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Mustard And Relish

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
February 22, 2023 6:16 pm

Mustard And Relish

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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February 22, 2023 6:16 pm

On a Wednesday Drive, Josh discusses why he thinks Wake Forest will spoil the party for NC State, tonight, voice of USA Baseball, Daron Vaught, joins the show to reacts to Dom Capers making "headlines" in his first Carolina Panthers press conference and to talk about empty water bottles, in Unusual Questions, and ESPN's, Ryan McGee, joins the show to discuss what the 1983 NC State title team means to him and to tell whether or not sports has an officiating problem.


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, what you have scheduled this game. He's interviewed Matthew McConaughey.

I do say go target. And he's taken on Big Blue Nation. He's just completely taking the wind out of my safety. It's time for The Drive with Josh Grant. Welcome to a Wednesday Drive. You are listening to WSJS News Talk Sports for The Drive, where admittedly I've overlooked the Wolf Pack all season long. I didn't think they'd win in Winston-Salem a few weeks back. I didn't think they'd beat North Carolina on Sunday. I certainly didn't think they'd be the best team in the state of North Carolina this year, which they've clearly been. So I recognize that I've been a bit of a doubter. And as they welcome Wake Forest into PNC Arena tonight, especially with the 83 team back in town for a 40-year anniversary celebration, you might think I've learned my lesson.

You would be wrong. The Deeks are gonna spoil the party tonight. And I can already hear the Sarah McLachlan montage tomorrow.

Will Dalton, the executive producer of this show, clearly hopped up on his sixth cup of coffee today, I think. How many deep are you so far? I'd go with four.

Four, and it's only three o'clock in the afternoon. Here's the thinking on the game. The Pack is ripe for a letdown.

They're coming off the Carolina win. Kevin Keats made it seem like it was just any other game. He said as much yesterday, he joked with us on the show, oh, it was just an opportunity to get a good quad-two win. Little bit of a jab in there.

He's having fun with it. But if you were in that building, as I was, it meant a lot to those players. It meant a lot to the coaches. It certainly meant a lot to the fans. What do you do with the next game?

It's actually a pretty quick turnaround. It's Sunday to Wednesday, which I guess would be the same as playing Saturday to Tuesday. They're honoring the 83 team.

That's a bit of a distraction. It's a nine o'clock tip, and State has been vulnerable at home at times. Lost to Pittsburgh early in the season. Lost, well, had a couple of scares, let's say, against Georgia Tech and Notre Dame, two teams that aren't very good. So it's not like they're impenetrable at home, that they're unbeaten at home, that this is not a team that you can go in and compete against and have a shot to win. And on the other side, the Deacs, they are due and they are desperate.

Don't you love the alliteration there? The quad-one games that Wake Forest has had, five in a row, they've had quad-one games decided by single digits. Two of those quad-one games decided by two points apiece. They don't have a quad-one win this year. Duke at home doesn't count.

Neither does the Virginia Tech home win or the North Carolina home win. They need to get one of those. They've come close. They play well on the road in these situations. They shot 55% at Miami, hit 15 threes, had six guys in double digits, nearly seven. They can score it, they just can't defend that well. So expect a high-scoring basketball game. At Pitt, they shot over 50%.

Pitt just hit 18 threes in the game. So Wake Forest is more than capable. They're due a quad-one win.

They're desperate. They have to win the night. Actually, Steve Forbes, he was on a Raleigh radio show yesterday and said that this game isn't just a must-win game. The rest of their games are must-win games. I think we've got to win the rest of our games, you know, and then I think we've got to win a couple in the tournament, at least. I don't feel good about where we're at today as far as getting in.

I do think we can, and I do think, like you just said, we got opportunities. But you know, we do have some good wins. We beat Virginia Tech, too, who's ahead of us in the net. But we also didn't win some games that we needed to win. Yes, had opportunities at home against NC State, for example, a game that they should have won. DJ Burns dropped the career-high 31 in that game. Don't think that's going to happen again. The Deacs, they got Baby T in foul trouble, the same way they got Duke in foul trouble, and Virginia Tech in foul trouble, with their physicality. This feels like a night that it all comes together because I'm of the belief that if a team or a person continually puts themselves in good positions and does the right things over and over and over again, that they eventually see payoff. That's just the optimist in me. Wake Forest deserves to have one of these things break their way, so I think they're going to get it tonight.

I think they're going to spoil the 83 celebration with a win. On Twitter, at wsjsradio, if you want, and that's where we're streaming video in addition to Twitch and on Twitter, or I guess on YouTube, excuse me. Darren Vaught's going to be in studio later this hour. We have two opportunities for you to win tickets to see Blake Shelton in Greensboro tomorrow night. One this hour, one pair.

