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I am talking about the Dallas County Wheel. Dallas has taken a step back and Philadelphia with the aforementioned AJ Brown could zoom right past him. Earlier on the show, 12-year NBA veteran Rex Chapman. Coming up, co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, Michael Wilbon, Jets defensive end Jermaine Johnson, Packers running back Aaron Jones. And now it's Rich Eisen. Our number two of the Rich Eisen Show is on the air. Great chat with Rex Chapman and our number one youtube.com Rich Eisen Show for anything that you may have missed. Be one of the now 425,000 subscribers to that page. Please do that. Just be careful.
You can go down to wormhole with all the videos that keep popping up in that algorithm. Chris Brockman and Mike Del Tufo in their spots. TJ Jefferson in his spot still to come on this program. Aaron Jones will join us at the end of this hour.
Jermaine Johnson, rookie, one of the three first round rookies of the New York Jets. He will join us. He's on the practice field as we speak. It'll be a great chat with him when he joins us. But as always, we have on this program whenever we can.
One of my favorite humans on the planet. We finally didn't lose to Pardon the Interruption as best studio show daily. But then the calls came within my other house, the NFL network.
It came from within that house. But PTI with this gentleman and Tony Kornheiser is one of the best shows ESPN has ever put on the air. And I love his work on the pregame, postgame, and halftime with Greenie and Jalen Rose and Stephen A. The great Michael Wilbon here on the Mercedes-Benz Vans phone line. How you doing, Michael?
You're too kind, Rich. I'm good, man. I'm good. I'm here in Boston recuperating from a late night after game three and getting ready for game four tomorrow and listening to all the controversy between the live golf people at CGA.
And even when you have what you think is going to be a slow day in June, all of a sudden it's not so slow. So I'm here in Boston walking around a beautiful city and getting ready for that. Okay.
So let's jump into it. Your impression of the NBA finals through three games is what, Michael Wilbon? It's about like I thought back and forth the way I hope it should be. I mean, you sort of hope the games are closer. I'm trying to figure out why, you know, the back and forth deals with the result.
It doesn't deal with the action. And some of these big leads are growing and you wonder why that is the case. People are hard pressed to really explain why even Hall of Famers who are on the scene watching these games are personally covering it. But the back and forth nature of the result is what I expected. I kind of expect that tomorrow. I expect the Warriors to come back and figure out a way to win unless Steph Curry is so hobbled that he can't help them at all. But even then, I expect the Warriors to win tomorrow and I expect this thing to go back to San Francisco for game five tied at two. And just based on the Warriors habitually, 24 straight series have won a game on the road. They do have the hearts of a champion, so on and so forth, because the Celtics seem to have their number to me, Michael, with the exception of the second half of game two. You could say that they're clearly a better comprised younger team right now.
You could make that case. The Celtics got blitzing in the third quarter of game one. And last night? I mean, last night, the Warriors still came out and beat them pretty decisively in the third quarter.
And the Warriors are the best third quarter team in the league. So we do have a longer lens from which to view that. So, I mean, younger? Yes. Physically stronger?
I certainly would think so. But I don't know that that carries the day. The Celtics also, they'll give you some stuff. They tried their best to give away a game seven in the blank. Last night, they're up whatever, 20 points, and, you know, Golden State comes back and takes the one point lead that day. So, you know, I haven't, I'm not at the point where I've seen a team sort of reveal itself as the better team. Not yet.
Not for me. Michael Wilbon here on the Rich Eisen Show. Michael, we had Rex Chapman on in the first hour and I asked him his thoughts on Clay Thompson's comments about the Boston crowd using foul language and things of that nature. You know, things that you absolutely would not hear from Clay. And he read into it to say that Thompson isn't clearly yet the same player that he used to be and most likely will be, again, coming up this fall. And deep down, knows he might not have the old Clay Thompson necessary to shut this crowd up. And that may be part of the frustration level of him and giving a comment like that. I wonder what you think.
You know, Rex is one of my favorite people to talk to and has been since he was, you know, just out of Kentucky a million years ago. But those are separate things to me. Or they can be.
They are. I mean, first of all, I agree with Rex's assessment that Clay made. Clay said about six weeks ago, it was right at the beginning of the playoffs, maybe at the end of the regular season, about eight or nine weeks ago, that he was just getting his legs back, that he couldn't guard, he couldn't defend like he was accustomed to. And to me, that's to be expected.
And there were a lot of people who said coming back in, that Clay would need to get into that second season before he felt like himself again, if he could get there. And that's one thing. I mean, what the crowd is saying, I'm not familiar with, look, look, I have a, like most people of my age, who are of color, I have a complex relationship with Boston, the Boston Garden, and the Boston Celtics, very complex, only place I've ever been called the N-word.
