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Bryant Gumbel reflects on 29 years of Real Sports

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen
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December 19, 2023 2:06 pm

Bryant Gumbel reflects on 29 years of Real Sports

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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December 19, 2023 2:06 pm

12/19/23 Hour 1

Rich recaps the Seattle Seahawks thrilling come-from-behind win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.

Hall of Fame announcer Bryant Gumbel and Rich discuss the series finale of his acclaimed ‘Real Sports’ HBO series after a 29-year run, what his future in broadcasting looks like at the age of 75, and more.

Rich weighs in on the emotional postgame interview of Seahawks QB Drew Lock. 

Please check out other RES productions:

Overreaction Monday: 

What the Football with Suzy Shuster and Amy Trask:

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You know, in today's world, it seems the best treatment is reserved only for a few. Well, Discover wants to change that by making everyone feel special. That's why with your Discover card, you have access to 24-7 live customer service as well as zero dollar fraud liability, which means you're never held responsible for unauthorized purchases. Finally, no matter who you are or where you are in life, you'll feel special with Discover.

Learn more at slash credit card. Limitations apply. Kind of crazy. This is The Rich Eisen Show.

It's on and cracking. Live from The Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles. Caught George Kittle in the back of the end zone. So when you're talking about your quarterback, are you talking about the game manager, George? There's no one that manages the game quite like him, isn't there?

We can't do any of that work unless he's the guy throwing the ball. Today's guest, host of HBO's Real Sports, Brian Gumbel, Super Bowl champion and NFL On Prime video analyst, Andrew Whitworth, senior writer for the MMQB, Albert Brier. And now it's Rich Eisen.

That's right. Welcome to this edition of The Rich Eisen Show. We are live here on the Roku channel. We are live here on this Rich Eisen Show, terrestrial radio affiliate, Sirius XM, Odyssey and more. We say hello to our podcast listeners whenever you want to take in these three hours. Just make sure you are also aware that you can check out the overreaction Monday podcast. Chris Brockman and I recorded that after Monday show.

Lots to overreact to. Susie Schuster and Amy Trask with the latest edition of What the Football. Later on today, Kevin Harlan, whose call of last night's Monday Night Football game on Westwood, one no doubt will be front and center for that podcast.

That'll be out later on today. All three hours of the show as well as available for you. What a great show we have in store. Bryant Gumbel is on this program because the Real Sports series, the longest running series in the history of HBO, 29 years and over 300 episodes, finishes up tonight with a 90 minute retrospective. And Bryant will be here in less than 20 minutes to talk about that and so much more. Andrew Whitworth is in studio from Prime Video and his Los Angeles Rams are seven and seven currently in a playoff position right now as we're entering Christmas week.

Three weeks to go. He's in studio hour number two. Albert Breer in hour number three to tell us what is going on with everything in the national football league that you need to know. We also have overreaction Monday, the segment here on a Tuesday show. There is lots to check out.

And one last thing as you get ready to take in this program. Bear with us. It's raining outside.

OK, so it's raining here in Los Angeles. So bear with us. It's kind of weird and we don't know what to do now. That's not it's not I don't think that's completely accurate.

I think I don't think it's completely accurate. Good to see you over there, Chris. How are you getting through it? I was a little stunned this morning. Knocked me on my back of my heels. OK, you know, I didn't even get dressed.

This is just what I slept in. Mike, how are you? Good to see you, Mike. Good to see you, Mike.

I didn't give up and I'm back to pants. So I'm good. Oh, hey, that's just in. We shamed him in the back in the pants. What's up, TJ? You know, can we spend some of our time with Brian?

We'd be talking him out of his decision. You know what? I know, right? I mean, come on, man.

This thing's been on for since the dawn of television. I cannot wait to watch that tonight. I might. I think that may be what we need to do. He can't end real sports, man. I think it's happening.

Incredible story. The retrospectives in the can. I mean, I don't know. Farve retired multiple times. True. That's right.

Brady came back. I don't understand. Yeah, well, I'm not.

Well, maybe we'll spend time. Don't go. Please don't go. We should have retired multiple times. We're hanging on to him like Van Gundy on Alonzo morning. Is that what we're doing? Yeah, please. We're down on the ground.

Please don't go. I was totally down with that. Oh, and by the way, James Harden, the beard. Finally.

Yeah. How about the Clippers? Looking great, right? The Knicks come into the downtown Hoops dojo. Nobody's talking about it, but the clips of one eight in a row.

