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 scheduled this game.
He's interviewed Matthew McConaughey. And he's taken on Big Blue Nation. He's just completely taken the wind out of my city. It's time for The Drive with Josh Graham.
We've made it! To a Friday Drive, you are listening to WSJS NewsTalk Sports for the Dryad. Where the Kentucky Derby is tomorrow. The Wells Fargo Championships going on currently in Charlotte. And the Carolina Hurricanes are hosting a playoff game tonight that I'll be racing down 40 to try and make the moment we get off the air. Oh, and go Carolina Thunderbirds. They're in action at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex tonight. We've got tickets for tomorrow's game that we'll be giving away on today's show. So clearly there's a lot going on. However, quietly, Fandle dropped ACC football win totals for this fall earlier in the morning.
And you can bet on these, you know, if gambling were legal. It's become clear that Florida State and North Carolina are the trendy teams this year. FSU has the highest win total of all the ACC teams with 10. And the Tar Heels are third on the sheet at eight and a half wins. If Miami a year ago or Carolina the year before that have taught us anything, you should always fade the trendy team because odds are they're overhyped. And again, Carolina fans just saw this movie a couple of years ago and they should understand this. Something I saw that I hate, but I read it, so I'm part of the problem, was a way too early mock draft for next year. I read this. Todd McShea puts one out every year.
He says it's the bane of his existence, but his boss makes him do it because idiots like me click on it. And guess what? Drake May, top five pick in the draft for next year.
Oh, here's a homework assignment. Google Todd McShea way too early mock draft 2022. And what's going to pop up is Sam Howe, top five pick in the draft. Carolina preseason top 10 team. They were the trendy team then, even though they lost their top two receivers the pre from the previous season in the draft. They lost Dyami Brown. They lost Daz Newsome.
Oh, wait. Carolina lost its top two receivers to the draft this year, losing Josh Downs to the Colts and Antoine Green ended up getting drafted in a later round. So we've seen how this goes. And the bigger issue that I have with North Carolina is that their schedule is absurd. Now, Mac Brown has complained about this, namely about how the season ends, the way that the ACC planted some of these games that they have to close the regular season with Duke, Clemson and at NC State back to back to back weeks. And that Clemson games also in Death Valley. That's not very kind, but it wasn't the ACC's doing to open up the schedule with South Carolina and Charlotte and the Gamecocks are going to be pretty good this year. App State on the schedule, week two in Chapel Hill and Minnesota coming in and week three. That wasn't the ACC's doing. You just look at the schedule.
There are no easy games. You're at Pittsburgh. You've got Miami. And I mentioned those last three games that you have. If North Carolina gets to nine, that's going to be a surprise to me. That's going to be an impressive season.
Yet the bar said it. Eight and a half. This would be me saying to cue up the J.C. Horn again, probably take Carolina under eight and a half. Florida State, same way. It is absurd to me that Florida State has the best odds in the ACC, the highest win total, I should say. Vegas is telling you or FanDuel's telling you that Florida State is the favorite to win the ACC this year. They have not won the ACC or played in an ACC championship game since 2014. Here they are as the favorites. It doesn't matter that they haven't beaten Clemson since 2014 either and that they have to go to Death Valley this year and that last year was the first time that game wasn't decided by double digits in the last six to seven years.
None of that matters. The hype is with Florida State. They got Jordan Travis back.
The entire deal. They've got, oh man, look at the defensive players. This verse guy, he's going to be a top 10, top 15 pick. How do I know that? Todd McShea said it in his way too early mock draft. It's kind of remarkable that this is the case.
And what is it based off of? Well, they had a pretty good season last year, Josh. Yeah, they did. But how many ranked teams did they beat? How many teams were ranked that they beat when they beat them, they were ranked?
Zero. Zero ranked wins for Florida State. They played three ranked teams, lost to all three, including to Wake Forest on their home field at Doke Campbell.
So you want me to believe that this is your favorite? It kind of makes Clemson undervalued here. It's weird to say Clemson could be a bit underrated, but they are if they don't have the best odds in the ACC.
They're at nine and a half. So a half game worse than Florida State. And that I think is good value. Again, if gambling were legal, take the Clemson over nine and a half.
