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Upgrade today by calling 877-ASK-DELL, that's 877-ASK-DELL, to save up to 48% on our latest technology. In Los Angeles, earlier on the show, NFL Network host MJ Acosta Ruiz, still to come, Big Ten Network broadcaster Lisa Byington, tennis hall of famer Andy Roddick, plus pro football hall of famer Kurt Warner. And now, sitting in for Rich, it's Steve Weissman. It is hour two of the Rich Eisen Show, Steve Weissman filling in for Rich today, so happy to be here.
Reminder, the number to call in 844-204-RICH. Brockman, Del Tufo, TJ. Del Tufo, we haven't heard enough from you today. It's fine, Steve. I was working on a couple things, but we're good now.
Well, for the next two hours, we're going to get some more Del Tufo in. But now, it is a pleasure to welcome my friend, my fellow Northwestern Wildcat, lover of a good omelet, broadcaster of many sports in many places, as Lisa Byington likes to say. Lisa Byington, most notably the voice of the Milwaukee Bucks. Lisa, good morning. Thanks so much for joining us. Steve, you forgot a lover of Steve Weissman omelets.
It's very, very, very specific. Just the omelets I make. I've gotten the photos from you, I feel like your omelet game is stepping up these days. You know, I follow your directions, and if people don't follow Steve on Instagram, let me change that right now, because if you don't know something about Steve, he's a brilliant broadcaster, but maybe even a better side chef.
And the things that you post, it just makes my mouth water just looking at it. But you know, I appreciate the intro, but you left one very important resume for both of us out of it. Well, I was going to get to it, but go.
You can go for it. Okay, okay, because I heard you dropped the Alpena, Michigan thing. So what are the odds that two Alpena, Michigan WBKB broadcasters would be reuniting on the Rich Ivan show?
Yeah, start at the bottom, now we're here. So it's WBKB, which Lisa knows, at one point and probably still, stood for We Barely Know Broadcasting. We Barely Know Broadcasting.
Mark it too early. What's your best Alpena story, Lisa? Probably covering the Brown Trout Festival. I'm not big in the fishing world. You mentioned I do a lot of sports, but fishing is not one of them. But I did for one weekend, and literally it's called the Brown Trout Festival, and the entire city of Alpena and the area, I feel like it shuts down, you know, just to take part in the Brown Trout Festival. I caught my first salmon, and as I tell this story, the weight of the salmon continues to grow.
I think it's out now at like 196 pounds is the weight of the salmon that I caught. But just doing some unique things like that that you wouldn't normally get to do. My first story was ice fishing. Like literally, first day, Saturday, you know, we're the weekend sports anchor, go out to Grand Lake and go ice fishing. And they had to give me these boots that were made out of whale blubber.
It was literally the coldest place I've ever been, Alpena, Michigan. And somehow, here we are now. So, listen, you were a two-sport athlete at Northwestern, soccer, basketball. First time I ever met you was, I believe, interviewing you when I worked for WNUR Sports calling the women's basketball games at Northwestern, and you were, you know, a star point guard on the squad, number 11, leading the way.
How did you navigate your way to where you are now, Lisa? Well, I always thought I was going to have to wear that number 11 jersey, and I was going to play sports for the rest of my life. And then I realized quickly that that was not going to happen.
I couldn't really make a living professionally doing that. So, you know, junior, senior year at Northwestern is when I really started to pivot and start thinking about what I wanted to do. I love sports so much that I tried to figure like, okay, look, if you can't play sports, what can you do? And I went the local news route. You know, I went to the McGill School of Journalism, and they prepare you for a lot of great things. And I always thought that I was going to be the Sports Center anchor.
The Sports Center, as you know, you've worked it. It was, you know, the show to watch, right? When you were growing up, that's the first thing I would tune into when I eat my cereal and start my day. And I started out in local news and did local news for the first 12 years, hooked on with the Big Ten Network in the first year of the Big Ten Network in 2007, and never said really no to opportunities. Said yes to play-by-play, to sideline reporting, some of those jobs I had never done before.
And then slowly but surely, you know, doors were to open up because I just wasn't scared to say yes to something I hadn't done before. It's an amazing story because, I mean, I know you went to Lansing after Alpena and you were there for a long time, and I'm so happy to see everything that you're accomplishing now and getting all the accolades that you are because you've worked your tail off and you've earned every single thing every step of the way. And now you're the voice of the Milwaukee Bucks, which is so cool. You get extra access to Giannis, right? So other than what we see on court, this guy is a global superstar. I talk to tennis players like Maria Sacri and Stefano Tsitsipas, top tennis players, who look up to Giannis and say that his story inspires them. What makes him so special outside the stuff we see on court? I think he's so humble. And he's one of the few celebrities that you see that he is exactly who he is when he sits there and does his dad jokes in the postgame, when you see the fire in him on the court.