And it wasn't the N-word that was used to my faith in public is in the Boston Garden, the old Boston Garden. So I know some of the nasty things there, Rich, and that, that has nothing to do with performance. Those things are separate. And they are considerable. So there's Quinn Thompson's ability to perform and whether he could get back to where he was. And then there is what is being said, by some fans, I think it's a, I'm sure it's a decreasing number of fans compared to the 1980s, or 70s, or 60s.
I'm sure it's a decreasing number. And Boston is an evolving city. But let's not pretend that everything said is just about sport, where everything said is above afraid, because it has to be historically. Again, this is an evolving city, the relationship is complex.
I enjoy walking around, I enjoy Boston in a way that I did not 35 years ago, if I was here for a series. And so those are, you know, when people talk about what's being said, unless they are willing to repeat it to you verbatim. So we don't, I don't know what Clay was talking about in this case, I can find out. Because if I talk to Clay, he's going to tell me exactly what was said. And I have not heard that sort of thing in recent years.
I have not. Doesn't mean it's not being said. And again, I think decreasing, I think it has, I know there are people, there are fans who are self-policing. There are fans who have come up to me.
I'm sitting outside of Starbucks right now, in Boston in a hotel that I'm staying in. I had a fan come up to me, and he said, hey, I heard you talk about this in the past, and he said, I'm one of those people that just shout folks down when I hear this. And I said, have you heard it? And he said, yes, I've heard it.
This is this white guy in his late 30s. And it's an interesting thing. And by the way, Boston ain't the only place where that happened, or has happened. It is a place where it has sort of famously happened.
But, you know, I'm not about to equate those two or connect those two. What was said to Clay Thompson is what was said to Clay Thompson, whatever that was. And Clay's ability or inability to get his game back is a completely separate topic to me.
Michael Wilbon here on the Rich Eisen show. Draymond Green, we always talk about how the stuff that doesn't show up on the stat sheet, the little things that leads to Warriors wins. Now those little things that don't show up on the stat sheets are all we're talking about because the Warriors are losing.
I wonder what your thoughts on Draymond Green's first three games of this series and his prospects are. We had no game last night, Rich, as you know. He had no game. He had one basket on basically a back door, open dunk, wide open, not contested. He had no game. He had more, I think he had the same number of rebounds and points that he had fouled. I mean, he had no game. So they're not going to win this series with Draymond Green doing that. And I expect them to face up to that today. He did it last night. He criticized his own play and it was worthy of criticism.
I expect him to, this is what our days are for. You know, I've constantly started to remind people that a sport with a series is not pro football. It's not. It's a series.
It digs and it dags and it goes back and forth. But we are so used to, as a culture, judging first and foremost the most popular form of sport entertainment we have in this country, which is pro football. We now think we can judge everything based on that model. And that's just, that would be dumb. A series goes back and forth and people don't have, you know, it's not determined by one great performance.
It is not even determined by two or three great, because people have bad performances, even the greatest players. I was reminded that by the GOAT not too long ago, by Michael Jordan, who said to me, you know, I have series with bad games. And I'm like, no, you didn't. And he said, yes, I did. And you were there for them.
Go look them up. And so did Magic and so did Larry and so did LeBron. And so, you know, so people have bad series in the games when they even maybe win the MVP. So Draymond was terrible last night. He had no game. Do I expect him to be terrible tomorrow?
No, I would bet against it that Draymond would be good. Not tomorrow, but Friday night. No, that is tomorrow. You should know what day it is, Rich.
Well, you should be out in front of a Duncan's, to be honest with you, instead of a Starbucks in Boston, Michael, not to be very critical of it, not to be critical of you, but I like that. So for Rich, I expect Draymond Green to be closer to, I'm not going to say vintage, but I expect Draymond Green to have an impactful game tomorrow. And I expect for him to be back in the column of, you know, impactful players, and not where he was last night, which was a waste of time.
Now, whether he has, you know, distracted himself with some of this nonsense, I don't know. That's not like Draymond. Draymond, usually he understands who he is, and he has to be a distraction to the other team, and he can be an annoyance in his own locker when he's agitating that to be better. I expect that Draymond Green to fall, not whatever we saw last night. A few minutes left with Michael Wilbon, ESPN's pardon the interruption co-host with our friend Mr. Tony, and also along with Stephen A, Greeny, and Jalen Rosen, a little bit of magic on the NBA on ABC Finals coverage. So, let's get into the live, if you will, versus the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan sent out a note to all PGA Tour players today, basically saying anybody who plays on this tour is suspended from the PGA Tour. And I'll be honest, Michael, it kind of feels like some of these college coaches who are complaining about the NIL world that is changing the landscape and will not be stopped, and I kind of get that feeling from this.