Strongly undervalued. Like, I love what Clemson has on the roster. Ever since Trevor Lawrence left, they have not had any skill position players that I like. Or at least any wide receivers on the perimeter. I like Will Shipley, obviously.
And he's back, by the way. But this year, I see three dudes on this team. They have a really good pass catching tight end. Bo Collins is back and Antonio Williams is a dude at wide receiver. And they have Randall too, who gave Wake Forest some problems.
I remember watching a year ago. Cade Klubnick, highest rated quarterback in last year's class. North Carolina saw how he was able to change the game when he played in the ACC championship.
I like Cade Klubnick. I also like the fact that they poached Garrett Riley from TCU. You remember all the points TCU scored last year to get to the national championship game? Well, now that's the Clemson play caller. That's the Clemson offensive coordinator. You don't think they're going to have dudes on defense?
Of course they're going to. And again, they play FSU at home. Do you know how many times over the last dozen years Clemson has not won double digit games? Zero. Every year they win double digit games. Nine and a half wins? Yes, they're going to reach that mark and exceed it. They're undervalued in that regard.
Florida State and North Carolina are the overrated ones here. On Twitter, at WSJS Radio. If you want in on today's show, that's where we're streaming video in addition to YouTube and Twitch. Thanks to all of you who have subscribed to blow out of the water that 300 figure that we set just three days ago.
That's appreciated, I guess. I have to figure out a way to find overalls for next week. Will Dalton, the executive producer of the show. And W.D., I mentioned we're giving away Thunderbirds tickets. How many do we have? We have two pair for Saturday night. For tomorrow night. For tomorrow night. We may have a couple extra if we have some extra callers.
Okay, yeah, we'll see. We'll have the extra callers. So extra tickets for folks to win.
We also have Winston-Tale and Dash tickets too, right? Yep, a couple of pair Sunday. That's for Sunday's game. In honor of the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, we will play horse or rock band in a little over five minutes. What we didn't mention is the baseball we've got this weekend. In Winston-Salem, the second ranked Deacs will be hosting a very good Boston College team at the couch. Boston College. Also tonight, game one of the Orioles Braves, which is why I'm, for those watching right now, you can see I'm outfitted in birds gear.
Yes, it's only May. But this O's-Bravo series, it's a special one because these might be the two most popular teams, major league teams, in the state of North Carolina. I feel comfortable saying the Braves are the most popular.
Who's second? I think it's the Orioles from a regional perspective. They're more popular than the Nats are, I would say. And this is just the fifth series these two teams have played since 2011.
So, or make it 2012, so 11 years. By the way, the O's have the advantage in those series, seven to five. Go birds go.
Yeah. If only Major League Baseball didn't black out Orioles and Braves games, more people would probably be more excited about that. Both teams are rolling right now. Each has 21 wins. You know how many teams in Major League Baseball have more than 21 wins?
One. Tampa Bay. So these two teams are playing better than everybody but one. Nobody's playing as good as the Rays are playing. And the Braves are acting accordingly. Max Freed was scheduled to throw yesterday against the Marlins.
Nope. Save them for tonight. So he's pitching tonight for the Braves. And Spencer Strider is going to be throwing over the weekend too. This is just going to be a really fun series. That doesn't make me feel really good for the Orioles. Chances, but Baltimore, red hot team, they've won 17 of their last 21. And it's just another example of these new rules paying off. Quicker games, more urgency, more speed on the base paths. That's all very good, but not playing 19 against your division opponents.
The Orr-Hills being in the A.L.E. certainly appreciate that, where everybody still has a winning record, but W.D. Is that a Yankee hat you have on? It is. Nobody can see it today because I broke my tripod so my camera's not on today. I hate to say that because that team's in last place.
The Yankees, last place team. This is the part where you play that cut of you. I just did it for real.
Laughing, sarcastically. I can oblige them. You can oblige. There you go. It is some of the best rule changes in recent memory. Now the Orioles will play the Braves every year. And every team will play each other at least once over the 162 game schedule.
It never made sense why you play 162 games and there are teams that you don't play. To celebrate tomorrow's Kentucky Derby, we will bring back the Triad's most popular and growing game show. Horse or Rockman. Next. Places everyone.
Come on places please. We're ready. Get your morning off to a great start with Jeffrey Griffin on Triad today.