Another pair next hour. This is the start of that run that we've been talking about for months that the Greensboro Coliseum is about to see over the next few weeks. This week it's Blake Shelton. Next week it's the ACC Women's Tournament. The week after that, the Men's Tournament.

The NCAA Regionals, first and second round, the week after that. Bruce Springsteen, the week after that. The Eagles with Vince Gill, the week after that. Oh, it's about to be a great run, unlike anything I can ever remember at the Greensboro Coliseum.

So if you want to go see Blake Shelton, make sure you're sticking around later in the hour to win those tickets. But shifting the conversation to the Carolina Panthers. As the Panthers evaluate whether or not they want to find a quarterback in the draft or go the veteran path. Jimmy Garoppolo, Derek Carr, maybe even a trade for Lamar Jackson. Can we rule that out?

I don't know. It's time to take a look at the draft in a way not a lot of Panthers people have thus far, or those who cover the team. Everybody's broken down the scenarios, us included, what it would look like if the Panthers got a quarterback, but what exactly would Carolina do with that number nine pick if they brought in Derek Carr?

If they brought in a veteran, what would that approach be? And this is something that Daniel Jeremiah pursued, App State guy, in his mock draft 2.0. He said, we're assuming Carolina's going the veteran quarterback path. And he has him drafting a tackle out of Northwestern, which I found interesting. You took Iki Iekwanu last year, you've got Taylor Moten on the other side. Don't quite know if that's the right play, but when I looked at the rest of his mock, I think the path for Carolina, if it's not a quarterback this year, if they go veteran, is that they should pursue an edge rusher. That's what I think they should do. It's a quarterback or an edge rusher if you're picking in the top 10. Or you trade back.

One of those two things. Because this draft, the deepest position is edge, pass rusher. And it's such a valuable position to have. There's a reason why Brian Burns would have been worth more than two first round draft picks if they traded him at the deadline last year. Daniel Jeremiah projects four edges in the top eight picks.

And we know how this works. There is a lot better chance an edge rusher falls to you in the draft, falls to number nine, then say a quarterback like CJ Stroud does. So Carolina could stay put at nine and odds are one of those four edges probably going to fall into your lap at nine if history is any type of an indicator. I just like the idea of pairing an edge with Brian Burns. That would be incredible. It was clear last year that the Panthers missed Hasan Redick in stretches. It would have been good to have him around.

We saw the impact he had with the Philadelphia Eagles. Load that up for Ejiro Evaro's 3-4 defense. The 3-4, you have those two great edge rushers out on the edge in the 3-4 that could be a stand up or hand in the dirt type of guy. Brian Burns is great at it.

Find another guy who is. And if you're wondering who that might be, well apparently this Texas Tech edge is flying up draft boards to the point where Will Anderson's not the number one edge in Daniel Jeremiah's moc. That's a little crazy. So it seems like those two guys are probably going to be out of Carolina's reach.

But somebody who might not be? Keep an eye on Miles Murphy from Clemson. That seems to be a pretty good prize for Carolina at nine. Plus it would end one of the craziest streaks in all of football in my opinion, or at least in Carolina Panthers history. The Panthers have been around since 1995. They've had draft picks every single year since 1995.

Not in the first, not in the second, not in the third, not in the fourth, not in the sixth, not in the seventh. Have they ever drafted a player from Clemson? They've never drafted a Clemson Tiger. I would be cool if Miles Murphy were the first guy that they take.

There are a lot of really good Clemson players in the pros and Miles Murphy seems like he would be the next very good Clemson Tiger if Carolina went that path. So this isn't me necessarily saying I would prefer Carolina to go the veteran quarterback path. But if you did, you wouldn't have to give up draft picks to bring in Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo who are free agents. So you still have that number nine pick. You don't have to trade that to bring one of those guys in and you can help yourself in another way. And just imagine if you add another top ten caliber edge rusher to a defense that already has Derek Brown clogging up things as a top ten pick in the middle of the D line, Brian Burns on the other edge, Frankie Louvou who emerged last year, Shaq Thompson, J.C. Horne a top ten pick corner, Jeremy Chin in the second round who looks like a first round caliber player that you have in the secondary.

This defense would no doubt be a top ten defense with a strong defensive coordinator that interviewed for all the head coaching jobs this cycle, including the Panthers job. We heard from Ejiro Evaro today. You will hear from him later on this hour.

Dom Capers as well making headlines. The best way to put it places everyone. Come on, please. We're ready. Get your morning off to a great start with Jeffrey Griffin on Triad today.

weekday mornings at seven. Now back to the drive with Josh Graham. Gamebot now in studio with us. He's got a new baseball podcast that is out. It's you and Will Graves. Danny. Danny Graves. Who's Will Graves? Oh, that's a North Carolina basketball player. Sorry.

