Well hello there! Welcome into a Friday Drive where we open with big positive ACC football news. According to Brett McMurphy, the ACC is pushing the play in the fall and their top scheduling model has 10 conference games with one non-conference game and Notre Dame joining the conference for the season. ESPN's Andrea Adelson has done great reporting on this as well.
She'll join us in 30 minutes to discuss. And while there's a lot to iron out and of course it needs to be voted on by university presidents next week, this is a substantial step. It's the ACC making up for how it bungled things in the spring and becoming a leader in college sports to get college football on the field. Because, let's be clear, they were far from that in March. I think a lot about March 12th when the ACC had an opportunity to pull the plug on things after Syracuse and North Carolina.
It chose not to. Then John Swafford was 30 minutes late to his 10 a.m. press conference where we thought everything was going to be cancelled. But he was constantly in contact with the Power 5 conference commissioners. They were all saying they were going to try and play without any fans. Then when the ACC decided it was a go, they had Florida State and Clemson on the floor and there weren't any players on the floor in Nashville with the ACC. They quickly cancelled things. The Big Ten. They were quick to pull the plug too. The Big East was the only major conference to get a first half of action in but the ACC wasn't too far off and if it wasn't for Duke, I strongly believe that the ACC goes through the embarrassment of that day pushing athletes out onto the floor.
So they were far from leaders. Now they're changing things here because if you get 10 games in, 10 conference games plus a non-conference game, that would be a massive win considering all the concerns we've had all throughout the summer. It would closely resemble a normal fall schedule. You would have a non-conference game which means the uninterrupted rivalry of Clemson, South Carolina that goes back to 1908, that will be allowed to go on. Kentucky and Louisville which matters in the Bluegrass State a great deal. Georgia Tech and Georgia, such a great history with that rivalry. How about Florida facing FSU? The SEC-ACC rivalries will go on but it also looks like Wake Forest might be able to play Appalachian State which matters so much to a lot of people around here.
So I really hope they're able to pull this off. The ACC, they took a massive step forward with this today. It's not official. Again, I have to emphasize that but what Brett McMurphy reports is very close to gospel pretty much every time.
And that's not the Ron Burgundy 69% of the time it works every time. Like McMurphy's batting average is a little higher than that. It seems they're going to try and play this fall. They feel comfortable with the protocols they're setting to make sure the athletes are safe and getting a product out on the field. They're the first P5 conference to have something put together like this.
To have a model that we could even bat around right now. The SEC, I've seen Greg Sankey do a number of radio shows but it's always been, oh well no more in the next few weeks. John Swofford hasn't done that. He's sat back, he's been going to work and putting together a plan rather than speculating. That's why he didn't have the virtual ACC kickoff earlier this week. That's what leaders do. You don't need to be in the public eye, you need to get work done and the ACC seems to be doing that.
I have no issue with Notre Dame being in the conference for just one year. Show grace. Do the right thing. Don't strong arm anybody into a long term commitment.
I would never tell somebody who's been dating a girl or a girl dating a guy for six years, even if they've moved in together, that they have to have an ultimatum to get married or they break up. You want to do that because that's the wrong thing to do. Don't give an ultimatum here. Help Notre Dame because you can. They are a league member. I don't care how much it pisses off football coaches in the conference.
The administration won't do that. That's not what John Swofford's about, especially in his last year as ACC commissioner. Also, there's a lot of Notre Dame ties at the very top of the ACC with Boo Corrigan at NC State being an alum in South Bend. His dad, the great Gene Corrigan, was Notre Dame's AD before becoming the ACC commish. Bubba Cunningham at North Carolina, he's a Notre Dame alum. Duke's AD Kevin White, he came from, you guessed it, Notre Dame. So I don't think the university presidents or the ADs are going to leave Notre Dame in the dark here. If John Swofford pulls this off, Robert, this would be one of his three greatest achievements in 23, 24 years as ACC commish. Right there with expansion and the ACC network.
Yes, there's been some clunkiness. Not so much with this right now, albeit there are a lot of things that need to get worked out before we start playing football in September. But you remember with the expansion in the early 2000s going from 9 to 12, they were looking at adding Syracuse. But then you have the Virginia, I think, attorney general saying the University of Virginia won't be allowed to vote unless Virginia Tech is the team being voted on. So they strong-armed Virginia Tech into getting into the league. That was a big mess. Wake Forest had its AD or might be university president at the time.
It was the university president, not Ron Wellman, who wrote a letter apologizing for how things went at that time. Louisville hasn't really added a lot or not added what was expected for them to add replacing Maryland when they lost them about six or seven years ago. But the ACC network, even though it came maybe a few years later than the ideal circumstance to have a linear network launched, it's still a positive. And the expansion ultimately is a big time positive and so is this year. So I think it is one of Swatford's greatest achievements if he's able to pull it off 10 conference games with one non-conference game as well.
What do you think? What would you prefer happens this fall if the assumption is there are no fans going out on the field or going out in the stands being able to attend the games? Yeah, I don't think there's going to be any fans running out on the field this year.
Kind of like that balloon at the Dodgers game really strangely appearing at second base towards the end of that game. 3-3-6-7-7-7-1-600 on Twitter at sportsubtriad. Today's a big day for Robert Walsh because he's going to pick a Major League Baseball team to follow, to be a fan of. He's chastised baseball until we lost sports altogether, then reinvigorating some sort of love for the sport.
