What's Right with Nick Wright is a rapidly growing podcast from the Fox Sports Podcast Network. You may know Nick Wright from co-hosting FS1's First Things First. This podcast gives Nick a chance to develop, deep dive, and defend his sharpest opinions.
During the show, Nick faces off against a ticking clock, a team of producers, and even his own family to try and get his points across. New episodes drop Monday, Thursday, and Friday wherever you get your podcasts. This is the Rich Eisen Show with guest host, Tom Pelissero. Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles. How did you pull off the biggest comeback in NFL history?
Okay, I need a second time. Today's guests, host of the Old Man in Three podcast, JJ Redick, NFL Network reporter, Mike Garafolo, plus two-time Super Bowl champion, Dion Branch. And now, sitting in for Rich, it's Tom Pelissero.
It is a Rich Eisen-less edition of the Rich Eisen Show. Tom Pelissero sitting in. Rich getting set to call the Steelers game against the Raiders on Saturday night, the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception. Obviously, going to be a morning period as well with the passing of Franco Harris yesterday. We'll have Rich coming on in a little bit here.
Chris Brockman. Hey, Tom. Good to see you. Appreciate you being here. What's up, man? Mike Del Tufo is currently trying to fix my non-working audio pack here. It's going well. We're touching batteries. We got a lot of wires.
TJ Jefferson in the house as well. Hey, Tommy P. I got to be honest with you, man. I was tracking your flight from Minnesota last night like that kid tracks Elon's private jet. And there was a point, I was worried that the snow was going to keep you from us.
So I'm glad to see you made it. So I live in Minneapolis and we got several inches of snow. Started about 8 a.m. yesterday. Obviously, the whole country's bracing for this. You've seen NFL teams saying they're flying in early because this is going to just go across the country, extreme winds, extreme cold, a lot of snow. So I'm just watching it come down all day. My flight was at like 6.50 p.m. to get out here to LA. I'm just going like, I feel good about the amount of de-icing equipment. I feel positive about their ability to get. How far do you live from the airport?
About 30 minutes. That part was fine. They treat the roads there.
They got a lot of salt out. The drive to the airport, not an issue. The actual getting off the runway occasionally is a problem. So we had the initial delay. There was a flight crew change. And so we had to wait on that.
Then we get on the plane. Then it's well, you know, there's a, sorry, ladies and gentlemen, the, there's a door that's frozen shut. We've got to get maintenance, which by the way, I I'm good with the door frozen shut. Yeah, right. It's frozen shut.
Yeah. Frozen open. We got problems. Now the cabin pressure, you get up there, who knows what's going to happen. So they'd go through that whole thing. And then the you've got the paperwork, of course, needs to be filled out and the de-icing and then the announcements of, well, you know, we're halfway through the de-icing. If we don't get off in 10 minutes after the de-icing, we're going to have to de-ice again.
And you know, on the second de-icing, that's it. Yeah. So a couple of rows in front of me, Delvin Cook's agent, Zach Hiller is sitting there. I saw him when we were getting on the plane. And so like, you know, he's texting me about what's going on. And then all of a sudden he texts me and goes, we just got canceled. And like, my heart drops.
We've been sitting there for an hour and a half. I'm like, what are you talking about? He's like, oh wait, nope, read it wrong. I'm like, don't, don't do that. Don't send that text. There was an issue though in the app where everyone got an alert saying the plane had been delayed to 120 today. And so all of a sudden you hear everyone going, oh, there's all this grumbling all the way back to the back of the plane. But you DM me on Instagram, DJ. And he's just like, Tom, safe travels.
Which in my head at that moment, after two hours on the, on the runway, I hear it as safe travels, Tom. Good luck. You're not making it out here. Maybe we'll see you tomorrow.
And that is not 1 million percent as these guys will tell you. Not at all how I made it. I was legit. Like I saw the snow and I was like, man, have a safe flight, bro. Well during the air was fine. Getting back tomorrow with the high winds may be different. I would have said that if you would have been sunny out, I would have said safe flight to you.
So that's just the type of guy you are. Yeah. And also, also we were kind of wondering yesterday, cause we knew that, you know, we were going to have some problems weather wise, and we knew you were coming in. So Brockman and I were like, well, what if Tom's flight like does get canceled?
Like what's our contingency? I guess we'll have to do this because Chris and I, we had to start the show once, like a few years ago when Ryan Hollins was guest hosting, he was down at ESPN and thought he could get from downtown to El Segundo between 8, 15 and nine. And he couldn't. So Chris texted me, I'm on my way to work. And he was like, Hey man, we got to host the show. Do you remember this?
Yeah. No, we were ready for a totally off the rails eyes in after dark. You were somehow delayed Tom. It was going to be awesome. Might've been our last shows ever, but alas, you were here. I've had one flight canceled in like 10 years covering the NFL nationally and like the volume of travel that I've had one flight canceled.
It was coming back from the league meetings in Dallas a year ago in December. And I went to bed, had a couple of beverages at the airport before I knew the flight was canceled and immediately just like got back. I was so exhausted, like went to sleep and slept through the call that Urban Meyer had been fired by the Jaguars.
