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REShow: MJ Acosta-Ruiz - Hour 1 (8-8-2022)

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen
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August 8, 2022 3:29 pm

REShow: MJ Acosta-Ruiz - Hour 1 (8-8-2022)

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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August 8, 2022 3:29 pm

Guest host Steve Weissman, Brockman and TJ break down Michigan alum Rich’s headline-making weekend at the Pro Football Hall of Fame where he finally got to troll on the Ohio State Buckeyes.

NFL Network ‘Total Access’ host MJ Acosta-Ruiz tells Steve her journey from broadcasting local high school games in Miami to hosting the network’s flagship show, why she came away impressed after her trip to the Raiders camp but says don’t sleep on Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers to win the competitive AFC West, and says if Baker Mayfield can beat out Sam Darnold and lead the Carolina Panthers to the playoffs this season. 

Steve and the guys reflect on the anniversary of the first Olympic Dream Team featuring Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and others.

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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, today's guests, NFL Network host MJ Acosta Ruiz, 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.

This is so cool. I am fired up to be here today. Welcome to the Rich Eisen Show. I'm Steve, filling in for Rich today.

So grateful to be able to be with everybody today. Of course, we are streaming on NBC Sports on Peacock, Sirius XM Channel 85, Westwood One, Terrestrial Radio stations coast to coast, streaming free on the Odyssey app. You can see us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram at Rich Eisen Show.

Check out our archives as well. You know, you can normally see me on tennis channel. You can see me on NFL Network. That's where I was able to meet Rich Eisen for the first time. My story with Rich goes back.

Being in this chair right now is special to me. We're coming off Hall of Fame weekend. And when I was growing up, my SportsCenter team was Rich and Stuart Scott. Yeah, it was. I didn't have cable. My parents didn't have cable growing up. So when I first watched SportsCenter on a regular basis, it was Rich and Stu.

They were my squad. And, you know, I never saw Dan and Keith, and I watched them every night. This is when SC was appointment viewing. This is when you would watch the episode over and over and over again.

And when I was at ESPN, I got to actually host SportsCenter with Stuart Scott. It was February 19th, 2014, 11 p.m. show. And I was so nervous before this show. But he gave me a fist pump, like five seconds before we went on air.

Totally relaxed. It was one of the coolest experiences. May he rest in peace. And so that is something I'll remember for the rest of my life. And Rich, I know he's a big Michigan man.

We're going to talk about that a little bit. He is also a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism. Graduate school there at Northwestern University. So I count him as a fellow Wildcat. Met him for the first time actually at a Michigan Northwestern game when I was in college. He was very nice to me then.

And then, you know, we fast forward until 2015. I joined NFL Network. I'm able to meet Rich. He's always been very kind and generous to me and to be able to sit in this seat right now is super special. So grateful, fortunate, all the feels to be in the chair here today. I was actually on the show as a guest a few weeks ago when Ben Lyons was filling in. That was cool. And now finally I get to meet the real stars of the show. We got Chris Brockman.

Hey! Happy 13-year L.A. anniversary, Brockman. Thank you so much. Someone's a loyal follower on my Twitter feed. Yes, and listen, I'm coming up on my 7-year anniversary.

Oh, nice. Best move, best decision I ever made in my entire life. Ever made in your entire life. I moved out here at 29. My anniversary was August 6th. Rolled in at a nice 8 a.m. back then, Mikey, with my sister.

And my best friend from college and home, Ben Perkins, we road tripped from Maine out here. Took a whole week and kind of relaxed. 13 years goes by very, very fast, as I'm sure 7 has for you.

It has. It's all about sunshine, happiness, yoga, acai bowls. That's what life in L.A. is like.

And I've been very fortunate to be here and have a few jobs. And of course, Mike Del Tufo in the house. Del Tufo. Good morning, Steve. What's up, Mikey?

Good morning to you. Coming off what you said, as I am a social media stalker of all of you, was a big day in your life. Two audio assignments, two baseball games back to back. Wrigley Field. I got to do a game in Wrigley. I was here, but... I mean, you were in Wrigley.

I mean, let's not, like, talk that out. But I haven't done a game, a Chicago Cubs game in Wrigley. It was cool. And then the Milwaukee Brewers game. Billy Brewer sliding down the thing. Still epic.

I love it. And still got out on your boat. And still got out of the boat. Does Billy Brewer get to drink? Was my question while I was watching the game. Mike, have you ever met someone who is a mascot?

Yes, they like to drink. But while he's, like, doing that, like, he sits up in that house and there's a home run, they... What if there's no home runs? Does he just sit up there on the whole game? Did they give him a six pack?

Like, I need to inquire about Billy Brewer. Does the helmet, does the, you know, the... Yes. Is there a hole there? There is. Does he have a camel back? Because they're not allowed to speak.

We were... I wonder. My biggest, like, wonder while I was watching. They hit a home run and Billy Brewer slides.

I'm like, does he drink, like, does he pound a beer before he does the slide? I'm not sure, Mike. I hope he does.

