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The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
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September 29, 2023 7:12 pm

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The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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September 29, 2023 7:12 pm

On a Friday Drive, Josh gives his pick for Panthers-Vikings, tells why he thinks Duke-Notre Dame will be one of the better games in college football, Stanford Steve, of ESPN, joins the show to tell why he thinks Mike Elko has had such an impact at Duke, Josh reacts to the Orioles getting to 100 wins and clinching the AL East, voice of Charlotte FC, Will Palaszczuk, joins the show to tell how his view of the Panthers has changed, after one month of the season, and voice of USA Baseball, Daron Vaught, joins the show to discuss LEGOs and talking to the dentist, in Unusual Questions.


This is The Drive with Josh Graham Podcast.

Three internet sensations, guys! Tune into The Drive weekday afternoons, 3 to 7 on WSJS. We've made it to a Friday drive. It is WSJS, New Stone Sports for the Triad, where Stanford Steve from College Game Day and ESPN's SVP Sports Center are going to be here in a little over 10 minutes.

Morale is high in the studio because of that. And because my Baltimore Orioles clinched the AL East last night. What up? Let's go! But baseball can wait because it is a football Friday.

There's so much for us to do today, not to self-inflate too much. But the Carolina Panthers have played three games this year. And in all three of those games, we picked them to lose.

And that's exactly what happened. So we have a decent read on this team. With that said, Sunday has set up well for the Panthers to get their first win of the season. And despite the fact that they are underdogs by more than a field goal in this game, they should beat the Minnesota Vikings.

Here's what you should expect to see. Urgency from the Carolina Panthers. We haven't really seen that yet. Not in the first two games, not against the Seattle Seahawks. If they lose Sunday, they're going to be staring right at a potential 0-6 start. If they lose Sunday, they're 0-4. Next week, they play the Detroit Lions on the road.

We saw what Detroit was capable of last night. You got to go to that wagon. And speaking of wagons, after you face the Lions, all that separates the Panthers from an 0-6 start and separates them from their bye week is a road game against the Miami Dolphins. Does that sound like a lot of fun? Going to Miami without half your starting secondary due to injury?

Yeah, sounds great. So Carolina, to avoid going 0-6 going into the bye week, they got to win Sunday against Minnesota. Bryce Young, for the first time, is not going to be facing a top 10 defense. Atlanta and New Orleans, right now, they are both top 10 in total defense.

Obviously, really good front sevens. Bryce had to go on the road, and Atlanta was a prime time game against the Saints. When you stack up those defenses versus the defense that Bryce is going to face this weekend, it's not even close. Minnesota is 27th in total defense right now.

They are bottom five in takeaways. Also, Carolina should have the full complement of his weapons. Now, I get Miles Sanders is questionable for the game, but he did practice the last two days.

Limited capacity the last two days. It's an Adam Thielen revenge game. DJ Chark, he's practicing too. You have him to potentially hit deep balls with down the field. And somehow, this is kind of crazy and why it actually serves to be a decent matchup for Carolina. Somehow, the Vikings are more one-dimensional than the Panthers are. One of the biggest complaints that Panther fans have had, why are they throwing the ball so much? 58 passes for Andy Dalton, 38 and 33 for Bryce through the first two games, through his first two games.

That's way too many passes, not enough runs. Minnesota is dead last in rushing attempts of the NFL, and it's not even close. There are three carries per game difference between them and the team that's second to last when it comes to carries, which means you're going to see Kirk Cousins throw the ball quite a bit, which means there are more opportunities for guys like Brian Burns and Justin Houston to pin their ears back and get after the quarterback. Because another area that Minnesota leads the NFL, fumbles lost. Carolina could use one of those in getting to the QB. The last time they faced a one-dimensional offense, it was the Saints without Alvin Kamara, and Carolina actually did a really good job defensively for that game.

For all these reasons, Carolina gets their first win of the season, Carolina 24, Minnesota 23. The urgency has to be there. Just listen to Frank Reich talking about that earlier today. He sees it at practice that the players know there has to be some urgency with the Vikings in town. You know, you just watch our practice tape from this week, and you can see it on the tape.

That for us is the gold standard. You know, what does the tape show? And sometimes we call it the silent tape, right, which of course it is. If there was no commentary and nobody's talking, just look at the tape, and what does it show? And if you watch our practice tape this week, you would see that. Bryce Young's back. Frankie Louvou's questionable, but still could probably go. He's practiced the last two days.

Miles Sanders, D.J. Clark, I don't even think is questionable anymore. You know you're going to have him. It's set up well for Carolina. Vegas has Minnesota as a favorite. Carolina should be favored. They're at home, win this game, win a matchup of two teams that are 0-3 trying to get their first win of the year.

Because if they don't, at Detroit, at Miami, sheesh, that's a tough one. On Twitter, at WSJS Radio, if you want in, Will Dalton, the executive producer of this show. W.D., with the Carolina Classic Fair starting today, and you actually having been to our setup, tell the people where we're going to be on Monday. We will be right in front of the Education Building. This is at the fair. We're going to be broadcasting the show live from the Carolina Classic Fair.