I mean, he's both part kid and part superstar, and he embraces both of those roles. And he will never, ever forget. I don't know if you guys have been able to check out Rise, which is his movie that came out this summer, to tell a story about his family.
You know, family is so important to him, number one. But number two, never forgetting about where he came from is equally as important. And so because of that, he will always be one of the most humble superstars you will ever meet. And one of those guys that will never, ever not show the joy of playing in an NBA basketball game, or whatever game he's going to be playing in. I think the NBA gets a bad rap sometimes for players mailing it in and not caring. Well, I would encourage you to continue to watch Giannis Antetokounmpo on the Milwaukee Bucks, because you just will not get that kind of attitude from Giannis ever. How many times did you have to say his last name over and over before the first game call of the Bucks?
You know, I got interviewed plenty of times on radio stations, television stations, and so I got plenty of practice with that. You know, it's interesting because you can pronounce it two different ways. You can pronounce it the Nigerian way, which has more D's and B's in it. And then you can pronounce it the way I just did, Antetokounmpo, where there's more T's and P's. That's more of the Greek version. And that's actually the way that if you ask Giannis to say his name, and I just was looking at a social media clip, that's the way that he now pronounces his name. Obviously, he's been attached now to the Greek freak, right, branding of everything, and he's going to play for the Greek national team with his brothers here coming up in the Eurobasket tournament.
But it is interesting, you know, he's got both that Nigerian descent and the Greek ties as well. So just say it really fast and with authority is what I tell people. Antetokounmpo.
And they won't question you. Or just call him the Greek freak, just call him, yeah, I remember when he first came out. Just call him Giannis. On SportsCenter, I would literally just say Giannis. I'd be like, Giannis.
You know, I'd say a real big, you know, make it a big entrance. Lisa, we had MJ Acosta Ruiz on earlier, who is a true trailblazer in our industry. First Afro-Latina to host a show on NFL Network. You're the first female full-time play-by-play voice for a major men's professional sports team with the Bucks. You're also the first woman to do play-by-play in men's NCAA basketball tournament history for CBS and Turner Sports.
First woman to call football games on the Big Ten Network. Absolutely incredible and inspiring. I mentioned the Billie Jean King quote, you got to see it to be it. Now that people have seen you for a little bit, what effect do you think it's had on others being it as well? I just, I hope I don't have to answer these questions many more times. And I hope other women who are in play-by-play roles or quote-unquote non-traditional roles that we're not used to or accustomed to seeing women in can stop answering these questions. I understand why the questions come. But I've always said, Steve, that my goal is to have a female voice on a quote-unquote men's game become background noise.
And you're thinking, well, what does that mean? Well, think of how many times you're just listening to a game in the background and you're not thinking twice about who the announcers are. Because, you know, more times than not, there are two men calling a game.
And so I'm guilty of it as anyone. When you have a game on, and regardless if the female voice is a play-by-play or an analyst, but someone in a non-traditional role, and typically on a men's game, football, baseball, soccer, basketball, I stop sometimes to think and to try to figure out who's that female announcer doing that game. And so the goal is to do the job in the right way and good enough that more women get hired in these roles and that eventually it becomes, and it's probably going to be a generational change, it's probably not something that subconsciously we're all going to make that shift and that pivot five years or a couple years down the line. But someday we just stop thinking about gender ties to an announcer and we just look at them as announcers.
I don't want Lisa Byington to be background noise. I'll just tell you that. I love the way you call games. I love listening to you during March Madness, during football season, during basketball season. I mean, literally, I mean, I have two full-time jobs. I think you have about 17 of them. You cover literally every sport and that is not easy to do, to be an expert one day on one thing and the next day on something else.
So I give you a ton of props for that. Your first football game on Big Ten Network this year, September 3rd, it's coming up, Maryland hosting Buffalo. How do you see the Big Ten football shaping up this year?
Yeah, it's a good question. You know, I have Michigan also in week two against Hawaii and I was just recently looking at Michigan and how they kind of stacked up against Ohio State. You know, for the Big Ten this year, it's the first time, right, like you're not having any like major head coaching changes.
All 14 head coaches return. I think some of the biggest storylines is some of these teams, Michigan included, have made some major changes with their offensive coordinators and defensive coordinators. So, you know, the first couple weeks what we know Michigan football could be or, you know, with Ohio State on the defensive side of the ball.
That's where they made their D.C. changes. You know, it will be interesting to see, you know, the styles and the schemes of some of these teams and how things have evolved. You know, I think the Big Ten has shown itself in terms of making the college football playoffs as well and, you know, with Ohio State and Michigan I think being some of the favorites to once again possibly be in there as well.
But I think there's just a lot of question marks. I think there'll be a lot of intrigue because of some of those coaching changes that I mentioned about, especially in the first couple weeks. And Ohio State gets out of the gates right and plays Notre Dame.
