are you sure? Yep. Are you really sure? Really, y'all? There's no way we're not going to revisit this.
No, y'all really. We've made the decision. But the big news is out.
It's been a 23-year run, going to come to an end, going to do some different things. I don't know if you know this, but today is goat day. Do you know that? No. Two. No. Three.
Twenty-three. Michael Jordan day. Tom Brady retired earlier this week, so I've got my goat socks on. And it's fitting because you're the goat of P.A.
announcers here in the state of North Carolina. Kind words. When did you decide that this would be your last year? We've talked about it. Vicki and I have talked about it for a while.
You know, just off and on. But then we had some serious conversation this year. And here's the and here's the deal. Some folks get disappointed because you want a big dramatic story, right? Burning bush experience. Oh, Wake Forest pushed you out.
No, and it couldn't be further from that. Simply the fact is that our daughter Sophia is going to be in college in less than seven years. Miles is 12. That's our boy.
I've watched one football game in the stands with my son. And, you know, I don't want to get to the end of the journey. Our children grow up living on their own, doing their own thing, making their own mark in the world and go, golly, I wish I'd done.
I should have. No, we're not going to we're not going to play that game. So from the time that we have left between now and them being grown ups and living their own life, we're going to do as much as we can go. We're going to do we're going to be and we're going to share that adventure. And I'm going to be right beside them. And we have built our family life thus far around the sports schedule. And, you know, and they've been very gracious and very kind about that.
But it's time for them to be center stage. And I'm not going to miss another one of those. And, you know, when Sophia's in a game and Miles is doing a concert and whatever it might be, we're going to be there on the front row and great parents and taking cupcakes and showing up for events and all that good stuff. We're going to see as much of the world as we can. And I'm still going to be here in the mornings, you know, so it's not it's not a catastrophic we're not moving away.
There's nothing dark and alarming and all about it. Wake Forest has been ridiculously kind with with me over the years. And I kind of learned my way into that job. And so, you know, it's been an adventure that we've been able to share some magical moments, best coaches, best players, best fans. And it's just when, you know, you know, and it's time to do another adventure now. Jeffrey Griffin is in studio with us from Triad Today. Retiring as the PA voice of Wake Forest Athletics.
That'll be at the end of the basketball season. This journey, this chapter of your life started in 2001. How much different is your life now versus June of 2001?
I never expected to be there. I was a lifelong Wake fan. You know, Rod Griffin back in the day. That was my guy. You know, it's all that. Skip Brown. Oh, yeah.
I mean, just so all my gracious. Jay Venuto, 1979, the Tangerine Bowl. I had not been for that team. I would have never been to Disney World. So there's been a lot of love there.
I was a lifelong Wake guy. And I had never and prior to that, I had never announced anything. I kept stats for a high school football team. See, I know it's laughable, right? Yeah.
I could just picture you with your notepad. Yard run. Don't you know? Eight plus 17. What is it? How far did the punt go?
I don't know. So, and I never announced anything and, um, just kind of, you know, fell into that opportunity and it has been a blast. And so our, our married life together, we have never been without the Wake Forest schedule.
Really? How long have you and Vicki been married? We got married in 2006 and I was at Wake 2001.
So this is new territory for us. So, you know, every year when the schedule is published, first thing that goes in the calendar. So can we go out on our anniversary? Uh, when is our summer vacation? You know, so you knew you were already going to be retiring before say the ACC football schedule was announced earlier this week. Yes. Did you have the reflex of, Hey, the football schedule's out. I need to, did you have the reflex?
I looked at it and I went, Ooh, goodness. I will not be there for that. I don't have to be there for this game. And I'm picking out which games I want to go to because, you know, not just Wake Forest.
I, there is so much, I mean, come on. I want to go to A&T homecoming. I've never been to Clemson. You've never been to Clemson for a football game? Now my wife is an Ohio state girl. Tell him what not to do when you go to Clemson. Don't go up the sidelines where Devin Leary's throwing practice passes because you might get hit down low. Yeah.
He got hit in the man area. I'm going to stay, stay safely in the stands, but I mean, Vicki's an Ohio state girl. I want to take my son and go to Columbus for a football game. I mean, does everybody, everybody gets that? Never.
I know we talked about this a little bit. I'd never been to Cameron. I want to go to Cameron for a, for a basketball game. And so much of our experience, where can we go?
What can we do? When can we have folks over? You know, that's a Bible study I'd love to do at church, but I can't because I got games on every Wednesday night in January.