Yes, come see us. There's the Education Building. We're right in front of that, right beside like a gate right there in front of it. Also, very important, there's a cotton candy stand right there.

That's where we're going to be. We got a gazebo. We got a gazebo. We got several tents there.

That's a fun word to say, too. Gazebo. It is gazebo, gazebo, gazebo. Love it. Go see us at our gazebo.

Yes. On Monday. And after the show, W.D. and I will be hanging out from like 6 to 9 p.m.

So feel free to drop by. Before Stanford Steve joins us from Duke's campus, here's my read on tomorrow's game. A game you can listen to on WSJS, by the way. The Blue Devils are going to have a shot to win in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, they're going to have their shot. I foresee Notre Dame after three quarters or with like 10 minutes left to go in the game, they're going to be leading by a touchdown, 24-17 or 20 to 13. And Duke's going to need a big play, one big play that puts them over the top.

If they get it, they win the game. If not, Notre Dame is going to return the favor and have a big play to spread this game out. Notre Dame and Duke going to be one of the better games in college football. That's why college game day is in Durham for the first time. And the reason why this is going to be a really good game, Duke's defense is good enough to hold up against the Irish.

They just are. Like their age, their physicality, which you should expect from a Mike Elko coach team, it's going to hold up. Plus Notre Dame, they're not a team that's really going to stretch you vertically. With respect to Sam Hartman, he doesn't have the same receivers that he had when he was at Wake Forest. This is not a guy, we didn't see it against Ohio State.

I doubt we're going to see it tomorrow. If Notre Dame is going to gash Duke in any type of way, it's going to be, with estimated running back, more than it's going to be Sam Hartman beating them 40, 50 yards downfield. The big concern in this game for Duke, this is really what the game comes down to. Can Duke score 20 points? Can Duke score in the 20s? How does Duke score in this game? Notre Dame, last week, faced the best wide receiver we've seen in recent memory in college football, Marvin Harrison Jr., and locked him down for the most part the entire game until you had that throw down the right sideline at the end. Because of coaching decisions, Ohio State was even allowed to get the ball back at the end of that game, but that's a completely different story. Notre Dame, for most of that game, had a sophomore corner on Marvin Harrison Jr. without help over the top.

That's crazy. Not many teams would even dare to try and approach a game that way with that type of threat at wide receiver. Now, what's that mean for the game? If you trust a sophomore, you trust your secondary enough against a guy like Marvin Harrison Jr., which Duke doesn't have a player remotely like him on the perimeter, spoiler alert, 90% of teams, 95% of teams don't across the country, that means that you can load up the box, play the run and say, hey, Riley Leonard, figure out a way to beat us. You don't have a guy who's going to win more often than not out on the perimeter. We're going to make sure to take away the run game. Riley Leonard, figure out a way to beat us. That's what I think Notre Dame is going to try and do. And I don't know if Riley, who I think is really good, is going to be able to win the game for Duke. Just like Clemson, I think Duke is going to need some help in taking points off of the board from their special teams or their defense, or perhaps making a game-changing play scoring on one of those other sides of the ball. Like blocking a kick the way that Jamie on Franklin, I guess earlier this week on the show, blocked a kick against Clemson, taking points off of the board and it was a big play for Duke. Red zone fumbles, forcing those the way that they did at the end of that game and against the Tigers as well.

Taking points off of the board for the Irish, forcing turnovers. Duke's going to need to do that to have a shot. But would I bet on that happening?

Probably not. I think it's going to be lower scoring. And I think probably a one touchdown game going into the fourth and it won't end that way. The Irish gets another score to close things out. I've got Notre Dame 31, Duke 17. But speaking of that game, we live from Durham.

It's live action, Tracy. The great Stanford Steve from College Game Day and SVP Sports Center will be our first guest of the show next on The Drive. And now on with the show, Showtime back to The Drive with Josh Graham. Obviously, Duke, Notre Dame's the big game around here this weekend, and if you're in your car tomorrow night, here's your reminder.

You can catch the game right here on WSJS. As you know by now, College Game Day will be in Durham tomorrow morning, and one of the new additions to the show joins us now. You know him from SVP Sports Center. It's Stanford Steve with us. Oh, wait, let me get that right. It's ACC legend Stanford Steve joining us.

That has a ring to it. What do you think, Steve? We'll get there eventually, I think.

We'll just say it's still a process ongoing. I know you're a Duke basketball fan. Does any of that translate to football? It has. You know, I took an unofficial visit here back in my day, and it looks a little different than it did back then. Man, this camp is absolutely magnificent. Just seeing architecture and all that stuff that you guys already know that outsiders should get bored talking about. But walking around campus now, the energy's here, man.

We're spoiled because we get the best day and the best week of a campus every week. So it's really, really cool, and I'm really, really excited to see what the Dukies bring to the table tomorrow as far as the crowd. As soon as they announced game day was coming, everyone kind of assumed it would be Coach K or a basketball player as the guest picker.

It's not. It's going to be Ken Jeong, which to me makes complete sense. Because talking to people over there who have told me, I mean, people in that building say, this isn't going to be about basketball. We don't want it to be about basketball. It's about football, and it's celebrating what Mike Elko has done. As someone who follows everybody in this sport so closely, how important is it to you on that show to convey what Duke football is about and where things are currently at with the Blue Devils? Well, just talking to people around here, everybody asks, what about Coach Elko? How do you think about Coach Elko, this and that?