Mixed up my Tar Heels. Danny Graves, the baby faced assassin. He's a Nickelback for Major League Baseball, of course, for sure.

But. Two time All-Star as the closer for the Cincinnati Reds. Put some put some respect on my guy Gravy's name.

What's the name of this podcast? ACC Baseball, et cetera. Obviously, it's about ACC Baseball, but the et cetera reserves the right to talk about whatever we want. We'll get to baseball a little bit later on, but we need to talk about it. We've buried this lead enough. We've been chatting now for quite a bit of time today, and we haven't talked about the most important thing.

Let's talk about Dom Capers hair. It needs to be. I'm so glad. I am so glad you've brought this up.

It needs to be discussed. He was introduced as the Panthers. Defensive senior analyst, and he was the Panthers inaugural coach. Here he was speaking about the excitement of being back in Charlotte.

A guy told me a long time ago, if you stay in a business long enough, you go full circle. And as I was driving over here when I arrived and looked up at the skyline and I couldn't think about how much it changed. OK, since back in nineteen ninety five when we started and but it's great to be back.

I have nothing but great memories of my time here. Yeah, all that's great, but it's fine. That's not I heard none of that because it's distracting. The hair is distracting. I'm thinking about the black leather helmet. It does look like a hair net.

The man's seventy two going to turn seventy three in August. His hair is jet black. Even Coach K is like, damn.

Well, K at a point there became a time now this this this actually ultimately will serve as a total testament to the way K has handled his hair. Did he boldfaced lie about it to us for years saying that he didn't color it? Yeah. Hundred percent.

Did it look natural? Yeah. Yeah. Did Dom Capers know that he was going to get dragged today? Did he know?

No, no. Does he know that his hair isn't great? Is there Frank Reich went on a rant yesterday talking about having yes men in his life. He doesn't want yes men. Does Dom Capers have someone in his life to tell him that his hair looks like a Lego hair? Does he have somebody in his life that says that could tell him he looks like spot? How are the bangs that like it looks A.I. generated?

It's incredible. I thought it was a joke when I first saw it. Somebody said he was going to give Jalen Rose a run for his. Yeah. Carlos Boozer did the same thing. The jail.

The jailing thing is a good question. How much do you think Capers pays to get his hair done? Wasn't it Jalen that recently said a man shouldn't pay less than a hundred dollars?

No, no, no. This looks like he went to CVS and said, I can do this myself. No, this dude's got it. He's got an old school like country town barbershop. The dude who's always cut his hair goes by peanut. You don't know his actual name.

I feel like we're doing the audience a disservice. If you haven't seen this haircut, how would you best describe it? It is really painted on it is hair that is painted on the top of his look like he's wearing a wig. It's what it looks like. He looks like Tom Hanks playing somebody. He looks like Joe Biden with Colin Hanks's hair. Oh no, no, no. If this looks like all the characters in the Irishman in the Irish, it's what it looks like. This is the roast of Dom Capers. Welcome.

It does. I got this de-aging technology. You guys aren't going to be able to catch the scent that I'm going to get. I think that's enough. Now we might've been mispronouncing the name of the Panthers new defensive coordinator all along because we were also introduced to him today and here he was making sure people know this is how you say it. Hello. My name is Adrian Rivera.

Can I hear that one more time? Hello. My name is Adrian Rivera.

Everybody's been saying a Jiro Aviro and I've heard a Jiro Evero. How do you say the first name again? Hello. My name is Adrian Rivera. Adrian Rivera. So E J I R O Adrian Rivera.

One more time. Hello. My name is Adrian Rivera. That's how I figure out how to pronounce people's names. I just ask them, how do you say your name? And I go based on what they say. That's it sometimes. So like I do, I'm, you know, kind of obsessive about this with play by play.

I want to know how to pronounce the people I'm talking about names. Amateur move. Ask the coach. Coaches never know.

No chance. They know even their own names, ask even their own players names. Yeah.

Ask. I've heard Steve Forbes mispronounce Monsanto, Monsanto. I've heard, I've heard him say different iterations of his name multiple times. He says Armando Baycoat.

But Forbes did defend himself when I called him on that. And he said, I'm from Iowa, man. That's how you spell it. That's how you pronounce it over there. You remember when he called Kihei Clark, Kiwi Clark?

That's right. Kiwi Clark. Darren Motz at Studio with us later tonight. I don't have any interesting clips from Mr. Evero because he sounds like a future NFL head coach in that he could speak for 15, 20 minutes and not say a thing. That was him earlier today.

Dom Capers hair kind of overpowered everything. Tonight, NC State faces Wake Forest, the 83 teams being recognized. So guess what I did to recognize that? I watched Survive in Advance, the 30 for 30 again last night. I've seen this about a dozen times, but I still find new things every time I watch it.

