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REShow: Eric Wood - Hour 2 (1-3-2023)

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January 3, 2023 3:17 pm

REShow: Eric Wood - Hour 2 (1-3-2023)

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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January 3, 2023 3:17 pm

Bills Radio Analyst Eric Wood and Rich discuss Buffalo Safety Damar Hamlin suffering cardiac arrest during Buffalo’s Monday Night Football game vs the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Michigan alum Rich reacts with some skepticism to a report that Jim Harbaugh will return to the NFL if he’s offered a job, and reacts to the NFL announcing Week 18’s games will go on as scheduled with no plans resume the Bengals-Bills game this week.

Rich and the guys react to Steelers HC Mike Tomlin’s statements on Damar Hamlin who he’s known since the Bills Safety was 12-years-old.

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This is the Rich Eisen Show.

Mark Wood, two-time Super Bowl champion and Green Light Podcast host, Chris Long. And now, it's Rich Eisen. Our number two of the Rich Eisen Show is on the air.

844-204-RICH is the number to dial. We've got a bunch of phone calls. We do have a couple of phone lines open and we've got a lot of time, because in a day like this, having a conversation is exactly what we're here for. Certainly, if there's anything you want to work through, and what we saw last night on the field in Cincinnati on Monday Night Football was one of the most scary, frightening, jarring, disturbing moments anybody who's been a sports fan has ever seen. And thank God, DeMar Hamlin, as we are talking right here, just after one o'clock Eastern time, the day after Monday Night Football is still alive. He is in the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati after we just spoke to Tom Pelosaro, an hour number one of this program. NFL Network and NFL Media Group insider speaking to a lot of agents of players who were on the field last night. The medical professionals on the sidelines rushed out and restored a heartbeat of an NFL player on the field last night.

That actually happened. And we just talked to Tom about it and we'll talk with you about it. 844-204-RICH being that number to dial. We'll talk with Chris Long about it. Two-time Super Bowl champion and a weekly guest of ours here on the program in hour number three. But joining us right now on the Mercedes-Benz Vans hotline to kick off hour number two, the man who spent nine years with the Buffalo Bills after being drafted in the first round by the team in 2009.

He's in his fourth year in the booth for the Buffalo Bills Radio Network, Eric Wood, back here on the Rich Eisen Show. How are you doing, Eric? I'm still a little shook up after last night, I'll be honest with you. But I'm doing all right, all things considered. Okay, so walk me through your night because, again, I'm assuming, Eric, you traveled back with the team, correct?

Is that a correct assumption? Well, I live in Louisville, Kentucky, so calling a game in Cincinnati is about as close to a home game as I get. And so I drove home after the game last night. All right, so then let's walk through what you know about the situation currently, if anything. Eric, what are you hearing? Just what we see, the reports that come out, and the Hamlin family released a statement a little bit ago just thanking everyone involved for all the support, for the care that they've received from on-field care that DeMar received and what they're receiving at the hospital now. But we don't have any additional information at this time, and I feel like that's making it just even worse. It's that just constant just waiting for that good news to happen. And you could tell immediately when you saw the players' reactions, when you saw the medical staff reaction on the field, that this wasn't just another football injury. Unfortunately, we've become accustomed to seeing carts come out and get guys off the field, and you always kind of get that wave or that thumbs up.

It wasn't one of those situations, and because we didn't see movement from him, and you're just waiting on pins and needles for an update, it makes this day even tougher. Of course it does. No question about it. Tell me about DeMar. What do you know about him? What can you tell the audience here about this young man?