So it's just a different chapter of life. So yeah, when that, when that schedule is published, I go, my goodness, look at all this time. I'm going to be home looking right here. I don't even know.
It's honest to goodness truth. I don't know where games are on the television. This is going to be a whole new thing for me as I sit with the remote control and go, are you kidding?
Which channel is this? So I got a lot to learn. Yeah.
As long as you still have cable, you should be fine. Jeffrey Griffin's with us. What name still gives you nightmares at night? Oh my gosh.
Oh my gosh. The, um, what name? There, there was a guy, a German and I w I can't, I just can't say it on air, but his last name had an umlaut in it. And when you're from the Southern United States and, and you say, how do you say that one time?
And they're from the South. And I just, I used to pray that boy never got in the game. One time, one time. And, uh, you, everybody, you just kind of looking at me, Oh, Jeffrey, here's your big moment. And I said, and now coming in for the demon Deacons, what do you do? And I, I just, I prayed for that boy. I just, please don't let him get in.
I don't want him hurt, but please don't let him play. Jeffrey Griffin's in with us growing up a Deacon fan. Did the Duke Carolina rivalry still mean something?
Absolutely. Biggest rivalry in college basketball. And you have to take sides. What side do you take? Who do I dare say?
They wear blue. That's good. On the way out.
Yeah. When was your first show here at SJS? June, June 6th. That's what I thought. Six months. That's right.
How do you feel about it? Getting there. You're getting there. You know, it's one of those that it feels like old times and there's a sense of familiarity and a sense of connection. And then, but it's that first year we're halfway through. Yeah. Everything's new and different that first year. It's like, it's like, first year we're halfway through. Yeah. Everything's new and different that first year. It takes 18 months for a show to really hit its stride.
You've done things a lot quicker than I think even we did in our first six months. So it, and I, every day is an adventure and some things you just got to try. Yeah. Yeah.
I mean, you know that there's sometimes the best laid plans and you get off the air and go, good gracious, that did not work. So anyway, but, and no, it is a, it's a joy and it's a privilege. You know, that's another thing. Sometimes you just show up for work because it's a paycheck. Yeah, I got it. I'll go, I'll get it. I'll do my job and all that. But when you have a legacy like WSJS enjoys, there is a responsibility that you've been entrusted with.
And certainly you, you appreciate that too. And you carry that, that sense of trust, that sense of connection so that when people grow up, when they listen and if there's anything, there'll be a kid. And Josh, I don't know if you, if you fully embrace that. I think just because I'm so much older than you, there is a kid who will wake up and ask mom or dad who won the ball game last night.
And the answer will not be the Yankees or the Tar Heels or the bears. It will be who you should call Josh. He knows. And, and in that way you will be invested in countless lives. Jeffrey, congratulations on a great run. We'll get you back in here before you've completely finished things off. And then hopefully with a bang, have you fantastic and have a great weekend. Thanks for popping in, not dipping out as soon as the show ended and starting your weekend. Well, they, they promised cupcakes, so let's go get one.
Let's go get a cupcake. Wake up with Jeffrey Griffin and Triad today. Weekday mornings at seven. Now back to the drive with Josh Graham. The Pro Bowl games are this weekend in Las Vegas. We'll talk more about that in a moment. Interest level. That's something I'm interested in what the ratings are going to be.
I'm more interested in that than I'm actually interested in the Pro Bowl games, but we'll get to that momentarily right now. It's Friday. We like closing the weekend on a high, making people feel good, raising morale. That's what you're here for. You're here for a good time.
We're not here for a long time. We're here for a good time. And with a sponsor now, it's time for Weekly Positivity. Oh, yeah.
I think this just might be my masterpiece. Weekly Positivity brought to you this week by Sunshine. Oh, yeah. Sunshine. Good energy.
WD's slugging one of those right now and showing it off on our video stream that you can find by searching the drive with Josh Graham on YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter. Sunshine beverage. Sunshine beverage. It believes in making life shine even brighter. And that's good.
And they create beverages that help people feel their best. That's good as well. 336-777-1600 if you want to call in and tell us something good.
It might be sports related. And again, it might not be. WD, you good over there? Or let me say that again.
Are you good over there? Yeah, I was drinking some of this sunshine beverage and it went down the wrong path. Continuing a trend of WD when asked to speak. Shut up. Not being ready to or being interrupted by fluids.
What fluids? That's also not very nice. That's another great on-air contribution. We should fine you money every single time you give us on-air contributions like that. But that's not in the spirit of Weekly Positivity.