And if he doesn't, maybe they'll start now. Good to see you, Steve. The pride of Altoona, PA. TJ Jefferson. What's up, man? What's going on?

I like your J's today. Oh, thank you. Thank you. And as we were... By the way, TJ, your email doesn't work here at the Rich Eisen Show. Yeah, something happened last week and I got deleted for some strange reason.

I don't know why. Because, you know, you gave me a nice email. Welcome.

Looking forward to Monday. And I wrote you back. And then it went to, you know, that, like, Damon at Mailer dot whatever. At least I reached out first, though. That's how I feel. I don't feel so bad about the situation, you know.

And your assessment of my J's. I mean, this guy, Brockman, he, I mean, it was like he couldn't wait for me to walk in and he threw something. He kicked his foot out. And I'm looking at him. And, OK, you know, I just now realize this. Remember American Psycho when they're looking at business cards? He dropped my pen.

Let's look at Paul Allen. Yeah. And so Patrick Bateman is looking at a card and he starts to almost break into a sweat.

Yeah, because it had the watermark on it. That's how I was looking at his Jordans. I pretended like I knew what they were. Those are custom. My man had these custom made, bro. Apologies to Rich for the. Yeah, you go sign this. Look at this.

They're like some Python threes that were custom made. But I mean, so he definitely came in front. And I told him to come correct today, Chris. And he came correct. Steve, you didn't.

Oh, I forgot to email you because I was at the Ventura County Fair yesterday. Oh, OK. Your guest hosts are supposed to bring us, Jay. Yeah, that's right. Did you? Well, that's I did. I didn't do that so that you would invite me back. Oh, OK. And then I have, you know, some incentives to bring you back here. But actually, what I wanted to tell you guys was this.

My weekend was great simply because the quote, the great Bernie Mac from Players Club is dollar bill. Scherzer deGrom back to back. This is going to be some trouble, trouble.

Y'all's in trouble. Game through six, man. Fans feel like you've been waiting three, almost 400 days for the goat to come back. And he's back. And now we've got him and Scherzer back to back.

Oh, my goodness. It's going to be great. That was that was special, by the way. Shout out to my guy, Dexter, the creator for these venom threes. The Jason we have going on.

Really, really looking forward to the show today. We got Hall of Famer Kurt Warner coming on. Obviously, he was in Canton, Ohio. Saw his coach, Dick Vermeil, get inducted class of twenty twenty two for the Hall of Fame. Going to talk to him about the NFL, some other stuff. Another Hall of Famer, Andy Roddick, friend and colleague at Tennis Channel.

We're actually both doing double duty today. Rich Eisen show TC Live later tonight. So Andy Roddick on the birthday, by the way, 41st birthday of Roger Federer today.

We're going to talk some tennis today, whether you like it or not. And we got some trailblazers on the show. I wanted to highlight some some women in the broadcasting industry that are doing amazing things. Lisa Byington is fantastic. The voice of the Milwaukee Bucks. First female full time play by play voice for a major men's pro sports team. One of her like 17 jobs.

She's fitting us in. Also does college football, Big Ten Network. And then another friend, a colleague of mine, the host of NFL Total Access, MJ Acosta Ruiz. First Afro Latina to host a show on NFL Network.

MJ is going to join us this hour. Obviously, this weekend, big stories going on, including the Hall of Fame induction. But I want to say the winner of the weekend was our own Rich Eisen. I've got some headlines here that came from this week. He was trending on social media.

He was. Rich, if you Google Rich Eisen right now, the first news stories that come up headlines. Rich Eisen trolls Ohio State fans at the NFL Hall of Fame dinner ESPN.

There was an alert, by the way, that came out. Michigan man Rich Eisen absolutely roasts Ohio State fan nation. Rich Eisen savagely, savagely trolled Ohio State fans.

That's from USA Today. Has Rich ever been called savage before? Definitely. Definitely. It's the opposite of savage.

The kids. He's savage. Rich Eisen mercilessly trolled Ohio State at Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Fan sided. Those are the headlines from our guy. He did it.

Here's the thing, Steve. Last week, he was kind of running it by us. He was like, look, you know, it's the first year I'm hosting the jacket dinner coming off a Michigan win.

How hard should I go? Because T.J., Mike, we've been to a bunch of these jacket dinners. It's arguably the best part of Hall of Fame weekend. Obviously, the speeches are amazing, the parade through town. But the jacket dinner is where they first kind of feel like a Hall of Famer.

Yeah. And Rich gets up there and the fans are merciless. Die hard Ohio State.

There's a few Michigan's sprinkled in. And they're chanting OH in the middle of his speech. And they're giving it to Rich.

They're booing him when he talks about it. It's all in good fun. And so he was like, how hard should I unload back at them this year because I finally have bragging rights? Let's just roll tape.

This is what Rich did this weekend. Oh, my God. Please silence all mobile devices. Also, for your safety, I'm being asked to tell you in the safety of all those in attendance, please take a moment to locate the nearest exit in case of an emergency. And if you need help locating that nearest exit, just think of yourself as a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the middle of the fourth quarter last November in Michigan Stadium.