Yes, especially a young man. I covered college football for ESPN and ACC Network for a couple of years, so I got the opportunity to cover him while he was at the University of Pittsburgh, and he was a very special young man there and continues, and it just was magnified when he got the NFL platform. I remember being in production meetings with Pitts head coach Patton Arduzi, and he would just rave about the person and the player that DeMar Hamlet is, and being from the Pittsburgh area, from McKees Rocks, and then he doesn't go too far over to Buffalo, just does so much in the community, always has a big smile on his face, just so much gratitude that he lives his life with. You could see the love and respect his teammates and everyone on the field had for him last night in the reactions. Well, I mean, can you walk me through what the players on the field might have relayed to you? You have heard about what happened on the field last night and their reaction to it, and the decision to go back in the locker room, Eric? Yeah, I have not reached out to anybody out of privacy and respect, and it allows me to come on appearances and not have to cover up maybe insider info as well, but I'll say this, when that stadium went from maybe the most electrifying I've been in all year, really rivaling a lot of big games that have been played in Buffalo this year as well, and it went from so loud and electric to just complete silence there, and the players and the emotion that you could see on their face, it no longer felt like a football game. It had an eerie, just completely shaken feeling to the entire building, a lot of class shown by the fans in Cincinnati, all the support at the stadium for being a road game, a Bills player on the ground where everyone was anticipating this game for so long when they made the announcement to cancel it, there was no grumbling, there was a lot of respect shown for the situation last night.

Wow. So, what do you think is going on in the Bills locker room right now? Is the team back together?

What can you tell me on that front, Eric, if anything? I would assume that they have guys together, because in moments like this where it's so emotional, I know me personally, I'd want to be around those I care about. So, the day after a game, off a Monday night game, you have a shorter week coming up, I would assume that they have the guys at the facility, and whether that's with their team chaplain, Len Vanavos, whether that's with therapists, whatever it is, you know, these guys were completely shaken last night, and so they're going to be pouring in to those guys. Well, and then I guess last one for you, Eric, is, you know, nine years in the NFL, clearly, you know, you've never seen anything like this at all. So, what do you think goes through, can you express to me the emotion that we were seeing on the faces and the tears coming out of the eyes of the players last night? What that feels like to you as a former player seeing it, Eric?

Yeah, that was like nothing I've ever seen. I did the Joe Theismann leg break my rookie year, and I remember teammates being emotional, but nothing like what we saw last night. Full support from both teams in understanding the severity of the situation, that a young man could lose his life on the field right there. I mean, those guys were, you could read it all over their faces, and there's just no way without knowing the status of DeMar last night that either team would want to go out there and play. You know, you come off of a big injury, you see somebody get hurt, there's a little bit of hesitancy.

I can't imagine, you know, watching what happened, and I know how rare that is what happened last night. Man, it's going to be tough to get back on the football field from any of those guys. Because I'm sure, again, you know, what did it take for you to get ready to play in a game, right? You know, there's, yeah, I mean, I'll say this.

There's a certain amount of physicality. There's a certain amount of risk that you know you're putting your body through when you walk out on an NFL football field. And, you know, we'll generally say, like, what we do is not life and death.

We are not defending our country like the military is, you know. But you see something last night, and you almost have a guy die on the field. It just brings a whole new perspective to the situation. And last night was not a normal football injury that we're so used to seeing.

This was in a realm of its own. Eric, thanks for the time, man. You be well, you know, hug your fam, and hope to hear you back in the booth in short order with Hamlin out of the hospital and back on his feet. Yeah, I appreciate that, Rich. Thanks for the call, man. Yeah, I appreciate that, Rich. Thanks for having me on.

Yeah, anytime. That's Eric Wood right here on The Rich Eisen Show. Fresh back from calling the game last night. You know, and I keep thinking again, I just want to keep returning to this. That the medical professionals doing what they did last night.

Thank God for that. And it made me think, and I got to make a mental note, and I would suggest everybody out there, you know, go to your local high school if your kids play there or not, obviously. But if your kids are playing at a high school or a college, youth sports, make sure that there is some equipment handy with people who know how to use it. Because again, if this injury is in fact, or this cardiac event is in fact what, again, I know I'm using these words carefully. You see on Twitter, if this is in fact what it appears to be, which is a blow to the chest creating a cardiac arrest that requires a defibrillation to get the heartbeat back into beating properly again.