It's probably my favorite 30 for 30. Maybe we could revisit that in a second. I didn't realize until this viewing that they were all, the reunion was at the popular NC State bar players retreat.

That's where they all got together. I thought that was pretty cool. Shout out to a North Carolina sports media legend Bob Holliday doing a lot of the interviews with Jim Dalvano at the time. He's still at it and at a lot of games. There are two basketball things I didn't realize though. Jim Dalvano is fouling multiple times in tie games? Yep. We sure Jim Dalvano is a good coach? We're fouling in tie games here?

Could you imagine the day if somebody did that? I think I thought he was going to miss. That's why I fouled him in a tie game. Whoa. Now I get there was no shot clock at the time.

Sure. But he fouled Virginia in a tie game in the Elite Eight and fouled Houston in a tie game because the kid was a freshman. He's going to miss. He's a freshman. That's how different times were 40 years ago.

I wonder what this would have been good to come in with prepared. I wonder what the nationwide free throw percentage is comparatively now versus then. I know they flashed the graphics in the documentary and you see most of the guys stepping to the line were like 71, 72%. There weren't a lot of 85, 86% shooters. That's not necessarily the type of shooter that in a late game situation you want to foul. But the way Derek Wittenbergen was talking about it in the doc is like oh he's a freshman. There's no chance he's going to make these free throws.

Like what? Wait. There's a reason he's on the floor. He's a pretty good player. No chance. And oh the last guy missed?

This guy's got no chance either. What? Also Lorenzo Charles I didn't realize he was, he had game winning plays in the tournament other than the title game against Houston. I didn't realize against Wake in the ACC tournament he had to hit a free throw in order to win that game in the final seconds and against UVA in that same Elite 8 game had to hit two in order to win. So Lorenzo Charles, he's definitely a legend.

Not just because he hit that shot in that game which is enough to be a legend but he did it multiple times. Yeah. On that run.

That was the piece that I didn't realize until I read Feinstein's book. The Legends Club? Is that what it's called?

Yes. And that sort of opened up a lot of things about that run to me anyway. What's your favorite 30 for 30? For me it's hard to pick one specifically but the basketball ones tend to be the best. Dave Gordon's write again Requiem for the Big East is the best one.

It's a very good one. For me it's between Reggie Miller and Survive in Advance. Those are the two that I watch the most. Yeah. And I watch the Bo Jackson one just because there's a drinking game attached to it.

Every time somebody says something that's impossible, can't possibly be true, take a drink and you're toast 30 minutes into that. Yeah. That's what I did when I was in college.

I haven't done that as an adult by the way. You know one that I feel like doesn't get a ton of love but I really really really enjoyed? Rand University. Oh yeah. With Randy Moss and sort of his upbringing.

A lot of App State clips. Yeah. From Randy Moss's Marshall days. Yeah.

He had some success. I get Sean Clark and Daniel Jeremiah led Appalachian State team. Unusual questions in just a minute. The honky conk honky tonk tour is coming to Greensboro tomorrow.

Blake Shelton. If you want to go, how about ask us an unusual question? Yes.

336-777-1600. You want to tease the people with what an unusual question might sound like to try and get their brain juices going Darren Vaught? Yeah. You almost just said honky conk. If honky conk was a genre. Conk's really good in like the Caribbean islands. They have, that's like the most popular type of fish. It's really good.

It looks nasty. Yeah. I was referring to musically, there's the shell. The conk shell. Oh. Which you see depicted being blown into to make music. So if honky. News team assemble.

So my question that I just came up with on the fly, if honky conk was a musical genre, what do you think it would sound like? That would be an unusual question. Ron, we've literally been here the entire time. Oh, hey Ron. Darren has a podcast, ACC, baseball, et cetera. Not with Will Graves. No. Danny Graves. Danny Graves, who's a Nickelback for major league baseball. Vincent Addy, Reds Hall of Famer. Yeah.

Miami Hurricanes. Yeah. Hall of Famer. And you just had a big guest this week. First podcast. So our very first guest in show history happened to be the national player of the week, Wake Forest first baseman Nick Kurtz. Yeah. On with us. He answered questions such as, if Wake Forest baseball was to hold a dunk contest, which of their players would win? Pretty good. So just something to look forward to when you, when you tap it on your phone or an unusual question, however you listen.

Wake baseball's really good. Okay. Let's get the unusual questions now. Last week guys, everybody made it out that I got mad at Josh and I left the press conference.

That's not right. I thought it was an unusual question and it's okay. It's time for unusual questions with Josh Gray. And let's start with garage Mike who has tickets now to Blake Shelton. Well, actually he doesn't, he has to ask a question in order to get the tickets. Don't do the thing that people do in press conferences, asking us to talk about something.