That's the way you look for an exit. Oh, yeah. I love doing this thing. Hold on a minute. Let me just get ready. I love doing this event. Hold on a second.

No, no, no, no. I love you people. I do check into my hotel here in Canton, Ohio. Person welcomes me to Canton, Ohio.

I feel so welcome. And then he lowers his voice and he says go blue like he's embarrassed to say the words. And I told him, say it with your chest.

You can say it 42 times like we did against Ohio State last November. But really, folks. Thank you. No, really, folks, it's OK. Hassan Haskins just scored again. Now, I'd like to present to you some special guests. You're the one who started doing the O.H.

thing when I'm just trying to welcome everybody here. Impeccable delivery. Good for him. I'm proud of you.

I'm proud of you. He said it with his chest, TJ. I've been just telling him that's what he needed to do. You know, he you know, Brockman was like the I guess the devil on his shoulder telling him to do it.

Do it. And then he had it. He looked to me like maybe I could talk him out of it.

And I was like, no, man, you don't know when you're going to get this chance again. You've got to let the clip loose. So let it fly. And he definitely let it. He's been hosting the jacket dinner a decade and had never won.

Never won. So, yeah, get it all out, man. I give it a forty two out of forty two. Well done. Oh, I see what you did there. I spent four years of my local news life in Michigan, started in Alpena, Michigan.

Wow. Market 208. I was just I was just looking at it in the country. Alpena. Alpena. Glendive, Montana, North Platte, Nebraska.

Alpena, Michigan. Those are the three. That was your route. No, no, no. Those are the two ten to nine.

Oh, those are the really the smallest television demographics in our nation. And we all got to get there. Start somewhere, man. Somewhere. Yeah.

No. Start at the bottom. Now we're here. There you go. Now your whole crew here. Now I've got a crew.

Today's the first. By the way, being in this chair, never realized how far away you all were. Yeah. I thought I thought we'd be a little. This is a big studio, man.

It's funny how the people come in here, all the celebrities, movie, TV people, and they're like, wow, this place is huge. Yeah. And we're like, well, yeah, I mean, we're just kind of used.

I mean, this is almost year eight. We're just kind of used to it now. But it did work out during the pandemic that we were very socially distanced. People were like, why is TJ in the corner? It was like, well, there was nowhere else to put me because we had to spread out.

So it kind of worked out. I'm in the corner by myself. And yeah, we are pretty far away from each other.

I would like, you know, just I think we should bring it in. Mike and Chris are the closest, as you can see, and we're still about six feet away. Yeah, we're still 10 feet away. By the way, this past Thursday, NFL back. Hey, we're back. NFL is back. Oh, we're back. You want to know how I knew NFL was back, Steve?

You filled in your bones? How was that? I bet on the game.

That's how I knew it was back. So you don't work for NFL? I woke up. I woke up. Finally, I don't work for NFL. I woke up and I was like, what's that tingling in my bones?

Oh, right. Action. I got action tonight in the game.

I lost, but that's neither here nor there. Just the fact that we're back. It was so great. I didn't know who was playing quarterback. I saw it was McDaniel's had his visor on, so I knew that he was in midseason form.

Trevor Lawrence, his hair looked great. It was awesome. It was great. It was just great to see football being played, regardless of these guys will be delivering my UPS packages later on this week.

It's all good. It's amazing. It's amazing to have football, but 5.5 million viewers. That's almost the same as the all-star game, baseball. For a meaningless football game.

Absolutely meaningless. Josh Jacobs, by the way, meaningful, perhaps. Seven carries starting. Why was he out there so long? The running back?

Starting running back? In the ring. I did not understand why Josh Jacobs was out there. Punishment was like Josh McDaniel's trying to prove a point or something. Did he cut him off in traffic?

Did he park in his parking place? I'm so confused. Says he wants running backs to take live hits. I would think that would be the opposite, what I'd want for my starting running backs. Meaning less hits are not good in August. Apparently, no trade. They like Josh Jacobs, but first game of the preseason. Already getting the touches, starting, getting live hits. Again, in the rain. Why even take that chance? I agree.

I'm not down with that. Who's he? Juice Jones?

I saw you in the rain? Why you got him out there like that in the preseason game with your second team offensive line? You know, whatever.

And Jared Stidham, who's barring disaster, isn't going to play this year. You know what I mean? It was interesting. It was an interesting call. I guess the one positive for Jacksonville, not many. They got pretty much trounced. But Trayvon Walker looked pretty good at times in the first half of that game. And that's obviously what you want to see out of the number one pick in the draft. Yeah.

I mean, that was huge. We got games Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Yes. More action, TJ. First week of the preseason.

And by the way, rap sheet in Rappaport. Mike Garofolo this morning reporting Baker Mayfield has the inside track right now. No, you don't say. To be the starting quarterback for Carolina over Sam Darnold. What do we think of this? I still think that's crazy, TJ. I mean, I know he just got there. Sam Darnold had an okay year last year. He has a whole year under his belt.