Weekday mornings at 7. Now back to the drive with Josh Graham. Before we get to Horse or Rockman, let's take a quick peek at the Wells Fargo championship going on right now in Charlotte. Really good leaderboard. This is one of those elevated PGA Tour events with an elevated purse. So you have a lot more of the top golfers competing, even though Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler skipped out.
And as a result, big names all over this leaderboard. Sanders Scheffler is one off the lead at seven under par. You've got Adam Scott that's in the same position. Justin Thomas shot 67 to get to seven under for today. Who else do we have? The leader is Ty Hatton, who's become a name in the sport. He shot 65 today.
Goodness. And we'll see how Rory McIlroy's round continues to progress. My pick for the weekend was Tony Finau. We'll be joined by Taylor Zarzur, who's out at Quail Hollow later on in the show. OK, because of the Kentucky Derby tomorrow.
We'll do this for the other legs of the Triple Crown as well. It's time for Horse or Rock Band. It's pretty self-explanatory, but W.D.
did ask me during the commercial, how's this game work again? Oh, in case you're curious, I'm going to say the name of either a horse or a rock band. It's your job to identify which one it is. And W.D., I got a special list for you because I'm special. Since you have a blind spot for things that were popular before you were born. I've got 80s bands of note, and that'll make losing probably a lot more embarrassing for you if you were to lose. OK, don't sleep on me, though. Don't sleep on me. Best of seven. OK.
Feels fitting during the NBA and NHL playoffs. First name, Dire Straits. That's a band. That is a band.
Money for Nothing was used in the opening montage of the movie Air. Enjoyed that. That was the easiest one on the board.
So I wanted to get you started off with some success. If you got that wrong, I would have been very concerned. Next one, Black Flag. Horse or band. That's a band. Black Flag is a band punk rock.
Next up. Sonic Youth horse or band. That's a band. That's a band. Well, well, well, what do we have here? I was the first band I studied in my music appreciation class at ECU.
And that might have been my favorite class in college. OK, where are we going to go next? Sun Thunder horse or band.
That's a horse. Post 13, 38 to one odds. Four for four. Could you go perfect? Seven for seven.
Is that possible? We'll find out. Mandarin Hero. Horse or band. That's a horse. From Japan. Post 22. That is a horse.
A 28 to one odd Mandarin hero. Lover boy. Horse or band. See, to set things up real quickly again, I was doubting whether or not you'd be able to get four out of seven.
And right now you were throwing a perfect game. You are five for five thus far. The band or horse is called Lover Boy. I'm going to go band here. Lover Boy is a band. Everybody.
Everybody wants to rule the world. Oh, that's your song? Yeah, it's Lover Boy.
I love that song. That means there's only one separating you from greatness. We're heading into the ninth inning and you need just one more perfect inning to get through this. Yeah.
You are impressing in a major way right now, W.D. This is where the O's would blow it. The final name is Two Fills Horse or Band. Two Fills. Two Fills Horse or Band. I'm going to go horse on that one. Final answer. That is my final answer.
Two Fills is a horse. Post to eight to one odds. W.D. against all odds. Well, well, well, perfect game, buddy. Brian from Proftown writes in. What do you think of that, Brian, huh?
Finally, something good that W.D. can do. That is impressive. I'll be honest. I doubted you. Maybe it's because you had some knowledge of these 80s bands and I had an oversight.
You slept on me. You already went seven for seven. Let me just completely empty the bucket now.
Empty the bucket of some of these names that I have here. Hit show rapid fire hit show horse or band. That's a horse.
That's correct. Rocket can horse or band. That's a horse.
Also a horse. Cheap trick. That's a band. Yep. Foreigner.
That would be a band. Wow. I know that one. Wow.
I know that one. Does it go 10 for 10? Those didn't count.
It doesn't matter. Does it go 10 for 10? No, no, no, no, no. That's like counting preseason games.
No, we're not. We already said that those they don't really count because I didn't feel they were difficult enough to put into the seven. So I'm less impressed that you got the ones at the end. You're less impressed that you got the ones at the end versus the seven.
I'm talking about just all of them. I am incredibly impressed. I just went up and down that page. I throw that in the garbage right now. I am incredibly impressed by the fact that you went seven for seven.
I'm not that impressed that you got the latter ones that didn't quite make the cut. Well, that was no fun that you just blew through the entire field. It kind of sucks that I don't have a camera on. Yeah. It's like, oh, he's he's looking at me. You're looking right at. Yeah.