And I mean, it's pretty evident. He knows what he's doing. When you go back and look at where he's coached, where he's been, knowing what you have to do as far as academic standards and admissions and dealing with that at Notre Dame, and then going to A&M in a place where football is king, and knowing how big it could be and the resources you need, it's just you can't question what he's been through. And I just thought it was a super, super smart hire. You heard about him going back to his days at South Bend, how good of a coordinator was, coach, people, person, the whole thing.

So to see this transform into this, I think it's an absolute home run. And what he's done, like I said, walking around campus right now, the energy, everybody's ready to go. I will add, make sure we're staying hydrated tomorrow, because game day into a night game is not an experience that first timers do well at. I will just say that. Yeah, you've got to make sure you stay poised and you've got to be hydrated by the time kickoff arrives.

It's a long way to 730. Stanford Steve's with us here. I get he's only been gone a couple of years, so it would have been awkward to bring him back for something like this. But I hope people don't forget David Cutcliffe tomorrow, because none of this is possible without him, right? Absolutely. Just going back to the mainstays of this class and knowing how volatile things get through the portal, there is still a foundation here. Did things work out the way everybody wanted it to at the end? No. But there still was a foundation of values and all that kind of good stuff that you need in a program.

And at a place like this, where there is some stability, I thought that helped. I think that should be brought up whenever you talk about what Coach Elko has done here. So yes, no. And you talk to anybody. Tell me a person you've talked to that's ever said a bad word about the guy. It just doesn't happen.

He's one of those guys, a true legend in the sport, and a name that people shouldn't forget ever, no matter where they are. Getting to the actual game, given how well Notre Dame defended Marvin Harrison Jr. in Ohio State's offense, my concern is just how Duke's going to score in this game. But I do think Duke's defense is good enough to give him a shot at potentially winning in the fourth quarter. How do you see this game? The matchup I look at, any time you have a game on the road, sellout crowd, how good is the visiting team's defense?

That's what you need to know. And Notre Dame, I thought, would be on the field last week for that game. They were magnificent in what they did. They didn't even play one high to help with coverage in double team Harrison a lot of the times. It was really impressive what they did. They had the crowd and the music going every third down. That stuff helps. When you're on the road, that doesn't happen.

And how do you react? And the other key is Notre Dame's offensive line. Great tackles.

I'm not sure how good the interior was. They played above what I thought they were going to last year or last week. So now, what do you do when that third run is rocking the opposite way? It's the offensive line for Notre Dame. We're going to really see how good they are. I mean, all the questions that they've had to answer about the defense in the last play of the game last week, that's got to wear off on you. I would think they've got to be pretty ticked off and really, really looking forward to getting on the field and getting that thing past them.

It's the only way to do it, go out and get a win and change the narrative. So I imagine it's been a long week in South Bend. So I expect a super fired up team to come out that relies on their defense and also that offensive line. Hartman, you saw, he can't do it by himself. They were able to run the ball. I think they went for 170 last week. I think they got to run for 200 on Duke.

And I'm not sure they were going to be able to do that. Yeah, our studios in Winston-Salem, we know what Sam Hartman is capable of doing. Let me flip. Let me flip it to the team eight miles from Durham. How good do you believe North Carolina is?

Oh, I think they're absolutely legit. When you look at what they've gotten themselves into, it's kind of a reverse fortune. You know, Mack gets the job, all you hear about is the four and five star recruits he's brought in. And what happens with the majority of those kind of recruits?

They don't play to their star level. And a lot of them, it takes time. And now, in a day where the portal is so precedent, they've had guys stay home, believe in what they're doing, and they've developed a lot of those guys on the defensive side. And being on the field for that South Carolina-North Carolina game, that's what stuck out to me. You go back and you look at the names, you're like, oh, that guy, he was a big recruit. They've been able to develop those guys.

And I think Chisick's admitted a lot of the stuff. He said when he came back, he wanted to be sound and all about the fundamentals. And that's great until you've got people running by you.

So what do you got to do in this day and age? A great offense is you've got to create negative plays. And that's where you see it. They have been a totally different mindset on defense. And that's where you've seen it. You've seen them blitzing. You've seen guys get home without a blitz. They've created chaos for the opposing offense.

So they've done a great job. I absolutely love Drake May. I don't know how you can. I just love the mindset. After two games, I went back and looked last year. He was nine touchdowns, zero picks.

This year, I think it was two and two. And he said, I don't care. We're 2-0. That's all I care about.

So to have your leader with that mindset, that's what makes it special. And I expect nothing but good things moving forward for the guys in Chapel Hill. Last thing for Stanford, Steve. I know I was watching Tulsa Temple late last night, expecting to see SVP hand out some winners after the fact.

And usually, you give out a pick at that time, too. No SVP on TV last night, which means no Stanford-Steve pick. And then we'll have the six-pack on game day tomorrow. But give me one play that we should have expect on Thursday night. Well, we're doing. I actually got to fly back Saturday after game day because Scott's doing the postgame show for Alabama, Mississippi State. So we will be on.