The KBOs, NC Dinos, and Robert doing those updates all throughout the summer has gotten him to a place where we convinced him to follow a team during the 60 game season this year. So I want to do this Bachelor style. How about since the Bachelor has usually, or Bachelorette, has 30 contestants at the beginning and it all gets narrowed down to one. How about you go from 30 to 10 in about 10 minutes and then later on we can maybe whittle it down to 5 and by the end of the show you'll have your baseball team. If you want to lobby to try and get your team a part of Robert's mix at sportsubtriad, 3-3-6-7-7-7-1-600. But before you narrow it down from 30 to 10, do you have any last second questions for me? Let's do a defacto. This is the earliest we've ever done baseball for dummies, but let's just go ahead and do that.
Alright Robert, these are the last questions you have before you have to start eliminating teams. Yeah, I still want to get some history on baseball so I can kind of weed out some teams that I wouldn't necessarily want to be in my top 10. First off, is there a Ryan Leaf for baseball? Someone that was highly touted before the major league, but once he got there it kind of imploded upon himself.
First name that comes to mind, granted it's local, Josh Hamilton, who was from Raleigh, I think Athens Drive High School. Gets drafted number one overall to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but could not stop using drugs. So that derailed the very first part of his career. Then he started playing for the Cincinnati Reds, and it was the Texas Rangers he really blossomed. Hit a ton of home runs in a home run derby, but it arose again, his usage, and he never really turned into the superstar athlete.
Drugs was a big part of the reason why. So not necessarily the same as Ryan Leaf, but that's local and a pretty big name. That's the dude with the flame tattoo on his arm, right? Okay, I am familiar with him. Also, I want to stay away from teams that have good players but can't necessarily get over the hump. Are there players that remind you of Calvin Johnson? Like guys that just break records upon records? And if they were on, say, the Patriots or a decently ran team, they would have been much more successful than they actually were.
No question. King Griffey Jr. They won the most games in the history of baseball in the regular season in 2001. Did not make it to the World Series. They haven't been to the playoffs since 2001.
You had that transcendent talent, and you didn't do anything with it in the 90s. Same deal with Perry Sanders with Detroit as well in the 90s. So yeah, I would go with King Griffey Jr. He's the Calvin Johnson of baseball.
Okay, cool deal. I was going to ask you about Dennis Eckersley, but I looked up happiest baseball players, and this guy named Vinny Castilla came up, and it said that he played for the Rockies, which is a team that I've been enamored with since we started this whole seek out a team thing. Vinny Castilla? Yeah, tell me a little bit about him. He was a third baseman.
Not great. He wasn't a great player. I mean, Dennis Eckersley has a great mustache, but no, he's not like a really happy guy. In fact, he's kind of like a harsh color analyst for the Boston Red Sox now for Nessen. Players, they have issues with some of the things he says over the air, but just a really thick mustache. Vinny Castilla, though, that guy might qualify. I'm trying to think. He's borderline Nickelback.
Yeah, he's definitely a Nickelback, Vinny Castilla. All right, I got one more for you. Nope, you're out of time. All right, see you later. I was only going to take three questions there.
I gave you Dennis Eckersley as the end as well. No, we need to get you to eliminate things rather than filibuster 30 to 10, 30 teams down to 10. We're going to do that. And I'll also tell you the three most fascinating non-virus storylines heading into Carolina Panthers camp next week. That's all coming up on a Friday drive.
I'm sorry I'm a little winded. A lot of talk. You're on the drive with Josh Graham on Sports Hub Triad. Robert will narrow his potential favorite Major League Baseball team, the team he's going to root for moving forward to 10 in just a few minutes. But we are officially four days away from the start of Panthers training camp, which is going to be held at team facilities in Charlotte due to the pandemic. And much like Cam Newton over the last decade around here, coronavirus, it's absorbed all the oxygen in the room in terms of NFL discussion.
But putting the virus aside for right now, there are three compelling football storylines I'm fascinated to follow in the Queen City starting Tuesday. For one, the rookies. All of them got signed this week. Seven of them.
All of them are on defense. How many of them are going to start? Because it wouldn't surprise me at all, Robert, and I'm interested if you feel the same way, if Grossmatos out of Penn State, Jeremy Chin, also a second round player, Derek Brown, the first round pick of course, and Troy Pride Jr. considering his speed out of Notre Dame, if they all start at some point. Like, if Eli Happel isn't cutting it, they might take a chance on the rookie.
There's a history of that. Dante Jackson stepping in, James Bradbury stepping in, Josh Norman is a rookie stepping in. There's also a potential opportunity for him to play nickel. Same thing goes for Jeremy Chin, who's going to be competing with Justin Burruss at safety. And Derek Brown, it seems like a lock he's going to end up being a starter if not on opening day.
Grossmatos maybe not right out of the gate, but he could start in the first half of the season. Yeah, it definitely wouldn't surprise me, especially how the NFL is with injuries and stuff. And they actually took on a lot of undrafted corners, too.
So it wouldn't surprise me to see a lot of those guys, like, get playing time over guys like Luke Cole or Corn Elder, whoever else they have back there. We're going to get to get back to the state of college football coming up this fall with Andrea Adelson when the ESPN college football reporter joins us in 10 minutes. The second most compelling non-virus panther storyline, it's quarterback. It always seems to be quarterback every single year, especially if Cam is, you know, running the show. But it's not just Teddy Bridgewater, even though I do think he's being slept on right now. When you follow arguably the most popular player in the history of the franchise, those fans aren't going to be so quick to liken to you.
They just aren't, especially if you're expected to lose. So you see so many people saying, oh, what about Trey Lance? What about Trevor Lawrence? Justin Fields for next year?