I know they look amazing. Maybe we'll talk about it today. Out there was old school. Step back at a four point play last night. Kawhi Leonard is just solidifying what I told you every year.

He is one of the greatest players still to this day. Well, nobody's talking about it. Well, I mean, Christmas Day is coming up. We've got a triple header in the NBA and the NFL. And obviously it's a big day in the NBA.

But let's start with the Monday night game to wrap up week 15. I am a guy that likes the bad news first. Are you?

Oh, interesting. Are you? I got good news and bad news. They always say I've got good news and bad news. And then what do you want first? I'm always wanting the bad news first. Yeah.

Get it out of the way and rip it right off. Make me feel good at the end. And this on the positive note.

Am I right? I like happy endings. OK, so well, I mean, in terms of stories and stories. But here's the deal, since I'll shoot the Philadelphia Eagles fans with the bad news first. Here's the bad news. It's not looking good at all. No, I mean, and the bad news is it looks like the Eagles are a flawed team. That won games in lucky style, not plucky style, the 10 wins that they're still sitting on right now with a three game losing streak, their first three game losing streak in since twenty twenty one.

So it's been a while since we've seen this from them and they look like they were playing with a bug. On Monday night, like Jalen Hurts comes in, he flies in on a private plane to stay away from his teammates so he doesn't get anybody else sick. But sure, let's just shove him in the middle of a twenty two man scrum later on multiple times.

That's for another day. That's one way to to win to win the battle is just breathe on people when you're in the brotherly show. But he he comes out looking terrific. Actually, the Eagles scored on their opening drive and he was the first play was him running and it's just like, OK, a little little little rope a dope.

He's supposed to be sick and he's is a nice sick play, if you will, to start. And then you see the the Eagle, the the Seahawks end zone paint on his right shoulder the rest of the game because he slid into the end zone to start the scoring touchdown. Eagles go on top and then the defense now that is coordinated by Matt Patricia now looked a little bit more in tune. But just when you thought they should start to separate, they don't.

And then you start to think, wait a minute. They made a coordinator change in week 15. You know, we had Nick Sirianni on this program. He said nothing. And nobody knew anything. And Sean Desai, the D.C., he's still the defensive coordinator. He didn't say a word. He was meeting with the crew.

Joe and Troy said he met with us and didn't say anything total pro about it. But there made a defensive coordinator change in week 15. What does that tell you? That they feel like they've got the guys in the room.

It's just a different set of eyes and a different scheme. But then there are just moments where they just don't seem to find that gear like the Bills did in week 15. Don't seem to find the gear like the Niners can find it right now.

They don't seem to have that gear like the Ravens seem to have. And that's a problem when you're trying to defend your conference championship because they don't make the right plays and weird stuff happens in Seattle to begin with. And could you imagine, OK, like your quarterback doesn't fly with you. You're wondering if he's healthy enough to play and playing at night in Seattle, you feel like you're on a different planet.

Weird stuff happens there. And now for your defense, you're hearing a different voice in the helmet and it's a different voice all week. And so you're doing things differently on the fly in a Monday night game in in Seattle. And Drew Locke starts to drive 98 yards on you to end the game and make plays to win the game. And Seattle comes up with the sticks around and sticks around and sticks around and then hits you with their longest drive of the season with their backup quarterback who didn't know he was starting until the very beginning of the game for him. And they were able to overcome things in a way that the Eagles succumbed. And that's a problem.

At least the Niners got their three game losing streak out of the way in the middle of the season before their bye. This is December. This is December.

This is December. And you're throwing it up, you know, into double coverage. And you're not even throwing it to AJ Brown at Devante Smith. You're throwing it to your third string wide receiver picked off. And then you give up the touchdown and you still have timeouts left. And you're at midfield with 20 some odd seconds to go with two timeouts to go.

And you can definitely set up your field goal kicker who has shown he can boot it from 60 yards before and you decide to go up top. Picked off again. Although I must say, I don't think Love got his second foot down. And I think it was obvious that his foot never hit the ground. Yeah, his momentum just kind of carried him. I don't know how the hell that got through replay as stands is called.

I thought his toe did get hit. Initially I did, but then you could see a replay where it looked like it just, it just, it looked like it hit. But it's still an incredible play that you shouldn't be, you shouldn't be, you know, I know you want to throw it to AJ Brown, but be smart about it.