Woke up to that, had missed the call trying to give me that bit of news. So last night did learn from it. Stone cold sober the whole time. I'm like, I can't, I ate at the airport.
They didn't have meals. We won't, we won't go too far down this road, but we made it. That's the important thing. We made it for a very newsy show. All we've talked about for the hour and a half, we've been sitting here as we await again, a packed show with JJ Reddick's going to join us, talks to MBA, Mike Garofolo, my NFL network colleagues going to come on. We're going to get to all the big storylines in the league. Dion Branch going to join as well. So is rich. But all we've talked about is the announcement that officially NFL Sunday ticket has a new home.
It is with YouTube TV and YouTube primetime channels. Brockman, I'm just going to throw it to you. Do you want to play 20 questions on this?
Cause I feel like that's what we've been doing here. You've got a lot. You've got a lot you need to dig into. I have so many questions. So number one, can I cancel my direct TV? Like that's what I really want to know. You got to get someone on the phone to do that.
I can't do that for you. Bill Simmons had a great tweet this morning. Are they just going to like not have anyone working the phones anymore? So people can't cancel their direct TV.
So like, just walk us through what happens now. So my satellite dishes at home, can I just use it as a popcorn bowl? I mean, that's what mine is doing on the roof of my house.
And damned if I'm going to get that thing down, that's going to live up there until one day I sell or I die. Has anyone ever proactively taken a satellite dish off their house? You drive around every, there's so many houses that have them. There's no way every one of those people actually still has, still has satellite. I got to put in on my house.
I bought that house in 2015. I got the dish on the roof for one reason, which was Sunday ticket, which in the past couple of years has been available on YouTube TV. You have been able to get Sunday ticket in red zone through YouTube TV. The difference now is there is not a consumer option to have Sunday ticket through direct TV. So if you want Sunday ticket, you can either subscribe to YouTube TV. This is all that has been explained to me this morning. Some of this is in the press release.
Some of it is not. You can get it all a cart. You can just buy the NFL Sunday ticket package.
If you like cable, you like your satellite, whatever you can just pay for the YouTube TV subscription. Okay. What you cannot do is buy one team or one game, which was something that was discussed a lot was the different options. I remember having a conversation. This is probably 2015 or so with a very influential NFL owner. And we were talking about where things would go in terms of broadcast deals in the future. Cause that's the main revenue driver for the NFL. It's the main driver of the salary cap. And this, this this deal for Sunday ticket also is going to have an impact on the cap, which we can talk about in a minute. But my question was at some point, if your viewership numbers are going down and potentially then more and more people are not subscribing to cable or satellite, is this going to lower the value of the TV deals in general? And the answer I got was for the, since the beginning of time, all NFL deals were shopped out to three or four networks. Once four, once Fox got involved in 1994, there was not the volume of streaming options now. And so the owner put it to me this way.
Think about this. We've had four bidders in the past. Now we might have 20 or 50 or a hundred bidders. So they experimented with, remember there were games on Twitter for a little bit here. That was, that was marginally confusing.
That was not, I don't, I don't think my best, my best viewership experience. Yahoo had games for a bit there, but now this is the first time full force you're going into the streaming world. But I think the one thing that people were looking for was, okay, can I just buy my team?
Can I just, you're a Cowboys fan. Can I just get the Cowboys games? The answer is no, it is still going to be the bulk package and they haven't said anything about pricing. What we do notice is a seven year deal.
It does change the paradigm in terms of how this operates because now, again, you could get it in past years. Now though, the satellite TV option, direct TV option for consumers is out the window, which then raises the question Brockman, what are you going to do as you're mulling this? It's a great question.
It's like, again, again, I think Simmons kind of speaks for all of us who have had direct TV for like 15, 20 years. It's like, it's that relative that you can't get rid of or your ex-girlfriend that keeps popping up, but I'll probably keep it, but just have a bare bones package. I'm not really sure. You know, here's what I talk about all the time with some of my buddies. You know what I like doing? I like flipping channels. I like popping up the guide and I like scrolling to see what's on. Because you're so used to it.
It's just something we've been ingrained to do ever since I started watching television. I want to scroll and I want to flip and I want to see what's on. I want to pop in and watch the last 30 minutes of Con Air like I did the other day. Like, you know what I mean? Like, I want to do that. And with all the streaming services, you can't pop in to great movies.
You have to start them from the beginning, which I don't want to do. I don't have time for that. I need a little bit more context of the scenario where you're flipping channels and decide to watch the last 30 minutes of Con Air. Is this an late night, you're in bed?
Is this like an active decision in the middle of the day? You leave this show, let's get some Cage? Great question. This is what it was. This is what, well, my son's name is Cage, which works out. Wait, did you know that when you said that?
No clue. No, he was talking about Nick Cage. Okay, that's certainly his son's name. So that's why I was like, oh. So when Cage watches Cage. Yes.
Oh, it's super meta at the house. No, this is actually the other day. I was solo dad in the afternoon and I think it was the last 30 minutes of Nick Con Air before the Tuesday TNT basketball NBA games came on. Sure. So I think it was one of those situations.
I was waiting for the pregame show to start and it was like, oh, Con Air. Yes. Yeah.