And I'm encouraging panther fans to give Teddy a chance because I do think there's a scenario he's a franchise quarterback. But beyond Teddy Bridgewater, how many quarterbacks is Carolina going to keep? Going to keep both Will Greer and PJ Walker?
PJ? Houston Roughnecks legend? Will Greer? Not that, but he was put into a tough spot last year. Tanking team, no head coach, or you got an interim head coach, you got a first time play caller in Scott Turner, it just wasn't going to go well for Will Greer. So it's not fair to completely disregard him either. So I'd be surprised that they don't keep three quarterbacks in the age of coronavirus where you might have a situation your starter isn't able to go in a given week.
The third most compelling non-virus headline. Who are the captains going to be on this team? Remember, Carolina lost four of its five captains from just last year. Cam's no longer there. Greg Olsen's no longer there. Yeah, you lost Colin Jones even on special team. So many of these leaders, they're not around anymore. And I forgot Luke Kuechly.
He's no longer around, of course. KK Short, he's the only captain returning, so who's going to step in and be asked to be a leader for Matt Rule's first team? Like, if I had to guess, I think it's going to be Shaq Thompson on defense. I think KK is a lock because he was already a leader a year ago. The quarterback always seems to be one of the captains, so Teddy's going to be asked to do that, I'd imagine. Christian McCaffrey, he's the face of the franchise. I think he steps in, he's a captain. And I like the tradition of keeping somebody in special teams.
So if it's not the kicker, Graham Guineau, maybe you go JJ Jansen, who's the long snapper. He's the longest tenured Carolina Panther in history. Been around 13 years, all with Carolina, all doing the same exact thing. So it would be a great reward for somebody who's been around a very long time through a lot of losing, a lot of winning, and probably going to go through some more losing if he's anointed captain. I think that would be a really neat deal. So that's why I think the captains of the Panthers are going to be.
That's what I'm most interested to see when training camp begins on Tuesday. OK, Robert has been thinking it over, trying to narrow down 30 major league teams to potentially root for to 10. We're getting a lot of people on social media lobbying, trying to get you to join their side. Even in the office today, our operations managers saying, oh, man, you need to be a New York Yankee fan like me. Steve Wiseman saying, Joe Person's coming on the show today, so you got to root for the Philadelphia Phillies. Todd Grafannini and a few friends of mine in New Orleans, they're saying that you should be a Dodgers fan because they're going to be really good. Craig, big time listener in the triad, Cincinnati Reds, the Atlanta Braves. You knew you were going to get a lot of that thrown in here. Let's see who gets eliminated, kind of like the first cuts of The Bachelor.
Robert, who gets the first 10 roses from you? First is going to be the Blue Jays. Wow. The Toronto Blue Jays, who are going to be playing in Buffalo this year. Not Charlotte, not Baltimore. They're going to be playing at their triple A park in Buffalo. A little surprising you're going Toronto, is it? Because, well, actually, we've got to get through all these teams, so don't tell me why.
What's your next one? The second one is going to be the Mets. I like the New York Mets.
I think they're going to get to the World Series as a surprise team this year. I like the Mets and the Rays this year. Number three is the Astros. And this isn't in any particular order.
No, it's just the order that they've been selected in. The Astros? They're so hated.
Wow. Robert does like that villain, though, like the NWL. The Astros are pretty much that. Who's next? Number four is the Dodgers.
Okay, so maybe you are listening to some of the stuff we're seeing on Twitter here. The Dodgers, I think, especially after watching them last night, they looked great. Have to be one of the frontrunners for you. Number five is the Braves. Ooh, the Atlanta Braves are in the mix, you guys. Probably the most popular team in the Triad. Number six is the Colorado Rockies.
I spent some time in Colorado. Love that park. Love those colors. I think they could be a sneaky team. Some think they could be in the bottom third of baseball this year.
I think they could sneak into one of those wildcard spots, especially if you're talking about 16 teams. Number seven is the Orioles. Hey, Robert, you and I. Yeah, Baltimore Orioles.
Something like that, yeah. Yeah, welcome to my misery. Number eight is the Diamondbacks. Oof, I'm surprised they made the cut. I really am.
A little bit of a shocker. You're big on uniforms and colors. The Diamondbacks don't have a lot of that going on. Number nine is the Cubs.
Okay, the Ivy, Wrigley, Harry Carey. Hi, Cubs win. Cubs win. Who's the last team that's going to make the cut?
Wow, a lot of big teams. The Boston Red Sox, the White Sox with the dash affiliation, the Brewers potentially, the New York Yankees. I'm going no Sox.
I hate wearing Sox, Josh. Number ten for me is the Pittsburgh Pirates. Oh, none of those teams made it. Wow, royalty being cut out on the first night by Robert.
So it is a lot like the Bachelor when usually some of the best candidates, they bow out themselves because they don't want to be a part of this process. Yeah, some teams would definitely be upset with me asking dumb questions like, is Aaron Judge an actual judge, things like that. So we are down to ten teams just like that.
Everybody else is axed. Sorry, Phillies. Sorry, Yankees. Sorry, Red Sox and White Sox. Get out of here. Sorry, Cincinnati Reds. Robert, cut throat.
Proud of you, buddy. This is a hard exercise to try and eliminate so many teams. I think being the Bachelor or Bachelorette is a difficult thing too. Sure, you have people vying for your love, but you got to eliminate some of them, which means you got to break some hearts.
And that's kind of what you're doing today. Ten conference games, plus a non-conference game for the ACC this year? Also, what about Notre Dame? Where are they going to fit in in this?