You got two timeouts to go. But weird stuff happens like Jason Kelce finally getting called for what he said he's been warned about for a long time, which is moving the football up before snapping it for a brotherly shove play that they get called five yards on for a penalty and then run it on third down. It's just weird. They just make weird choices, weird plays. And then your quarterback says this after the game, this is wild.

Jalen Hurts post game, stepping to the podium and saying something that leads you to believe the guys aren't in the room after all. I've been talking about execution all year, um, been on the same page. Everyone been on the same page and we didn't execute. Um, I don't think we're, we're our, uh, committed enough, you know, you know, just, just got to turn it around, you know, um, you know what I mean? You know, it's a challenge that we have to embrace. Just continue to see it through.

What do you mean by that? About being committed? Commitment. I don't know that I had a dictionary on me now. Um, excuse me.

I don't know. I was to say that we got to pick ourselves out of this, you know, and really too, too fond of the, um, you know, you practice the same app, but you're getting the same results. And, um, we, we, we have to, um, we have to make a, like a, like internal change in how we attack things, um, how we come to work every day. Um, you know, it starts with the little things, how committed we are to doing what we're doing.

And it all starts with me, the quarterback. Wow. Wow, man, note to members of the press always have a dictionary or the thesaurus handy.

Okay. Committed because what that is infused with is that means people are not giving it their all or can't buy in because there's something happening. Does Nick Sirianni need to make another coordinator change at this late juncture in December? Is that what he's referring to? Is he referring to people not practicing that hard? I can't imagine he's referring to his offensive line. Is he referring to some of his skilled position players with lack of, you know, with all due respect, the offensive line looks pretty skilled. You know what I'm saying? Is it somebody like, who is he referring to?

He does throw himself there at the end because he's always that guy looking in the mirror type guy, but what does he mean by that? And is there like a no way out like mole hunt on for who's that person that's not coming to practice committed? Who's showing up in the game not committed? Who's not committed? What's he referring to? Because there's always been something up with Philadelphia all year long. And there's nobody's putting their finger on it, and you're always wondering, is it something going on behind the scenes?

And when he says that, it kind of lends credence to that theory, narrative, whatever you want to call it. And then to make matters even worse, here's the last part of the bad news, Philly fans. Jerry Jones is happy. Now that's got to make it that's got to make you really upset because Dallas is currently back in first place right now because of the Seattle loss. What did you think of that Seattle ending last night on Monday Night Football? It was marvelous. I watched every bit of it. I thought I was about to doze, and then when they made those two exciting plays at the end, I couldn't sleep till four this morning because of the impact that it can have on our year and our season.

I mean, the Eagles turned Jerry Jones into Fernando Llamas, Sr. Marvelous, just marvelous. You look marvelous.

There you go. Very good. I was about to doze. It was marvelous.

You look marvelous. It was the last time somebody said doze. I was about to doze. He woke up Jerry Jones. He couldn't go to sleep. I couldn't sleep at all last night. Now, the good news. Oh yeah, I forgot about that.

It was so much bad. Here's the good news. There's still three games left. The good news is it's not just three games left. It is the easiest three game schedule for anybody in the NFL the rest of the way, believe it or not. That's what I'm seeing. No easy games in the NFL, Rich.

I got it. Two games against the Giants. And Tommy Tommy Cutlets is involved in some local pizzeria in Brolio about about about jacking up his fee on the locals. And, you know, word is he's not happy with the way that he's constantly being asked about, you know, doing social media videos for the team.

And he signed a sopranos and whatever. Dude, I don't want to all I'm just saying is, you know, just wants to play ball, guys, you know, the headline of the Daily News saying, you know, we take the cutlets to go. And then Arizona comes into their house. And I know Arizona beat Dallas and what have you.

But you all start getting backed up this time of year when you're out of it. And I know you're playing for pride for these teams and whatever. But the Eagles three more wins. They can they can they can go three wins after these three losses.

And if they win out and if Dallas wins out, I have checked with NFL research, Philadelphia wins the NFC East. They still, if you will, control their own game schedule. If you will, control their own destiny. Even with all of that, even with Jerry Jones feeling marvelous and no dozen now because the the Seahawks came back on the Eagles, it's marvelous.

They've got control of everything. And maybe just maybe there are the guys in the room will look in the mirror and basically say, we've got this. They can be 13 and four at the end of the season, which, by the way, I think they would have signed for before the season eight. You win the division, you're 13 and four.