And then I was finishing up some other stuff while I just had my son watch Blaze on Nickelodeon. Because this is one of the few complaints I've heard about having the Thursday games on Amazon Prime is you can't click. You can't click off it during the commercials. You can't just flip over to something. You got to close the app, get into a different app, which again, kind of part of the point, captive audience. It's too hard to turn away.
Even if you want to just, well, what am I going to do? This is not a great game, but am I really going to scroll all the way over to a different app and then come back and try to figure out if the game's closer now? And also one thing they need to figure out for next year is you can't pause the live game.
Yeah, that's frustrating. And so Sunday night football, I'm watching the game. It's halftime, pause, shower, bedtime situation with the kid. And then I come back and then I catch up by the time the fourth quarter starts on the Amazon game on Thursday. No pausing. I don't know who I got to talk to.
Is it Bezos? Let's figure that out for next year. Great segue too. I've also noticed when I watch the Thursday games, like maybe it's my internet. I thought I always had great internet, but inevitably every week the week the game freezes on me every single time. And obviously it never did it on regular TV, but every Thursday that game at some point freezes multiple times. So I'm like, that's another problem I have with the stream.
I haven't had the freezing school, but I do get, I think everybody has different degrees of lag. And what I found out is there's like four different broadcasts right on Amazon prime. You've got the regular broadcast, right?
I believe there's a, there's an Espanol broadcast. There is a, they had the, the shop, right? So it was always like an alternate one. And then there's the next gen one that looks like a Madden game where like the player has like the circle underneath them and they draw the routes and everything. Is that trying to show kids how football works? Is that the idea behind that one? I think it's just, I mean, it incorporates a lot more. I think part of it is going to a younger audience that's used to having that on a second screen or used to playing Madden.
It looks a lot like men, but what I've figured out is they're not all synced up. So if I start seeing on Twitter that I'm a player two behind, I click around and try to figure out which one is the furthest ahead. So sometimes I'm watching 15 minutes of a game in Spanish. So like, this is a lot closer to at least the speed of Twitter. I'd rather not have any idea what they're saying.
Even though I passed the AP Spanish exam, I got about four words left and that's a long time ago. I would rather not know what the announcers are saying than have everyone spoil every big play for me on Twitter. The exact same way. I'll be scrolling Twitter and it's like, oh, and the Lions are punting and it's fourth, they're fourth down and they're punting. And then I look at my screen and it's second and 11.
I'm like, what is happening? Maybe you guys should stay off of Twitter during the game. See, what you need to do is do what I did. Get your account banned and then you don't have to worry. Still banned.
I was going to ask you. Still banned. Tom, like I said, there's people doing all kinds, letting everybody back, everybody back.
Insurrectionists got their, their white supremacists, supremacists. You know, there's people doing for TJ, doing live adult things right now on Twitter. And yet I got banned. Go figure. You know, every time we talk about Twitter, he goes to the live adult things. I think we know what he's missing most. Maybe that's what got you banned about the experience.
It could have been that was just my point to your only fans, TJ. Hey man, feet, feet, pics sell. All right. That's all I'm saying.
I got to supplement my income. These things. There isn't, there is a, there is a Thursday night game tonight. Speaking of feet, the jets are involved, but he's not the coach anymore. It's been a while.
Appreciate the effort. I like jets. Jaguars top two picks in the draft. Sneaky good game.
It really is. It's two relevant teams, two quarterbacks who right now, I think it's fair to say are going different directions. Although you saw flashes last week of the real Zach Wilson, the one that the jets at least hoped he was going to be at the number two overall pick. And for everybody last year was questioning Trevor Lawrence and whether he was going to live up to the hype. And that was the only hole that people were really poking in him with me, coaches and scouts pre draft was, you know, he, maybe he doesn't get a lot better. Maybe the best that we've seen of him was what we saw at Clemson. And in reality now, now that you have a real head coach, because that guy who got fired while I was asleep last December is gone.
Doug Peterson's there with press Taylor and Mike McCoy doing a good job. And Trevor credits his mental fortitude. He got through all that. Didn't crush his confidence.
Didn't ruin him permanently. He's playing good football. This is one of those. We are at that time of year where you're getting into what I like to call the final destination games, where there's a lot of match-ups. If you look up and down this week, the one, the richest call, and he'll join us coming up next between the Steelers and the Raiders is kind of another one too, where whoever loses, even though those two teams are very much on the fringe of the playoff picture. And I think that, you know, the Jaguars are within striking distance in the AFC South.
That helps. Jets are still within straight distance, but it feels like in these games now, the winner has a shot. The loser is done.
And mathematically, in some cases, that's going to be true. It's part of the fun of this time of year. We'll talk about all those games. We'll talk about the Pro Bowl voting. There were some surprises in that last night. We'll talk about my anonymous, I shouldn't say anonymous, unnamed poll, 26 teams, 15 general managers voted on MVP, Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year.
It's always fascinating to get the inside looks. That story's at NFL.com now. We'll talk about it.
I want to hear Brockman do some dramatic readings of the various quotes within that story. I mentioned J.J. Reddick's going to join. A lot going on in the NBA. Mike Garofolo is going to break down all the storylines later on in the show.
And Rich Eisen joins us next, coming up from Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, this is it. The putt to win the tournament.