We're talking about things that are good. And I'll start with the Duke Carolina game being tomorrow. I'll be going to it and I've had the chance to go to a lot of really good Duke Carolina games. My first one was the Zion Williamson shoe game. I wasn't in my seat in time for opening tip. So I was in the back and the screens they had in the back room mirrored what was on the scoreboard, not the broadcast. So when the ball was tapped, we could not see what was happening during the game the first 30 seconds because they didn't show live action on the scoreboard.
So while we were trying to change the camera, while the game was playing out first 30 seconds, I was flipping a TV in the back to the game. And the first thing we saw was Zion on the floor writhing in pain. All we thought in the back was, did somebody shoot Zion?
What happened? We had no idea, even though it happened about a hundred feet from where we were standing. You thought somebody shot Zion? Well, he was down and that could be a basketball injury, not a shot. It was sarcasm, WD. Oh, I see. You know, like when people, a guy falls down in a football game and they say sniper, they don't actually mean a sniper shoots somebody. They just are saying that he fell down. That's like when you ask me if I understand a movie reference and I'll be like, oh yeah, I was thinking about that myself.
That was sarcasm too. Who do we have on the line? Kyle, the Amazon driver. Kyle, we've now got a sponsor attached to this.
No pressure. Tell me something good. Who is the sponsor? Sunshine beverage.
Oh man. Let me tell you about sunshine because today I woke up in a very typical mood for going to work every day, but is there no better sunshine beverage than the human highlighter himself calling turning my whole day around. Oh my gosh, I got so happy when I heard his voice. How happy are you today? Tell me something good with you.
Well, I'm very happy today. I've got a trainee with me. Say hello, John. Hey, what's up? Hey, John.
Hello, John. Are you an Amazon driver too? Yeah. Wow. So we're talking to Kyle and John, the Amazon drivers.
Yeah. I just wanted to give some positive vibes to my father today. He's going for a job interview.
I can't really disclose the job, but it's pretty important. And I want to make sure he gets positive vibes from the entire triad. Uh, he's going out to level cross for this job interview. Um, is he going to be the Panthers new offensive coordinator? He could be, do not ever watch a Cowboys game with my father because he, Oh my gosh.
Breaking news is that Kyle is breaking news. Kyle, the Amazon driver's dad might be Kellen Moore. No, but I actually did meet Kellen one time.
Wow. Tell us about meeting Kellen Moore. Me and my dad drove 1600 miles in a minivan that had no air conditioning, no armrest and no radio to go watch the Dallas Cowboys get beat by the Ryan Fitzpatrick jets on a Saturday night. We met some people that took us down to the Miller light club, which is the little bar area behind the bench. And they wouldn't give me a beer because I didn't look important enough.
Wow. So out of nowhere, this guy flags down the, the bartender gets me my beer. Turns out it was Dez Bryant's cousin who then walked us into the locker room and I shook hands with Kellen Moore and Dez. And we just had a good time.
I told Dez, I told Dez, you know, keep it up. He's kind of high sprung and Kellen was actually starting because that was the Tony Romo year where he got hurt. That's something that was a lot of different years though. That's good. No.
Well, the Kellen Moore year. Yeah. Yeah. I understand.
I understand. Well, that's very good. John, Kyle, thanks for sprucing up our day.
Really do appreciate it. There he goes. Kyle the Amazon driver and John the Amazon driver sprucing up our day as if they were human forms of sunshine beverage. That's what, that's what I thought.
Just a random beverage that I thought of there to use as an analogy. Tell me something good on the way out. I'm excited that it's LeBron day. I'm really happy about that. It makes me feel good. LeBron doesn't wear 23.
He did at one point. So it's LeBron day today. And that's been Weekly Positivity.
Get out of here with that. LeBron day. It is. It's not Michael Jordan day. Calm down. Who declared that?
Espen. Uh, I know. The ACC network. They're not showing LeBron games. They should be.
Should they? Yes. Are you really one of those that are saying LeBron's better than Michael? Overall player? I think so. You can't, overall player. Yes.
You can, that's impossible to measure. I hate doing like, Oh, Bill Russell. If he went man to. That's like the whole conversation of, Oh, Tom Brady's more accomplished, but as Aaron Rogers talented quarterback. I think influence matters.
It's not just what you accomplish. It's influence. And LeBron can't possibly have as much influence as Michael had. I think he has more.