Then you need that equipment around. Because if this is what it was last night, Chris Pronger of the St. Louis Blues suffered a similar cardiac arrest when he took a puck to the chest. This is normally what, again, I know I'm treading into the world of medical science, and I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. But Pronger, this is pucks to the chest, baseballs sometimes that are hit off a bat that hit somebody in the chest. This is the blunt force trauma, a thoracic blunt force trauma that did appear to be what happened last night when Higgins and Hamlin collided. That sparked this cardiac arrest. Pronger returned to action 12 weeks later, and 12 years later, made the Hall of Fame. So there is hope for Hamlin, and the question is, obviously, how quickly was the proper medical care administered so oxygen could be flowing to his brain?

And it appeared that that happened last night. Clearly, I have no idea what complications might be happening. I'm just throwing this out there as a cautionary tale as well. That if you're at a youth, in a youth sports league, and a ball suddenly hits your daughter or your kid, your son, why don't you go ask like, hey, do we have this equipment and who knows how to use it? This is the sort of stuff that I think we all need to be making sure is available at your sporting event for your players, your kids, if you're a coach or a parent, because that saved a life last night.

I just wanted to throw that out there. When I come on this program, Mike Tomlin was talking about this subject matter, as Hamlin went to Pittsburgh and is from the area. And I think it's also an indication as to how the rest of the league is feeling about this, and they're kind of getting ready for their games this weekend, but putting things on pause too. I don't know what's going on because there's still a game to be played in week 17 and then a whole week 18 results is based on whether the week 17 remaining game gets played. And the question is, who cares right now? And a lot of people care about it because at some point we're going to have to return to play. How does the rest of the league feel about it? A lot of people are saying how the Bills feel about it, how the Bengals feel about it. There's 30 other teams with players who know for the grace of the football gods go they into that ambulance. So that's coming up on this program.

Chris Long's coming up as well. More of your phone calls at 844-204-RICH, number to dial. I do want to turn to the world of college football when we come back and take a respite from this conversation for a moment when we return. Hey, when was the last time you seriously considered your dream? I mean, come on, you used to think about it all the time.

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Call clickgrainger.com or just stop by. I am getting texts like crazy from my fellow Michigan Wolverines saying, is Jim Harbaugh leaving us? Like, I know. You know, there's one person who knows. One single soul who knows.

And that person is named Jim Harbaugh. I have no idea. So stop texting me because I don't know. And you know who doesn't know?

You got him in there, Rich. Everybody else doesn't know. Now, I know Bruce Feldman, our frequent guest here from The Athletic and Fox Sports. He co-wrote a story on The Athletic that really put this on everybody's radar screen yesterday. That Harbaugh, according to a close source, is ready to take an NFL job if offered. So it's just like any NFL job? He'll take it?

Just like I read the story. So immediately, of course, I paged Bruce to the studio. He was supposed to be on today. He had a previous commitment that and obviously the story of the day and the circumstances of last night's game would have pushed him to tomorrow's show anyway. And he's coming in because I got questions for him. I just find it hard to believe. I find it hard to believe that Harbaugh would just take any NFL job regardless of other circumstances. Like, does he get to shop for the groceries?

Like, what does the draft situation look like? Like, how do I get along with the owner? And does the owner have a personality that would get along with me? Do I get to speak directly to said owner?

How is this going to be different to anything that rankled me in San Francisco? So he'll just take any job. Doesn't matter. If it's offered to him, he's gone. As if what he's built over the last couple of years means nothing. He's so done with it.

And all of the psychoanalysis that, you know, you hear he's like done with college football, the NIL this and the NIL that. That wouldn't surprise you, though, would it? Yeah, it would, because he seems to be doing just fine with it.

It would. Now, would it surprise me that he doesn't like his current contract with Michigan? Not at all. Well, he took less, remember?

Not at all. If he thinks like, OK, I've now like who's gone to back to back college football championships? Let's take note. There's Kirby Smart and there's him. That's it. That's the list. That's your list. That's your list. And it would have been great if that was the matchup of coaches coming up on Monday night here in Los Angeles.