Look, they beat the Cowboys, you know, last year. I just don't get how a guy's been there like a month and he's already the inside track from the start. I just don't get how it seems like three weeks ago when I was standing in just a mob of Cleveland Browns fans is the number one pick was being announced because we were at the draft in Dallas and I was doing interviews. And now he's not there anymore.

That's amazing to me. It just went south that bad, even though he went to and won a playoff game, right? How's that happen, Steve? It's strange, but I think it's probably the right decision. You know, last year, I don't think I think Baker is the guy if Carolina wants to make the playoffs this year, it's going to be Baker Mayfield. Nothing against Sam Darnold, but I think he has that winning mentality. That's what I like to see from a quarterback. Definitely chip on the shoulder. Yeah, he's got that. And then that, you know, he wakes up feeling dangerous. I want my quarterback to be dangerous on the field and when he wakes up. MJ Acosta Ruiz, NFL Network, NFL Total Access coming up momentarily.

Steve, filling in for Rich on the Rich Eisen Show. If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your business. That is true when your business is growing fast, even more true when there's a lot of uncertainty. Inflation is running rampant, supply chains are clogged, and the labor market is tight.

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Right now, NetSuite is offering a one-of-a-kind flexible financing program. Head to slash Rich Radio right now. That's slash Rich Radio. slash Rich Radio. MJ Acosta Ruiz is next. Fame may be fleeting, but the Hall of Fame is forever. Eight new members inducted. Steve Weissman filling in for Rich today on The Rich Eisen Show. We will talk more about the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and all things NFL as my next guest here on the show. First guest on the show, the host of NFL Total Access on NFL Network, my friend, my colleague, MJ Acosta Ruiz.

We are one month away from the NFL regular season kicking off September 8th, MJ. Thank you so much for joining us this morning. Steve, I'm your first guest. I am honored.

Yes. It's awesome to have you, MJ. And by the way, it looked like you had an amazing weekend. You had some friends. MJ rolls with like the coolest crowd of broadcasters. They're all A-listers. They all support each other. It's a cool group. What was the best thing you did this weekend?

Honestly, it was sort of throwing on these matching sweatshirts that we all got for the weekend and just hanging out by the couch. Like my best friends and I have been best friends for over a decade and all of us are in the business in one capacity or another, either sports or production or news. And it's very rare to find a group of women who wholeheartedly support you, elevate you, keep you accountable, and are just genuinely happy for your success as they reach their goals as well. And they really are some of the most wonderful human beings on the planet. So I'm very proud to call them my sisters, really. That's awesome, MJ.

I saw the note that you gave to them when they came to your house. The people make the place, and that couldn't be truer word spoken. And speaking of the people who make the place, you're one of the people that make the place at NFL Network. And before we get to the NFL, I do want to talk about you a little bit. Because you're so inspiring to me, to young boys and girls growing up.

I mean, the first Afro-Latina to host a show on NFL Network, really important to see. Billie Jean King always said you got to see it to be it. You weren't able to see it and you were still it. So what was your path to get there?

Thank you, Steve. You know, as you know, in this industry, it tends to weave and there's ebbs and flows all over the place. But it's been, I don't know, almost 15 years since I started this journey. I started in Miami broadcasting in Spanish for high school and youth sports. So calling high school baseball games and going out to Pop Warner games on Saturdays, you know, in 117-degree weather it felt like in the middle of Miami Gardens or, you know, Overtown in South Florida. And I loved every moment of that just as much as I love every moment of covering the NFL now at the NFL Network. So the trajectory has been long and pretty vast.

I covered everything from traffic to weather to entertainment, lifestyle, you name it. But sports was always the main goal, right? It was what I was most passionate about and what I decided ultimately to focus my entire career on. And so to have made it all the way now to the NFL Network and to be able to broadcast in English and in Spanish throughout the league has been really wonderful. Yeah, everybody has a different journey and it's so cool to see yours ending up where you are right now.

And there's much more to come, I'm sure, MJ. Do you ever take a moment to sit back and kind of appreciate what you've achieved? A lot of times it's that day-to-day, we're in the grind. I know you're on TA today, two hours to prep for. But do you get those moments to kind of sit back and appreciate all that you've accomplished?

I do, I do. I mean, listen, on the daily, on the grind, it gets you sometimes, man. You know, that seems like it doesn't stop and the schedule is so crazy and erratic sometimes. But I make it a point at least a few times a week to sit down and sort of reflect on what's happened, what I can do better. And the moments that really sort of made me say, wow, I got paid to do this for a living every single day.

And this is what I've worked for and what I've prayed for for so long. So it's important to sort of check yourself when you start to spiral down that deep, dark hole when the schedule just gets really nuts. Which for us, of course, as the network starts end of July, like the season doesn't start in September for us. We start in training camp.