That's not a question has to be an actual question. Garage Mike, in order for you to go to Blake Shelton tomorrow night, what do you got for us? What's up Josh? How you doing man? Doing great.

Good to hear from you. Oh, garage. Mike is a proud member of the Graham crackers. There's a group of four listeners who are now friends who called themselves the Graham crackers and garage.

Mike is one of those. Are you the leader of this quartet or are you guys all co leaders, co coaches, co, you know, members of this group? You know, Josh, who was the first Graham cracker to call in? I think it was you.

That's the answer to your question. All right. What's your unusual question? Garage Mike. All right.

Garbage Mike. So the word pants is plural, right? Pants? Yeah.

Yeah. So if there is two legs to pants, right? Why is it called, why is the, why do we call them legs, not legs? On pants.

Pant, leg, pants, legs. I get it. Okay.

I see what you're saying. Okay. Thank you for the call. Garbage Mike. That was a very unusual question. You called him garage Mike like three times. I know.

Garbage Mike. Sorry about that. That's that's on me. I typed it wrong. I know.

That's I know. Garbage Mike. I'm sorry. Garbage Mike to make it up to you.

You're going to Blake Shelton for asking that question. That's all I'm gonna make it up to you. I always do find it odd when you see like you're shopping online or whatever, and you're looking at clothing stores and you see the label and sometimes what you wear on your legs is referred to as pant, a pant. This reminds me of a question I actually had not last week, but two weeks ago, my Valentine's gift that Sarah Bradford gave me was a new pair of sweat pants. I didn't have like a decent pair of sweat pants. Okay. What's your line on sweat pants wearing them outside of your house?

There is no line. Come on. I wear sweat pants.

Although, see, you would not wear them to a game. The recent, that is a line. Well, okay. Yeah. Outside of the house.

I got no problems, especially winter, man. Like the good thing is there's this, the line has been blurred more by the popularization of what are referred to as joggers, which are basically just nice sweat pants, which is what I got usually like khaki colored too, or like colored in a way that you can from a distance believe they're slacks or whatever. That's right. The sweat pantsification of America is a real thing. The sweat pantsification of America.

No. So like to a game, obviously, like I'm wearing actual slacks now because I got to wear a suit. Only if I'm running errands or doing chores will I be wearing sweat pants outside of my home or when I'm doing this radio show sometimes. I would be... Those are the two scenarios. I'm shopping or I'm going to do this radio show. I would be in sweats or joggers.

Like if I was in your shoes, I'd be in joggers every day. I feel that. Every day in here. Let's go to Dave and Clemens who has an unusual question.

Dave, go right ahead. What's up, JGDB? I love your work, man.

Keep up the great work. But this question... Hold on.

You said singular man. Who were you referring to? Oh my gosh. Yes. That's what I'm talking about. Okay. That's the unusual question. Josh, I got to ask. It's been driving me crazy. Why are your water bottles always almost empty?

Like two stairs? Are you the guy with 10 water bottles on his nightstands that are like half empty? Okay.

Let me... This is something I'm very self-conscious about. You have identified something that legitimately I'm sweating about right now talking about. I have a nervous tic and my nervous tic is to pick up the water bottle when I'm asking somebody a question.

You constantly drink from it with nothing in it. That's right. You do that. And I realize it. I realize it. It's been a tic of mine for a long time. There was just something sitting in front of me here. I got to pick it up.

I'm like Ricky Bobby with my hands. I don't know. It's something. I don't know what it is. I don't know how to fix it.

Twirl a pen. I mean, that's still not encouraged in most cases, but it's less obvious. And in terms of how many water bottles I have, yes. I'm the guy who constantly goes to Costco and gets the 36 pack and then grabs water bottles every day and that's how I drink water. See, I have the Brita filter in my fridge.

I don't. I have the dispenser there. See, that's the way to go because then... It's more environmentally sound.

You get an aluminum bottle or whatever. So that was a question that was designated straight towards me. Julian writes in a question that's designated straight towards Darren. With new pick off rules and bigger bases this season, we all know there's going to be more stolen base attempts. Does the pitch out make a comeback in 2023?

That's a good question. I think it does. By the way, Will, you texted me about this like a week ago about the bigger bases. They've done this at the minor league level and you're barely going to notice. Once you see games are being played, it's just a talking point and it is an actual physical thing that's happening. So you don't think there's going to be any changes in the pitch out?

The size of... Well, I say visually. Visually, you won't notice the new bases. But yeah, no, there will be some pretty significant changes strategically with the limited number of pick off attempts that you can make. I could for sure see maybe not a pitch out because that would... A runner would have to take off for that to be the case. But just to keep a runner honest, I could envision snap throws back to first happening way more often because that... A, it's a throw by the catcher and not the pitcher. You're not wasting an arm. But B, you're not wasting one of your limited number of those attempts you have.