If you sink at the championship is yours, but on your backswing, your hat falls over your eyes. Is this how you're running your business? Poor visibility because you're still relying on spreadsheets and outdated finance software. To see the full picture, you need to upgrade to NetSuite by Oracle. NetSuite is the number one cloud financial system to power your growth with visibility and control of your financials, inventory, HR, planning, budgeting, and more. NetSuite is everything you need to grow all in one place. With NetSuite, you can automate your processes and close your books in no time while staying ahead of your competition. 93% of survey businesses increase their visibility and control after upgrading to NetSuite.
Over 32,000 businesses already use NetSuite. For the new year, NetSuite has a new financing program for those ready to upgrade at netsuite.com slash rich radio head to netsuite.com slash rich radio for the special one-of-a-kind financing offer on the number one financial system for growing businesses. netsuite.com slash rich radio. Tom Pelissero in for Rich who joins us from Pittsburgh right after this on the Rich Eisen Show. What's Right with Nick Wright is a rapidly growing podcast from the Fox Sports Podcast Network. You may know Nick Wright from co-hosting FS1's First Things First. This podcast gives Nick a chance to develop, deep dive, and defend his sharpest opinions. During the show, Nick faces off against a ticking clock, a team of producers, and even his own family to try and get his points across.
New episodes drop Monday, Thursday, and Friday wherever you get your podcasts. This is it. The punt to win the tournament.
If you sink it, the championship is yours, but on your backswing, your hat falls over your eyes. Is this how you're running your business? Poor visibility because you're relying on spreadsheets and outdated finance software? To see the full picture, you need to upgrade to NetSuite by Oracle. NetSuite is the number one cloud financial system to power your growth. With visibility and control of your financials, inventory, HR, planning, budgeting, and more, NetSuite is everything you need to grow all in one place. With NetSuite, you can automate your processes and close your books in no time while staying well ahead of your competition. 93% of surveyed businesses increase their visibility and control after upgrading to NetSuite. Over 28,000 businesses already use NetSuite. For the new year, NetSuite is a new financing program for those ready to upgrade at netsuite.com slash rich pod. Head to netsuite.com slash rich pod for this special one of a kind financing offer on the number one financial system for growing businesses.
Netsuite.com slash rich pod. Welcome back to the Rich Eisen show minus Rich Eisen, Tom Pellicero in for him today, but guess who joins us right now on the phone from Pittsburgh, none other than the man himself, Rich Eisen. Where exactly do we find you right now, Rich? I am inside the Steelers facility. Practices going on just across the way. I am in a conference room just down the hall from the display of six Lombardi trophies.
And I walk past it with the rest of the group because you know, I'm here doing the game with the game day morning gang and Mooch and Kurt and Irv and we walk past it. And I'm like, I look at Mariucci, I'm like, not many places you can walk into and there's six of these. Pause and Irv goes, I have five. I have five. Not six, but I have five. How about five? You know, like, okay.
Okay. But it was just a funny moment just to stand right there. That's where I'm at right now here in Pittsburgh. So you arrive in Pittsburgh and one of the things that always greets you in that airport is kind of between the two sets of escalators. As you're heading down to baggage claim is the Franco Harris statue. You had known for quite some time you were going to be doing this game between the Raiders and the Steelers, the 50th anniversary of the immaculate reception. What we did not know, of course, was that Franco Harris was going to pass away just days before that game. What type of a memorial, if any, did you see around that statue and what's just the mood at just a very strange and sort of sad moment in Steelers history? Yeah, I arrived shortly after midnight last night.
I left after the show yesterday. And, you know, it's my first time in the new Pittsburgh airport where I'd never taken a tram in from my gate. So I was wondering where the Franco Harris statue was.
And I, you know, normally where it is is at the top of the escalators going down a baggage claim, as you mentioned, and it's now new and bigger and more modern. And but there it was. And it was on its own with some, you know, I guess, not not not, you know, ropes around it, but just it was set off to the side by itself in front of a Christmas tree. And people were lining up at midnight to take photographs with it and lay wreaths, flowers, a terrible towel on it. The I took a photograph of it. Last night, the person who followed me on that line was somebody who took a yellow Steelers wristband, a plastic wristband off you like one of those, I guess, for the lack of better phrase, like fill in the blank, strong type plastic wristbands that people put around their wrists. Somebody took that off and laid it on the football as the part of the statue and the person who was in front of me, she was crying, like bawling and hugged Franco Harris's statue as she was taking a picture. I mean, this is a mourning period in this town. And I saw it within two minutes of arriving.
And now I'm here at the Steelers facility and people are really dazed around here because it was completely shocking, unexpected. I just heard that Pam Hayward had Franco on his podcast the night before. And he's wondering about whether he should release the interview. And if I see him later, you know, he's a friend of the program, I'd like to say and I'll tell him absolutely he should. And one of the lines that's, that's in there, apparently, is Franco said that part of the celebration that he's really excited about is the fact that he's actually here to celebrate it.
And it just hits you in the gut when you hear that it just absolutely hits you in the gut when you hear that. And, you know, I hope I'm not telling any tales at a school here because it is up to Cam Hayward to put it out there. I hope he does.