And the PODS format that was presented, is that still a thing? ESPN's Andrea Adelson will join the discuss next. No mercy, no pity, no fear. You're on the drive with Josh Graham. I really wish you could see the radio show that's going on behind the radio show. Robert's trying to pick his favorite Major League Baseball team because he's never had a team to follow in his life.
He's narrowed it down to ten. But during the entire timeout, as I'm trying to get my thoughts together, get ready to speak with Andrea Adelson from ESPN, he's just peppering me with, what's this guy all about? What's this player's name? Who's Matt Kemp? What's going on with Daniel Murphy?
Just a handful of different players and I'm having to give them backstories and then tell them for a few others. I just don't know who that is because he's bringing up random players who are playing right now for, I don't know, the Atlanta Braves or whoever. Anywho, big story in college sports right now. Andrea Adelson doing a lot of work on it. The ACC considering a ton of models. The ten-game conference model is getting a lot of attention. Brett McMurphy also reported this earlier this morning.
That would also include one non-conference game as well. And Andrea, I'm interested in what the latest on this is. In reading your work today, you seem to believe that the ten-game conference model, ten-conference game model plus one non-conference game makes the most sense.
Why? Well, I don't know if I think it makes the most sense. I just want to put a note of caution out there that this is not a done deal.
This is just one model that they're talking about and proposing. And a lot of decisions still have to be made about what this is going to look like. But, of course, any time we talk about Notre Dame, a story takes a life of its own. From my vantage point, the ACC is in the most complicated situation of any of the Power Five conferences because of Notre Dame and because of the four rivalry games at the end of the year against the SEC.
So you have to try and figure out what's the best way to make everybody happy and what's the best way to come up with a schedule that at least appears to be uniform on its surface. Now, the scheduling arrangement with Notre Dame where they have six games this year complicates matters because if you're Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Louisville, who also have Notre Dame on their schedule, and you only get to play one non-conference game, you're going to go with your SEC rival. But you also don't want to lose Notre Dame.
So what's the solution to that? Well, okay, let's see if we can get Notre Dame to play a conference schedule. That way at least there can be a little bit of uniformity involved where more than just the six teams play, make them eligible for the ACC championship game for this one season, and then move on. We're in unprecedented times right now, and the amount of models that the ACC has looked at, we would run out of time if we had an entire week to sit here and discuss and work through and talk about.
This one makes sense on paper because it allows teams to play their preferred non-conference game, plus play Notre Dame, and it's a win for the ACC if you get them into the conference, even if it's just for a year, to be able to try and at least come up with a solution to how you want your teams to play this year. I'm interested in all the models you've heard that were considered. What's the most far-fetched one? Honestly, I thought the regional pod home and home was the most far-fetched. Yeah, and also you reported earlier this week, I should note, that that has gotten no support, right? Right.
That one is not currently on the table. Look, again, they had to run through everything that you could possibly imagine, and then also scenarios that neither of us could possibly imagine, to try and figure out what is the best and most equitable way to try and do the schedules for all of our teams, without at least on paper appearing to play favorites. So the regional home and home was designed because of the concerns teams had about travel and the way coronavirus looks different in every region of the country, specifically in all the ACC regions when you're talking about spanning Florida up to New York, and then, of course, adding in Notre Dame and Indiana. Now, in that scenario, Notre Dame wouldn't be involved, and then you've got to figure out what are we going to do with our partnership with Notre Dame. But I understand in theory why they wanted to do something like that, but in practice, nobody wanted to play the same team twice.
It didn't really make a whole lot of sense to people. If you're a Miami and Florida state, we're just going to play each other twice and limit how many teams we're going to play this year. Maybe they'd like to do that, but I don't necessarily know that Clemson wants to play Duke twice or whatever it was. I don't know what parameters they had on it, but the fact is, I think the teams wanted to play as many conference teams as they possibly could. The question was eight conference games, nine conference games, ten conference games, one non-conference game, two non-conference games, try to make it regional. Do we stay with divisions?
Do we not stay with divisions? Do we redo entire schedules? You can see why there is no decision right now, because there are a lot of scenarios that all these athletic directors have to work through, and in a lot of cases, you've got to put aside what you want to do something for the greater good, and that's really difficult in these types of situations, because the instinct is to protect your own and your team, and you're going to fight for your team, no question about that, but they also have to come up with a solution for everybody in the conference, and so that's why this remains up in the air right now. By the way, Notre Dame has to figure out what's best for them and what's best for the collective ACC too, right? They've got nine games currently scheduled, six against the ACC. They've got Navy and Arkansas, and I think they've got one of the max schools still left on their schedule, so what do they want to do? Do they want to capitulate to what the ACC wants, which of course the ACC wants Notre Dame to play an ACC schedule, or do they want to try and come up with another arrangement that will preserve that scheduling partnership?
So again, it's all fluid. Lots of these discussions are changing and are ongoing, but as of right now, this does remain an option on the table. She's on Twitter at aadelsonesbn, Andrea Adelson of ESPN, who has done a lot of great work on what's being considered by the ACC this week with us here on Sports Hub Triad. Here's what I'm interested in with Notre Dame. It seems to me Notre Dame is viewed differently by the football coaches in this conference, and I've had discussions with them on air and off air. David Cutcliffe and Scott Satterfield was on this stage and saying, well, Scott's case was, hey, I really don't even know what our relationship is with Notre Dame and how it's benefiting us right now, albeit he went on to say they're a great school and we get all that.