But that's the list. So does he want more money? Would you blame him?

No. Would you blame him for letting it be known? Everything that he said about I'm coming back to coach the Michigan Wolverines and I've closed the door in the NFL and I'm sticking around. Would it surprise you that he wouldn't be out there tamping all of this stuff down if he is, in fact, talking to the University of Michigan? I'm not saying that I know that he's doing that. I just find it hard to believe that he will indiscriminately take any NFL job that's offered him and pitch what he's done at the University of Michigan after all this time, after he's gotten the program to where it is.

I find that just difficult to believe. And then the ones where it was just like, well, Denver is one because Denver's new Walton family owner has went to grad school in Stanford and Condoleezza Rice helped Stanford find Jim's successor and she's involved in the process. And so that makes sense and Denver has a job opening and I just find it hard to believe, in my mind, again, that if George Payton is still there, Jim would just be willing to go and say, yeah, you could still be the general manager. I'll be the coach and I'll help, I'll leave Michigan to hook my wagon up to a 34 year old Russell Wilson with an albatross of a contract and no first and second round pick in next year's draft. That's exactly the NFL situation I've been looking for. So thank you for bestowing this opportunity upon me because I hate my current situation so bad and can no longer coach in the current college football construct that I have actually dominated with the exception of a couple of days in the last two years.

This is exactly what I want. So yes. Now you're also hearing Carolina's reached out to him. Yeah.

Which would be interesting because his current contract with Michigan apparently includes a clause that if he has contact with an NFL team and he doesn't inform Michigan of it, all holy heck breaks loose on guaranteed money and things like that. Yeah. The Fox Charlotte is reporting that it was just a conversation. Just a chat.

With David Tepper. Just a chat. Hey David, what are you up to?

How you doing? Man, that Sam Darnell looks so great. Can I coach him please?

Do you have a transcript? I don't know. I mean, come on, come on. To me, if he does want to go back to the NFL, he knows I got to have an owner that I can talk to and believes in me and I believe in him. I got to be able to be in charge of who's on the team. Like I've got my own, he's going to have to bring his own player personnel guy and I got to have a quarterback that is either there or I'm in a position to draft that I like a lot. I mean, you look at Carolina's draft position in this draft right now. Ninth.

Okay. It's not like, say, an opportunity that Urban Meyer had and totally blew. This is not about Urban Meyer and Michigan and Ohio State. No, it's about the opportunity that Urban had, which is I'm joining a team with an owner that's not going anywhere. I'm joining a team that's about to draft one of the most generationally talented players in college football, universally believed to be as such. I'm guaranteed to get that player and I'm going to make a poop ton of money because the owner who I've met and I like, who has chosen me, is insanely wealthy. That's the type of opportunity and the only thing that Jim wouldn't want there is Trent Balke being there, that's for sure. I'm just pointing all of this stuff out as to it's, and again, Bruce is going to come in and give me a little bit more information tomorrow if conditions warrant.

And it's appropriate to have him in tomorrow. I just, I find it hard to believe, like, I'm just so done here. All I got to do is just get the offer and I'm out of here because that's what it looked like. Right. From the article.

That's how it sounded. Yeah. Colts have the fifth pick. Cardinals, maybe.

What about Jim and Kyler Murray? I know that's not open, but I don't. I don't. There's been some talk.

And again, that's the whole point of this is that we don't know, and it's entirely possible as we're talking right now that week 18 might not be done by this weekend. Let's be honest. And so, you know, it is quite a story to sit there and believe that he's going to go regardless. Because that's all he wants is an NFL job.

Really. And if he does leave, you know what? He leaves the program on such a high note. Because that's the other thing, too, is like, what would you think if he leaves? If he leaves, that means he doesn't want to be there anymore. It would be a shame. It would be hurtful.

You know, if that's the way he feels. I'd love to see this finish up with him winning a national championship. The kids who he's put together in this program are insanely talented. They're very talented.