I wonder what you do. As a great analogy, Rich, if they have so much money, if they're throwing so much money at this, so there's at least one player who was in the NCAA championships last week who's now at least, and so just let's just do the math. I mean, Jay Monahan, it seems so tone deaf. It is. It's college football coach tone deaf.
It is. So, if you get $120,000 to finish in the last place and miss in the cut, and you do that for six or seven weeks, and you're eight weeks, all eight weeks you finish last, every turn, that's a million dollars. You know what you make to finish in the last and miss in the cut every single week in eight weeks on the PGA Tour, you get nothing. So, why would a 22-year-old be cowered by the PGA and Jay Monahan? This is insane.
This is insane. First of all, I don't see it standing legal test at all, but even if it did, if one entity is offering you, and by the way, you're not going to finish last every week. Let's say you finish 23rd two weeks, and you're up in the $700,000, $800,000 range, and you mix that in. You just made $2 million straight out of college, and the PGA, you just made expensive $80,000 for those weeks you finish whatever you finish.
Are you kidding me? This is money we're talking about, and people can call it blood money. That's not going to, I don't think that resonates with people of a certain age, and I don't think it resonates with most golfers anyway. We're talking about a professional tour where everybody, no matter how much they make, including Tiger and Hill, beats the Florida, usually as soon as they can to avoid all form of taxation. No matter if they make $100 million a year.
You're going to tell me that, let's just say, I mean, Bryson DeChambeau, he's not an incidental character, Rich. He was making a lot of money as is on the PGA tour, but he's going to make much more from the Saudis. You mean to tell me all these guys are just going to straight up? I hear that a certain player has said, has texted a picture of his bank account statement to other players who are not going to come, and they see that amount, which is more than $100 million, Rich. That's just guaranteed, and those guys are going to turn that down on that tour? There's no chance. So the interesting thing is with the tone deafness of what seems to be the you and me, and I'm with you, tone deafness, and why would the other players stay away?
What's going to keep them away? We're going to suspend you? Okay, fine. I'll go.
I'll leave. What's going to keep them away from that tour? I don't know what the answer is though, right? I mean, you turn to your television partners or your partners in business, the sponsors, and say you got to come up with more scratch, otherwise we're dead. But it's streaming, so they're going to match it? Are they going to come within 50%?
Let's review. Dustin Johnson, if the rumors, the reporting is accurate, I'm talking $200 million, who's going to come up with that? I mean, this is money, right? That's right.
And so, I mean, Workday, I mean, I know some of the sponsors, I know some of the heads of those companies. Are they going to come up with that? Is the money unlimited?
And so, when you said I don't have the answer, I don't either. But I don't see people just saying no to this kind of money. I mean, billions, billions, not a couple of billions, not a few dozen, but tens of billions of dollars if that reporting is accurate? So, I just, and people, if they are streaming to this tour, first of all, it seems like maybe the PGA overplayed its hand. I mean, suppose the PGA, I know they didn't want to sit down with Greg Norman, they didn't want to, okay, but suppose they could have put this on, they could have done a partnership, and they could put this on in the fall. Because right now, the PGA has decided not to contest against the NFL, wisely.
They've already kowtowed, right? They've already said, we can't handle the NFL's money. So, they're going to handle the Saudis' money.
They ended their tour early, their season, so they don't have to deal with the NFL competitively in September, October, November. So, why not just let the Saudis' tour do that? Why not just figure out a way to partner? Okay, they didn't want to partner. Maybe they considered the human rights element of this too much and it overwhelms them.
All right, but don't be holier than thou about this. You can't then come and suspend. I don't believe that is going to extend any legal challenge, none.
And then you've got the practical matter of, even if it did, what's going to keep those guys from going and saying, yes, I'll take your money. Michael, I appreciate the time, man. I always do. What's your choice in Starbucks? What have you been holding and sipping on throughout this conversation? I don't get myself in trouble while I'm in Boston where Dunkin' is a superb choice to every street corner in the city. I used to be a Dunkin' guy.
I can't consume that kind of sugar anymore. So, I'm not a... I ask people, my friends, what do you get when they start telling you about lattes with a spoonful of this and a pinch of that?
I have no idea what any of that means, Rich. I'm old and old fashioned. And my father drank too much coffee and it smells up the house in the morning, which I thought I liked when I was a kid. And so now I get hot chocolate and hope it doesn't run my bloodstream. Or maybe you're going to Starbucks for the money, right?
You're leaving Dunkin' behind. There's no way to compete, right? There's no way to compete. That's it. You can't turn it down. Can't turn it down. Oh my God.
You're the best, man. Right back at you. Right back at you.
Great to chat with you. Say how to Tony and Steven A and everyone else, Greeny. Thanks. I will pass that along tomorrow. Please do. Please do. Take care of yourself, Michael.