So it's sort of an abrupt start in the middle of the summer and we're like, oh, crap, we're in and out. But it is unbelievably fulfilling every single day. Yeah, we saw a photo of you with the commissioner, Roger Goodell, right in front of SoFi Stadium. I feel like with our new studios and being able to be so close to SoFi, there's so many times where I'll just be in a studio during a break and just look around and be like, this is amazing. And just grateful for all that we've been able to do in our careers. Eight new members into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend. What stood out to you most about the Hall of Fame ceremony this weekend? Obviously, these are Hall of Famers for a reason, right? So every year it's tough to pick. And I ask the analyst this on our show every day on purpose, because I know it's hard for them to choose just one person who you're most excited about. I have a real soft spot for Coach Dick Vermeil.

I think he's just so he's just so humble and so kind to people. And I remember when they came the night that they were announced as the Hall of Fame coach for this year after NFL honors, they came straight over to the Tolaqua studios to your point, right? They were so close to everything. And I just told Coach on a sidebar, like on the side of the stage, like, hey, by the way, Coach, I love your tasting room up in Napa.

If you guys have not tasted or tried Dick Vermeil's wine, I highly recommend it. And he stopped in his tracks. He's like, oh, my gosh, here's my card. Next time you go up there, please, we'll take care of it. And I was so not I'm like, no, Coach, like I literally already have a case of your wine in my house. Like I bought it. It's fine.

I just want to let you know that I really enjoy it. The history that you have within the tasting room, he has a replica of the Lombardi and like all of this Rams memorabilia. But he could not like he told me, thank you so much for going to visit it. Like I did him a favor. I was like, Coach, stop it right now.

So it's just so cool to see people like that, what they accomplished within the league and within the game and to have their ultimate recognition and to have watched this Hall of Fame speech. Did I cry? I can neither confirm nor deny.

But I was very excited to see him see him get the gold jacket. Dick for meal wines. All right.

I'm going to I'm going to have to buy some of that. I did not know, but I would also never turn down free alcohol. So I think you should have taken him up on that. No, I definitely did. OK.

I just wanted to let him know, like, I'm not asking you. That's amazing. That's amazing. In addition to hosting NFL Total Access, you also get to do some reporting. That's where you kind of started at NFL Network. You were able to go up to Raiders training camp recently. They were our first preseason game.

We saw the Raiders Hall of Fame game on Thursday of last week. They won. Josh Jacobs played their car, Devante Adams.

They did not. As as you would expect, we did not expect Josh Jacobs to play. What did you learn most about the team when you were watching practice up there?

This first of all, this team is having way too much fun. I find which I don't think is a thing, honestly, but they that practice that I watched on Back Together Saturday at the Raiders facility, they just looked like a bunch of very large kids having a good time out on the field. I felt like they were clicking.

I felt like everything was in rhythm. Devante Adams at that practice, I've never seen someone float through routes the way that he does. It's inexplicable. He's just built differently. He's a different caliber of wide receiver in this league. I got to talk to him briefly. I got back to Max Crosby, which, by the way, the evolution of Max Crosby is one of my favorite things to watch across the National Football League.

I watched him there. I was still covering the Raiders in the Bay Area back in twenty eighteen when he was drafted, I believe, in the fourth round. So later a later round draft pick and what he's done for this defense, how he comes off the edge and just the spirit of who he is. He was the last person off that field on Saturday at that practice, an extra practice for them because they started early, of course, having the Hall of Fame game on deck for them.

And he was still out there getting work in. So I'm even more curious to see how he's going to elevate his game this year, given everything he's already done for that for that Raiders season. I love to hear that. I love to hear that they're having fun because that's I mean, we hear from Niners Camp that they're fighting. So, you know, the Raiders are having fun with each other.

I think that leads to chemistry and could lead to really big things for them this year. You also got to interview Raiders president Sandra Douglas Morgan, first black woman to hold that role in the National Football League, Sandra Douglas Morgan. What did that mean to you? First of all, let me just tell you this. My first encounter with her, I personally requested for us to do this interview. It was very important for me to get to meet her and to tell her how huge her role and her appointment to being Raiders president was. But of course, because this is that I go into the bathroom at the Raiders facility and Sandra's in there, like just touching on finishing up. Like before I interview, I was like, of course, this is the first time I meet her is in the bathroom of the Raiders facility.

But it was also like the most organic way. She immediately looked over and was like, oh, my God, MJ. And I gave me this big hug and I was like, oh, she already knows who I am. Like it was it was a really, really cool, cool moment. Like it felt like there was an unspoken among black women. And I have to say this. There's an unspoken pride, right, that we feel when we see each other elevate and that our work pays off. And so I told her this.

I you couldn't tell me one single thing the day that she was appointed because I felt like it was me. Right. Like I was like, you love to see it. Yes, girl.

Like do it for all of us. And she is. And but that's also a very heavy burden to have to bear one that most black women do carry. But she said it in our interview, you have to have broad shoulders to be able to do what we do at the level in which we do it. And she I was already impressed with her. By the way, if you want to join the Sandra Douglas Morgan fan club, just send me an email. I'll send you out a T-shirt. I'm the president of the fan club.