So that's one on September 3rd that I'm looking forward to kind of keeping an eye on. Lisa, very smart to go Michigan heavy on the Rich Eisen show. A lot of Michigan analysis, go blue. I mean, listen, we both spend a lot of time – you're from Michigan, right? You're from Western Michigan? I grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Yeah, K-Zoo. And my first two jobs were, as you mentioned, Alpena, Michigan and Lansing, Michigan. So I am heavy on the state of Michigan.
That said, Lisa, you are a Northwestern Wildcat, student athlete, the whole deal. Are we going to make a bowl game again this year? How's Coach Fitz going to do? Well, you know, he's got that weird like win three games and then win the West Division lose, you know, win three games on a like pattern going. So since they had lost three games last year, maybe the West Division title in a bowl game is in the horizon. But as you know, I mean, when they have fallen off, as with a lot of teams, it's been quarterback issues, right?
And it's just kind of been a merry-go-round for them in that position. So I'd like to see them solidify that and, you know, Fitz find some magic over there. So I'm hoping that Northwestern and the Big Tank can get as many teams in bowl games again this year.
He was Fitz Magic before Fitz Magic, Pat Fitzgerald. What a legend there at Northwestern. What's your take on college athletes and these NIL deals? I know you would have been a millionaire before you even entered your professional broadcasting world with all your, you know, accolades as a two-sport athlete.
But what do you make of this? You know, as you mentioned, I played two sports at Northwestern, right? Basketball and soccer. So I kind of feel at the time basketball is a full scholarship sport and I ended up walking on the soccer team as well and playing both. And soccer is not a full scholarship sport. So, you know, if you were to ask me this question, I was really into camp about not paying student athletes many, many years ago. Just going off of my experience of just playing in the 90s, I was thinking about the opportunities and the advantages I got as a student athlete at Northwestern in just a full scholarship sport with basketball. I mean, you were getting per diems and stipends and not spending all that money, so I was saving it, you know, and sometimes using that to buy Christmas gifts, right, for my family.
You know, we would get gear. We would play in the Big Ten Basketball Conference Tournament and the conference would get clearance to issue us gifts. So I remember one time we got a TV as a gift, just playing, just participating.
You talk about participation awards, right? Just for participating in the Big Ten Conference Tournament, we were getting TVs, and that was back in the 90s. So if you were to ask me back then, I would say, you know, not mention the free education that you get in going to a school like Northwestern. And so I was in a camp back then about, you know what, the student athletes are getting paid, and this is how they are getting paid, and they are getting benefits. But, you know, the sports landscape is changing, and now I've flipped, and I see that, you know, hey, if a Northwestern theater student has the capability of getting benefits or getting paid in outside sources, you know, why can't a Northwestern football player or a Northwestern basketball player do the same thing? You know, social media, which didn't exist, Steve. You know, when we were in college, that's changed the world.
And now student athletes have become their own best marketers, right? So, you know, my concern is that of many, I think, that the haves and the have-nots will only separate more, and so my concern is that the rich getting richer. And so obviously I think there has to be some regulations to be put in place with NIL. I'm not smart enough to let you know what those can be, and I also recognize, too, that sometimes we put in the wrong regulations, and regulations in themselves have been a problem.
But it's a sensitive issue. I'm glad my job is not in those negotiation rooms or rule-setting rooms, and that I just get to put on the headset and talk about the athletes and the sports that they play. Lisa, after joining us today here on The Rich Eisen Show, you are doing something very special.
What is that? Well, I'm meeting a young woman, Reagan Holgate, and she just graduated from Michigan State. And she is the first honoree of the Lisa Bison Award, and it's still a little bit weird for me to say the name of that award, but it's not something that I chose. It was something, actually, the whole concept of it, I was surprised by the Big Ten Conference and the Big Ten Network.
And so I think it was pushed a little bit by Commissioner Kevin Warren, and it came on the heels of the Milwaukee Bucks making the hire to make me the voice of the Milwaukee Bucks. And Commissioner Warren and the Big Ten Conference and the Big Ten Network wanted to do something to put my name to it to honor the best female broadcaster in the student U world. And the student U world is all 14 Big Ten schools. They have programs for all the students at all those schools to be a part of games, to broadcast games, whether it's behind the camera or in front of the camera.
And this is year one. And so Reagan Holgate was our winner. She's from Michigan State. She is an awesome, awesome broadcaster and even better person. And we're meeting with her today, and part of the award is to get the free lunch in Chicago. And then she gets a tour throughout the Big Ten Network studios today.
We'll take her through. She'll get the tape, actually some stuff herself. And then she'll get to sit back and look at the control room and watch actually the big show, which is being taped today.
She'll get to sit through that and maybe ask some questions. So she just gets like the best seat in the house to watch a network go to work here today. That's so cool, Lisa. Congratulations to Reagan. Congratulations to you. Once again, the Lisa Byington Award honoring the top female student U broadcaster every year.