Thanks for the time. Here you go. That's Michael Wilbon, everybody, right here on the show.
Love that guy. Let's talk about the live tour when we come back. Let's talk about it. Again, I want to expand on the thoughts that I kind of just unpacked right there with Michael Wilbon. We'll talk about that because the tour is, you're kind of keeping an eye on it, right? I've been kind of watching since we got in this morning.
Okay, let's hit that. Jermaine Johnson of the Jets joining us in 20 minutes, too. Back here on our terrestrial radio outfit, Jermaine Johnson of the Jets will be joining us shortly. I can't believe the Jets got him, man. I still believe it.
I mean, think about it. Jets had an awesome draft. Yes, they did. Awesome draft. Yes, they did. First three picks.
And then they had Breece Hall right after that. Come on, man. So you're watching the live tour first event, right? I am. I've been kind of checking it out. It's on YouTube.
And this whole thing has been really fascinating to me throughout the months, kind of following along. It's over there in London, correct? And so the first shots were fired, if you will, on the golf course. And you're already seeing a different way of holding a golf tournament.
Again, shotgun start, what that means. And again, I know TJ, you're not much of a golfer. Have you played golf? You ever gotten out there and played golf? I'm an excellent putter, as you used to see on the show.
Very good. So on the PGA Tour, if the field is not insanely large, everybody starts on the first hole, one group at a time throughout the day. And so the entire event, the entire round can take eight, 10, sometimes 12 hours, right?
Takes a long time. And you don't have the whole day to watch one entire round of golf. And it's also not covered because it's too long of a day. This, however, it's a shotgun start, meaning everybody starts at the same time, just on all 18 holes. Somebody starting on hole one, two, all the way through to 18. And so if you start on hole one, you play the entire course as is intended to be laid out from one to 18. And others will start on 16 and make the turn, make two turns, right? So make one turn and then you'll make another turn on back on the back and finish on hole 15. So everybody plays and you can watch an entire round of golf in about four hours or four and a half. So it's more manageable that way.
A little more consumable TV. Right. And there's always a star on the course making a shot. Let's go to 15. There's one star. Let's go to 12. There's one star.
Let's go to six. There's another star. And they're also rethinking, I guess, the way that you can hold a tournament where they played walk-up music for the players once they got to the tee. Is that what you're saying? So there's a video going around of Phil and he's playing the OJ song, you know, money, money, money, money, which is disgusting. I'm going to be honest with you. It's like, that's too much in your face for me. Like, look, if you want to take the money from the Saudis and there are people out there are like, how can they do this? Would you and your job, if somebody offered you $200 million, I mean, and that's not an exaggeration.
That is not an exaggeration. Would you say no? I mean, seriously, look yourself in the mirror and say that. And you could sit there and say, you know what, to hell with you, Rich, for even supposing that. No, I wouldn't take it.
And to salute, but don't put it in my face because I'm going to have to put my conscience away just to, just to find you on the internet. Okay. That was from the Shooter McGavin account.
So someone might've done some editing, but you can kind of hear the cheering and the wind in the background. So I'm not sure. Okay. You should have told me that before I went in on a, on a, on a, on a take, but I mean, if, if they did do that, then yeah, then that's way too much.
If they didn't, then my apologies. But that is, that is, I'm also touching upon the, the fault line of this thing. But it is a cool idea to kind of shake it up and have some welcome. Is taking the Saudis money. Right. So the PGA tour waited till somebody took a single, till the, till the shotgun start started over in London to send out a statement and an email to all members of the PGA tour, Jay Monahan, the commissioner of the PGA tour, sent out a missive to say, anybody who plays on this tour, anybody who plays and takes a shot on this tour suspended, no longer eligible to participate in PGA tournament play, including the president's cup. And so anybody who has resigned from the membership, you're out in accordance with PGA tour tournament relations regulations, the players who have resigned their memberships will be removed from the FedEx cup points list. When the official statistics following the Canadian open that goes this week for the PGA tour are posted on Sunday evening to be clear, these players will not be permitted to play in PGA tour tournaments as a non-member via a sponsor exemption or any other eligibility category. So there's no loopholes for those who haven't yet resigned. We will ensure they will not negatively impact your tournament eligibility, your position in the priority rankings or your eligibility to compete in the FedEx cup playoffs.
We'll update you as we work through this process. So if you haven't resigned, the door, I guess, is still open. That's the way they're handling it. And it seems to me, again, I mentioned this to Michael Wilbon. This has the whiff of anybody who's railing against NIL in college football.