David Cutcliffe said, hey, in unforeseen circumstances and unprecedented circumstances, you might have to give a little. Just for 2020, you might have to be a football member if you're going to have games on the schedule this year against us. Then you have the administration side of this. John Swofford, in his last year as ACC commissioner, he's not going to strong arm Notre Dame to get them to join the league full time, but for one year, I could potentially see that. You also got to consider that Boo Corrigan, Bubba Cunningham, just in the state of North Carolina, Kevin White, they all have ties to Notre Dame, being the AD or being an alum at that school. Do you think there's a divide between coaches who are annoyed by Notre Dame seemingly having their cake and eating it too with their relationship in the conference and the way that administrators might view it? Whether there is or not is probably irrelevant because the partnership is going to remain and the ACC is going to do what they think is best for the conference.
Here's my response to that. When you're looking at the schedules, take a look at the schedules. Do you want to tell Clemson, for example, you can only choose one non-conference game. You're going to choose your rival game. Well, now we're going to take away the biggest marquee game on your schedule, Notre Dame, which is going to have an impact potentially on how the Coswell playoff selection committee views your schedule.
Do you want to do that? I'm not saying that that's the overall overarching consideration, but certainly you've got to think about what the impact would be on strength of schedule for any team that might be trying to make a Coswell playoff run. We know what the schedules have looked like in the ACC over the last couple of years. People have trashed the ACC because of the strength of schedule. So trying to get Notre Dame into the fold, I think, benefits the league from that perspective. And as anybody inside the league will tell you, administrator, not a coach, the relationship with Notre Dame has been extremely beneficial for the ACC. They've gotten better bowl arrangements because of their partnership with Notre Dame. So I understand why coaches maybe are like, why do they get special treatment?
Why do they get preferential treatment? Well, the only reason you call me today is because Notre Dame is involved in the scheduling story. The only reason anybody's blowing up my phone right now is because of Notre Dame. We like you too, Andrea.
We're big fans of Andrea Adles. I appreciate that, but you know what I mean. Notre Dame itself is its own separate entity that generates headlines. And if I had said, well, the ACC scheduling model is going to be eight conference games plus one non-conference, probably not as sexy. But when you throw Notre Dame into the mix, suddenly it becomes a huge deal. And it drives people to want to talk about this conference and what's happening in the conference. So again, I understand the annoyance, but you know, the annoyance in this case probably doesn't matter because the coaches have zero say in what the schedule can look like.
I got about 30 seconds here. Just real quickly. How confident are you by about this time next week will know the state of the college football season? Oh, I think we'll have start dates, but I don't think anybody knows whether those start date dates actually mean football will be played on those start dates. I think there remains a lot unknown about the virus, about the spread, about what it's going to look like in states that have college football teams.
And so the best laid plans are great, but I still do not know whether the season is going to start on time on the date that they choose on Twitter. Someone saying you're not having Andrea Adelson on to talk about the new Taylor Swift album. No, no, that's me.
I'm the big Taylor Swift fan around here. I stayed up till one thirty in the morning listening to that album. No lie. It's true. Yeah, no, I stayed up till three a.m. to watch Hamilton a few weeks ago. That's my jam.
But no, I did not listen to Taylor Swift. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, it's just good to hear from you.
And I hope we'll be actually talking about football sometime soon rather than getting through all the administrative minutia of just trying to get it out there. Great work this week. And thanks for coming on with us. All right. Always appreciate it. Thank you so much.
You got it. She's on Twitter. Shoot her a follow at A Adelson ESPN. Really strong college football reporter covers a lot of the ACC with us here on Sports Hub Triad.
Up next, a verdict for the Blue Jays and my top 10 quarterback receiver duos of the last decade in the NFL. This is a Friday drive. There's just a lot going on right now, right up I-85 or 77, depending on your preference. Two days ago in Charlotte, we were officially introduced to the crest and logos of Charlotte FC until earlier today. Campaigns were being made for Charlotte to temporarily host the Toronto Blue Jays for this 60 game season. And don't look now, but we're just four days away from the start of Panthers training camp. So that's why we welcome in now the longtime beat writer of the Panthers, Joe Person from The Athletic. I hope you're well, Joe. And considering who you work for, I bet you were bummed out it wasn't Charlotte Athletic FC, right? Yeah, that was my personal favorite. I was following that a little bit earlier this week.
I had it on for the launch deal on their Twitter. It's good for this city. I know COVID is kind of pushing it back to 2022.
I think we all just need a little normalcy. I know you and I were talking off the air about baseball coming back, and we're kind of finally creeping toward this start of football. There's been a lot of back and forth with the owners and the players trying to agree on COVID testing, now still trying to get an agreement in place in terms of financials and opt-outs and all that stuff. We're not there yet, but it feels like we are just about ready to at least watch some semblance of football, even if there aren't going to be many fans in the stands. So let's talk about football a bit. I'm interested in Teddy Bridgewater. I've been interested this entire offseason.
There's an old expression, you never want to follow a legend. Cam Newton's looking to do that in New England. And I don't think it's getting covered enough. Teddy's trying to do that with maybe the most polarizing, most popular, you can argue, player that the Panthers have ever had. And I think that's hurting the perception of him a little bit. Steve Smith saying publicly, oh, he's a right now quarterback. He's not a guy who's going to win long term.
And I'm thinking, well, hold a minute. The guy was 5-0 last year. He's only 27 years old. We've seen quarterbacks come back from an injury. Drew Brees in New Orleans when he left San Diego. More recently, Jimmy Garoppolo, he had a significant injury with San Francisco, and we saw how great he was last year. I think it's too soon to start thinking, oh, this season when it goes south or the Panthers don't win, they need to draft a quarterback in 2021.