It's going to happen. She's phenomenal. And I think it speaks to the culture that they're that they're building in Las Vegas as well around this Raiders team. And she also said how proud she was of you. And I think that speaks to what you're able to do and what you are doing right now in our industry. And one thing, MJ, that I really admire about you is how you speak out on issues that you're passionate about.

And you do it in a way that is both thoughtful and extremely powerful. And these days are plenty of issues. You could do this every single day on total access.

I don't know that they would allow you to do that. But how do you determine which ones you're going to put on NFL Network that mean the most to you? Well, I think it's important that when there is something that's impacting especially marginalized communities, that we use the platform and that we amplify what needs to be amplified and hold people accountable. That needs to be held accountable. And it's tough, though, sometimes, you know, I started hosting the show in 2020 when we were in the middle of everything, of everything, of a racial reckoning, of just social justice, of so many things. And so I found myself constantly having to have these conversations and they were really draining and really exhausting. I'm really happy to have to do. But at the same time, I know the responsibility that I carry in being the host of this show on a national platform and being a person who is deeply and personally affected by these things as well. So I also bring that same energy to other communities who are suffering as well. And so while it's a lot, it's also, I think, a privilege to be able to do so.

And so I do take it very seriously. It's amazing. It's inspiring. You know, when I watch those segments, like I said, they're extremely powerful.

They're thoughtful. And you use your words in such a beautiful way. So I look up to you in that respect. I think that's really hard to do in the position that we're in on a national network, obviously, on social media. There's a lot of folks that are going to be on the opposite side of whatever you say, even if you literally said the sky is blue. Somebody's going to know it's not. So, you know, when you tackle those issues, you know, you're putting that upon yourself.

And I think it's next level what you're able to do. Back on a lighter note, though, with the Raiders, the AFC West. I'm curious because I love that division right now and the quarterbacks in that division. How do you think, you know, Raiders, Chargers, Chiefs, Broncos, they all have amazing quarterbacks. Derek Carr, Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson. How do you see the quarterbacks playing for those teams?

How do you see that division kind of shaken out? I don't think we're talking about Justin Herbert and the Chargers enough, to be honest with you. I think they've been sort of like, and I don't mean this in a derogatory way, in sort of like the little brother in that division for so long, right? Like, talented, great drafting, have very talented players on there, but can't seem to close out the season. And I just think that this is the year that added Khalil Mack. They did so many other things. Justin Herbert is only getting stronger and better and more accurate.

And we already saw what he did flying out the gate right when he came into the league. I think the Chargers cannot and should not be discounted in the AFC West. It's going to be highly competitive. I do think like teams like the Broncos are going to take a minute to get into that flow, but once they do, I mean, I just have my popcorn ready, to be honest with you, because that entire division has turned not only that whole conference on its head, but the whole league. Like, if you're in the AFC, the road to the Super Bowl is exponentially more difficult for you.

Absolutely. And, you know, I don't know who you think is the best quarterback out of that group. It's tough to rank them. And as blasphemous as it sounds, I have Russell Wilson fourth out of those four quarterbacks. I have him fourth. I have Patrick Mahomes. I have Justin Herbert.

I think he's underrated and I think he's legit. And then I have Derek Carr and then I have Russell Wilson. You know what? I don't disagree.

It's hard, man. And the thing is that ranking is going to shift depending because, listen, a team goes as its quarterback goes. We know that. That's just how the league works. It's a quarterback driven league. So that ranking will shift as the season unfolds.

And that's fine. This is a fluid journey, folks. Like everyone just has to buckle up and settle in. And we've got to see how this thing shakes out because I guarantee you, whatever we think is going to happen is not going to happen. It's going to be the opposite of that. It's going to throw us for a ride, for sure. One thing you're probably going to talk about on T.A.

later today. Ian Rappaport, Mike Garofolo saying that Baker Mayfield has the inside edge on the starting job in Carolina over Sam Darnold. Can Baker Mayfield, in your opinion, lead the Carolina Panthers to the playoffs this year? I mean, I think if he's angry enough, he certainly could. He doesn't need much of a chip, right? Like the man came into the league with a chip already. And now going over there, you know, you start the season against your former team with all the drama that he left behind is Cleveland. But honestly, I think it's going to come down to his attitude, right? Like it's not just about him. He has to lead, which is the word that you use, and galvanize this team to really do something in Carolina.

You know what I mean? So it's not just going to come together because he wants it to. He has to be the catalyst to make sure that team is clicking on all cylinders. And so the onus is on his shoulders. That rule can name him the starter. Cool.

I mean, I think we all know that that's the way it's trending, right? You saw his introductory press conference on Zoom. He was like, yeah, this is my team, basically.

Like there was no doubt in his mind that he was QB 1. So I think beyond that, OK, Beth, bring that same energy and make sure you are leading these men when you get out on the field. MJ, I sometimes get the honor of filling in for you on Total Access, but I've noticed that you've had some co-hosts recently. And before I let you go, what do I have to do to get on the show with MJ Acosta Ruiz?