So especially if runner on first right handed batter, I would say there's going to be a lot more just sort of test him to first throws. Darren Vaught, really quickly, what's your unusual question? Let's hash out this honky-conk thing. I'm intrigued by this sound. You know me, I got a little twang in my musical tastes.

We work in some steel drums into a folksy sound. I'd be about it. WD, what's your unusual question?

You're not even going to entertain me on the honky-conk? Do you have a specific toothpaste that you must use? No. Whatever's on sale at Costco. I feel like... Cheapest price. Darren, you might.

I don't know why. That I must use? Yeah. Do you have a specific type of toothpaste that you use or have to use? I have a type that I prefer that is free of certain things. There's got to be fluoride in it. Whatever the cheapest one at Costco is. There's got to be fluoride in it. Costco's high-value stuff, high-quality stuff, so I trust what they have in the store. Whatever the cheapest price there is, it's already involved. But you don't look at the label?

No. See, I got to always go optic white, 15 times wider than normal toothpaste. You can get a four-pack right now at Costco for 18 bucks. Advertising works just because of the way that WD said that there. Josh, you don't look at the label. You don't look at labels. I don't. They could be putting anything in what you're scrubbing on your teeth, man.

I don't believe in attaching labels to things. Darren Bhatt, have a great broadcast tonight. High Point facing Radford.

ESPN Plus seven o'clock. That's it. Appreciate you being here, buddy.

You got it. So looking at the Rolodex, NC State is getting set to honor the 1983 National Championship team tonight when they play Wake Forest. I wanted to find an NC State fan from the 1980s and the first name that appeared on that Rolodex. Who am I kidding?

Nobody has Rolodexes anymore. This is just on my phone. It's Ryan McGee of ESPN. He has the book that we helped inspire. Welcome to the circus of baseball his summer with the Asheville tourists that we'll get to later in the conversation. McGee, you grew up in Raleigh when this team won its national title. I'd love to know your relationship to the 83 team.

How far would you have to go to overstate the significance of that season? It was the greatest sports team in my lifetime. I mean, it's simple that and you know, I say this all the time that everyone should have a team like that. Like every every sports fan should have the team that they always remember. You know, the team that you can go through the lit that everybody was on the roster. You can tell you, you know, I can still mimic Ernie Myers free throw shooting like that's how I would shoot my free throws because that's how Ernie Myers did it and Ernie Myers by the way, the man who saved the season when Derek Wittenberg went down and so yeah, it's um, I remember everything about that team. I remember Mike Warren. I remember the guy I remember the guys that didn't play because I remember I had those the red soda can and I had the poster with the roster on it and I grew up in Raleigh and so I had this I would just look at that roster over and over and over and over again and so I knew all the names like like I knew all of them and to this day, you know, as you know Ernie Myers wife is the tremendous sports information director at NC State and she knows that I get completely flustered like if ever whenever Ernie comes in the room and thorough Bailey was I wore number 41 like through middle school basketball Youth League basketball intramurals in college always wore 41 because thorough Bailey was was and is my favorite basketball player of all time.

So yeah, every everyone should have a team in their life. Like the 83 wolf pack, you know has been in my life where was Ryan McGee on April 4 1983 when NC State was down in the pit in New Mexico Ocean isle Beach was at Ocean isle Beach with my family. We lived in Shelby like we lived in Raleigh and we would meet these friends of ours from Shelby from when we lived in Shelby. We would get out of the beach every year was Easter week. We always get down to the beach that week and that's where we were and what I remember about it is that was the first year that like I had a bracket that was the first year I even like conceived kind of what that was. I knew there was a tournament. I know you had to beat certain teams understand all that but because the 83 wolf pack made their run through the ACC tournament.

I mean come on Wake Forest, you know, they they kill Wake Forest the regular season finale and or excuse me that they had a look of like a hundred and seven or it was a triple-digit score back when their work those against Wake Forest at the end of the regular season and then played in the first round of the ACC. I remember I got a big piece of cardboard and I drew out the bracket and the tournament then I think at 32 teams, I drew the bracket out with empty stay on it. It just so happens the first time I ever like drew out a bracket the team that I was rooting for won the championship. I wish I still had that I kept it forever. But yeah, so it was but I remember I remember I remember the won the game and I got up and left the room and I walked out onto the balcony of the beach house like overlooking the main street out there because I didn't want I didn't want my family and my friends to see me crying and I walked out on the porch and cried and I went back in the house.