You're the judge. It's like I feel like I just watched Yukon women's basketball. That's somebody by 51. Well, yeah, we tore it up. It's what I felt like I just watched.
What's underwhelming that I just annihilated. Yeah. Usually it's fun when you're losing some.
And then we get to the like if anyone ever thought that this was rigged, it would be better if it was four to three. The last one came down to two fills. But no. Has anybody ever done that before? Going perfect. Yeah. Robert's done it.
Oh, Robert. I'll text him. He's a he's a gem.
Yeah, he is. We do need to. Line up a few more for one of our guests. Somebody's got to get one of these wrong. Maybe it's a nice rough.
Maybe it's Taylor's Arzore. Who will join us a little bit later on both of them. A nice rough is the voice of the Carolina Panthers on radio.
Donald writes in. Josh, you just confused tears for fears for Loverboy. That's what I was about to say. Sorry about that.
Bethan Greensboro said he just. Sorry. Sorry. I get my 80s one hit wonders confused. Actually, I had a tears for fears conversation with my brother this past week.
Do you know who's really good? Tears for fears. Like, are they though? Are tears for fears that great? Yeah.
Tears for fears. I think you're just frazzled that I tore that up. I am. I'm shaking.
Don't know how we're going to get through the rest of the show. Now that the dust is settled on the NFL draft and really roster construction portions of the off season have wrapped up. We welcome in the radio voice of the Carolina Panthers to the show. It's a nice Shroff whose time is certainly appreciated.
And we might have some fun surprises at the end of our conversation here. Aneesh, when Bryce Young was drafted, it struck me how big of a star he already is. Number one player at a high school in Southern California, of course, winning the Heisman Trophy at Alabama.
He's already in Dr. Pepper commercials because of NIL. And when he gets drafted number one, he's going on Good Morning America to talk about it. You have been part of the draft festivities at Bank of America Stadium over the last week. And you saw the reception there. Just how many number nine jerseys do you think we're going to see at the first home game in Charlotte in September?
I would imagine quite a bit. He is a franchise changer, potentially. He is somebody who represents a tipping point in the timeline and the arc of this Carolina Panthers franchise. So you get a number one pick, you get a quarterback. You know, it really feels like a pivot point for the Panthers.
And you brought it up. Bryce Young played at Alabama. There is a chance maybe in his first couple of seasons with the Panthers, he might actually have less attention on him than he did while he was at Alabama, where he was in the spotlight pretty much every week. Alabama was always playing in big games. They were always playing in prime time.
They had the big announcing crews and the big stadiums. So he's used to all that. And there's a lot to like the way he processes, the way he plays.
I know a lot is made of the size and we can get into that. You know, that's a that's fair skepticism, but he has shown at every level the ability to thrive, the ability to succeed. And again, when you talk to people who know the position, his ability to read, dissect defenses, dictate things, offense offensively, see the field, throw his receivers open. All those things make it real exciting for this upcoming season and certainly the foreseeable future. Draft night, him arriving in Charlotte. There have been a you guys have had a lot of content up at Panthers dot com. Jake Delone was with us a couple of days ago, and the thing he pointed to was seeing Bryce go to his locker for the first time and then call his parents over as that was a moment where it really hit him. What stands out to you about either the reception from Panther fans or something else that you've seen or heard Scott Fitterer say or Bryce Young say about this entire three day period from getting set for the draft to it finally happening to him visiting Charlotte for the first time?
Yeah, two things. One, the Thursday night of the draft, the day of round one, there's this big party at Bank of America Stadium and we had terrible weather. It's cloudy. It's raining.
The rain's coming down. And we wondered how many people would show up. And there was seven, eight thousand people who made their way into the stadium, who cheered, who made it loud, who made it fun, who made it a moment. And a few of us were joking afterwards. You know, years from now, if Bryce Young is everything we think he'll be, there might be thirty thousand people in that stadium that night.
The other thing that struck me the following day, I'm in the building. I interviewed Bryce Young for a radio affiliates and we did about a seven, eight minute interview. Just his polish, just his readiness, it did not feel for a moment that you were talking to a rookie. You felt like you were talking to somebody who knew the questions beforehand, even though he didn't have them, who had a very easy manner about himself. Even when the media and the press conferences, when he had to face everybody, would ask him a tougher question, the way he would deflect or self-deprecate or sometimes just very ably deflect. I thought it was impressive.