And I will tell him that personally. And it's just mind blowing that Franco passes as he's about to be honored and have his jersey retired. And right now the plans are to go through with the jersey retirement ceremony at halftime.
And really what the Steelers have just told me is they're receding to the wishes of Franco's family as to how they want to proceed. But you know, Saturday night is going to be very emotional. It's going to be as I said to the guys yesterday, the stadium will turn into a cathedral. But there will be a celebration of his life. And for fans here, hopefully a celebration of the Steelers beating the Raiders the day after the 50th actual anniversary of the Immaculate Reception. And Franco Harris, correct me if I'm wrong here, Rich, but he was around quite a bit.
I think a lot of the players, especially the veterans, the Cam Heywards of the world had relationships with him. You know, and again, this was building toward this, you know, it's a national TV game on NFL Network. And it is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of one of, I mean, the most iconic play in NFL history. I'm just, I'm very curious to see how players and staff to say nothing of. I know yesterday, Rich, I was told Art Rooney was really, you know, needed some time to process.
Cause I was trying, I was asking various people, you know, what's going to happen with regard to the celebrations. It was Mr. Rooney needs to, needs time, you know, to, to really think through this, even setting that aside, just how the players are going to react and what this is going to do emotionally. I just, I'll, I'll be interested to see, because this was not just some guy that people saw a photo of him on the wall. This was a real life person who they knew.
No question. I mean, he is the guy that's been around this team and the players love and adore him and the number of people, you know, again, who called the show yesterday or, you know, I, I was chit chatting with on the flight to Pittsburgh. And I'm sure people who I'm going to see around town over the next two, three days, everyone's got a story. Everyone's got a story about what Franco meant to them or what Franco did for them or what Franco was doing.
Apparently this week, he was spending a lot of time getting ready for this weekend and doing stuff for others, getting ready for this weekend. And, um, he's just one of the sweetest souls and gentlest souls that, um, anybody, uh, in the NFL can meet. And it just is as we're preparing for this game, the number of times we've all watched the actual play of the immaculate reception. And we had Terry on the show yesterday telling his version of, uh, of, of events or his point of view of the events flat on his back as he, after he released the football, it is just amazing that it happened. It's truly that it happened and how it changed the fortune of this town and the fortunes of this franchise and the people who were involved in the play and, and how the Steelers made the playoffs only once since their Genesis of 1933, until that moment and how it's the first touchdown in the history of the Steelers postseason Bradshaw and Franco Harris, his first postseason touchdown. It really is just an amazing story that now has the, um, I guess, final chapter involving the man who caught the ball and is so famous for it, passing away, um, two days before the 50th anniversary of it.
It's just, it really is mind blowing. And so a lot of people around here, Tom are numb, but they're gonna have to play a game. And then when they play the game, we're all going to be dumb.
Cause it's apparently going to be negative seven prediction for it. So it's going to be, um, uh, a memorable night to say the least. We were discussing in the first hour, Rich, we had some, uh, some hairy moments last night as I was sitting on the runway, wondering if I was actually going to be in this chair in beautiful El Segundo and not back at home or lying on the floor in an airport, uh, stranded, uh, last night. This is, this is hitting the whole country. You know, there's teams that are traveling, they've, they've changed their travel plans because of this. I know the Browns are taken off today, uh, for their game. How, I don't know how many people you've gotten a chance to talk to through production meetings and whatnot, but how, if at all are our teams between the Steelers and Raiders trying to prepare for what are going to be pretty extreme elements on Saturday night? Yeah. I mean, they're, the Steelers are currently practicing in their indoor facility. Um, we're chatting with the team, um, you know, uh, stars and coaches today, um, talking to McDaniel's tonight on zoom.
So it, I don't think there's any way to prepare for it until you're in it. And, and again, the winner of this game improved seven and eight with a, with a chance to make it. And the loser goes to six and nine. And then obviously there's the bigger than football aspects of the contest and how the Steelers are going to be trying to honor Franco during the game. And I think it's one of those contests that you'll end up looking back on years from now and remembering it as a special event that we all expect it to be. And obviously the players themselves for the Steelers are going to be, um, they're going to be mindful of it and they're going to be, I would imagine, uh, inspired by, by it.
And, and I'm, I'm, I, I'm going to, you know, proper to say how the fans are just going to be full-throated despite the freezing temperature. And those who might've been like, I don't know if I want to go to this game, but it's minus five out, they're all going to show up now and, um, and be there for Franco. I'm telling you that, I mean, I arrived last night for a number of people who got off the plane in the Steelers jersey or a hat or any, it's just, it's just woven in the fabric of this town.
And, um, and, and, and the man who probably weaved it together, um, more than anyone else is the one who will be honored on Saturday. Both these teams, Rich, have had, does it say the least a lot go wrong this season, the Raiders with the blown leads and all the injuries that they've had. And then the Steelers with, you know, multiple quarterback changes, you know, everything that's gone into that, obviously, you know, everybody facing criticism because of how the season has played out. But I think back to when the NFL added the seventh playoff spot in each conference. And then more recently when they added the 17th game, I think that there was a lot of positivity, but there were definitely detractors who were saying, number one, you're watering it down.