That's why there's no show last night. But let's go, hmm, what do we want to take? Let's take Kansas plus the 16 and a half. Kansas plus the 16 and a half in Austin against Texas.

Love it. Stanford-Steve. ACC legend, Stanford-Steve. You're on in Greensboro. So we'll have to get you in the Greensboro Coliseum sometime since you're an ACC legend now. Thank you so much for making the time. And have a great show tomorrow. Absolutely. Thank you for having me.

I appreciate it. It's The Drive with Josh Graham, WSJS. The 1-1 to story is grounded at third. Ramon Arias from third. The Orioles have done it. Go crazy, Baltimore. You are the new champions of the American League East. I'm not exaggerating when I say last night might have been the greatest night I've had as a Baltimore Orioles fan. There's a three in front of my name in terms of my age. I'm 30. And that's maybe the happiest I've been.

And I say that understanding. In 2014, Delmon Young had a double down the left field line that sent us to the ALCS. I got something that happened. I'm not trying to be prisoner of the moment because here's what you got to realize about Baltimore last night winning the AL East. On the same night that that happened, Baltimore also won its 100th game.

And they did it at home, which to boot, makes things even better. They haven't won 100 games since 1980. We are talking about 43 years. Cal Ripken was playing triple A ball, hadn't even made it to the majors yet.

It's amazing. They haven't won the division in nine. They haven't made the playoffs altogether in seven years. Two years ago, this team lost 100 games, 100 game winners, AL East champions. And to make matters even better, 30 minutes after this game ended, their triple A team won a title two against the Durham Bulls. The number one prospect in baseball, Jackson Holiday, who's still 19 years old, started the season in high A ball, whacking the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the Winston-Salem Dash. That guy hits a home run in the A thing. The Orioles triple A team wins that.

So the Calvary is still coming. It's still on the way while Baltimore's winning 100 games in the AL East. And if that wasn't good enough, WD, there's been some nervousness in the Oriole fan base when it comes to their owners that they do not like much. Nashville's lingering there. Hey, we want a team. Tampa's not going to be that team. They're building a new stadium. Who's that new team going to be? Baltimore, their lease with the stadium's up.

They wanted this done by the start of the year and then by the All-Star break. And their lease ends in a month. 30-year lease announced yesterday, too. So when you boil it all together, 30-year lease announcement at Camden Yards, 100 wins, winning the AL East, doing it at home, and your triple A team wins, too, so you know that the future is still so incredibly bright, that's about as good of a feeling as I've ever had as an Oriole fan. Wayne in Greensboro wants to talk about my birds? I'm about it. OG listener Wayne in Greensboro, are you happy for me? I'm extremely happy.

And I'm glad you bring up the point about the lease. Camden Yards is apparently one of the better places to visit. And they'll do the upgrades they need to do to make it a terrific place for years to come. I actually think the Orioles are the favorite to win it all. I was thinking Atlanta Braves, but they've had some injuries lately. And the status of Max Fried and Charlie Morton are questionable for the playoffs. So I'm not sure who's going to stand in their way from winning the title. It's not your Astros?

Their worst month of the year has been September. I was pleased that they took two out of three from Seattle. I was about to say, man, they're already starting to play playoff series. So they win two out of three at that place. Watch out for the Astros.

And two because there's still a scenario where they don't even make the playoff. Yeah, it's crazy. It really is. Wayne, best of luck to your Astros. Thanks so much for the call. We got to keep it simple to do in about 10 minutes. We still have two pairs of fare tickets to give away with the fare starting in earnest today. And we're going to be broadcasting our show from the fare.

We'll figure out a way to give away those tickets in just a bit. But I promised three benchmarks for the Carolina Panthers to win Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. I think they're going to win the game.

So I think these are things that are going to happen at least two out of the three. The first thing Carolina needs to do to win this game, and this is not keys to the game, laziness, run the ball. But one of the keys is actually run the ball. But it's in a measurable way.

It's not like in this very subjective, very vague type of way to look at it. I think it's the first team to get to 25 carries in this game. Probably wins the game. Carolina is 26th in carries in the NFL. They only had 14 last week, 19 against the New Orleans Saints. Minnesota's dead last in the NFL at three carries by about three carries per game. They've only had 16 per game. That's abysmal across three games. Carolina runs the ball 25 times.

I think they win the game. Because if you run it 25 times, that means you're not throwing it 40 to 50 times with Bryce Young, which would spell good things. So that's the first key that we look at. The next key, how about you force a fumble? The Vikings lead the NFL with seven lost fumbles. Carolina's one of seven teams in the NFL that has not gained a fumble, has not forced a fumble defensively. And given how much the Vikings throw for the reasons we just outlined, Brian Burns, he'll have chances to pin his ears back. And the same thing for Justin Houston and these edge rushers. Get to the quarterback, strip the quarterback, get a forced fumble of Minnesota.

And then lastly, this is a guy we haven't talked much about, but we probably should. No missed field goals by Eddie Pinheiro. Remember when everybody wanted this guy to go after the Atlanta game last year? This has been a bright spot for Carolina.