It's not possible. I think LeBron's more likable than Michael Jordan. No, I people don't. People don't never hated Michael. No one hated Michael. Everybody do. LeBron's one of the most polarizing athletes in the history of America. You don't think anybody hated Michael? No, I don't. Really?
Yes. No, but like few hated Michael. There are droves of people that hate LeBron. Like he is polarizing. You either love him or you hate him.
He is polarizing. When the bulls played in the nineties, they were the show. There wasn't this great opponent where it's like, I hate Michael because he beat this team.
He beat this team over and over again that everybody likes. No, everybody, they were just this one comment. They were this comment that you either rooted for. You didn't root against them. People weren't rooting against the bulls. They weren't polarizing.
That's why the last dance documentary works. Like people were not hating Michael Jordan. When that came out, you had some of the LeBron folks who were too young to remember watching Michael play.
Yeah. Those people, but no, Michael's a greater player than LeBron is. There's no shame in being second. There's no shame in that. When you talk about all time greats. Happy LeBron day. Get out of here with that. It's important.
What you decide to wear tells people a lot about who you are. And today with it being 2-3-23. Some are calling it Michael Jordan day. WD is calling it LeBron day.
Trying to troll on people. It feels like I've got Jordans on, but it's the day before Duke Carolina. So you don't want to show that you're leaning in one particular direction the day before that game. So to try and offset that I've got Royal blue colored Jordans on and a Royal blue shirt here.
Trying to offset some of that a bit as we welcome Pat Fordy to the show from Sports Illustrated. Pat, when I was growing up here in the state of North Carolina, one of my favorite things to do when the game was at Cameron was to look at the top of the screen and look at the sports writers that are sitting courtside next to the Cameron crazies and look at what colored shirt they'd be wearing. And you'd want to see any blue colored shirts.
You wouldn't see any red because of NCC. State, the most popular color I've noticed was purple. And I'm I think I'm going to wear purple tomorrow when I show up at the at Cameron. Have you figured out your wardrobe for Duke Carolina tomorrow?
Well, yeah, by necessity, since, you know, you had to pack for like three days to be here. So it's kind of like a little bit of a plaid number that I guess is mostly pink. So, you know, I'm I'm I think I'm pretty neutral. Well, let's see if what I don't want to know is, of course, to end up with a back full of body paint, which I probably will, because the crazies basically lean on your backs on on court side there.
It's a good point. Find the shirt that you don't mind never wearing again if you're going to go sit courtside at Duke Carolina. So you bring the national angle to this on Twitter at Pat by Pat Fordy.
You can read a Step Sports Illustrated. What is the greatest appeal to this game nationally now that you've spent time with the folks at Duke yesterday and the North Carolina folks today? You know, I think it's twofold. I think we will begin to get a real referendum on John Shire. You know, he's he's done OK so far. You know, fine. You know, not great, not terrible. You know, they've played a tough schedule. They've had a little bit of injuries.
Guys in and out of the lineup and they've gotten through it. OK, but but we all know that this is a real yardstick game and we're going to see how the rookie head coach does. And then on the other side, you know, I think the curiosity is, did Carolina just have six great weeks last week or what? You know, I mean, like the team wasn't very good until they caught fire. And this year's team hasn't been that good. So what's the real story here with Carolina? They brought back all the players except for Manic and a lot was expected.
You start the year number one and they really haven't delivered on those expectations yet. So well, I'm very curious, very interested to see both teams. Pat Fordy with us here. Since you're on campus in Chapel Hill, let's get into some other Tar Heel news. You're about to sit down with Aaron Matson, who was tabbed to be, you know, she's perhaps the greatest field hockey player in the history of the school. She was tabbed to be the successor for the great Karen Shelton, we learned earlier in the week. But the twist is, for those who don't know who she is, she's 22 years old.
She just got done playing. She's nearly 50 years younger than another head coach that was making news on campus, Mac Brown getting a one year extension through 2028. He and Nick Saban are the two oldest coaches in college football at 71.
Nick Saban in the news today for adding Tommy Reese, pulling him from South Bend. How much longer could you see Saban and Mac Brown continuing to coach, looking at them being 71 now? It's a great question.
I don't know. I mean, I think it's all year to year in terms of enthusiasm, health, ability to connect with young people. Both of them still have those things. And you darn sure know, Mac Brown wants to coach as long as Drake Mays is quarterback, for sure. So, you know, through next year, for sure.