The one seed, I think that bird has flown to use the phrase that thing is done. You're going to have to pull it together, win three in a row. Win two games and then go to San Francisco and get back to the Super Bowl. At least they now have, I believe, complete clarity on what their path is and what is the task and challenge ahead of them. That's the good news.

The good news is you still control your own destiny. You've got two home games against two teams you should beat, although one of them is a division opponent and you never know. The other one went to the western side of the state and put the Steelers on the griddle by going in and winning there.

So you never know, but you should win them and you still have the opportunity to win them and figure it out. Whatever is happening there, it's Nick Sirianni's gig to figure it out. That's the good news. We'll talk about Seattle later on in this program. I can't wait to ask Andrew Whitworth to decipher what the word committed out of the word committed out of Jalen Hurts' mouth meant. He'll be in studio hour two, Albert Breer hour three, but can't wait to chat with one of the all time greats, a GOAT of this industry.

His name is Bryant Gumbel, and we're all saying farewell to real sports tonight. I don't know, maybe because I'm older. I was going to talk to you about that because you're 79. Yeah. How old do you feel?

11. Inside of you with Michael Rosenbaum, wherever you listen. Stacking Benjamins with Joe and his good friend OG not only has great financial insight, it's laid back with humor, too.

Joe talks with Stacking Deeds co-host Crystal Hammond. I've always been a fan of nosy neighbors. I want nosy neighbors. They can tell you what's going on 10 times faster than you would know. Again, what's she talking about, Doug?

We're repairing neighborhoods, but then we're into nosy neighbors. And I built a career off of that. Find out more by searching the Stacking Benjamins podcast, wherever you listen. Back on the Rich Eisen Show radio network, I'm sitting at the Rich Eisen Show desk, furnished by Grainger with supplies and solutions for every industry. Grainger has the right product for you.

Call or just stop by. It truly is a gold standard. I mean, gold might even be devaluing the standard that Real Sports has set over its 29 seasons of storytelling. It is the most honored sports journalism program on TV with 37 sports Emmy Awards.

And I'm hoping one of those Emmy Awards was for editing because tonight's episode is the series finale. It's a 90 minute retrospective of the 29 seasons of storytelling and the host of that fantastic program, Brian Gumbel, here on the Rich Eisen Show. How are you, Brian? I'm fine, my pal. How are you doing? I'm doing great. Good to see you. Good to see you. Thank you. Life is good.

Can't complain. What is going on in your brain when you hear about the series finale of Real Sports, Brian? You know, I'm past the melancholy stage. Hillary came in to me about an hour ago and just said, so how you feel about tonight? I said, you know what? It's kind of out of my hands. I mean, I did it. It's pretty much left to the editors now. And and I'm as curious as anyone to see what it looks like. OK, so it is shot.

There is no live element to it tonight. You're we finished shooting this one on I think it was November 21. OK, we shot it.

So all that was all that's left to be done was was the editing of it and the editing of the pieces that are involved. OK, so why, Brian? Why, why, why?

I know. Listen, 29 years is a heck of a run, but why? Why now do you think I, I, I guess the simplest answer, Rich, is that I couldn't see myself doing another three years.

And as you well know, networks don't do one year contracts. And and I had to ask myself, could I see myself doing this another three years with my heart be really in it? And the answer was no. And so that only left me one decision.

And that was say goodbye. So not even just a one year deal. Was that even discussed for making it around 30 at all? No, it really what really wasn't discussed. I guess if I'd have been a smarter guy, I would have the last time signed it for four years and we've been really good at looking ahead.

And math was never my strong suit. OK, so what would you say? What what pieces would you want to see tonight? I mean, if you had your druthers, what stands out to you over the twenty nine seasons? If I look, I mean, I tend to think of my own pieces first, but but, you know, we had a lot of great work by a lot of great people. And I think what what the show tried to do tonight, rather than just say, here's a clip of this and here's a clip of that, we broke it down into into themes that that guided our show over the years, themes like safety and security. We did a lot of things on health issues, health of athletes. That's one theme. Another theme was the underdog. Another theme was characters. Another theme was power and money, those kinds of things.