I told you, the minute that that door opened, it's coming. Players are going to get money and the only way to fix it is just to organize it and unionize it and turn it into a professional sports league. That's the way it's going to come. That's the way it's going to go. And anybody who says we need to keep the system as it currently is and trying to fix NIL, you're just spitting in the wind. And the way this looks, because the Saudis, as Kevin Van Valkenburg of ESPN, who came on yesterday's show, pointed out, they don't care how much this costs.
They're pumping oil. Yeah, there's no business model. If they lose money, it doesn't matter. And tens, if not 100 billion dollars, tens of billions, if not 100 billion, is on the table to just dispense over the years.
Whatever budget it is, it's unlimited. They don't care. So the PGA Tour is not going to be, they're not going to be able to compete with this. The only way that I see the PGA Tour being able to continue doing the business that they're doing and excommunicate those who have resigned their tour memberships, the only way that they can continue on with the PGA Tour is to continue doing the business that they're doing.
Excommunicate those who have resigned their tour memberships. The only way that they can continue on with the business as usual is if the folks who run the Masters say, you're out from us too. Because with all due respect to these great tournaments of the PGA Tour and all the people who have aspired to get their tour cards and the way that we've done business over the last decades of watching players compete and succeed in the PGA Tour, I mean, I think these players can do without grinding it out on the PGA Tour to go to this event and that event, the non-majors. And they can do without it if they go to the live tour, which by the way, I found interesting that Jay Monahan referred to as the Saudi Golf League. And so Saudi Golf League is how he referred to it. And so I think these players, if they go to that tour, can do without going to, again, with all due respect, the Canadian Open, I'm sorry to say it, the Memorial, all of these places, the LA Open or the Genesis, whatever it's called, they could do without it.
But what they cannot do without is that green jacket. And my eyes are trained right on Augusta National. If Augusta National comes out and says, anybody who's resigned from the PGA Tour, you can't come here either.
You can't come here either. There's no green jacket for you. Do you think Sergio is going to scramble? Do you think Dustin Johnson is going to scramble to get that tour card back? Or can they look at the masters and say, I don't have to play at Augusta National anymore? Really?
Really? Maybe the Royal and Ancient's got to chime in. The USG already said that they're, you know, they're going to be at the US Open, go for it. And that's what I'm really curious about because, you know, Phil has taken such a huge hit, you know, publicly.
We saw him for the first time now in four months. He's arguably the second most popular golfer ever or certainly of his era. How is he going to be received next week at the US Open by fans? And he's going to have to face the music from the press. It's going to be really interesting to me.
What fans are fans really going to tell him? You know, I think it's terrible that you took Saudi Arabia money. I think it's possible. I think there's a very small percentage of people that would say that, but it's possible. And I think that's one that clearly the PGA Tour did not think the live folks could pull off damn near 50 players of an incredible caliber. But they also probably didn't see tens of billions of dollars being allocated.
You can't compete with that. There's no other entity on the planet that is an business organization or a sponsor or television network that's going to commit that sort of money to golf. I mean, the NFL just got $100 billion worth of commitments television contracts over a 10-year period, not like one year to just flood the zone. That's why I think it's just like the NIL. The NIL has flooded the zone, man, in college football. And the NCAA and every single one of these conferences have been caught flat-footed. They don't know how to deal with it. They're trying to deal with it on the fly.
That's why they're going to just band together and figure it out on their own, how to deal with that issue with a select group of universities. That is common. In the same way that this live tour, Saudi Golf League, as the PGA Tour refers to it, it's common.
It's here. Yeah. So the money rich. So the Canadian Open, pretty big event on the PGA Tour schedule, has an $8.7 million purse. That's a lot for the PGA Tour.
This first event for the live is a $25 million purse. And everybody gets paid. Everyone gets paid. No matter where you finish.
1 through 48, all get paid. There's no cut. No cut.
You're not cut and you get nothing and see you next week. Right. So again, what's the downside to this? Well, the downside is you're taking Saudi Arabia money. Yeah, but again, when you talk about that small percentage, most people don't really understand or know what's going on in this world. Right.
If that stuff matters to you, then you're not going to do it. So it appears to be that if you haven't resigned your tour card, that you could come off of playing this live tour event and what and go to next week's PGA Tour. Well, that's the US Open next week, whenever the next PGA Tour event is. So it looks like to me. But if you've resigned your tour card, see you later. You're not getting it back. I don't know how that plan is going to work unless Augusta National comes in and backs the play.
Then you're now looking at these players are going to have to change their way of some legacy plays, right? I think they probably think I'll take the Saudi money. How about Wilbon saying that there was a player that he knows of who texted a photograph of his bank account of the zeroes that have hit his bank account to those players who have stuck with the PGA Tour. It's like that GIF, poor people coming through. Hide the money miss, poor people running.
If it was only that funny. That's what I'm saying. I bet you these players think, I'll take that money. I'll travel the world. I'll play in these events with some great people. At some point, it'll be much more visible. I don't care how visible it is.