And then after that, we will see, you know, and I think it's one of those things you just got to check in every single season and see how they're feeling and be how they're performing. And you have the Arian Matson news on the other end of the spectrum is just fascinating. Amazing. Yeah. And somebody described her to me, you know, I'm not, believe it or not, well versed in field hockey, said, yeah, she's Michael Jordan. And it's like, OK, so I mean, she's that level of a player. And we'll see if you can transition immediately from player to coach.
Yeah. Michael Jordan went to school in Chapel Hill. And I can't imagine him in 1983 taking over for Dean Smith.
I don't know how that would have gone. 40 with us here is North Carolina, the ACC team in football that you think is probably going to be the trendy pick that everyone talks about in that league when we get to talking season in the summer? I think Florida State actually is a lot of a lot of buzz, a lot of momentum, you know, had a good season, finished very well. Jordan Travis is coming back. They've got some other key players coming back.
So I kind of start there. North Carolina, obviously, right there in the mix and Clemson, obviously, in the mix as well. But, you know, I think Florida State's kind of the buzz team at this point. Drake May's the buzz player, but Florida State's the buzz team, I would say, since the news we got in the last hour regards somebody who was certainly noteworthy around here and Sam Hartman. The Tommy Rees news back to back years, Notre Dame having their coaching staff poached.
It was Kelly a year ago to LSU and now Tommy Rees going down to Tuscaloosa. Sam Hartman is a fascinating story to me. It kind of reminds me like the Russell Wilson story 10 years ago, where for Russ, he's being doubted because of his height and he proved at Wisconsin what he was capable of doing and got drafted and did everything in the NFL. In Sam Hartman's case, it feels like style of play at Wake Forest.
I know you saw it firsthand in the game last year. He steps on campus in South Bend as the alt—I mean, he has more passing yards than any Irish quarterback in history, more touchdown passes than any Irish quarterback or any ACC quarterback in history. What interests you now about Sam Hartman going to South Bend and now looking for—and he's trying to figure out, along with all of us, who his play collar is going to be? Yeah, a pretty jarring turn of events for Hartman.
I like him a lot as a player. The NFL has some questions about him, obviously, or wouldn't still be in college, whether it's arm strength, whether it's style, whatever the case, but I mean, he's incredibly productive and I think he could do very well there. But yeah, I mean, now we've got to see who's going to be the offense coordinator and what kind of style are they going to run? And I guess it's not shocking that Tommy Reese would leave. I think it was a fairly close call between he and Marcus Freeman, who was going to get promoted, and when he didn't get that, and you're still an assistant to a guy who's in his mid-30s, that if Marcus Freeman succeeds, there's no upward mobility at your alma mater there.
The only thing that could happen is you don't succeed and you get fired. So I think it was smart for Tommy Reese to kind of read the room and go to a place where he's the ultimate resume enhancer, Nick Saban. So he's going to get his chance. But yeah, for Hartman, a lot of new unknowns here. And I don't know what way Notre Dame is going to turn. Pat Forti with us here from Sports Illustrated.
Let's close where we started, Pat. You've covered a lot of Duke Carolina games. What memory stands out the most when you think about the great games that you've been to that involve these two teams? Well, just the last two were just so riveting.
Shocking, the one in Cameron last year. An unbelievable win for UNC and so awkward for Duke on Coach K's having the celebration afterwards and and then for them to meet in the final four. I mean, that was, you know, and then just to play a phenomenal game, just a great game.
So those two are right there at the top of the list. I've been, you know, yes, as you said, the plenty of other ones. I was there when, when Tyler hands broke out the bloody face and, you know, many other games, both the Dean dome and at Cameron, I love, loved all of them always will. It's, you know, I will never complain about covering Duke Carolina, that's for sure. This game doesn't quite have the juice of those, but I do, again, as we talked about at the beginning, have a lot of intrigue, a lot of questions that we'll start getting answers to here on from some pretty big picture topics for both schools.
I'm sure you know this, Pat. ACC tournaments in Greensboro this year, you're in a swim family, the Greensboro Aquatic Center. That's where a lot of U.S. swimming stuff happens. I don't know, did Brooks spend a lot of time there? Oh, all three of our kids have swam there, yeah. We, we've been to the, we have been to the Greensboro Aquatic Center many, many, many, many, many, many times. Yeah, right there sharing the parking lot with the Coliseum.
So it's a great place to go watch a swim meet, not a bad place for basketball either. No doubt. I'll see you tomorrow night, Pat. Thanks for making the time with us today. All right, Josh, my pleasure. Thank you.
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