This is year one. Reagan's going to have an awesome time today. We really appreciate you spending some time with us here on The Rich Eisen Show. All the icon vibes for Lisa Byington. Lisa, hope to see you soon. All right, Steve, from one Alpena alum to the next. Thanks for having me on. Anytime. You got it.
Go Cats. Lisa Byington, absolute trailblazer here in broadcasting. Does so much.
I mean, she was doing the Big Three this weekend. Basketball doing football for Big Ten Network. The Lisa Byington Award. How cool is that to have an award named after you because of all the stuff that you've already accomplished? And speaking of folks that have accomplished stuff, we got Andy Roddick coming up next. Tennis Hall of Famer. Another legend in his own right. Steve Weisman filling in for Rich today on The Rich Eisen Show.
Don't go anywhere. Shout out producer Mike, because that is the best intro for our next guest. Brooklyn Decker joining Rich a few years ago here on The Rich Eisen Show. Steve Weisman in for Rich today. The whole family on the show as we've got Hall of Fame tennis player, Hall of Fame human, my friend, my colleague. Andy Roddick joining us on the Mercedes-Benz Vans phone line.
Andy, we just had Brooke on the show. I don't know if you were able to hear that, but how's Bob Costas doing? He's good.
Hi, Steve Weisman. Bob Costas is good. It's always a trip when you have to go to the vet and they call you and they say, well, Bob Costas is ready to be picked up. It's just like forever.
I mean, I looked up to Bob Costas a lot growing up, so I think that's a really cool name for a dog. For us, this is kind of like prep for TC Live tonight. We're going to be joining forces in about seven, eight hours for a show from Canada. I know you're probably watching tennis right now. Serena and Venus Williams are playing Canada. Serena's actually on court right now.
I've got this monitor in front of me with six different screens. She took the first set against Nerea Pareses-Diaz. So U.S. Open is in three weeks.
First, instant analysis. If you've been watching Serena, what have you seen? Yeah, she looks good. Listen, I care less about how she looks kind of in the course of a set. If she can get through matches, even if it's not her best, which, honestly, it'd be crazy to think that she's going to kind of come out of the gate with anything near her best because she's played one match in the last calendar year. I do love that she's trying to get some reps in this far ahead of the U.S. Open because she kind of in the past has kind of maybe played one lead-in event or maybe none going into Slams sometimes. I don't think she can get away with that now having been off so long. But if she can get two or three matches a couple weeks in a row going into the U.S. Open, then she's got a shot to actually win some matches and let's not get carried away and say she's ready to win a tournament.
But I think the only chance she has to make a big run in New York City is to kind of find her base over the next couple weeks. Serena playing right now. Venus Williams is going to play later today. She's 42. Serena's going to turn 41 in September. Canada this week, the first tournament, Andy, where you beat Roger Federer was at the Canadian Masters. It's Roger Federer's birthday. He turns 41 today.
Happy birthday, Roger, by the way. How much more tennis do you think we're going to see from Roger Federer? Screw Federer, man. No, I'm joking. I'm sure that'll be the headline somewhere.
DJ's clipping it off right now. We got him. I also, Steve, you're like a golden host where you pick one of the handful of times I actually beat him as opposed to the 20-something I lost to him to actually reference and lead up to that question. I appreciate you endlessly.
But listen, I don't know. I don't think we're going to see Roger come back and be able to compete three out of five sets over the course of seven matches as it takes to win a Grand Slam. I do hope that he gets to go out on his own terms. He's currently scheduled to play in two events before the end of this calendar year at Labor Cup at the O2 and then in Balsall, which is his home tournament.
The stadium is actually named after him there. So I think we'll have a better sense after seeing him at those tournaments where it's not going to have a huge physical toll on the body indoors, two out of three sets, not having to deal with conditions. At Labor Cup, he owns the event, so therefore he can kind of schedule himself as needed. Maybe it doubles with Rafa, which would be unbelievable for us to see one more time. I know Novak's on the European team. Murray's on the European team. So I'm not super optimistic looking forward to next year.
Time is undefeated, right? So I don't automatically think he's going to be better when he comes back because he wasn't the favorite at slams when he was hurt. But I also know, knowing Roger, that he doesn't want his last competitive set to be a 6-0 loss at Wimbledon. So I'm happy that he's kind of scheduled a rehab, a long process to kind of have the opportunity to go out on his own terms.
But he certainly deserves no less than that. I will always be your biggest hype man, Andy Roddick. And by the way, 21-3 is the record, but I will also point out you won the last time you all played. So you went out a winner against Roger. Yeah, it's weird. I spent a decade of my life beating everyone except him, and then my last four months on tour, I only beat him.
So I don't know. And Canada was good. You beat him twice there. You brought up Laver Cup, which I think is fascinating. I want you to talk a little bit more about the fact that we've got Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray all playing on the same team. How cool is that?