Eddie Pinheiro is good. Now, it is funny. And I'll have some self-awareness in saying, you're talking about an 0-3 team. You know you're talking about an 0-3 team when one of the bright spots of your team is the kicker. But six of seven, his one miss was like from 54 or 55 last week in Seattle. I mean, he's hit 250-yarders this year.

He's been really good. And in the game that I think is going to come down to a field goal, one by three points or less, one way or another, I think Eddie Pinheiro cashing in when he has the opportunities, that's going to be an important deal. So three keys, keeping it very simple. Three benchmarks, we'll call it. Get to 25 rush attempts, force a fumble, and don't miss a kick, Eddie Pinheiro. If those three things happen, I think Carolina is winning the football game on Sunday. There you go. Making it as simple as I can possibly make it. I really want to see that rushing one happen.

That's probably my favorite of the bunch. Strip the ball. Get the ball. A lot of stuff going on today. NC State plays tonight, a Wolfpack, Mason Louisville. We got high school football, West Versailles. They're in action against Glenn. Where's Glenn located?

I believe that would be Curtisville. Yep. We got Duke football in the air tomorrow. Lot of stuff happening.

We're not going to talk about how badly the Ryder Cup's going for the United States. Oh, boy. Nope. Not going to look at that whatsoever.

The Drive with Josh Graham, only on WSJS. The moral of this song is, get yourself a swimming pool, fill it full of liquor, and dive in it. Dive in it. It is Friday, so in about an hour and a half, I'm going to dive into my swimming pool full of liquor. WD informed me that it's National Coffee Day today, and no person in my life drinks more coffee than he does. I don't know anybody who drinks more coffee than you do, so happy Coffee Day to you, friend.

Thank you. He probably has a swimming pool full of whatever type of coffee that he likes on the given day. Just like you need your fix for coffee, I need my Willie P fix. Will Pelagic, the voice of Charlotte FC, is making his weekly visit on the show now. Willie P, before we get to the soccer, give him where the Panthers are playing Sunday, and who they're playing. And on top of that, what the schedule looks like the next few weeks after they play the Vikings. How much urgency do you think there is for Carolina to win?

I think it's imperative, Josh, especially with the fact that the two teams we've seen next, like you said, look like incredible, world-beating teams in the Lions and the Dolphins. I think that this is probably the last winnable game before the bye for them, given the way the season has gone, given that we found out a little bit earlier that Bryce Young is going to start. The one thing that worries me, though, is the way this defense looks. And I understand that for a lot of people, that was maybe the strength of this football team. I think in spots they've played well, but the injuries and the water that they've taken on, if you will, has made them a weaker unit. And I think that's going to be the biggest question going into Sunday, is not only can the offense get stabilized with Bryce Young at the helm, given obviously a week off because of the ankle injury, but how well can this defense play with a diminished secondary, especially with the Xavier Woods injury? And whether or not they can get a pass rush on Kirk Cousins, I feel like that's the key to getting themselves forward. We saw the pass rush be dominant in spurts against Atlanta early on and other parts over the last two games.

But I don't know if we've seen it consistently enough over a 60-minute stretch to where they can actually be the kind of unit that carries this team forward. This is the stat of the game. Even at the risk of sounding redundant, having brought it up before, this is the stat that stands out the most, and it feeds right into what you're talking about. Carolina is one of seven teams in the NFL that has yet to force a fumble through three weeks. The Minnesota Vikings lead the NFL in fumbles lost with seven.

So that's something to keep a close eye on. We're about a month into the season. I think September's kind of weird or has been weird in recent years with the added game in the regular season and fewer guys playing in preseason and there being less of a preseason altogether. So how much has your opinion changed about this team over the last month? And is there a specific area it's changed most?

I mean, it's changed a lot. I thought that Bryce would look better at the beginning. I didn't expect him to look like he was 2011 Cam Newton.

That obviously I didn't think was going to be something we see. That's very much an anomaly. And I think Panther fans who try to compare Bryce to that standard, I think, are maybe reaching for something that is unattainable. But I do feel like there are parts of this team that are different than I thought they'd be. For example, I don't think that we really rated the wide receiver group correctly.

I think that we maybe looked at the sum of the parts and thinking that they could carry them forward. And obviously, there have been some spots where Adam Thielen's played well. And I look forward to seeing how he plays against his former team. But DJ Chark has not been the field stretcher that we've necessarily wanted him to be. Again, he caught a couple of long passes. But I don't know if he's necessarily a consistent, deep threat.

There's not an alpha in that room. I think Terrace Marshall is somebody who we've yet to really see jump off. I think we expected Hayden Hurst to have a bigger impact in this offense. He is not, other than, again, that early stretch of the game against Atlanta. And the offensive line, I think, is a big key part in why that probably hasn't taken place.

That group has incredibly regressed. Inky Iquano has not looked like somebody who I thought is taking the next step. I feel like he's somebody who needs to play better incredibly in order for the Panthers to do well. I think losing the two guards has been very, very difficult for them to overcome. Throck Morton has played well.