It reminded you of a savvy vet who's been through the rodeo and then you think about it. Well, he's in Alabama. He's in the national spotlight. So that part of it, I don't think will be a challenge for him at all. I was very impressed with just the demeanor off the field. Anish Raas with us, radio voice of the Carolina Panthers, making it something, getting to something that's not Bryce Young related. As I mentioned, it's probably the end of roster construction season.
I guess you can add a few things over the next month. And the Panthers do have some areas. Scott Fitterer even told us, you know, the company line, hey, roster's never finished. But other than Bryce, what's your favorite offseason ad that the Panthers have made the last couple of months?
You know, there's probably not just one. I think you can go to the draft and look at Jonathan Mingo. Had a chance to watch him in college. He's got a chance to be a pretty good player in this league. The addition of a D.J. Shark, if he can stay healthy and he's on a one year deal.
So obviously there's incentive there. He's a guy that can stretch the field for you vertically. Adam Thielen to me is somebody who offers a security blanket. Tight end from a passing game standpoint has not been a strength the last few years. Hayden Hurst will help. You look at Miles Sanders, what he brings to the backfield gives you more of that receiving threat than you had with Deontay Foreman. And the guy not to sleep on, honestly, is Von Bell.
I know I'm naming everybody here. But to me, these were not just good pieces. They were needed pieces.
They make the team better. Last year, this was a secondary where they had zero interceptions from the safety position. Von Bell had four.
Scott Fitter put ball hawking safety high on his shopping list. That's what you get in Bell. You get a guy who's played in the Super Bowl. But more than anything, Josh, it's just this influx of veteran presence.
I thought that was missing the last couple of years. You know, this wasn't a veteran team. You had younger guys who were developing and growing into veterans. Now you bring in a guy like a Thielen. You bring in a guy like a Hayden Hurst.
You bring in somebody like a Von Bell. To me, there's going to be a residual domino effect positively on other guys in their position groups, other guys on the roster. When you bring in these veterans, it was something where, you know, early in the last coach's tenure, there was almost this purge of veterans and different reasons for it. You know, some guys were toward the end of their careers. You got a new regime coming in. But you sort of looked around and say, where's the veteran leadership coming? Where's the voice coming when things go south? To me, that's an underrated part of this offseason, bringing in those veteran voices who, by the way, are still productive on the field.
Yeah, Von Bell, it might be the most underrated signing for a lot of the reasons you're talking about, but also if it allows Jeremy Chin to play a little bit closer to the line of scrimmage, like we saw him play a few years ago, where he was really comfortable. The NFL schedule is expected to be released next week, but we learned about a game in 2024 yesterday. I don't know if it's been confirmed yet, but Chiefs Panthers 2024 in Germany. If that is in fact the case, how much are you rooting for it to take place during Oktoberfest, Anish? Well, you know, do you know Oktoberfest actually is in September in Germany? I don't know if you knew that. I did not know that. Learn something about that. Yeah, Oktoberfest in Germany actually takes place, I believe, in September. Let's make it happen.
September, Chiefs Panthers. Yeah, and if I'm wrong, you can blame my wife, because my wife is half German, so she's the one who told me that. She speaks a little bit of German.
Her grandmother actually spoke German. So, yeah, if Germany was the place, certainly we'd be excited, and I'm sure that would very likely be a family trip. That sounds like it would be a great family trip. When you look at the opponents, see, we're going to get the schedule, we think, next Thursday. That's what some of the reports are saying. And when I look at the schedule, Anish, I see, I'm looking at it right now. Carolina will make not one, not two, but three trips to Florida this year, playing all the Florida teams on the road. The Bears game certainly has some legs now. You've got the Cowboys and the Packers coming to the bank. All four of the other teams that took quarterbacks in the first three rounds, they're on tap. Before we know what the primetime games are going to be or not, which game do you have most circled?
Well, you know, there's a few. One, the Chicago game, when D.J. Moore faces his old team again, that will be something. But I also think the fact that you're playing Indianapolis, will Anthony Richardson start?