And they're going to get better next year. But if he doesn't want to be there, then all well and good. And I'm not going to take the cheese of like, does this happen every year, do we have to do the drama every year? Yeah.

Because I think that's what you get when you get Jim Harbaugh involved. That's it. You know? This is what you get.

And I'm there. And if we got to go with the ups and downs in last year, remember? He was talking to the Vikings on national signing day.

Yeah. I sat there and I thought to myself, dammit! After finally beating Ohio State and getting to the college football playoffs for the first time, he's going to go and follow this up by losing both coordinators and talking to the Vikings on national signing day. And who the hell are we going to get to come to the program and how are we going to... This is how we're following up this season.

And it went to 13-0. So, I'm not going to sweat it. I'm honestly not going to sweat it. But I just find it hard to believe it's just any job, he's out.

Somebody just has to just give him a wink and he'll just go running. I mean, I'll coach the Broncos. Would you take the Colts gig? Fifth pick, good roster, good young players on offense and defense. I think I would.

It's a winnable division, too. You would leave the University of Michigan program after building. You would take that job.

If I want to coach in the NFL. He could sit there for the rest of his days and, by the way, use this as leverage and then... But he probably wants to win a Super Bowl.

Maybe so. And if he does, then I hope he does. I have nothing but affinity for this guy. Truly.

As I'm sitting here. You helped get him the job. You know what?

We came on the air in 2014 and I started pounding the table and people were like, Give up, Rich. He's not leaving the Niners. And if he's not leaving the Niners, he's going to go to the Raiders. He's not going to Michigan.

He's not going to college. And I left the light on for him. So, yeah, I'll take credit.

Yeah, you should. So there is an update I've just been told by Mike Hoskins, our coordinator producer. This is from the Bills that he spent... DeMar Hamlin spent last night in the intensive care unit remains there today in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. We're grateful and thankful for the outpouring of support we've received thus far. My gosh. So there's really no update there.

And then there's another statement as well that we have here. After speaking with... Oh, Tom, we just hung up the phone with him. After speaking with both teams in leadership, the NFLPA, Roger Goodell informed the club today that Bill's Bengals game will not be resumed this week. The NFL has made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date. So let week 18 play out and see if it matters that we have to finish that game?

Yeah, it matters. If you're the Chiefs and you can get the one seed, I mean, let's just dive into it. I don't know if it's appropriate to dive into it right now, but just your supposition we'll handle and we'll just box it up and then we'll talk about it another day. But if you're the Chiefs and you want the one seed and it requires the Bills to lose one more game, I mean, I guess you can go just on winning percentage. That's what I was told the league was thinking of doing.

If they did in the COVID year have to cancel games that by the end of the year, it would be who's got the best winning percentage, not best record. I don't know, but I think again, this is just an indication that the league is understanding the process of replaying. This game requires the Bills and the Bengals players and staff and coaches to work through some things. And that they're not going to be standing looking at their watches saying, is today the day that you're done working through this thing? It's going to be like, take the week, take the week. Or they say that they've not made any changes to week 18 the NFL as of now. So it's a fluid situation, as we like to say. And the NFL is just going to let it play out and let us hope when it all comes down to it, Damar Hamlin gets out of intensive care and gets out on his feet and gets out of that hospital and lives his long and happy life.

And if he wants to play football again because he's physically able to, then please do that. Back to the phone lines right now here on the Rich Eisen Show. Let's go to, who's been waiting the longest here, Benedict in Syracuse, New York. You're right here on the Rich Eisen Show. What's up Benedict? Hey Rich, I've been a long time fan. I'm a first responder in the home city of Syracuse, so Brockman, I try to keep it safe for you.

Shout out 3-on-5. I just kind of wanted to touch on, CPR is a scary thing when you see it, experience. So when I saw him fall, I knew it wasn't a normal fall just based on my experience, but a positive thing we can look forward to is that they were able to get his heart rhythm back. He's in the ICU. I would assume they're looking at more neurological functions right now, but looking at the players and stuff like that, I understand as a first responder that's what I'm used to. Right?