And so we we kind of separated out that was very, very difficult for us to try to figure out how to fit close to twelve hundred pieces in a 90 minute program. I think accountability to Brian, that's that's one word that would leap out to me that your show was absolutely great at and crucial in our sports world, for sure, because there are some I mean, I know what you mean by characters. You're probably talking about just like protagonists in a in a in a piece or maybe somebody that might be of, you know, quirky interest or what have you. But there's been some characters, Brian, in that you needed to hold some feet to the fire. Oh, is there one that stands out to you that you're you're glad that your show did over the twenty one years? I mean, they run the gamut, they run from heads of countries, as was in the case of camel jockeys to misguided prosecutors, as was the case with Marcus Dixon, to guys who think they can do whatever they want because they're the head of something. As applies to Jerry Colangelo as to it also applies to guys who own something and think they can do whatever, as Vince McMahon did.

So, yeah, generally it's true that those who sign the checks and those who wield the authority don't like to be questioned or asked to justify or clarify what they believe in. And then there's just, again, what your show did over twenty nine years as well. And I'll just, you know, for for the audience here, it's personal to me as well, because Susie worked on that show for for a few years. And she still talks about the pieces that she produced.

Going to Europe abroad with Frank Deford to hold Juan Antonio Samar on his feet to the fire is something that she's very proud of. And and I'm I'm just wondering, do you think there'll be another show like this that has the budget and the ideas and the support to say, go do it, something like that? I think those are three separate questions, the budget, the ideas and the support.

They get three different answers. I mean, the ideas. Yeah. I mean, everybody can come up with the ideas, the budget. It depends.

It would have to be an outfit that has very deep pockets. The support is another thing altogether, because, as you know, the cross-pollination of networks and sports is now so ingrained that that it's it's it's, I think, naive to think that any media entity could just say, you know what, I'm going to go wherever this takes me and, you know, be damned with any of the relationships we've got. I'm not sure the front office would take a great view of that. Did you ever get any pushback?

I never got any pushback from my people at HBO. Did I ever get pushback from the leagues? Yeah. Yeah. Quite all the time.

All the time. What's which one stands out to you? I know I keep asking the same thing about standing out, but it's the twenty nine years it comes to an end tonight, Brian.

I don't know. I mean, they take exception to small things sometimes. You know, I mean, I know, for example, they were not too fond when I when Roger Goodell came aboard and I said the first thing you should do is make sure he finds out where Tagliabue kept Jean Upshaw's leash.

They weren't real fond of that one. Well, I mean, but then you you you were such a crucial figure in the growth of NFL Network, Brian, the first voice of Thursday Night Football, which, by the way, is now on Amazon and Bezos is paying money, you know, like through the nose. And you were the first voice. I listened to you. I listened to you. I listened to you the other day, too. You did a great job. Thanks, Brian. Better than I ever did. But the look, I'm glad I'm glad they can compartmentalize things.

I'm glad that they were able to say that I could be their their their adversary one day and their support or another. So did I did I gather from your answer that you don't believe there will be a show like real sports period again because of I don't I don't think so. I don't think so. Rich and I'd say this, too, is another part of that same answer. The audience has changed. Audiences today are accustomed to to watching things that are that are done, number one in brief and where the picture changes constantly and where, you know, their interest is sparked and things are moving like this. Long form journalism is is is rarely seen on television these days. And so I'm not necessarily sure there's a public appetite for it, but that's just me. Is there somebody you asked to come on real sports? You said I'll do the piece will feature you and you couldn't get that person's arm twisted enough to to do it.

There are a lot of there are a lot of there are a lot of them. And there are a lot of stories that we couldn't do because they were moving targets. One of the difficult things about being a monthly, as we were, was you had to do things that while they were timely, they couldn't be changing from minute to minute or day to day. For example, we couldn't do the PGA versus live controversy because we'd shoot it and it would be, you know, irrelevant 24 hours later.

And so we couldn't do things like that. So do we find out tonight, Brian, what you've scribbled down on that yellow legal pad? Do we finally find out tonight? This is honestly this is a twenty nine year edge of my seat question. I don't believe that there. There are better things to come on with.

Come on. Honestly, nobody, you know, can can just scribble down a note and then arch an eyebrow and ask a question quite like you. I don't know how your correspondence were able to handle the pressure at that moment, but do you honestly?

Yeah, no, it's the truth, man. So what did you what did you write down on the on this on those pieces of paper? What were you writing down? Were you screwing various things, various things, really? But I'll never say. You'll never reveal it.

Come on. No, I'll never I'll never reveal it. It's it's like and every correspondent used to ask the used to wonder the same thing. You know, what are you going to ask me? And I'd say, I don't know.