They're still trying to figure out whether or not Zavala is the answer over there on the left side. And even the established guys, like Boseman and Moten, have had their moments of not playing as well. So that's the biggest thing to me that I think comes back and says to me, this team has not played the level that we expect.

But there have been some bright spots. I think Derrick Brown's playing better football than we've ever seen him play. I think that there are other guys across the defense. Frankie Lou, who before the injury, I think, is incredibly well played as well. And I even think Burns has looked good in spots as well, albeit not as consistently.

So while there have been some spots that have shuddered to impress, there are other things that have stood out in the positive as well. Will Palachic's with us, voice of Charlotte FC, who visits on the show each and every week. So a difficult result against you look at the schedule. Cincinnati, that was a disaster. You had the tie. You haven't won a match in a long time on your home field.

And now you're going on the road to New England. And there are only a few more games left in the stretch. How much, you want to talk about urgency from teams in that stadium, how much urgency is there for Charlotte FC? How much hope is there down the stretch? Well, there's an incredible amount of urgency, Josh, especially given the fact that there are only five games left and Charlotte's four points short of the playoff line. Somebody I talked to with the team says you've got to probably get at least three wins in your final five games, maybe pull out a draw in one of the others to have yourself a shot. I think any time you're asking a team to win five games in a row down the stretch, that's a tall order, especially when three of those games come on the road. So only two home games remaining. That's next Wednesday against Toronto and then the season finale against Inter Miami that may or may not include Lionel Messi at this point.

We're not sure because of his muscle fatigue injury. But Saturday represents an incredible challenge, but also an incredible opportunity for them. New England has not lost a game at home in the league this season.

They've hit the league's longest unbeaten home-winning streak. But they're also suffering of some poor form of late. They lost their head coach earlier this month in Bruce Arena because of an off-the-field scandal. And they basically revolted when the team-selected interim was placed in front of them.

They refused to train. And over the last couple of weeks, they've not looked good. They were able to climb back and claw back a result against Chicago last weekend. But it was far from what I would call impressive against another squad that's in a similar spot that Charlotte FC is, needing victories and playing in desperation trying to get to the postseason. So I honestly think Charlotte is in a good spot, I think a better spot than most teams would be with this scenario. But it all comes down to how you play, Josh. And unfortunately, they just have not been able to close out games.

They need 90 minutes against New England in order to make the next two games count. Because if you don't get this one, the cliff just gets even that much more steeper. The theme of the segment's urgency.

And you talk about Charlotte FC, you talk about the Panthers. I'll tell you what, there's urgency on this show today. I was questionable going into the show because I had a filling this morning. And when the show started, half my mouth was numb.

This is my Jordan game, my Jordan flu game, where I've just battled through it. And I think when it's all said and done, this show is going to go in the Radio Hall of Fame. I will say this about WD's coffee habits. I used to drink a lot more coffee when I was younger in this business. I've come to learn that you cannot overdo it. You can very well overdo it. There was one particular time where I was drinking a lot of coffee during a show.

And let's just say it ruined the Valentine's Day for me because of how sick it made me. So there is a potential to overdose. So there you go. That's my word of wisdom to WD. Don't overdo it on the Joe, if you will.

I'll see what I can do. No swimming pools? No swimming pools? No, we're still going to go with the swimming pool. That's right.

If you bathe in coffee or soda, it does not absorb. I will say that. Great advice. Don't ask me how I got down that line. I was going to say, how do you know that? No, no, no. I don't want to know the answer.

No, I'd rather not. Will Pelagic, voice of Charwood FC on Twitter at WillyPstyle. Thanks for doing this. We'll talk to you next week. Thanks, guys.

Always appreciate it. Something magic happens every time you go. You make the magic happen, the magic of Orioles baseball when the game is close. Now we're talking. And the yolks are hot. And they are. There's a thundering roar from 34 to give it all they got. Darren Lott hanging out in studio with us.

We'll get to unusual questions in a second. I got to give you a lot of props because this radio shows the longest running sports talk show in the history of the triad, Daily Sports Talk. And for we're over five years and like two months of doing this, for the first four years, it was you talking me off a ledge.

Any time you were positive about the birds, I'd get mad at you. And now we have a picture on our YouTube, Twitter, and Twitch stream of you as a child with your arms outstretched with an Orioles t-shirt on. Just outstanding. Tangerine. This is at a school desk.

Just to paint the picture, for some reason there is a tangerine sitting in front of me on the desk. I'm going crazy over either Cal Ripken Jr. or getting my daily dose of vitamin C. And the Orioles last night clinched the AL East, won 100 games the same night. Something they haven't done in 43 years. What is your favorite part of this Orioles story? It's not this, but this is certainly the Blink 182 thing becoming a thing. Kevin Brown is your favorite part about this, the Orioles announcer.

I would expect nothing different from there. Gosh, damn it, I thought you could be frustrating sometimes. I put it on a tee for you to talk baseball, and to talk about the birds. And all you want to talk about is Ryan Mountcastle interrupting post-celebration, post-game interviews by saying, where are you? I do wonder, Blink 182 within the past week put out a new track, because they're going to put out a new album. And it's like a proper Blink comeback. I wonder how many guys in the Orioles clubhouse know the new song. I'm down listening to some new Blink, just like I listen to some new Rolling Stones that was put out. They haven't put out music in 18 years. And there's this song called Angry that has Sydney Sweeney from the Euphoria show.