Yeah, I remember I remember clear as a belt. That's almost the same exact story. I'm getting goosebumps right now for me in the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes team. We went out on the beach. My parents didn't know anything about hockey. They said they give me a t-shirt if the canes won the title and the day of game 7 my mom brings me here's your t-shirt and it's an Eastern Conference champion shirt. She had no idea that there was still one more round to go and none of my parents cared about hockey. So I'm in a dark room with it on TV in a hotel room at the beach forget which Beach it was and I remember Justin Williams hits the empty net and I extend both my hands in the air and I'm not making any noises because I don't want to wake anybody up when the Stanley Cup was won by the Carolina Hurricanes 17 years ago.

So a little bit of symmetry. The only other comparison I had with that was like I grew up a Boston Red Sox fan and so when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 I remember my wife was pregnant and I had her up walking around because when I realized the Red Sox are probably gonna sweep the Cardinals in four games I was like you need to have this baby right now. I wanted to have our daughter like you know during the series and it turns out my daughter was born a week later but the um and then the other one was you know I went to Tennessee. I grew up in North Carolina. I grew up an NC State fan but I went to Tennessee because we were living out of the state of North Carolina at the time and I went to I called Tennessee the NC State of the West. I loved it because it reminded me of State and I went there and then when Tennessee won the national championship in 1998 you know those are the three teams of my life but the team is the 83 state team. Ryan McGee with us here from ESPN. So bringing it back to State fast forwarding to 2023 how strange has it been to see ACC basketball games on without Coach K or Roy Williams and as that's happening for the first time in a full season NC State is easily the best team in the state right now. How strange is that to see? Yeah and it's just weird right I mean you and I talked a year ago when I was ESPN was sending me up to Durham and I was doing a story about kind of the last stand to Shesky Ville and then the year before you know obviously I mean you know you I saw you a lot of state Carolina or Duke Carolina games as Roy Williams wrap it up and so yeah it's been to me all due respect to Roy it's been a weirder not having Shesky out there because you know I tell these stories about NC State and I was a little kid and who was the coach at Duke it was just and I hated him I couldn't stand him and you know not a giant fan now but that being said it was he was still there and so it's kind of like I remember the night Jeff Gordon ran his last Jeff Gordon not about the same age and last night the last the night Jeff Gordon supposedly ran his last couple of days he came out and ran a couple more I remember telling him you can't retire dude if you retire then now I become like the old guy in the media center because I was here when you got here and I'm you know now you're gone and he's like you know too bad and that's how I kind of felt about Coach K no matter how you feel about Duke or about him or whatever the fact that he hasn't been on the sideline this year has just been super weird because as long as he was there I still kind of had a direct connection back to when I was you know in elementary school in Raleigh and the last of that is gone. It was the running joke I had with Jay Billis all the time it still makes you feel kind of young knowing that your college coach is still coaching Ryan McGee he's with us here you were covering Daytona for ESPN from over the weekend and I'd be interested to see what you thought of this analogy the finish Sunday reminded me of the Super Bowl a week before it was it underwhelming at the end sure I don't want to see a race in that way the same way I don't want to see a ref have to make a call in that spot but in both cases the system worked the way it was designed and you're never guaranteed to have magical finishes and something that is unscripted despite the fact there are some that still believe sports are scripted but we can let those folks sit on the side of this conversation for now where do you fall on it? You know I think I fall on it where everybody in NASCAR is kind of spoiled rotten because you know I came up when I first started covering the sport a really long time ago with races ended under caution all the time like all the time and so the fact that this was NASCAR's effort to try and ensure that this race did not end under caution led to the longest distance-wise the longest Daytona 500 ever run and you know we were in what 13 extra laps another extra laps and so they were trying to get that in so but but the reality is is that once the white flag comes out if there's a crash race is over and I've had people who don't follow NASCAR and like the Super Bowl they just watch one race a year and and you know that it was a Daytona 500 like why wouldn't they just let them race back to the but for two reasons number one I've been in situations where they used to race back to the caution and I watched them almost kill Del Jarrett in New Hampshire one year because he's sitting in the middle of the track and here they come off a four at 140 miles an hour and he's just a sitting duck and then the other part is I wasn't sure that Kyle Larson wasn't really hurt he hit that wall really hard and that front right corner impact it always scares me to death because of all the death that we had back in the day and so the safety crews cannot go out onto the racetrack and cannot get to the wreck spot until the cars on the track are no longer running at speed and so as long as those cars are running at speed even though they're on the front stretch and reckless way back in the back stretch you know that's just how it is so I just think about spoiled you know but back in the day man and not that long ago we used to end races under caution all the time yeah I said that about I said about Super Bowl like the kid that it was the right thing to do to take a knee and not score a touchdown and do all that I get all that but um but it was I said at the time I said it was like ending you know of an action movie like a diehard movie with the PowerPoint slide well I think it's just super disappointing I think the officiating piece of this though is kind of it's a good analogy analog to what you're talking