You're adding too many people here. The games aren't going to mean as much. And then the season's too long.
People are going to be, you know, completely out of it. And there's going to be playing out the string. We're going in starting tonight with the Jaguars and Jets with 27 of 32 teams, mathematically alive. And the fact that you have the Steelers and Raiders again, who've had frustrating seasons to say the least, this is a relevant game.
I was saying in the last segment, these are, these are final destination games. You got a bunch of them this weekend. Tonight's game is one. Your game on Saturday is one where the team that wins is going to feel like, Hey, we got a shot at this thing. The other team is out.
And that is a beautiful thing for the NFL at a time where it's a, it's almost Christmas here on the calendar. Yeah. I agree with you, you know, obviously, but you know, two things come to mind. One is let's see how the seven seeds to eventually make it fair.
Okay. Let's see how they perform because the seven seeds so far really haven't acquitted themselves very well. So which seed is seven seed is going to make it and pop a two seed off, um, one and done a team that just missed the bi-week cause they're that good.
So we'll see how that goes when it arrives. Um, you know, this year we were taught, we've been talking to the Patriots and the jets have the proper firepower. Obviously a seven seated dolphins team would be particularly dangerous. I think, um, I recall strolling into second seated Kansas city would be something that I think would be, uh, thrown on the table to support your, what you just said, your soliloquy that the seventh seed is not watering anything down. As a matter of fact, it is putting a team in the playoffs that is dangerous and can go from the seventh seed to win it all in the same way.
The Steelers in this building have got one of those trophies I just mentioned. They were a six seed one year and, and, and one at all. The Giants did something similar to that. So, um, we'll, we'll see.
Yeah. We'll see if a seven seed can do it. And then the other thing is if, if, if we are seeing teams stay in the running this late, okay, maybe pushing the trade deadline back a little bit. Um, so you could see how many teams, um, who have a shot to, to go, would be more willing to, to trade somebody.
And then those who potentially are already out of it. I mean, the bears already coughed up, as you know, Roquan Smith in the middle of the season, how many more teams would be willing to make that acquisition or make a trade like that? Um, you know, if they know they're going to be one of the five teams or feel like they're going to be one of the six teams that hits Christmas weekend, that's out of it.
Um, you know, just throwing that out there, but it is something that, um, I, I think is great. We are talking about, uh, tonight's game being more important because the seventh seed exists. Saturday night's game, obviously green Bay, uh, first Christmas day game.
If there wasn't a seventh seed, I would think that that game would be far less relevant for green Bay than, than, than it obviously will be just, these are all four examples. Um, and, um, and I I'm loving it. I'm here for it. The trade deadline debate is going to be a fascinating one, Rich, because at the winter meetings last week, the NFL general manager advisory committee had this discussion. It's something that some teams have brought up from my understanding.
There is a level of support. It seemed to be gathering momentum among the clubs to push it back. It's not going to be pushed back a month. It's a week, maybe two. It sounds like one week has the most support as of now, but the competition committee has not yet weighed in. You brought up the bears example.
The concern is the deeper you push it back. It's not about more teams becoming buyers. It's about more teams becoming sellers. Now you have the teams are out dumping players to contenders, more teams doing what the bears did, which then impacts the competitive balance on the flip side of that, just from a person who covers it standpoint, besides the fact that the trade deadline is extraordinarily stressful for me, uh, it's fun. Everyone likes more trades.
Everybody enjoys this. It's a good thing, but there's, there's going to be a balance here. This is going to be, uh, an interesting, uh, likely vote either in March or may you need 24 or 32 owners to sign off on it.
I I'll be fascinated to see how much support it really has. I just don't know if this, this league is just, um, tank proof. To be honest with you, Tom, I mean, look at the time, look at the Texans, look at the Texans last two weeks pushed TJ's Cowboys to the brink, took the chiefs to overtime and then stopped the chiefs in overtime. And they got one win and, you know, two quarterbacks plan. I mean, it's a, you, you, you take a look at the lions who traded TJ Hawkinson within division and Brock Wright is the one who scores the big touchdown. I, I just don't know how, you know, the bears almost knocked off the Eagles and they're the Eagles and they're the ones who coughed up Roquan Smith. So I, I don't know, man.
I mean, I don't know how many teams are, are, are really out there because of the pridefulness of, of the men who play it. And, and also, uh, that was going to be the most important thing. Rich said right there. He's patient.
Stop pacing. Also gives me a chance to chime in and say, but they lost the Kaiser. So say you, they made you think they're not tanking, but they ultimately lost the game.
They have one win. Richie back. Do we have rich? Are we going to back there? There he is. We lost him. I don't know where you lost me. I'm just sitting here talking, but yeah, I mean, I know they did eventually lose the game, but if this team is tanking them, then you should be beating them by 20, 25, right? 30.
Wow. I mean, that's not good for business. The NBA, you take a look at a team like the warriors who are still load managing clay Thompson a year and a half later, you know, last night on a back to back, they get, they, they give up 90 in the first half. I'm not saying they're tanking, but when you take out star players, it does mean a significant difference in a single night in the NBA, but in the NFL, it doesn't, doesn't appear to be the differences in the NFL. You have to tank by getting rid of all your good players because there is no, you know, Mark Madsen sitting out there shooting threes, a way of tanking.