Like they're not used to seeing that. But the good news is they were able to get his heart rhythm back, and I kind of just wanted to kind of put some pot of the spins on him. I'm a lifelong Bills fan, my family's a lifelong Bills fan. I've been a big fan of yours. Thank you. I just kind of wanted to point that out to people. It's a scary situation. That's exactly what it is, and there's no way around it. Yeah, I mean, because again, it was explained to me by a medical professional last night that CPR or shocking a heart back into rhythm is not like what you see on television.

It's far more jarring and violent than you think. It is, and the concern for him is, you know, he made it to the NFL. The guy lived his dream.

That is something he has to hold high. He's been great for Bills fans. I loved him.

He made a huge play against the Dolphins when I went to the game with my family. But for the players in Buffalo and stuff, we love you. We love all of you. Just keep them in your thoughts and prayers. I'm actually heading into work right now trying to make sure the day is safe for everybody, and hopefully I don't have to do anything like CPR today. But again, I understand the scary situation, what he's in the best care he could possibly be in. And just a big fan of you guys, and thank you for always talking about how Bills fans are and for taking time out of your day to talk about this young man who means more to the city than he'll probably ever know. And I appreciate you saying that, but before I let you go, Benedict, I'm just going to take one more minute of your time.

And again, I am loath to ask any medical questions specific to Damar here, because you're clearly not in that hospital, and you're not looking at any medical charts, and you're not his doctor. But when you say looking at things neurologically, what do you mean by that? Usually what happens is if there's any activity or I would say any movement or something like that, because when a cardiac arrest happens, thankfully they got there quick enough. So I think they're just seeing if there's functionality. From my experience, that's what I've seen and what I know, just going through the process and stuff like that.

So that's kind of what I mean by that. I don't know if I'm 100% correct, but I can only give you what I know from my experiences as a first responder and what I've done throughout my years. Thank you for your work and your time. Thanks for calling in, Benedict. Keep calling back. Let's have you back on when circumstances are not like the one current.

PT in KC? Let's take his phone call. Line number four, Mike, if you don't mind. Or is he still talking to our... Saying goodbye to Benedict.

Put up line four if you don't mind, DJ Mikey D. PT, you there? Hey, Rich. What's going on? Hey, so I just wanted to say that as a longtime fan of what would be considered violent sports, like I watch a lot of football, I watch a lot of MMA, I watch a lot of boxing. I think you put it beautifully earlier when you said this is something that we put in the back of our minds. This is something that I've always thought to myself, like, how would I react if I saw something on the field or saw something in the ring like this? And I always thought to myself that it would be shocking.

I wouldn't know exactly what to do, but last night I was up until 4 a.m. refreshing my Twitter feed, like you were saying earlier, and still refreshing my Twitter feed. And not going to lie, it's been surprising how all of today, that's all I could think about. Today I was listening to you talk about Jim Harbaugh and honestly not able to hear any of it. Because the only thing I could think about was the health of Hamlet. And so, yeah, that's really all I have to say coming onto the show was just I love these sports because I think there's a beautiful humanity in these types of sports. And you see sides of players, you see sides of fighters that you don't get to see in other sports, but there's this other side of it, too, that you don't see a lot.

But when you do, it is a shocking experience. And the only thing I can possibly think of today is the health of Hamlet and also how shocking this must be for his family. And really that's the only thing that I can think of right now. PT, thanks for calling in. Get some rest.

And appreciate you sharing your thoughts there. I think what we just heard is indicative of the way all fans are feeling right now. So you can only imagine what the rest of the NFL community is thinking right now.

And I think it's wise for the NFL and the commissioner to say, guess what? Everybody talking about when this game is going to get replayed. Let's table that for the week. It ain't happening this week. Obviously, these teams have to play a game this weekend.

Coming up. For sure. So maybe that's a game that gets replayed another time.