Yeah, it's pretty insane. I mean, I think the only real comp if you're just going purely team competition when it's actually a pretty serious event would be maybe the Dream Team in 92 with Team USA. But to kind of have the guys who pretty much have all of the titles from the past almost 20 years now, I think especially because we don't know. Murray's playing with metal hips. Roger has obviously had his knee issues, and that will be the first time he plays in 15 months. Novak and Rafa are playing great, but you feel like Rafa is kind of one physical ailment away.
We certainly don't take his health for granted at this point. So it is nice that they're on the team together. I think it will be more of a celebration of their careers and what they've accomplished.
Obviously, Andy Murray's kind of hometown, adopted home country there at the O2. Roger is so popular, Novak, Rafa. It's going to be fantastic, and it seems like Laver Cup would be the right place for that to take place because it is a made-for-TV event. They let you in the locker room.
They let you hear the conversations. It's the best access point that we have as tennis viewers, so what better place to actually be able to kind of take a peek behind the curtain with those four. I cannot wait for it.
It'll be on Tennis Channel. And you brought up the Dream Team. And by the way, today is the 30th anniversary of the Dream Team winning the gold medal, 92 Olympics in Barcelona. It's going to be Croatia, and they took home the gold.
They reclaimed the gold for the United States. So because of that, I'm going to ask you this. Cage match. You got the Big Three, Roger, Rafa, Novak against the Big Three, Magic, Bird, Jordan. What happens? Geez, that's a tough one.
I'm going to get in trouble either way. But the way I see it is you have an argument with our three of who are the best of all time, right? And you can pretty much choose any one of those three from the three that you picked from the Dream Team. And this is no disrespect, because they're all great. But Magic and Bird, you don't often hear in the greatest-of-all-time conversation. Now, whether that's fair or not, it's kind of the way it is. So I'll take three that are in the conversation for the best-of-all-time with Roger, Rafa, Novak versus those greats that you mentioned, where Jordan is kind of the one that is consistently in that conversation.
Yes, once again rules. I expect nothing less from you, Andy Roddick. We talk about these incredible legends playing at 40 years-plus, Serena, Venus, Roger. You announced your retirement on your 30th birthday, played a few matches after that.
What goes into that decision for an elite athlete? Well, Allison, mine was different, Steve. I can't really compare my decision to kind of the greats. But for me, it was when I thought that I couldn't catch lightning in a bottle and make a run to the semifinals of a slam.
So I knew that I had to go through three of those guys, four of those guys. As my rankings slipped, that became a lot tougher. I was having a harder time finding motivation, and it was a really lucky life problem to have. I won two out of my last five events on tour, but they were the lower tiers. For me, there was other stuff I wanted to do, and I just didn't know if my shoulder holds up through seven matches to be kind of the greatest players of all time. So it wasn't a long, thought-out process like we're seeing with Venus and Serena and Roger, where they've been off an extended period of time and are still trying to come back. I decided the morning that I retired that I was going to retire, and that was kind of it.
They've all acted a lot more responsibly in many ways than I have throughout the years. So I do think they should be afforded whatever process they want. It kind of pisses me off when you read stuff like, they should just retire. It's like, listen, you should retire from sitting on your couch and having dumb opinions. It doesn't make any sense, and however they want to finish is how they should finish.
I totally agree with you. Every athlete's a little bit different, and whatever makes them happy, being out on the court and making a second round, third round. By the way, I want to see it, because any time we can see these legends play and witness them doing their thing, I think is extremely special.
So whether they're playing 40-41, it's cool for me to see. You talk about the U.S. Open coming up, and on the men's side, it's a little bit wide open, but we've got this guy, Nick Kyrgios, who is a bit brash. He got to the final of Wimbledon, lost to Novak Djokovic, but he just won in D.C. yesterday. The singles and doubles, I think he's won 18 of his last 19 matches. He's got a huge following in tennis. Where does he go into your favorites for the U.S. Open?
He's up there. Obviously, we're dealing with the Novak drama, and he won't be there. I think Novak would be the only person you could point to and say he's the clear favorite if he was in the event.
He's not, as it currently stands. We don't know how healthy Rafa is off of the torn abdomen, where he couldn't play that semifinal against Kyrgios. Steve, for a long time, no one's ever questioned Nick Kyrgios' physical ability. In my opinion, he's the only person on earth whose physical talents can rival the big three that we were just talking about. Physical talent hasn't always equaled physical fitness. It certainly hasn't equaled mental readiness throughout the course of his career. Navigating through Wimbledon, getting through best-of-five-set matches, playing in those pressure moments, those are all good things for Nick, and it would have gone one of two ways on the heels of that Wimbledon. Traditionally, when he's done well, he's kind of been satisfied and has maybe coasted through the next couple of months. Big, big deal, Steve, that he goes into Washington, which is a pretty big event in the lead-up to the U.S. Open.