The only thing I need to view is my bank account growing larger. And then when the majors come around, I'll play in that. But what if the most important major, the people who run that say, we are part of the PGA Tour. We're part of the tradition unlike any other, which is the PGA Tour. We talk about tradition here. We're traditionalists. See ya. Would not want to be ya.
Green jacket's not for you. That's the, to me, my eyes are trained right on the green jacket folks in Augusta. What are they going to do? And they don't have to say, I mean, they don't have to say anything for a long time, right? They have to make, they got some time. They can have, they can have a ton of committee meetings before figuring out.
I mean, the RNA is coming up in about six weeks. So we're going to find out if they, these guys are pointing in the open. And Chris, like you said, about this, like you take a guy, not a very top golfer, they're going to give him that much money. And this guy's going to think, how hard would it be for me to make this on my own in the PGA Tour? So it might be worth the fact that you never get a green jacket because how are you getting $20 million? No, the green jacket.
Come on now. Unless you just say you don't care about any part about what golf has been like beforehand. The green jacket's a different story.
That's a totally different ball of wax. $20 million, $25 million for some of these people is like, that's more than life changing. Or they already got their money. Well, yeah, I'm saying depending upon... What do you think?
Do you think this, well, I guess the Saudis can come for whatever receipts they want. Who'd you bring up to me, Brotman, Koepka's brother? Yeah, Koepka's brother is kind of... He's never going to make $25 million. I'm just staring, I'm staring at Augusta National. That's the way I'm looking at it. Let's take a break. Jermaine Johnson will be joining us next from the New York Jets.
Rich is so excited. Can't play, you can't spell jets without a J, and he's got two of them. Back here on the terrestrial radio outfit, I'm on the phone with Jermaine Johnson there, Mercedes-Benz phone line, New York Jet, going through draft night.
So last one for you on the way. Why do you think you dropped? What were you told as to why you think you dropped all the way down to 26 in this draft?
I have no idea, and to be quite honest, I haven't asked anyone, because I just simply don't care. I'm not going to lie, I really don't care. I'm extremely happy where I ended up, and that's not just a PR answer or whatever, but to be honest, I'm surrounded by great players, I'm surrounded by great teammates, the staff's awesome, and my vets in my room.
I got to give a shout out to the vets in my room, because not every room's like that. They're helping me every way they can, they're teaching me the ropes, and they believe in me as well. So I'm extremely happy with how everything's playing out, and I love the state of Jersey, I love the state of New York, and it's kind of right up my alley, so I'm very happy. Well, I don't know if you're aware of this, Jermaine, but I'm from Staten Island, New York, and I've been rooting for the Jets.
I've been rooting for the New York Jets ever since I was six years old. I mean, so you don't need to sell me on all of that. I mean, I believe you, and I couldn't believe it. I honestly couldn't believe that the Jets were able to get two blue chip players and then get a third in the first round of the draft. Who was the guy who called you? When your phone rang and you might have seen like a, what, a 201 area code or any other area code associated with New Jersey, who was that guy for you?
Oh, who called me on draft night? Who I spoke to first? It's hard to remember because I spoke to everybody. I spoke to literally everybody in that room.
If I want to remember right, I want to say Rex was the first one I spoke to, but then after that, obviously Joe, Kosala, and you know, everyone else, it was just going on. Like, I was almost late to walking up to the podium. I was like, I gotta go, I gotta go. And it was a long walk, too. That was one of the longest walks I've ever seen any draftees be have to make of a draft. That was a long one.
No, it definitely was. You know, I almost hit the fat man's over. I didn't want to be late to the podium. Jermaine Johnson here on the Rich Eisen show.
All right, so let's dive into this because, you know, you mentioned that it wasn't a long wait for you on draft night because you've had a long journey. Let's start with that. Let's talk about that. Where is Independence Community College, Jermaine? Where is that? Look, I had no idea before I went there, you know, that that was even a place. But it's in the southeast corner of Kansas, like an hour outside of the Oklahoma border.
Probably a town of, I think, six to nine thousand, maybe less. And how did you wind up there? How did you wind up there? So my first couple of years of high school, you know, I didn't really handle business. And then the last couple years I tried to combat that.
And, you know, I really wasn't able to upset that. I could have went and gray-shirted a couple different schools. But, you know, my junior college coach, Coach Jason Brown, called me and he said, look, if you just come here for 18 months, you'll be able to go wherever you want. And I mean, essentially that's what happened. And I was able to go wherever I wanted. And you went from there to Georgia and then Florida State is where you finally wound up, right? Correct.