I honestly don't know. But as you just heard from PT, he didn't even want to take in any other conversation other than this one. And I think a lot of fans feel that way.

And that's sort of the tightrope that this show and other shows like it have been walking today. But it's nothing compared to what the Mar Hamlin's family is thinking and going through right now. Football family and blood relation. 844-204, which is the number to dial. We will be back with more of your phone calls. Mike Tomlin has made his comments known on this subject matter since he is a voice in the NFL of significance.

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NetSuite.com slash Rich Radio. 844-204, which is the number to dial right here on the Rich Eisen Show. When I had the broadcast meeting with Mike Tomlin prior to the Christmas Eve game between the Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers, I asked Tomlin when was the first time he kind of laid eyes on Kenny Pickett and thought to himself, maybe he would be a good Pittsburgh Steelers at some point. When did he first kind of get a good look at him? And he said two years before drafting because the Steelers, as you know, TJ, being from the area, the Steelers in the Pittsburgh Panther football program share a building. They share a building and their practice facility is here and the Steelers practice facility is there and they share a building. And many years I actually spent the green room for the NFL Network when doing Thursday Night Football games for the Steelers. They situated us in the Pittsburgh Panther locker room. Oh, really?

Yeah. Their Panthers locker room is over here and the Steelers locker room is over there. And he sees a lot of Pittsburgh Panthers because of it.

Mike Tomlin. As a matter of fact, he told a story that he once found LaShawn McCoy in the hot tub with Fess Willie Parker. You know, because it was and he's like, what are you doing here?

Shouldn't you be over there? Because McCoy is a Pittsburgh Panther. McCoy was saying, first of all, you know, I want to pick Willie Parker's brain.

And secondly, it's a better hot tub than the one we have. He's telling that story to us. It was a big laugh moment in that meeting. He found Shady McCoy. He's like, what are you doing here with Fess Willie Parker? But at any rate, I bring all of this up to point out that it makes complete sense that Mike Tomlin would have something to say about Damar Hamlin because he knew the kid. Because Damar Hamlin played at Pittsburgh. He's from the Pittsburgh area. Tomlin's been in the Pittsburgh area, as we all know, for a decade and a half. And it would make sense that Tomlin would have something to say on this matter because it involves the humanity of playing a violent sport. And this is what he had to say on Hamlin.

Before I open up for questions, I'll say this about Damar Hamlin. Man, it's a really personal thing for me being a Pittsburgher and that young man being a Pittsburgher. I've known that guy probably since he was about 12. Just got a lot of respect and love for him as a human being.

His commitment to the pursuit of his goals and dreams of doing what it is he's doing right now, which is playing in the NFL. And to watch him make personal decisions and make that a realization. It's just an honor to get to know young people like that. Had an opportunity to express that to him whenever I see him.

We've played Buffalo each of the last two seasons and he and I get to have a moment. Because it's just cool to not only appreciate these guys in terms of where they are now, but to know them since they were younger people. And to watch their maturation, their development. To watch them earn what they've been chasing.

It's just really a cool thing. He's an example of that. I got a lot of love for that young man. We lifted him and that organization up in prayer.

Reached out to Sean McDermott to lend whatever assistance I could. But I don't have a lot to add other than that. I just respect the fact that you guys appreciate how personal it is for me.

Not only for me, but just for all of us as people that thrive in this space. That's not obviously something that you ever want to see. When asked after that answer, so there's no handbook for what to do next in this situation.

What do you say or do? Placing that before Tom and he said, quote, you do what you think is best. And I think that that is a great way for a guiding force for the league and deciding what to do next.

And I think that is what the guiding force that everyone eventually came around to on the field last night. What's best? You know what's best? We're not playing tonight.

You know what's best? We're not replaying this game this week. Because, again, this is the coach of a team that has a chance to make the playoffs. Has a chance to make the playoffs and they're on a roll. So given the choice, would they like to play this weekend?