Brutal conditions outside, metal stadium just breathing on you, humidity. To go through singles and doubles and not to tap out mentally or physically is a big, big sign. I remember us being on before Wimbledon and you kind of asking me a similar question and me saying, I don't know if he has the body or is put in the work to actually get through those matches. Getting through a tough tournament like that in D.C. with those conditions is a big sign for Nick Kyrgios. I think it puts him into the top two, maybe three, favorites for the U.S. Open. Top two or three favorites for the U.S. Open. Nick Kyrgios, who would have said that a year ago?
Now he's back inside the top 40. He just won a couple of titles. He's winning multiple doubles titles. He seems focused, and he told us after Wimbledon and losing that that if he had won, he would have checked out at that point. It was his favorite tournament, Wimbledon, all-time growing up. All right, I've done everything I need.
I'm done. Now he has something to shoot for. I think Novak Djokovic gave him a lot of encouragement to keep fighting and keep going for it.
So I'm looking forward to seeing what he does in New York. Andy, one positive that came out of COVID was getting to work with you, getting to know you. You had done radio before. You had worked at FS1. What made you want to get back into broadcasting and specifically tennis? I don't know that I was sitting around. For me, it's never been about lack of love of the game or lack of interest in what's going on.
I certainly tune in whenever I can. But all of a sudden, COVID happens and the precedent is that from not having to travel to everything. As you know, having been one of our leaders at Tennis Channel, you normally have to travel a lot in the tennis.
I wanted to stay in the space and that was just something I wasn't really willing to do with a young family and other priorities. So given the chance during COVID, you all let me in and let me on air. Luckily, I had you to guide me. I was happy to talk about it again. Tennis is my first love.
The precedent was set from being able to broadcast from your closet or your attic or wherever you might want to. Tennis Channel had fun and it's been a continued relationship. It's still one where we don't have anything real formal and I just enjoy showing up when asked. I still enjoy talking shop about tennis and it's been a nice little lifeline back into the sport. It is awesome to have you. We are so grateful to have you on Tennis Channel.
Your perspective is like none other. It's been good getting to know you as well. In addition to tennis, Andy Roddick, you are the co-owner of a golf course and a bourbon with Peyton Manning. Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.
Just one Hall of Famer to another. How did that come about? What's it like to work with Peyton?
It's about what you would think. Basically, my co-founder and I had this dumb idea. We don't know anything about bourbon so we decided we would start a bourbon brand. Out of Tennessee, we figured we'd go get Peyton Manning involved and we just asked him. He was interested. As far as working with Peyton, the weekly Wednesday calls these very into details. I'm sure that's surprising to everyone.
Everyone has to have a role in what they're going to do before next week. It's not a leap to imagine what he would have been like in a huddle. He hasn't slowed down at all since he retired. He has so many things going on with his production company.
We've both seen him along with Eli as an alternative broadcast option during the football games. He wants to do it all and he is doing it all. It's been fun to work with him on this venture and we're better for it at Sweden's Cove. Do you talk shop at all about your career? Is it about broadcasting what you're doing now? Not really. It's pretty business-centric. I don't think he really cares what I did.
I don't know that we need to rehash the 12-yard out that he used to throw. I think our focus is more on trying to grow a brand. We're in 13 states currently and growing year-over-year. We just want to make a great brand and at least provide the resources for our blender, Mary & Eve, to put out a great product.
I cannot wait. I'm still waiting for my bottle of Sweden's Cove. The booze industry is like the last mafia, man.
You've got to go through everyone to get it on the shelf. Andy, we're trying to promote stuff here. You've got a big platform on social media, nearly one and a half million followers.
I love the content. How would you characterize the content that you put out? Probably pretty polarizing. I have opinions on a lot of stuff. I rarely comment about Venice. I get told to shut up and dribble a lot on my Twitter account.
I guess that's how you'd categorize it. Who told you that Santan Dave is better than Eminem? What was that about?
My friend Paul Little is from London and his nephew is over visiting. He said he's really into hip-hop. I said, who's the greatest of all time?
It can't be the greatest of all time. He actually said it was some guy named Dave. I'm like, okay, well some guy named Dave is the greatest of all time and I threw out Eminem. He couldn't have been more repulsed by me saying it was Eminem. I kind of had to throw it out there to the Twitterverse and see if I was the crazy one.
Turns out I'm not in this specific scenario, but he was all excited because some guy named Dave liked my tweet and he was attached on it. I wonder what would happen if you had thrown out Phil Collins because I feel like that's your number one. Phil Collins is amazing. It's been such a love affair during COVID with me and Phil Collins.
It's just fantastic. Andy, I really appreciate you taking the time. I appreciate your friendship.
I look forward to working with you later today. TC Live, 1030 Eastern on Tennis Channel. We'll see if Serena can pull through. This was kind of like your rehearsal for that. I know Mark Huska likes to do rehearsal. We got a rehearsal on The Rich Eisen Show.