Okay. And so what untapped potential did you tap into at Florida State that you feel, you know, you can unleash into the National Football League, Jermaine Johnson? I was just cut loose, to be quite honest. I feel that really the biggest change in my game from Georgia to Florida State was being cut loose and gaining more confidence because I knew I had my teammates relying on me that much more because I'm out there so much. So just getting all the reps I did and able to build confidence in myself every week that went by, you know, I just became a better player every week that went by because, you know, now I'm out there rolling, you know, I'm out there trying to make plays for my team. And I think that's pretty much what it was, was being cut loose and showing myself that, you know, I am what I think I am. And did you have any visits with the Jets before the draft, Jermaine?
I did. Yeah, they're one of my top 30 visits. And it was so seamless. It was like I was already on the roster, to be quite honest.
And then, like, prior to that, you know, I was like, you know, New Jersey, New York, that doesn't really sound that, you know, appealing. But then I get here and I get surrounded by like all the amazing people, like, I swear, and then we're just hitting it off. And it was awesome. So, like, I went to the Senior Bowl and I wasn't able to actually get with them because I left early.
I was never able to be around, you know, the staff. And then once I got around everybody, I was like, man, this place is awesome. It's definitely on the up and up. And I'm glad I can just help with that. And so what did you tell Robert Sala? What's your conversation's been with your HC? Who, I think he'll know what to do to unleash you in the same way that you talked about being able to play free at Florida State. So you're saying now?
Yeah, talk to me like now. Like when you're talking, you're at OTAs, you're in these meeting rooms, you're now a professional football player. You're ready to go hunt Mac Jones and Josh Allen and Tua Tungovailoa on behalf of the New York Jets in a division you care to win. Man, you're so right about that.
I'm definitely excited for that. But, you know, I'm a big family guy, team guy, like no lie. So I'm keeping the main thing, the main thing. And I'm just going to do everything I can that the team asked me to help them help with the team in a better position to win. So, I mean, if that looks like playing across the teams, I'll do that. If that looks like coming in on third down, I'll do that. If that looks like starting, whatever, I'll do that. It's just whatever role, you know, they want to throw at me, I'm going to eat it up and have fun with it.
Yeah. And then you're talking about the vets in your room. I mean, there are some people who are, who are, you know, vets, but who have something to prove as well, coming back from injury, like Vinny Curry and Carl Lawson. You've got John Franklin Meyer sitting there.
You've got a kid in Quinnen Williams, who's got a top five pick designation as well for him, ready to roll. What's it like in that room for you and for the Jets, Jermaine? Man, it's awesome.
I'm not going to lie. Every day it's extremely competitive, but it's not competitive in a way to where we're like, nah, we're not going to help each other so that we get the upper hand. It's literally like, you know, we're going to get the best out of each other and then compete against the best we just got out of one another. So it's just, I mean, the competition level keeps rising.
You know, the accountability is there. I mean, it's literally just everything's on the up and up, you know, from, from my point of view. And obviously I'm a rookie. I don't know that much, but we're having a great time and we're working our butts off. Well, I mean, I'm sure again, you've met your fellow rookies. Tell me about your first impression of Sauce Gardner, Jermaine.
I'm not going to lie. Me and Sauce Click right away. I mean, we hang out all the time and he's a hard worker and, you know, he knows that it's bigger than just making plays on the field as well as myself. So, I mean, we're kind of on the same level on just trying to go out there and just lead by example, you know, just be seen and not really hurt at the moment. You know, you got to earn that. Like I said, like I said, we're rookies. So, I mean, we got to, we got to earn our stripes and stuff like that. And I mean, he just has a humble mindset, but he's confident in his abilities like myself.
So I think he's a great player. So are you carrying bags? You're doing grunt work in your first OTA?
You're doing stuff like that? Of course, man. I'm carrying helmets, whatever the vets want me to do. Snacks.
No, they can't wait till the rookie dinner. I'm sure, but I mean, but I'm not going to lie. Like I said, I was blessed with great vets because they're not doing me as bad as I'm sure some other places are, but they're definitely, you know, giving me, you know, a little bit of a run around, but that's part of it. It's almost like a rite of passage.
So I feel honored. Well, you also know what a good offense looks like from your point of view. What can you tell anybody in Jet Fandom about what Zach Wilson and the offense you're going against in practice looks like, Jermaine? Man, Zach can whip it.
I'm not going to lie. He can put that ball pretty much anywhere on the field. And you know, like I said, O-line, D-line, we kind of don't get that much team opportunity. You know, we're just an indie most of the time, but when we are doing those team reps, they look smooth. Zach looks smooth. He looks more confident in everything.