about with NASCAR though where our expectation is because the truth of the matter I know you've got the officiating book with your dad that's very good and your brother that's a great read your brother a Wake Forest graduate but because of replay refs are more accurate than they've ever been before yet outrage for their performance is at an all-time high what is the primary reason you think that this has become that the officiating has become such a pronounced pinata in recent years is it gambling is it social media what do you think that's social media no social media everybody's got everyone has a microphone everyone has a microphone everyone has a television camera um everyone has a hot take everyone has a live blog you know the the the the device that I'm speaking into right now and everyone has in their pocket right now um and listening to this show on right now it's the social media I say all the time the great thing about the internet is everyone has a voice the worst thing about the internet is everyone has a voice and so you know there's a reason and dad writes it in the book you know you mentioned the sidelines of bloodlines with dad wrote it in the book and he's glad that he retired from officiating in 2009 you know just the social media was getting going and when I talked to officials and I talked to them all the time at games all over the country or at airports wherever um you know that's what they say it's the part that makes their you know there used to be some anonymity to it and now everyone knows who you are they know where you live they know what game you have a sign sometimes before you even know it and um you know there's bloggers that all they do is write about a fishing immediately it's the end you know part of our NFL uh you know chalk stuff where our gamel stuff is the tendency of the officiating crews they've thrown this many flags this year and they like to call interference versus so-and-so and so-and-so I personally don't think that's a fair assessment of fishing crews because it's it's it's very situational but that's what it is social ever everyone has a voice and so as a result folks will get worse because you know I don't hear it all y'all complain about officiating what I say all the time is you know what sign up you know what right now you can sign up right now you can start a fishing high school football games and work your way up the ladder and the answer is always no I wouldn't deal with that yeah you wouldn't deal with that and so that's what's going to happen is this is only going to become more automated um replay is going to become bigger lasers grids I mean all this stuff the the the k-zone um you know the the robots the droids that are going to start calling balls and strikes all that's coming and the main reason it's coming is is because you can't get people to officiate and the reason you can't get people to officiate is because they don't feel safe and it's not any fun and that's certainly I don't think you you couldn't have made that argument 15 years ago Ryan McGee with us here on the way out welcome to the circus of baseball early April this book is coming out our show helped inspired it in the sense that we've badgered you for these stories and you said oh this would make for a pretty good book if the right people died then the right people died and now we actually have the book can't wait to read it you can pre-order it what's a new story we can expect to read or hear in the circus welcome to the circus of baseball in a month or so well I'm actually I'm going into next week I'll be in a recording studio recording the audiobook which I've never done I mean the stories are endless and uh yeah I think about the time that so the guy old guy the guy that ran the ballpark here to me was old and I look back now and he was the same age then that I am now so he wasn't old um Ron McKee minor league baseball legend but Ron really loved like the way that he did things and he had he had worked at that ballpark since he was a bat boy as a kid and uh he'd had a wildly successful run so why would he change things and meanwhile we had young members of the staff who wanted to do things like you know computerize the scoreboard and you know maybe use some sound effects but Ron wanted to play the same music he didn't want to play new songs he wanted to play the old songs he was really obsessed with uh the only new song you play was cheap seats remember that alabama song they came out that summer about minor league baseball the cheap seats it came out that summer and there was one line and it goes you go uh you know they were talking about hot dogs and they go mustard and relish and it was like and Ron was obsessed with that song and the other one was they're coming to take me away anytime I pull a picture Ron would come over the radio he'd go play it and in the press box they'd pull out the cassette tape put it in or put it in the cd and you know they're coming to take me away haha he whoa and Ron was obsessed with that song one night I decided you're Bruce Springsteen gonna be coming to Greensboro pretty soon I'm a huge Springsteen fan uh they let me pick the music for the pregame while the team was warming up and I started playing Bruce and next thing I know Ron came running in the press box popped out the cassette threw it against the concrete and the cassette tape exploded like just exploded like tape went everywhere and he's like quit playing that play Alabama cheap seats went walking out so mustard and relish sorry boss you lost to the mustard and relish that's how that goes oh man it always goes back to Alabama anytime you and I have conversation like it goes back to Alabama or the Bowery at Myrtle Beach I mean we the conversation just always ends up there and I I don't have an issue with it I don't I don't know how you'll do it next time but we'll end up back in Alabama somehow I met Randy Allen one time the lead singer Alabama he's a big NASCAR guy was friends with Dale Earnhardt all that and I told him I told him I said dude I said I love my baseball so much and I love Alabama I said but uh I said if I hear mustard and relish one more time and he gives you he gives we don't even play it anymore so there you go mustard relish y'all that's Ryan McGee from ESPN it's good to hear your voice good luck in getting the final stages of this book completed look forward to hearing and reading it sometime soon thanks buddy
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-23 00:29:42 / 2023-02-23 00:49:22 / 20

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