That's right. It's my first rehearsal ever for the Tennis Channel. Weiss, Manny, I love you brother. I'll see you later on. I love you too.
Thank you so much. Andy Roddick, tennis hall of famer. Great guy. And by the way, a hall of fame text backer. I don't know how you say it, but there's certain people you send out a text and they get right back to you. See, I like that.
That's Andy Roddick. Most people these days, I don't know. It takes them a few minutes. They leave you on read.
The late texts. Leave you on read is the worst. It's the worst. I mean, that's when you see three like little dots come up and you think you're getting a reply back and then they go away. That yeah, that's like the worst. So that's one of two things I feel like one, either they've decided not to continue the conversation. Just got like that's it.
Or two, they're actually writing something really long. Right. Yeah.
Because sometimes it goes away and then you get like, you know, the full seven paragraphs that you didn't want either. Yes. Because I just pick up a phone and call me.
Just call me. Emojis. Andy Roddick. Is he an emoji guy? Yeah. I mean, but yes, he is.
He's he's given he's given hard emojis. He's he's such a good dude, honestly. Like, you know, obviously I was a big fan of his as a tennis player growing up and he's the last American to win a major and just very self-deprecating, great personality guy. And then, you know, to be thrown on a show with him during the pandemic and just getting to know him organically has has been awesome. And then, you know, I can just text him, talk tennis anytime. Gets right back to me for this show.
It's like Andy doing the show on Monday is like anything for you. How cool is that? Cool. Amazing. Amazing.
I should have asked him to shoot. So are we betting Nick Kyrgios to win the U.S. Open? He said top two or three twenty twenty five to one right now to win. Yes. Yeah. As long as you use draft kings. Let's go.
Let's do it. I mean, right. He's playing really well. How much how much you see Nick?
Yeah. I mean, I've been watching since I watched obviously Wimbledon and all that fun stuff. He was yelling at nobody in the stands in particular, but that's what he does every day. He's great. He's so fun. I think he's the type of young, exciting personality that tennis needs. He is.
I'm full on board for that. There are some controversial things surrounding Nick, but overall, I think Raj has been on the court. But yeah, he's great for the sport of tennis. Steve Weisman filling in for Rich today on the Rich Eisen Show. Still got another hour to come. We got Kurt Warner, another Hall of Famer talking about Dick Vermeil and more.
Don't go anywhere. Great to have you back here with us, Steve Weisman filling in for Rich on the Rich Eisen Show. Rich doing such a spectacular job this past weekend at the Hall of Fame, hosting the Hall of Fame dinner, making headlines at the Hall of Fame dinner, roasting Ohio State and then leading our coverage on NFL Network.
During the ceremony, eight new members of the Hall of Fame. We got Brockman in the house. We got Del Tufo. We got TJ.
A couple of things I've noticed in the studio. One, TJ, the candle. Explain.
And what does it smell like? Mike, TJ. It's already hot in here. Turn your mic on.
Turn your mic on. I like it to smell good. A little atmosphere, a little ambiance. You know, I got a friend who has her own candle company. It's called Woods Creek Candles. And, you know, she hooks me up and, you know, it just, you know, sets a little mood over here, Steve. Is Woods Creek, is that the kind that you hear the candle kind of crinkle as it goes? No, but those are good, too. That's just the name.
I think where she lives in North Carolina. That's the name of it. So, but yeah. The candle just adds a little something. Love the atmosphere. And I noticed in front of Del Tufo, John Wertheim's book, Al Michaels, written with Al Michaels' book, but written with my guy, John Wertheim. You can't make this stuff up. That's right.
Al John Wertheim, great author, also a fellow colleague on Tennis Channel. And Brockman, I'm sorry that it's taken two hours to get to this, but... That's totally fine. Best dad ever, right? I need to take that back.
So, I'm not a father, and you are. Well, you can just put that to the side. Well, I feel like you can come over here. I know, you know, Rich may take it back at some point, but I don't want to walk it to you because I don't want Rich being mad. But if you take it... No, I'll come take it.
Although Ryan Leaf is going to be here the rest of the week. He is a father, so we can just... But is he a better father than you?
Great question. He's certainly taller and bigger than I am, so... I'm almost afraid to just take it away from him.
He could hurt me. Alright, you got some NFL headlines for us. Yeah, let's do some NFL news real quick.
Hey, Mike, hit it! And now, with a report of the day's news from the world of sports and entertainment, someone who is not a journalist or newsman by any definition of the word whatsoever, it's Chris Brockman. This is the first time you're seeing that very disrespectful opening call.
I mean, I have awards at home. Hey guys, breaking news, we got a new contract in Baltimore! Not Lamar Jackson, it's Justin Tucker. Future Hall of Fame kicker signed a four-year extension, $24 million.