We don't know. But if he is, again, you're going to see Bryce Young against Anthony Richardson. You're going to see Bryce Young potentially against Will Levis when they play the Titans. You're going to see Bryce Young potentially against C.J. Strad when they play the Texans. So that becomes a juicy subplot. You know, I try not to get too caught up into, well, this is the schedule and, you know, they should beat this team and this team.
I know it's very easy to do. The most sports talk radio thing. I promise you, Aneesh, I promise you, a week from now, if we have the schedule on Friday, we are not going to do the thing where we get the piece of paper and say, oh, that's a win, that's a win, that's a win. Because the beauty of the NFL is there are 28 other teams that are counting your team as a win for their team.
Right. And sometimes, you know, sometimes you don't know so much of it is dependent on teams like Jacksonville and Chicago with their QBs. Do they take the next step forward or do they stagnate or go backwards? There's so many questions.
There's so many variables. I think last year was a good lesson where four, five, six games into the season with the Panthers. I don't think anybody thought week 17 would matter.
It did. And they had a two score lead on the road against Tampa Bay in the fourth quarter, you know, with a chance to put themselves in the driver's seat for the division. Instead, we got the last great Tom Brady performance of his career. So I always kind of look at that and say, you know, with these things, with the injuries and personnel changes, you never you just never quite know in this league. So you may end up beating teams that you're not supposed to beat. You may end up losing to teams that people think you should be before the season.
So I don't get too caught up into that. But listen, when you have a young rookie quarterback, he's stepping into a spot now where this isn't Trevor Lawrence in his first season in Jacksonville, where you look around and you go, OK, where's where's the help? Bryce Young walks behind a pretty good offensive line, probably a top 10 unit at worst. He has a couple of good running backs. He's got a tight end who can catch the ball. He's got multiple weapons and wide receiver. He's got playmakers on defense.
He does not have to be Superman from day one. You can let him ease into this, which is not usually the norm for a quarterback that goes first overall. Yeah, in fact, the Panthers, they are just the second team in NFL history to trade into the number one pick while breaking in a new head coach, rather than just having it because they were so bad that they got the number one pick. The other example of that happening was Eli Manning and Philip Rivers going back and forth in 2004.
Hopefully it turns out just as well for the Panthers and Frank Reich as it did for Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning over a 12 year period. I've got a surprise for you, Anish Raab. You ready for this?
Yeah. So tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby. We introduce every year the game show that's been taking over the triad every year before the Kentucky Derby is horse or rock band, where we have pulled names of actual horses in the field tomorrow and actual rock bands. And all you got to do is identify if the name I'm about to give you is a horse or a band.
Do you think you can do this? You know what? In years past, I actually love horse racing quite a bit. I love the Triple Crown. I have just been so busy with the draft. You know, baseball on the college side, lacrosse with ESPN these last few weeks, and we're working on a special project in-house.
I have not paid as much attention as I normally do to the Kentucky Derby field. So you might catch me on a few of these. Let's go.
Yeah, unless Jake the Loam was feeding you all of his picks like he did earlier this week. OK, fire up the Ginuwine. Let's get this thing going.
We got Anish Raab, the first name I have for you here. Age of Empire. Is that a horse or a band? I'm going to say that's a band. That is a horse.
Eight to one odds tomorrow. I think Jake threw that at us. Maybe his favorite pick. How about Crispy Ambulance? Band? That's a band.
Boom. Ray's Cane. Horse or band? Horse.
You would be correct. Only got five here, so best out. You only need one more to wrap this thing up with a win. How about Mage? M-A-G-E. Band or horse? Horse. I believe that's a horse. That is a horse.
Anish Raab. That means you're a winner in band or horse or rock band. A game show that's just taking over the triad by force.
I'll tell you what. You find this funny, but I've always felt and I might even have this. This came up a few years ago. I might even have this on the Notes app on my phone. I always thought if I weren't doing this, what would I want to do?
I would want to name horses. You and I both. I had in a Notes app.
I'm not kidding. You want to read? You want to hear some of these? Yes.
I have some of my Notes apps in past years. I hear sports expressions and I think they'd be great for horse names. Throw a few at me. Here we go. Drunk Confession.
Oh, wow. Drunk Confession down the main stretch. Along the same line, sober thoughts. Divine intervention. Alone time. Keep it open. Paradise found. Event horizon.