Say less, Steve. I got you. I'm going into the studio in five minutes. I'm going to tell them right now, like, what are we doing?

Where have the chips gone? To be clear, though, when all of this was happening, you were in like London and Paris. And so, you know, I think you went to Paris right after me, though, right? Did you go to Paris before me or after me?

Before you. OK. Did you go to L'Avenue? Did you take my restaurant advice?

No, I didn't. The girls had a full itinerary, the aforementioned friends group. So the itinerary was jam packed with snails.

Did we eat snails? Yes. OK, we did all the things. Yeah, I love it. NFL Total Access, 6 to 8 p.m. Eastern today, two hours on NFL Network. I know you've got a fitting for the show.

Our wardrobe department is next level at NFL Network. But I do really appreciate you taking some time to be my first guest on The Rich Eisen Show. MJ Acosta Ruiz, thank you so much. Thanks, Steve.

Let's do it again. Appreciate you. MJ Acosta Ruiz, a true trailblazer in our industry and just a brilliant human, kind human.

Love to hear from her. TJ, what would you take away from that? We'll take away that we need to get into MJ's group of friends so we can get into the Instagram stuff.

You know, that was Joy Taylor in that group. But you're right. Like I was glad you brought up some of the things that you brought up with MJ that, you know, might not normally get talked about. But yet the fact that she is, you know, kind of like someone for especially for young women in this industry to look up to and to kind of follow her lead, along with a lot of the other women that you kind of touched on being her friends who are all in the business. I you know, I I think it's amazing just for young women to have someone that looks like them, that sounds like them, that dresses like them, that thinks and talks like them to to have that kind of role model to look at and be like, I want to do what she's doing or I want to do what they're doing. And to me, that's amazing.

And that's incredible. She is an incredible role model for for kids. I look up to her as well. MJ Acosta Ruiz, once again, really appreciate her coming on today. Steve Weisman filling in for rich on the Rich Eisen Show. Still ahead, we've got Andy Roddick, we've got Lisa Byington, we've got Kurt Warner. It's a Hall of Fame show. It is a trailblazing show.

And we've got much more after this. Back on the Rich Eisen Show, Steve Weisman filling in for rich today. Super grateful to be here with all of you. Peacock, Sirius XM Channel 85, Westwood One streaming free on the Odyssey app. You can call in 844-204-rich.

That's 844-204-rich. Myself, Brockman Del Tufo, TJ. And we've got something that I think we're going to bring the bring the folks in for. Today is the 30 year anniversary of the dream team. The one and only dream team winning the gold, the gold medal at the Olympics, 1992 Barcelona. This was the team. And by the way, for our young bucks out there that don't know, before 1992, 30 years, right?

Yeah. 1992, they didn't allow NBA players to play in the Olympics. It was only college players. And in 1988, the United States of America lost to the to USSR, who, by the way, if you're a young buck, that's the Soviet Union. Russia.

That is now Russia. We got bronze. We had won nine of the previous 11 golds in men's basketball. One of those years that we didn't we didn't even play. 1980, we did not show up to the Olympics.

So getting bronze, that was not acceptable. Not at all. The U.S. must be number one. Of course.

In everything. It's our sport. Basketball.

It's our sport. Also, they were using grown men. You know, you had like 27 year olds playing against 18 year olds.

And I think that was a little people started to go, wait a second. This isn't really fair. So for a while, our 18 year olds were still better. True. Until they weren't.

Until they weren't. So so so rules were changed. Right. So how to put our foot down.

Listen, we we need the gold again. We got to get back on top of this Olympic men's basketball. And so so the dream team was formed and this was something that was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. This was an Avengers like squad.

Right. We had superheroes at every single position. It was end game. This wasn't you know, we weren't coming back with Thanos or the rings. We were taking them all. We had Thanos. We had Thanos. We did.

We had Thanos and we had Iron Man and we had the rest of the Avengers. I mean, this was this was things of legend. So the dream team, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Carl Malone. Don't forget about the mailman, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton, Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullen and Christian Leitner. The only one who is not individually in the basketball Hall of Fame. All the 11 are in the Hall of the whole team is in the Hall of Fame as one. And then 11 of the players are in the Hall of Fame as their own. Three of the coaches are in the Hall of him.

Head coach Chuck Daly. Can't forget about that. And so this is Michael Jordan called one of their scrimmages the best game he was ever in.

The final score was forty to thirty six. We had I love it. Team white and team blue was Magic, Barkley, Robinson, Mullen, Leitner against Jordan, Bird, Malone, Ewing and Pippen.

It's crazy. Could you imagine? And, you know, back in those days, they recorded those practices only, you know, like cameras like this. And imagine if we had today's technology, obviously they wouldn't have let the footage out.

They probably still had close practices. But the footage like we get Zapruder film of when the college guys wouldn't play them and stomped them a little bit. Man, just imagine the footage that we'd have today of this, the eight K crispness of what those pickup games must have been like. I would have been like it would be like LeBron at the Drew League.