About $17 million guaranteed for Justin Tucker. One kick for your life. One kick for your life. 53 yards. I was going to say, closer, I would go to Mark Mosley. Tucker or Adam Vinatieri? Ooh. One kick for your life, TJ.
How about this? It's snowing. It's snowing, and you got one kick for your life, Mike. Vinatieri. Tucker or Vinatieri?
My guy! Adam Vinatieri! You're good either way. Neither one of them are going to miss that kick.
Yeah, but I have Vinatieri. You're alive either way? You take one, I'll gladly take the other one.
And you know we're going to toast each other when we're done. Neither one of them are going to miss it. That's true. That's true. That's true.
You're probably right. All right, some other NFL headlines. We talked about Josh Jacobs earlier. Josh McDaniel said the team is not trying to trade him, which only makes me believe that they are.
And they just haven't got a good enough offer yet. Let's see, Makai Becton is bad news for Jets fans. Makai Becton got carted off today with a knee injury. He was kind of hobbling around. But Robert Salas said there's no panic about it.
So that's a good deal. He was on his same knee that he had missed most of last year with. Let's see, Jameis Winston tweaked his foot, rolled his ankle in practice today. Give you one guess. Do you guys have any idea who the Saints backup is? Do you guys know this? I did not know this. I think Taysom Hill has been switched.
I think I do know. Is it Andy Dalton? It's Andy Dalton! Andy Dalton is the Saints backup. This guy can't quit us. And we can't quit him. We love Andy.
First team, all hair. But anyway, we'll see how it's going there with Jameis Winston. Let's see, the Ravens activated JK Dobbins off the pup list. He missed all of last year with an ACL tear that he had during training camp. So that's good news there for fantasy if you're looking out for him. Let's see, what else we got?
Anything else out there? And as we mentioned earlier, Baker Mayfield has the inside track to start week one for the Carolina Panthers. Baker Baker.
I think that's the way to go. And Kareem Hunt has apparently demanded a trade there out of Cleveland. And the team basically said no. I love it when the team just says no. Hey, I would like to be gone.
No, sorry, we're not getting rid of you. He's seen a lot of other folks, though, demand trades and then get paid. So I think he's looking to get paid. He's still a good player, only 27 years old. They got that one-two punch, him and Nick Chubb. That's a dangerous backfield. They need Kareem Hunt. Steve Weisman filling in for Rich on the Rich Eisen Show. Kurt Warner still to come next hour. One thing I talked about earlier to MJ Acosta-Ruiz was the quarterbacks in the AFC West.
I love it. And I said Russell Wilson for me was fourth in that list. I'm curious to get your thoughts. Now, are we looking at heading into this season?
As we head into this year, who do you want, one through four? Yes. So we're saying if we if we have a game that we need to, much like that kick, and we just win a game? It's not just one game. It's a whole season. Whole season. Whole season. Whole season.
Who do you want this year? Because I think that does change it. One game, I think, changes a little bit. Then Russell would be higher.
Would definitely change it. You know, Rich has been all in the code AEW. He's been all in on the Raiders. I don't know that he put car number one necessarily there, but he's definitely all in on them. You got four good quarterbacks, man.
You really do. I do have a question, though, just kind of touching back to something MJ said. And I don't know if I believe this or not, but are we kind of like overrating the Chargers a little bit based upon what they've done in the past, which is making people go, why are you so high? Or are people picking them for the Super Bowl? Well, I mean, they're in the conversation. A conversation like MJ said that people are pretty high on the Chargers.
I hear some people say Chargers don't get enough respect. Maybe that's what she said. Yeah, that's what she said.
That's what she said. I was watching a show today and they were hyping up the Chargers like they're a step away from the Super Bowl. So I'm just kind of curious. Their win total is kind of high.
The desert has them ten and a half. Same as the Chiefs. Really? You've got a generational quarterback. I mean, like I have him behind Mahomes on my list. I love Herbert.
I think for this year, I'd rather have Herbert than Mahomes. But why? No Tyree kill. OK.
I think it's very simple. That's very weird because a few months ago you were ready to put Patrick Mahomes on the Mount Rushmore of all quarterbacks. And now you're saying now he lost one guy.
It's a big guy. But now you're saying he's gone and he's no longer that dude that you thought he was? We're talking about just this season, right? Yeah, but still, if you have a guy that you were willing to put on the Mount Rushmore up there with Brady and... Yeah, he's amazing. Patrick Mahomes is amazing. But for this season? I mean, it's going to be Herbert. He's got his full complement of weapons.
That's interesting. You got a guy like, oh, come on, really? Yeah, I just, yeah. I mean... We're going to see how good Tyree kill really was. 8-4-4, 2-0-4, Rich, call in, let us know your thoughts. Wherever they went, that was an attraction. Something to wrestle with Bruce Prichard. Wherever you get your podcasts.
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