No, we've stumbled on something here. These are great. This might be one of my favorites. Redacted. Redacted is excellent.
Eight to one odds. Redacted. A boldness to it. I like redacted.
You can tell the theme going here, right? Plead the fifth. I need a lawyer. Narcissist. Xanadu.
Extinction event. I'll throw one at you right now. See, I have a text chain. People will text me things. Sports expressions. That sounds like horse names.
Someone texted me concussion protocol two weeks ago. Oh, it's great. That's a great horse name. Enfield Fly. Excellent horse name. Incredible. Couple more. Darwin Award. Cozmatic. Cobalt Blue.
Granicus. What is this on? Is this on your Notes app?
Yeah, I'm reading off my Notes app. You need to post this. This is fantastic. I should.
Ready? And then I'll give you the last one. Grand Finale. Ambiguous backstory. Wow. That sounds like a winner.
Sounds like a Kentucky Derby horse. Well, you know, it's not just like, oh, no. I've got, I mean, there's probably a hundred or so names on here. So if somebody is looking for somebody to name horses, I mean, we can do some stuff. You're the guy. Anish, I know you're busy with lacrosse and stuff, but we need to do this more often. It's good to see you. And thanks for making the time for the drive. All right. See you, buddy.
Take care. I've liked this guy for a long time, but anybody our general manager likes specifically, I know I like especially. And when I told him, hey, Taylor Zarzour is coming on the show, he's like, oh, I remember Taylor on WSJS a long time ago. Now he's graduated off to bigger things over the years. And we know him from the PGA Tour, PGA Tour radio. Taylor joining us now and also broadcasting Panthers preseason games.
We'll get to the Panthers a little bit later on. But let's look at what we've got at the Wells Fargo Championship up the road in Charlotte. Taylor, this is an elevated event, the elevated purse. And thus, when you look at the leaderboard, you see a lot of bigger names. A lot of people talk about positive rule changes in the context of baseball, what we've seen over the last month or so. This seems really positive for the PGA Tour and for events like the Wells Fargo Championship. As somebody who knows that event so well, have you noticed a difference at all in the crowds with this being an elevated event? Well, it's good to be back with you, Josh.
I miss my WSJS days, and I think that introduction just means I'm really old. But I do think that what it means is a lot more significance all over the world. I think that more people will be connected to the event throughout the country and maybe even the world because of what you just said, Tyrrell Hatton being a part of the lead right now shared by four, Justin Thomas is just one shot back, Rory McIlroy, Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay, a lot of other top players are in red figures under par right now. Typically we have a Rory McIlroy who's won this tournament three times at the top of the leaderboard, but then a bunch of maybe journeymen around him.
When you get, as you said, a designated event, then I think all of a sudden you're going to get more of those best players that are fighting with a guy like McIlroy to win a tournament like this. And that's a great thing for our city. It's a great thing for our state.
But this has been one heck of a party, Josh, for a long time. You know, nothing against NASCAR. NASCAR is North Carolina, and especially with North Wilkesboro getting the All-Star raid, that place being refurbished and resuscitated, if you will, I think that's great for the sport. But I would say years ago that this event sort of replaced the All-Star race and maybe even the 600 as the sporting event, the stand-alone sporting event that Charlotte really embraces more than any other regardless of who's on the top of the leaderboard. So all that to say that it's always been a big deal in Charlotte. I think it's a big deal everywhere now. We're being joined by Taylor Zarzort here on WSJS. And you mentioned the All-Star race at North Wilkesboro.
I was at Merlefest this past weekend, and it was jammed for that. Lord knows what the biblical-like arrival crowd is going to be later this month for that race, the first NASCAR-sanctioned race there since 1996. But you mentioned Rory McIlroy's name. Usually the book on Rory is he needs to get off to good starts if he's going to win, and he did yesterday. He shot three under. He just bogeyed 13 to get to even par moments ago, and he's at plus three for the day.
You look at some of the other stories, this being an elevated event, you only get to opt out of one of those, and Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm chose this event to opt out of. Rory, it's big news that he took a blow to the pocket a bit by this being his second event that he's missed thus far among the elevated events. And this happened because he missed the RBC Heritage right after he missed the cut at Augusta. How surprised are you to see what's happened here with Rory now in round two, given what you mentioned, how great he is in this event? Yeah, I think part of it is Josh, he's a bit rusty. He hasn't played in three weeks. He put the clubs down in two and a half weeks. He was so upset by what happened at Augusta a few weeks ago.