What do you think? Yeah, I mean, I'm with you. Let's give Teddy a shot. My goodness, he just got to town this week, finally.
I kind of heard through the grapevine. He hadn't even found a place to stay yet when he got here. But, you know, he certainly looked like a guy who was on his way to being an upper echelon quarterback before he got hurt in Minnesota. He had a very promising rookie season up there, working with North Turner, incidentally. And then, of course, just the devastating leg injury at training camp or preseason before his second season. And then, you know, the league kind of forgot about him until last year, and as you said, he has a terrific five-game audition. Not audition, but backing up Drew Brees in New Orleans when Brees had the thumb injury.
And, you know, he doesn't. Of course, they're going to be skeptics because of, you know, the injury. But you mentioned Brees. I mean, the NFL is filled with guys who have had terrific comeback seasons. Cam Newton's trying to author his own comeback story because, you know, let's face it, that's more than anything, a fresh start being part of it.
But more than anything, it was Cam's health, his shoulder in particular, but then most recently the foot. That's why he's not here. That's why Teddy Bridgewater is. And before you're right, before we start talking about Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, the kid at North Dakota State, I think, yeah, let's give Bridgewater a shot to see and give him a chance to see what he can do.
It'd be interesting. Were you surprised when you saw the financials of Teddy's deal? Three years, about 20 million a year. He's a guy who's a little bit older.
He is 27, so not ancient by any means. But maybe somebody who was looking for more stability for a four-year contract, looking for between 25, 30 million dollars. No guaranteed money on that third year, by the way. Were you surprised to see the Panthers were able to land someone of Teddy's caliber at the contract that they ended up at?
A little bit, but you got to remember, and listen, money drives everything. I get it. But he also had this relationship with Joe Brady. He is going to be running for all intents and purposes the same offense he ran in New Orleans. And that little angle gets lost a little bit, too. Listen, the Panthers are going to be starting out behind the eight ball more so than any other team because of the loss of OTAs and minicamps and all that.
But having said all that, the one nice thing they have is what I just mentioned. Teddy Bridgewater knows this offense. He's familiar with Sean Payton, now Joe Brady's system. And there was a comfort level for both the Panthers and Bridgewater to come here. I'm sure he would have had other opportunities in this league, but may not have been falling into a spot where he thinks he can turn things around and get his career back on track. He started that process in New Orleans, but he was never going to supplant Drew Brees or Kaysom Hill, who for whatever reason seems to be the toast of Sean Payton's town.
But he can do that here. It may not work out, but it sort of sets up well for him. I think Charlotte is a good mesh for Bridgewater's personality. He's a laid-back dude.
He rode his bike to the Superdome on game days. And so I think he was the right quarterback for this time. And then we'll see if he's the right quarterback moving forward.
But you're right. They didn't spend a ton of money. It looks like a lot of money, especially when you see what Cam got.
But compared to looking at Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers and right on down the list, it wasn't a bad deal for basically a two-year, $41 million contract. Follow him on Twitter at Joseph Person. It's Joe Person, Panthers beat writer from The Athletic with us here on Sports Hub Triad. And you're mentioning the relationship we had with Joe Brady might actually speed up the process of getting ready for the start of the year or maybe have him more ready to go than it would be another quarterback who's unfamiliar with it altogether. There's two schools of thought to look at the elimination of preseason and all of OTAs going virtual. And one's positive for Carolina, the other's negative. The negative is obviously, hey, you got college coordinators, college head coach who have never been at those spots as an NFL coach coming in and you would think they have the most ground to cover in terms of a transition. But then on the other side, Cliff Kingsbury, he got fired at Texas Tech and then gets hired at Arizona. They had the worst offense in the NFL by far in 2018. Last year, they were in the top 20 and up nearly 10 points a game because I think in part, everything's trending towards the college offenses and teams also early on especially didn't know really what to prepare for when looking at Arizona. Carolina, what do you think Las Vegas is doing right now to try and simulate what Joe Brady's going to run considering you got the Matt Ruhle ideas and concepts from Baylor to potentially look at, the Saints part of this, the LSU angle, and the personnel that the Panthers have.
How do you even go about doing that without any tape? Yeah, it's educated guesswork, honestly. I think any coordinator or head coach worth his snuff is studying a lot when they're preparing for the Panthers, they're going to be studying a lot of Saints tape.
Week one, that'll be the Las Vegas Raiders in here, COVID permitting. But you bring up a good point. The two-fold approach of this is kind of fascinating. On the one hand, we talked about Teddy Bridgewater knowing this offense. He may be the only one who knows it. And so there are going to be guys learning this thing. They're going to be learning this on the fly, including guys like Christian McCaffrey, not just the undrafted rookies. I mean, everyone. It's one thing to see it on Zoom.
It's another to go rep it and walk throughs. And then, oh, by the way, no preseason games. Secondly, to your point, same thing with Phil Snow's defense. I think they can look at the Baylor tape from the last couple years and have a pretty good idea. But they're going to tweak some things. Now, is that going to do the Panthers much good come October?
Probably not. People are going to go to school very quickly on that rule system. But it does make for an interesting angle for the first month where they could surprise some people. By the way, the first month when, other than maybe the Tom Brady home debut in Tampa, that first month's schedule for the Panthers looks pretty doable.