Sure. If they get a phone call and say, we're not playing this weekend, you know what? There might be some players in that Pittsburgh Steelers locker room that would be like, that's a good thing. That's a good thing because, you know, they didn't see what happened on the field. But I'm sure they're hearing about it from their colleagues.

And if they're not hearing about it from their colleagues, they can only imagine what that would be like and what it would be like for them. Ryan Clark, who was, from what I've been seeing on Twitter, because, again, I was on Westwood One Radio's broadcast with Kevin Harlan and Kurt Warner doing what, you know, I guess, Ryan Clark was doing with the rest of the ESPN broadcast, which is pouring their hearts out. I mean, just, I heard Ryan was terrific. He was. And he tweeted out today that the next snap of football is going to be one of the scariest snaps ever.

It's going to take a while. Yeah, I don't know if you heard this, TJ, what he was saying last night. Ryan Clark, you know, has sickle cell, right? Yeah, he couldn't play in a playoff game one year. And he talked about- The Tim Tebow walk-off touchdown at the Marius Thomas game. He couldn't play in that one. So he talked about all those factors and being held out of those games and talked about when he was 24 years old, he didn't even think he could die.

Like, that's not even part of your mindset as a professional athlete. And here, DeMar Hamlin is 24 years old and literally died on the field yesterday and had to have been brought back. It was really powerful, really moving stuff. Like Scott and Lisa Salters, they all did such an amazing job yesterday. It was no rule book.

There's no handbook for this sort of thing. I mean, back in 1971, the only player, again, Chuck Hughes, who passed away after dropping to the turf in Tiger Stadium against the Bears, a game that the Bears and Lions finished after he was taken off the field. There was no 24-7-365. There was no Monday Night Football broadcast. I don't believe 1971, right? There was no national television where millions of people sitting around and watching.

None of that. And I think all the discussions we had last night and the ones that we're having today and the fact that that game was not finished last night and may not be finished ever just shows how much progress we've made about the mental health aspect and what these guys put their bodies through. I mean, 50 years ago, like you said, they just finished the game. And I think maybe 10 years ago, that probably would have happened. Well, at least there's also, and most importantly in this different world, that there are technological advances to have the equipment right there on the sideline and medical professionals fully trained to use it and do the Lord's work on the spot.

Absolutely. Chris Long's going to join us next right here on the Rich Eisen Show. And then there's more times for phone calls with you at 844-204-RICHES. We're here at hour three on this unprecedented program as well. Still here on our friends at Roku. You know, I feel like the closest thing that the NFL would have had to lean on and not that they even did last night was, you know, a few times in WWE. This is actually something similar has happened back in May of 1999. A wrestler named Owen Hart fell from the rafters. He was going to be lowered down into the ring as part of his gimmick. The cable snapped.

He fell in the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, fell and hit his head and he died in the ring. And, you know, Vince McMahon and WWE, they were forced with a very tough decision. It's a pay-per-view.

What do you do? They chose to have the show continue. And I feel to this day, it's still something that they probably look back on and realize that it might have been the wrong move for them to go ahead and do that. I don't know if that ever came into play with what happened last night, but it's, you know, a precedent. We say it's unprecedented.

It has happened. And they chose to go on. And I think everyone will agree that that was probably the wrong move for them to do so. Well, certainly if we talk about so much about player health and safety and talk about mental health being part of that. Not playing the game last night is was the right move. Yeah, absolutely. If you're going to be if you're going to say it, then you need to be about it. And I'm saying judging from the wrestlers, the commentators that were there that night to this day, I think they all were in agreement that that show should not have gone on that night. You know, our number three of this program when we come back right here on the Roku channel. Don't move. Chris Long.

It'll be a great chat. 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 character should be coming more. And they're not. Everybody's gradually losing audience. People will say, well, but AWW is 15 percent ahead of where they were last year. But there's variables there. Let's see where we're at year from now. Eighty three weeks on YouTube or wherever you listen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-03 16:37:31 / 2023-01-03 16:55:30 / 18

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