It's one of the more disappointing performances of his entire career. He is tapping in for Rory as we're speaking on the 14th right now, so he's one under par. But this is going to happen over the course of four days when you're not in great form and you haven't been playing a lot. You took a couple of weeks off as you're going to see a scorecard that has a bunch of bogeys and birdies on it, which is what Rory's has today.
So it's not surprising to see this little bit of a fuss coming into this event. But going back to what you referenced about missing the second designated event and having to forfeit $3 million of player impact program money, the two of us had a chance to visit Tuesday night at an event he hosted, and then I walked with him a little bit during his practice round on Wednesday, and he fully well knew the consequences of that. He made so much money, he can make that kind of decision. But Rory's now in a place in his career where what he's playing for, and he's got plenty of money, what he's playing for now are trophies. He wants major championships. He was so disappointed in the way that he played at the Masters that he needed to do a hard reset to see his approach to these events, right or wrong, and he feels like he cares a little too much. He's been speaking too much on behalf of the PGA Tour, and he's been putting too much emotion into some of these events and feeling that pressure internally. So I would look for a more carefree Rory McIlroy moving forward, regardless of how he plays this week.
In a couple of weeks at the PGA Championship and then out in L.A. at the U.S. Open at the gym, I think you're going to see a Rory McIlroy that's trying not to put too much pressure on himself to be the ambassador of the tour and to go out and perform well. Getting to the football piece of it, Taylor Zarzo joining us on WSJS. You're plugged in with the Panthers, you're plugged in in the SEC. What's the best Bryce Young story you have or have been told? Well, I've been privileged to call a few of his games on SEC Network the last few years, and Josh, I have never been more impressed with a player in college than I was with Bryce Young. A few years ago, I asked Coach Saban about Tua Pangalua and his ability to manage the game, and he raved about the kind of person Tua is, situational awareness and managing a clock and when the play breaks down or some things, that we're going to be challenging for Tua as a professional, and he's exactly right about that.
So on the heels of that, two years ago, I asked him the same thing, getting ready for a game the day before. I said, okay, if Tua had all this game awareness to work on, he has all this talent, but had game awareness to work on, what about Bryce? He said, Bryce is the very best I've ever seen when it comes to that.
And I went to a walkthrough on Friday, and this is when Bryce was a freshman, the year that they won the national championship, and Bryce was the backup to Mac Jones, and I was just watching him run a two-minute drill, and he was in complete control of the offense, as if he was the offensive coordinator. And his maturity level is off the charts. He's an easy person to be around. His teammates love him. No one is more prepared to take the field, kind of like a Peyton Manning-type preparation that Bryce has. I'm over the moon about the Panthers taking him because of all the reasons I just referenced.
He does also – he's very smart when there's traffic around him. He knows how to get down and not get hit as hard as maybe some others. Obviously, Josh, the big thing that all of us will be concerned about is the fact that I'm looking straight into his eyes and I'm 5'10". I think that's going to be the big issue for him, and he's going to have to obviously beef up a little bit. I don't know if he'll ever get as thick as Russell Wilson, who's of a similar size, but he's going to need to put on some panels to start maybe resembling Russell a little bit if he's going to be able to play the position every down over the course of a decade-plus. But the way he'll represent Carol this, I'm telling you, everyone that loves the Panthers will fall in love with this guy. Bryce Young's 5'10"?
Shoot, let me write that down. I mean, he's a half an inch taller than I am, but just spending some time. We ate lunch together in Tuscaloosa on a Friday, and we were fixing our plates, and we were looking directly at each other. Maybe he's got me by a half an inch, but it's not by much. Yeah, I hope Scott Fitterer knew that, that he's 5'10".
I hadn't heard anything about that. Taylor Zarzor, it's good to hear your voice, and best of luck this weekend at the Wells Fargo. You don't have to ride far in order to get to this PGA Tour event. We look forward to seeing you a little bit further down the road in Greensboro later this summer. Thanks so much for the visit. Always good to talk to you, Josh. Come see us.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-05 22:17:12 / 2023-05-05 22:35:53 / 19