So I mean, everything I'm hearing is, you know, everything's open up from my point of view. All right, Jermaine Johnson, I'm going to leave this interview by asking you a question I asked of Sauce Gardner before the Jets drafted him. All of us in the Jets fan base, honestly, it's been, I'm a 50, I'm about to turn 53 years old. I know exactly how long the Jets have been, how long it's been since the Jets won the Super Bowl, because it's my exact age. I was born the year Joe Namath won one for the Jets. And the phrase that Jets fans and so many people use when things don't go well, more often than not, is it same old Jets. How are you going to approach erasing that sensibility and sense same old Jets Jermaine Johnson? I mean, every year is a new year, you know, every year is a new team.
Are you seeing what the Bengals did? So I'm just, you know, one thing about this building is we're not scared of expectation, you know, especially in the defense room. That's something we talk about, you know, we're not scared of expectation. So I'm just going into it knowing, you know, you know, what, what bad luck, what bad juju we, where we are building a new identity. So that's how I'm approaching it. And that's how everyone is approaching it. And, you know, we're building, you know, something great here. And it's definitely not hanging hanging on our backs at all. You know, where we have, you know, we have, you know, high goals.
And we have, we have every intention on hitting those goals. Jermaine Johnson, let's do this more often. It's a pleasure to meet you here. You go do that thing. You go? Yes, sir. Hey, I got you. I got you. Okay.
I will take that to the bank. What kind of snacks do the Jets get? What snacks are you being asked to to tote around? What snacks? What snacks?
Yeah. What are you being asked to grab? You said you're grabbing snacks for the veterans.
What's happening? They're building a shopping list now. And there's going to be tedious things that only one store has in New Jersey. I'm sure we got to find, but no, it's all good.
I'm up for all of it. So it's like a treasure hunt for snacks? Is that what you're saying? You know, it's not going to be just, hey, go to Walmart and get some chips. It's going to be go to, you know, find truffles in a glass jar. And, you know, if you bring truffles back in a plastic bag, you know, you got to get it exactly right. Okay. So when you when you're when you're being placed onto such a honeydew, if you will, list, do us a favor, take a photograph of that snack that you had to go travel all over New Jersey to go get.
And at Rich Eisen Show when you do that and post it. Okay. Jermaine? All right. I got you. When I find out what it is, I got you. Very good.
At Rich Eisen Show. Thank you for the call, Jermaine. You be well. No, thank you. My pleasure.
You got it. Jermaine Johnson, the second right here on the Rich Eisen Show. I like him, man. Another one I like, too. I like him. Aaron Jones, one of our favorites from the Packers, will join us in our number three here on the show. Okay.
We just hung out with Jermaine Johnson, the second. And he wasn't supposed to be on the chance. I mean, no, look, definitely not. I was pounding the table for sauce. You know, I wanted sauce. I said, I want that's going to be a planet sauce. You wanted all the sauce.
I wanted all of it. I spoke it into existence. You really did. You know, I spoke it. You manifested it.
You know what? I'll give myself the credit, even though apparently the Jets were all over him from the beginning. It makes sense.
After you started, they were. Yeah. And then at 10, could have gotten Jermaine Johnson there, but at that point in time, you're going to go get Garrett Wilson for Zach Wilson. And then you get Jermaine Johnson, the second. And we haven't spoken to Garrett since he became a Jet. We did speak to him beforehand, right? When I, did I tell him, you know, I don't know, when I came up about that we were his daddy or something like that, Michigan. You did say that. I did say that, too. You were very aggressive.
I was aggressive and he was fun and funny about it until that kind of got his hackles up. We heard Liz scream from the back when you said that. Three New York Jets, three Jets, three of them.
In the first round. Bring me Breeze Hall. I bet you he's the same attitude, smart, head screwed on straight. Sees the big picture.
Didn't care where he got so fired up. Thank goodness we're at the end of this hour that I'm not now going to turn to the schedule and play the win-loss game for the Jets, because it'd be 17-0. I'm fine. Let's do it.
I'm part of the flight crew right now. J-E-T-S. We got less than a minute to go until the so-called hard out of this hour, just to shorthand it. 17-0. Just give us the first eight games.
17-0. That's the toughest. I mean, look at that.
Jeez. There's some quarterbacks to go hunt, man. I mean, look who's on the list. Lamar, Joe Burrow, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Josh Allen are all some of the first quarterbacks.
Sauce Gardner is going to be asked to hold down the secondary against, and Jermaine Johnson is going to be asked to go rush. I mean, Mac Jones. Show some respect. Okay, Mac Jones too. You know, you got enough Celtics Boston pride right over there. Back off, Duncan boy. Hey. How are you going to leave Jacoby Brissett out of that thing?
You can do all that. Stop avoiding the point. That's the one win.
17-0. Let's go. Change the culture, new Jets. For the real story behind some of wrestling's biggest moments, it's something to wrestle with Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson too. 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 babyface, 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 Bruce Prichard. Listen, wherever you get your podcasts.
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