You can't just completely half acid. It has to be, you have to, you have to go hard, but yeah, to your point, I mean, that is true. And that's all stuff, you know, the data is going to drive a lot of this in terms of, you know, what are we seeing in terms of the patterns, the trades and everything else. Last thing for you, Rich, before we let you go, obviously the sub-zero temperatures we've seen, I think it's fair to say some interesting wardrobe choices by members of your game day morning crew for cold weather games in the past. What is your plan? I don't know if you got a heater up there, if you've surveyed where you're calling the game from, what are we going to see you wearing and is it going to be a garbage bag? We'll be in the booth.
I've got my winter coat. I know we're going to have some heaters up there, but you know, it's terrible form to close the windows when you're calling a broadcast. It's, it's really bad form to do that because you, you need to have the energy of the building. You need to feel the energy of the building. You need to feel part of the building. So we will keep the windows open. I'm going to try and lobby for not opening all of them. But you know, Mariuchi is like Mr. Iron Mountain Michigan. He's probably going to be like Kirk Cousins, take the shirt off or whatever, you know, I mean, so we're going to have this conversation later on tonight.
Just really depends on how cold it's going to be, but we'll be here and and we'll leave the light on for you. And by the way, just as I know you're up against it. The reason why I knew about Klay Thompson is I have him on my fantasy team with Chris and TJ. You're wondering, I still maintain my lead last night, despite not having Klay.
I know you're concerned about it, but I'm still in first and still doing very well this week. Hey, hey, Rich, let's before you go, let's get to the most important question here and that is, have you found where the Heinz ketchup bottles are being hidden? Somebody pointed you in the right direction.
That's all we all want. I'm going to be I'm going to be on the case. I'm going to be on the case like Inspector Gadget, because you got to have that info by Saturday, bro, like done. I got it.
I got you. First question of Mike Tomlin when I see him later. What's the what's the over under on Heinz Field references by you during the broadcast, Rich? I've already done it.
I did it yesterday. Didn't I on the show? And I call it Heinz Field.
Heinz Field. Did I do that? I forget where I did that, but it's going to happen. You know, that's what the other thing, too, is that the guy who drove, who was, you know, who took me in from the airport last night, just keep the first thing you pitched about was called Acro Show. And if you complain about it, I love it.
If you saw Rich's Instagram, he kind of gave you that that iconic view of Pittsburgh as you drive through the tunnel and you come out in the cities there. And it's just like something I've seen a million times before. But it's awesome. It's like a comic book. It's amazing.
I do love it. Have fun on those streets, Rich. Stay warm. We'll be watching you. I'll call him. Take care, guys.
All right, brother. As Rich Eisen in Pittsburgh, the Steelers Raiders game on NFL Network on Saturday night. J.J. Reddick's going to join us in a little bit.
Maybe we can ask him if he can, if the Warriors are going to help out Rich's fantasy team. There had to be an angle. You knew there was an angle. He's not he's not going straight to Klay Thompson for no reason. I know. We can talk about this after the break. He does this guy, this guy with the fantasy basketball, man. He's got to be stopped. The problem is he won last year and we're upset and he keeps telling us that he won.
So and he's in first place again. It's not looking good for us. We're going to have to unite. I promise you this.
We might collude to make sure he doesn't win again. We had some key injury updates around the NFL, including Lamar Jackson, Nick Chubb, Chase Young. We'll get to all that coming up right after this.
Tom Pelissero on The Rich Eisen Show. You're hanging out with some friends and putting back a few drinks. A few becomes a few too many. As the evening comes to an end and people start to head out, you think of calling for a ride. Ah, you live nearby. You can make it home, OK?
It's no big deal. What are the odds you'll get pulled over anyway? And even so, what's the worst that could happen? Your insurance goes up, you lose your license, you lose your job, you total your car, you kill someone. Everyone knows about the risks of driving drunk.
The results are tragic and often deadly. However, that still doesn't stop everyone from getting behind the wheel while under the influence. That's why police officers are out there right now looking for impaired drivers on our roads to save lives. So if you think you're OK to drive after a few drinks, think again, play it safe and plan ahead to get a ride. It only takes one mistake to change your life or someone else's forever. Drive sober or get pulled over.
Paid for by NHTSA. You know who's not in the zone yet? Lamar Jackson. Still not practicing for the Baltimore Ravens. That's nine consecutive practices that he has missed.
Certainly looks like, and we'll hear from John Harbaugh, I believe he speaks for reporters in about a half hour here, but certainly looks like it'll be Tyler Snoop Huntley making a third consecutive start. Second year in a row, the Ravens are in it down the stretch and don't have Lamar, the former MVP of the league, at a time that of course, Lamar is going year to year right now or seems to be planning on it. Not ideal situation. This was kind of the concern going back to when Lamar was coming out of Louisville was just how would he hold up just in terms of how he's built narrower lower body. You take a lot of hits. It's a PCL injury.
I'm not saying, you know, I mean, that was me. I'd be in bed for three weeks, but it's, it's still the lack of availability is a concern at this point. And so the Ravens quite possibly are going to have a backup quarterback going out there for again, must win type of game. It feels like coming up this weekend against the Falcons. Couple other injury updates.