Not that there are any easy wins on an NFL schedule, but it gets a lot tougher later on for the Panthers. The first, I think the first roster projection in terms of what the 53-man might look like is going to come from Joe Person early next week from The Athletic on Twitter at Joseph Person. Read his stuff there. Great stuff this offseason. It looks like there's a light at the end of the tunnel as we started with. It's good to hear your voice and I hope you're safe. I appreciate it, buddy.
Have a good weekend and I look forward to talking to you soon. Got it. That's Joe Person joining us from The Athletic Carolinas. He noted the schedule for the Panthers. I see the Raiders as the opener, Buccaneers after that with Tom Brady. And as he mentioned, you could do a lot worse than a visit to the LA Chargers and facing the Arizona Cardinals at home.
You could do a lot worse than that. So we'll see what this offense looks like right out of the gate. Speaking of offense, it's looking good right out of the gate. The Dodgers, the table is set for them. Last night, they just look so good.
Ready to go. I thought the bats wouldn't be there. I thought there was a chance they could look sluggish because at the last minute Clayton Kershaw was a scratch. But then here comes this 23-year-old Dustin May and he goes four and a third only allowing a run. Only walked one, had a handful of strikeouts. And that's a guy who was told at the last minute, yeah, you're going to start the opener for the restart, our first game of the year.
That's a lot of pressure on a 23-year-old. He was really good. And then the pin comes in and they only give up one more hit the rest of the way. So the Dodgers look great defensively and on the mound. But then you got Mookie Betts in his debut at the Dodgers scoring from third base on an infield grounder in the grass. He's probably going to be the best player in baseball this year.
I think he might be the most talented guy and that shouldn't surprise anybody. But what might surprise you, Kike Hernandez. Four hits, five RBI. He's going deep. Pointing to the mustache.
Looks really good. And then you forget about just how daunting that Dodger lineup looks. Muncie, Bellinger, Turner, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor. Just a ton of dudes who have been really good over the last handful of years. And when Dustin May is stifling people and on the first night, Kike Hernandez batting fifth or sixth in the lineup is hitting bombs and four hits. And Mookie Betts is scoring from third base.
It's scary that they're doing this already. Now the Giants, they're not any good. But the Dodgers, I was really impressed by them. And of course, impressed by Garrett Gould for how little we saw him before the torrential downpour came in D.C. Coming up, evidence that the ACC is leading the way in college sports right now. This is the sports hub you're on the drive. Instead of just talking, why don't you listen? That's why you have people call in. Listen for a minute.
Oh, welcome back to the happy circle. This is the drive with Josh Grab. Ratings are in for Major League Baseball's opening night. Four million viewers for Yankees Nationals on ESPN. That is the most watched Major League Baseball regular season broadcast in nine years.
I think you're going to see a lot of that. We're hungry for live sports. We're hungry for major team sports.
Baseball was back before the NBA. The NBA returning next week. The NHL soon after that, August 1st. The Hurricanes will be facing the New York Rangers. Robert is going to tell us who his Major League Baseball team is for the season. He's going to do that in about five minutes. It's narrowed down to the Blue Jays, the Braves, the Rockies, the Mets and the Astros.
If you want to try and steer Robert one way or the other, 336-777-1600 is the phone number. But I got to be honest, ESPN, they need to figure out something. Major League Baseball needs to figure out something when it comes to all these empty seats in these massive stadiums. Doesn't it just bum you out when you see the massive amounts of empty seats in these stadiums?
For me, it does. I don't want to see the emptiness. It reminds me that we're about all the stuff outside of the stadium that I don't really want to go to baseball to be reminded of.
I mean, basketball has done a good job in the bubble. There's no empty seats there. Well, you got screens, you got tarps, everything's covered up, everything. It seems they prepared a lot better than Major League Baseball did. I like what Fox Sports is going to experiment with tomorrow.
Maybe I should wait before I say that I like it. But Adam Amin, he's going to be on the call for a Brewers game tomorrow. And they're going to have, for Fox Sports, virtual fans that they got from MLB The Show. They're going to have those, have the virtual fans in the stands, in the background, so it looks like there are people in the crowd. Do you prefer that over cardboards?
Like, that's what the Dodgers did. The Dodgers have those cardboards right behind home plate. Those are the three options. Virtual fans, or maybe four options. Virtual fans, large banners slash drapes slash tarps covering everything up, or do you prefer the cardboard slash empty seats? I guess it depends. Like, for outdoor arenas, like baseball and football, you can't always use cardboard.
I imagine that would run them a pretty penny. But the emptiness doesn't bother me. But for that outdoor stuff, I would probably lean cardboard. And for the indoor stuff, like basketball, I'd probably lean virtual fans. I also don't like the sound of the emptiness either. Baseball, it's harder to control that. So here's my remedy.
I practiced this last night when I was watching the Dodgers and Giants. Turn on music. Have music on. See, I have just speakers almost like in every room.
I might go with that and have a speaker on with music as I'm watching games. I mean, it's not like the broadcasters are really going to add anything to it when they're not at the stadium. Like, you have A-Rod sitting there with Matt Vascurian watching what we're all watching. I don't need A-Rod and his 12 cups sitting there telling me things when he's getting ready to try and buy a baseball team. Like, what does he have to say that I'm interested in hearing? I don't know, especially when he's not there. What if they got some, like, injury news or something?
I mean, they could probably get injury news, but I also have Twitter. So you're going to be looking at your Twitter and the game and listening to music and taking a bath. You ain't doing too much. I'm taking a bath?
No, you're right. You don't take baths. I don't remember the last time I took a bath.
Really? Like a bubble bath? Yeah, just lean back in there, man. Soak it in. Yeah, I mean, the Remedies music.