Oh, yeah, love her. It's like on a Mercedes driving down the strip. It's a really good music video. And the song's actually really good. New Rolling Stones, Angry. Angry is the track, OK? I got to check that out.

I got to check that out. See if you can pull that while we're talking baseball here, so Darren can be the judge. To answer the baseball part of your story, this is a team that, for all intents and purposes, is ahead of schedule.

But you would not know it watching them. They know they belong in a moment where they win 100 games in a regular season. I don't think the postseason is going to spook them.

It's an incredible story. It's a team that is young, so they're going to be here to stay. But for whatever reason, they just play in a way that, whether they win a World Series this year or not, they are very present in the moment and sort of at peace with it. Does that make sense?

It does. For a young team, it's kind of uncommon. I think they know they're here.

They know they've arrived. And they will play after getting a bye on the wild card next Saturday, eight days from now. What's your dream World Series matchup? Is it Braves-Orioles? Yeah.

That would be tasty. Yeah, it's Braves-Orioles, just because who would you root for in a Braves-Orioles World Series? No one, man. I just like ball. I just like ball. Put that picture up again.

I would, you know, in the back. OK, so to context. You're not going to root for the birds.

Context. I grew up, my dad was born in Atlanta. So like 90% of the early baseball games I went to were at Turner Field growing up.

So I would pull for both. But like the Braves have had it. They've had success recently. Darren Vaught's Rob Lowe wearing like a neutral hat. He's wearing a t-shirt. I just hope everybody has fun. Do you have that Rolling Stones song, by the way? This is new Rolling Stones.

They haven't made music like in 18 years, new music. Angry is the name of the track. Don't get angry with me. I'm never caught in a path. I won't be angry with you. OK, all right.

But I can't be stressed. It's like a guitar solo in the middle of this. It's good.

It's a good riff. One thing they're going to have at their disposal because they're the Stones is just like the best production in the world. So Mick doesn't even sound bad or old like he can.

Mick Jagger. Everything that guy does is great. The John Mulaney bits with stories involving him. No.

Yes. You know from stand up bits. Jim Lampley, there was a viral video yesterday of him talking to Ariel Hawany about watching a fight. It was Muhammad Ali's final fight where he's getting just drubbed. And Mick Jagger taps him on the shoulder. And he said, it's the best piece of boxing commentary I ever heard. He said, you know what we're watching, Lamps?

We're watching the end of our youth. And he's like, whoa. And he started to get emotional during that.

Mick Jagger is just the best. Now let's get to, because this segment has been loose enough, unusual questions. Last week, guys, everybody made it out that I got mad at Josh and I left the press conference.

That's not right. I thought it was an unusual question. And it's OK. It's time for unusual questions with Josh Gray. This doesn't count as my unusual question. But are you sticking around for Rhinestone Cowboy in a bit?

Yeah, I don't see why not. OK. He's going to do some singing. And I think I need you to do some singing with me because my morning started with my mouth being numbed.

So this is like my Jordan game for doing a talk show today. And related to that, what's the appropriate amount of chatter with your dentist during an appointment? All right, so I've rea- And to be clear, I love my dentist. He is an awesome guy.

He's super cool. You know, it's just, there are times I want to respond to what he says. And then it's like, oh, actually, hold one second.

Don't say something interesting that I want to respond to. So I think this is more an issue, by the way, for a dental hygienist rather than a dentist. Because in a lot of cases where it's the dentist working on your mouth, you are numbed, right? That's right.

And it's a little bit more intense, right? But it's more they're working in my mouth. Or whatever. So with a dental hygienist, it's like, hey, I'm going to rummage through your mouth with these things. But then ask you a question that requires a response. Because they're typically people with more, they're more personable.

They've got personality. There was a Whitesnake song that played during my mouth being worked on. And I think one of the two said, oh, yeah, this song was in a movie, what movie was it? And I'm thinking, old school, chow a day, good night. I feel like I'm in a Whitesnake music video right now. I thought, I wanted to say that so badly, but there's no chance that could have gotten out.

No. Part of it is just like our nature too, right? Like something comes up, we want to go on a tangent. We're talkers. Yeah, we're talkers.

So we want to do this a whole bit about it. Anyway, I genuinely asked the question. No, I've recently had some dental work done.

So I know what you're talking about. And I've made the argument that getting a haircut is also just innately such an awkward human experience. No talking during a haircut's weird. No talking during a dentist appointment, not weird. Totally fine, right?

Totally fine. But the hygienist that normally works on me has kids in school, in the area. They play sports. Her husband's a coach and an athletic director at a high school in the area. So sports always come up. And so she's always like, oh, did you see this? Did you see this?

Did you see it? And it's mostly just me, ha ha, yeah, uh-huh, yeah, uh-huh. It's a yes or no. That's how I am with this question, because the lady who cleans my teeth, she has a great perc- like, she is a talker. Oh, she has a great personality?

Is that what you're saying? Yeah. She's very conversational. She talks a lot. And so she's all- I get what you're throwing down.