Ron Rivera announces Chase Young will make his debut. Finally on Saturday against the 49ers about 14 months, I believe after he had a significant knee injury, it was ACL and more, they knew it was going to take some time. The hope was he was going to be back earlier in the season.
Obviously it took a while. He's going to be on a pitch count, but that is a big boost for a Washington team that still is right in the thick of the playoff picture. But as a really tough matchup, you're talking about playing the 49ers coming up this weekend and also it'd be highly relevant for all the people who have a fantasy playoff games this weekend. Nick Chubb back on the practice field today. We'll see again, what he's listed as. It'll probably be questionable. He's been dealing with a foot injury.
Didn't practice the last two days. I would say, I would guess Nick Chubb will be on the field against the Saints this weekend. They already manage it in terms of spreading the carries around in the backfield, but I would certainly expect Nick Chubb to play in that game. One more Washington question, Tom. There was kind of a weird report that Ron Rivera was maybe thinking about benching Taylor Heinecke.
What is the quarterback situation? It wasn't even a report. It was Ron said it. I like that he just said it.
At some point. I will say this, the coaches who just flat out say things, there is a benefit to that for us. It keeps you from guessing, but it does open up questions too. When you go from Taylor Heinecke's the guy, he's going to be the guy for the rest of the season, then you hit a little bit of a dip and now you've got questions about it. I mean, they gave up what, two third round picks or a second and a third for Carson Wentz. He was not playing badly before he got hurt. He was playing through an injury. He was playing through an injury, then broke the bone in his hand and has not played since. Heinecke's been, you know, balling out, but he's healthy, right? Carson Wentz has been, he's been active for a couple of weeks now. So he, yeah, he could play if you're looking for a spark. I mean, Taylor Heinecke's kind of the spark guy that you'd normally be going to, the Moxie guy coming off the bench. But if you're not functioning high enough level offensively, maybe you do see Carson Wentz. I mean, it's not even, you know, and Ron said that, said, you know, right away, that might be something we have to look at down the line.
But right now we're going with Heinecke. I mean, this, this is the blender that Washington has been in for how long? A decade of different quarterbacks. Obviously they had some stability briefly with Kirk Cousins, but even that was a year to year thing. Everything since then has been quarterback in, quarterback out. You draft people, you sign people, you sign Ryan Fitzpatrick.
He lasts like two quarters. And this has been the story of that football team. And now you have the opportunity to get into the postseason and you, you know, are talking once again about at least the possibility that you're going to have to bring in a different quarterback.
It's a tough, it's a tough spot. It's hard to imagine that jobs are on the line in Washington with everything going on surrounding Dan Snyder and the ownership questions and the fact that they've been winning. This were a normal situation and it were just Dan Snyder, definitely the owner beyond this season, you'd be going, he's going to fire everyone.
They don't finish strong, he's going to fire everyone. I don't, I don't get that sense that we're in that place. And part of that is the circumstances of things in Washington right now.
You just don't know. I mean, who's making changes and who are you making them for? If you're a new owner, you don't want to be saddled with whoever Dan Snyder would hire as a new coach in January anyway. And Ron Rivera has done a heck of a job with what they're working with and all the quarterback challenges and all the distractions.
Just to be able to keep this thing, this train on the tracks. It's a, yeah, it's really interesting. And it's a, I mean, the NFC playoff picture is so muddled right now when you're talking about who those wildcards are going to be right now, you got somebody's getting in and out of the NFC South. You know, obviously the 49ers are in the Vikings are in the Eagles are in the Cowboys are in those other two spots is there's how many teams there's, there's the playoff picture right there. You've got seven teams, eight teams fighting for those last couple of spots. Now, I mean, realistically, it's not the, not the saints and the Falcons and the Panthers taking the other, the other wildcard spot, but they may be able to beat out the bucks in the division. It's really between the giants, the commanders, the Seahawks, the lions, and the Packers. If they could find a way to go to Miami and get a win this weekend, who scares you out of that group?
If you're talking about all those potential wildcards, who is the team you don't want to face? I would say the lions are playing really good football right now. Plus they can just score. Ben Johnson's done an amazing job with that offense along with Dan Campbell.
Personally, I still don't want to see the Packers. I know all the challenges they've had. I know how Aaron Rogers has played with everything down and knowing that we've seen, we've seen those bursts of Aaron Rogers. We've seen them make some of those throws. You've got some of those young players that are coming on like Christian Watson. Aaron Jones has been functioning at a really high level the entire season. If they can just be competent defensively, I still would be scared. And Rogers knows he does not have that much time left. I don't want to face that guy fighting his way out of the corner.
JJ Redick joins us next on the Rich Eisen Show. How wrestling really works and how you get the ratings. Eric Bischoff and Conrad Thompson explain on 83 weeks. You're either growing or you're dying. I think it'd be hard to recreate the kind of growth that WCW experienced between 95 and 98. This audience should be growing. The characters should be coming more and they're not. Everybody's gradually losing audience. Not that people will say, well, but AEW is 15% ahead of where they were last year, but there's variables there. Let's see where we're at year from now. 83 weeks on YouTube or wherever you listen.
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