I might listen to the new Taylor Swift album for the third time over. Take a bubble bath and listen to it, dude. That seems so on brand for you. Folklore.
Folklore is what it's called. It's good. I enjoyed it. Sports teams. I think they need to fill those empty seats. I don't want to see empty seats. And I have no issue with the enhanced social justice presence. Like, it didn't affect my viewing of the games at all.
This is the thing that bothers me. You have people saying, I'm not going to watch your games because you're expressing your political views. OK, if it doesn't mean anything to you, that's fine. You don't have to be for what everybody is for. But it does mean a lot to a number of people, including the players, clearly.
So, I mean, unless they're taking a knee in the middle of the game and not fielding the fly ball. I've never really had. I never really understood the issue with it.
I haven't. Like with the Kaepernick stuff. OK, Eric Greve was on the Panthers the last few years. He knelt before every single game. No one cared all last year. No one gave a rip. Nobody boycotted the Panthers.
Nobody really cared. It was before the game. It wasn't during the game. And it didn't get in the way. And last night, it didn't get in the way at all. I had to learn after the fact that Boogie Batts took a knee.
I had to learn that after the fact. The Black Lives Matter on the floor for the NBA just don't care. It matters so much to so many. I support the players.
I support what they're doing. But if you don't, that's fine. But saying that you're going to leave, it's kind of like people saying they're going to leave this radio show. You're talking politics. I'm out of here. We don't talk politics around here. We don't. But if you're going to leave, you don't have to tell us. Just go. We didn't even know you were here in the first place.
That's right. I'm looking right at Robert. You know, I learn after the fact how many people listen and we do pretty good.
Hence why the show has been on for more than two years. Alright, we've got a top ten list that we're going to do in about ten minutes. Top ten doctors in honor of Dr. Fauci's first pitch that went awry last night.
We've got jokes in regards to that, too, I think. Alright, Robert, I've stalled long enough. Let's get to it. We should just eliminate teams one by one. It's the Blue Jays, it's the Braves, it's the Rockies, it's the Mets, it's the Astros.
Those are the five that you're looking at potentially being a fan for moving forward. A fan for life. That's what this is. A commitment. I'm like a goose.
They mate for life, too. You only have one Rose to give out, so who's the first team you're letting know isn't going to get that Rose? The first team eliminated for contention of my fandom is the Blue Jays.
Wow. You had an opportunity to come down here, play in Charlotte, maybe make me a bigger fan of your team, but you messed that up. If they were in Charlotte, how much differently would you view this? They would have at least been in contention for the top three. It was hard.
Okay. So Blue Jays, I'm sorry, but I cannot be a fan of your team. Next one to take a walk is the Mets.
Yeah, I didn't know what they were doing there. A lot of my friends are Mets fans, and I can still go to the games with them, still say, let's go, Mets, but I'm not going to do it as passionately. I'm sorry, Mets, you cannot be my team. So the Mets are out. The Blue Jays are out. We're down to the Dodgers, the Astros.
Or, excuse me. The Braves. We're down to the Braves, we're down to the Astros, and we're down to the Colorado Rockies.
The third team I'm going to eliminate from contention is the Atlanta Braves. Whoa! We had a lot of great memories.
Whoa! This is your childhood team! I know a lot about your team. It's the first major league game I ever went to. I got to see the Coke bottle blow up three times because Andrew Jones hit three home runs.
My mind is blown right now. I can't believe you didn't choose the Braves. But I need something a little different. I don't just want to follow in these steps just because my stepdad liked that team, just because my mom liked that team. I want to pick a team that I want because I want them, not because that's who I rooted for as a child.
So it comes down to the last two teams here. It's the Colorado Rockies. It's the Astros.
Oh, my goodness. The Rockies are probably my favorite team in the National League because I lived in Colorado, I went to games. I worked at a radio station that carried Rockies baseball.
I know they're broadcasters. So I'm a little biased in that regard. Denver's also probably my second favorite city. Second to New Orleans, maybe third. Nashville's a really cool town, too. So out of those two, I probably prefer the Rockies.
I once interviewed for a job in Houston, didn't get it. So I don't have the greatest taste in my mouth when it comes to Houston. But also, they're a team that cheats and you seem to like that.
So I don't know where you're going to head here. Yeah, I like the Rockies. They're in a very fun state, Colorado.
Some things are legal here, there that aren't necessarily legal here. I can enjoy those before a ballgame. All right. So who's getting the Rose? Who is the winner of Roberts' love, Roberts' fandom in Major League Baseball? Astros, I'm sorry, it's not you. The Colorado Rockies are going to be my team.
And I'm looking forward to another year of fandom. Yeah. Wow, I'm emotional right now.
Do you like that swerve? The Rockies. The Rockies are Roberts' team. The Rockies are Roberts' team.
What an upset. So are you going to watch their game tonight? They play against the Texas Rangers at 805.
Yeah, Cheyenne gets back from Tampa tonight, so I'll probably be a little busy for the first five minutes, and then sure, I'll get right to the game. Rockies, that's your squad. I like this.
I like this. Man, I was worried about you, but the Rockies, I'm a fan of this decision. I feel like I avoided that toxic girl that you didn't need to be in a relationship with.
She was really hot, and she was great at parties, but maybe not the one you want to settle down with. I feel like that was the Astros. The Rockies, solid team. I can introduce them to my parents, my closet.
It wouldn't change much. So yeah, the Rockies, pumped about it. In honor of Dr. Fauci's brutal first pitch last night, I'll list off my top ten doctors next.
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