I suppose. She's always, like, talking to me. He didn't say she's not attractive. He's blushing now. I didn't say anything. He's blushing now. No, I'm not.

Will Dalton's the toy-genis, what up? Sure. So I try to have a good ratio of nods and mm-hmm, like that. To let her know I'm listening, I'm engaged with what she's saying, but you're working in my mouth and I can't talk right now. Yeah, I'm now just picturing an SNL bit where W.D. 's trying to ask her out.

We're here, bro. But he can't because there's talk in his mouth. What are you saying? Will you go out with me? I'm not going to go out with you any time. Cows, that's what you're saying? Will you go out with me? OK, Darren, what do you got? I was marveling at the sports-themed Legos in the studio.

It's good, right? Yeah, I see, like, a 20- is that LeBron? No, I don't see LeBron over there. Who's the 23 right there, then? I think that's Anthony Davis when he was in the- Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Poor Zingus. I see an Isaiah Thomas. You do. Not the Pistons Isaiah Thomas, the one that played for the Celtics and the Washington Huskies. Is this a Winston-Salem Dash Chris Sale? Is that what that is? I think that's right. That's outstanding. Shout out to Christian, our Try Today producer. He put all those there. Wow.

This wasn't my work. A Chris Sale. With the Winston-Salem Dash as a Lego man.

The fact you know that's great. You got a Myrtle Beach Pelicans guy here on the end, too. Well, there's Bolt. The Dash mascot. Awful mascot.

It's even worse in Lego form. I love the Dash. I love the team.

I support the team. Bolt's not a great mascot. Bolt is trash. It's bad.

Bolt is trash. What was your question? OK, so I was going to ask, do you guys have a favorite Lego set that you remember? Never played with Legos? I never did.

Will, is that serial killer stuff right there? That he never played with Lego? Do you hate architecture? Oh, it's not that.

It's not my interest. Even though I was a Ted Mosby guy. Did you step on one one time and you just decided not to play with them anymore? No, because we just didn't have them in my house. We didn't have them. Maybe that's why I didn't play with them.

We didn't have them. That is a little sus. I was not at all prepared for that response. Zero Legos in your childhood.

Josh seems like a type to play with Legos now. No, why is that? That's you.

I don't know. Because you like chocolate milk. I do love chocolate milk.

Every night, religiously. It's an excellent point. But Legos are cool. I do have a drinking problem, but it's drinking chocolate milk. That is my issue.

People have worse problems, worse drinking problems too. That's bad. OK, I don't even know what direction to take that. WD, you're a Lego guy if I've ever seen one.

Hold up, I bet. You've got like a Lego Millennium Falcon sitting in your house. I don't have one, but I would put one together, like if I got one.

Oh, yeah, some of these Legos are ridiculous. What's your unusual question? You know what, I'm going to freshen it up today. We're not going to go food or anything like that.

I'm actually, I think I've got a good one. OK, here we go. OK. What is a big talk? That's big talk.

It is. So whether it's something you like or don't like, what is a habit that you inherited from one of your parents? Something you like, something you're like, oh, god, I do that, my dad does, or something. My dad was always late. So I never am late ever. I'm always like early to things. That's because he was super late.

So it's the exact opposite of what you're talking about. And I know he's probably listening to this and he'll refute it. No, dad, you were always late. I love you anyway. You were always there. You were all, you showed up.

You did all the things you needed to do, and I appreciate that. This is not like an absent dad. This is just a dad that shows up late to things, to the point that I don't want to do that. So there you go. And my mom's incredibly frugal. So there are tons of frugal things she does that I do as well. That's OK.

I'm going to piggyback off of that. My dad grew up in not super circumstances. They were fine, but he was one of 13 children in a relatively poor household. Was your dad Tubby Smith? Close.

So like they fought in Claude, he and his siblings, for everything. Tubby or your dad? My father. OK.

I don't think that's untrue of Tubby. Not that I am the same person. So my dad, if it is free, no matter what it is, he'll take it.

He'll take it. That's my mom. I have tried so hard in adulthood to resist something just because it's free, like giveaways at whatever. Walking into a game, the program, it's like, oh, this. Yeah, t-shirts. I hate, I have developed this thing about me where I hate clutter.

I hate stuff. And it's because he and our household growing up just had so much stuff because he couldn't say no to something that was either free or a great deal. Another thing he'd do, my dad, he's the guy that if something like they accidentally play the wrong movie for like five minutes at the movie theater, will complain to get like a free movie. Or like if something's wrong with the meal, he would expect something.

He does like, he will angle for free stuff all the time. So I remember one time, the final four, I'm going to the final four. He's like, hey, maybe if you run into Steve Forbes, you can ask him to see if he has like an extra final four ticket.

Dad, I'm not going to do that. He asked that? He did. Look, I'll give your dad credit. Like he shoots a shot. And it hits, right? Like he's got great stories about like hanging with Eddie Murray. He does. And like Macho Man, Randy Savage and all. He's, again, it worked out. It's just made me not want to do that. That's all I'm saying.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-29 20:34:37 / 2023-09-29 20:57:43 / 23

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