Like think about how packed like the small practice gym would have been like. I mean, I love everything about the dream team. That's when I was like really starting to come of age as a basketball fan. Well, Michael Jordan growing up, like, you know, we all still wear shoes. But yeah, it's hard to hard to believe that it's been 30 years since the dream team.

Like it's crazy to think about. It's awesome. It was a great time. The documentary on NBA dot com, maybe a TV that they did about is great.

Great. A lot of great memories about watching all those games. Just beating everyone down by like 80 points. Yeah, it's like Angola wanting autographs in the middle of games. Like it's like you get in trouble. Didn't you like push one of those guys? Yeah, like Barkley was beating everybody.

It's just like, imagine if you're just going to get beat up by somebody for, you know, four quarters of basketball and then run up to them and ask for their wristband or their sneaker. You know, it's just this team. There is really nothing in the history of sports quite like that team.

I don't know. We're more than 100 points every game, one every game by 80000 points. And you guys know, we're actually but there's always especially in basketball, you know, people want to compare other dream teams to them or, you know, try to put together a, you know, hypothetical team that could beat these guys.

And that you're right. That was the Avengers, the X-Men, the Defenders, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Alpha Flight all mixed together. The Fantastic Four, all of them. This team was the best. You remember who the leading scorer was? I believe it was Barkley, right? Yeah. So you got a team with Jordan, Magic and Bird, Charles Barkley.

I mean, I think sometimes people might forget because, like you said, it's been years and years. We had a discussion here. I remember it was either me, Adam and Chris or something I read and somebody was like, Luca Doncic is better than Charles Barkley.

And I'm like, you know, you should you should really go back and do some research. Charles Barkley was a bad mother. Shut your mouth, man.

Like, don't let the guy, the big guy you see on TV now for you. Charles Barkley was that dude. Period. I mean, six foot four, too, right? Yeah. And six for power forward.

Fourteen, fifteen, sixteen boards a game, you know, and, you know, he'd take it coast to coast and just people would bounce off of him like he was a juggernaut. Legend. Amazing. Call in once again, eight, four, four, two or four. Rich, who would you put on today's dream team? Oh, we got options. That's a fun question. Great question. We got options. Could they beat the ninety two team?

Eight, four, four, two or four. Rich Steve Weissman filling in for Rich today on the Rich Eisen Show. Lisa Byington is coming up top of the hour. She'll talk some hoops. She is the voice of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Don't go anywhere. Now, Brockman, we talked about this before the show. Yes, we are grown men. We're grown men that do not wear other grown men's jerseys. Correct.

Uniforms. Correct. You want Brockman on the back, on the back of your shirt, whatever.

Former Bucks player John Brockman. I want to. Yes.

And I want I want Weissman and I want it with two S's, not not one. So you guys are basically saying you're by that mindset, you're going to be very limited as to the jerseys. So here's the thing.

If if there's somebody in your in your family, great. You can wear their jersey rocket as a grown man. If you have a friend that plays a professional sport, you want to support them. OK. If it's given as a gift, you know, if somebody says, you know, here's a signed jersey, I'd probably put that up in the house. I wouldn't wear it, but that's an option.

Or for me. Michael Jordan, this is tremendous. Did you see this on the desk?

I didn't see. This is amazing. An original number nine.

Jordan is the only jersey I own that is another human. Incredible. I see.

I see. I'm like old school. I'm like Turtle from Entourage back in the day. Like I was you were Mr. Jersey guy.

So I don't you know, I don't agree with you guys about not wearing jerseys. That was part of the the time that I was in, you know, the early 2000s. But how old were you? Was you know, I was coming in age.

I was I was adult going to clubs, you know, and so that was the era like, you know, look at any radio from 98 to 2011. There was the jersey. So I was that I was in that was my style. If you were in a rap video, I'd say, OK, you get the exemption.

Now, you know, it is back. You don't get about 10 of them. I have baseball jersey. All right. If we just look at eventually who what would today's dream team be? Could they beat this dream team?

All right. Let's just look at the top 12 players in the all NBA voting. OK, Giannis, Luca, Joker, Booker, Tatum and B, Jad, Durant, Curry, DeRozan, Kat and LeBron. They ain't beating that other team.

Does that beat the original dream? No, that's a dope team. But they ain't winning because you got to remember, you don't have it in the prime Larry Bird or in their prime Magic Johnson either. Now, if you had everybody in their primes and the dream team, that team outside of LeBron and he's a freak of nature anyway. Everyone there is in their prime right now.

So let us know what you think. Steve, fill it in for rich on the rich eyes and show Lisa Byington next. For the real story behind some of wrestling's biggest moments, it's something to wrestle with Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson to all time Hogan opponents. Macho man's got to be in the conversation. Where's Andre for you? I've always said Andre was number one.

Wow. Because even going back before, you know, Hulk Hogan was a baby face. Hulk and Andre were able to go in and headline at the New Orleans Superdome at Shea Stadium in Japan. Wherever they went, that was an attraction, something to wrestle with. I'm Bruce Prichard. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-06 11:50:54 / 2023-02-06 12:13:14 / 22

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