I'd never tell them. You know, I like surprises on TV. OK, what sports television do you watch now? Brian, do you watch any? I watch live events. I watch very little of the of the yelling back and forth. I enjoy some of it. I don't like a lot of it, but, you know, I'm I'm the old guy in the room. I don't expect my taste to prevail in modern television. I mean, I was laughing when you were talking about, you know, Jerry, what was he watching? What he might have been wearing as he watched last night's game.

Right. I mean, I'm close to Jerry's age, so I kind of get that. We're dozing off on a Monday night game until the final throws. That was me last night. I actually did doze off.

I missed the Metcalf catch. OK. And I I was back in time for the Smith and Gig book catch. OK, so well, I mean, that's by the way, good time.

Good timing on your part. Yeah. So I guess so that that's your sports television tastes right now. What about Sunday morning football shows? And I'm not asking that because I host one, but I'm asking that because you were one of the first to ever do that on NBC, Bryant.

So, you know, it's really bizarre about when I look at the at the Sunday morning shows and I, you know, I've told Hillary this and she finds it hard to believe. Now they have five, six, seven, eight, 10 people doing them alone. I mean, I did it alone. It's like it was a one person job. Now it's a six person job.

I wish that it paid me six salary, but, you know, at most I did it with one other person from time to time. But but this show has completely changed. Look at that photo on the screen right there. Look at you.

NFL 80 on NBC Sports. Wow. By that, I was down to a small Afro jacket somewhere. You still have that jacket? No, I don't have that jacket. It looks like a lower jacket right there. Oh, thank God it wasn't.

I know, but back when I first started doing those, I mean, you couldn't see either my hair on my ears or my neck. So now it's all in 4K. So the last one for you, Brian, are you retiring? Is this it for you in the business? You know, Rich, I never say never, but but I'm happy. I mean, I spent 52 years in front of a television camera. I think that's enough for any person. If I never look into a television camera again, that's OK by me.

If somebody comes along and says, hey, here's something that's interesting and that's certainly the case, that I might do it. But, you know, this isn't a business where people run around hiring guys over the age of 75 and saying, we'd like you to do a show for us. Come on, Al's as great as ever on Thursday night right now. Brian, Al's as good as he's ever been right now. That's true, but he's calling a game.

People are tuning in for the game. OK, well, maybe they want to. I would want to hear what you've got to say. Interviews, you're as great as they come in terms of pulling stuff out of people and also making people think, which, by the way, despite everything being taken in, you know, on devices. And as you point out in in short bursts, that still has value, Brian. Yeah, it does.

It does. I mean, and one thing I'm really proudest of of real sports is that is that we made people, you know, to seal a line from Jim Galvano, often in the same show, we made people laugh, we made people cry, we made people think. And then he said that was a pretty good day. I'd say it's a pretty good show.

It's pretty good. Twenty nine years. All right, TJ, do you want to just go ahead? I'll give you the last word with with Brian.

What? Just say to him what you want to say. Go ahead and see what he says. Go ahead. Oh, well, you know, go ahead, TJ. Brian, as someone who's watched you my entire life and kind of looked up to you in the work you've done, I just I don't feel like this should be the end.

Is there did you ever give thought to maybe no Beckham? You wanted to bet him, bet him not to end the show. We need it because very rarely do you have a show like real sports that will give you all the emotions, right? There are times where, you know, you see a story and it makes you happy and more times you're not. You're seeing a story and it makes you tearing up. And and yet the thing is, we still look forward to that next tear up session. And it's just we don't want to see that go.

Do you ever think about maybe remixing it, changing it up because Brian, as someone who we're all journalists, we all majored in journalism in this room and storytelling is what we love. It's just I hate to see it go, man. I really do. There's a part of me that also hates to see it go, but everything everything comes to an end at some point. And I've always been a guy who'd rather leave the stage a year earlier than a day late.

And I think this is the right time for me. I could be wrong. Well, let's let's keep it in mind. You know, Brady said he was gone.

True. And then didn't and then wasn't, you know, but now he stayed gone. Now he stayed gone. Yes, we don't know.

We don't know. There's still time. Take care of yourself, Brian. Congrats again on the twenty nine year run. And again, Susie wanted me to tell you in front of everybody that it was the best job she's ever had. And part of the reason why is how great you were to her and the rest of the staff. That's sweet of her. We were we were better for having her.

We're a better show for having her a part of it. I mean, well, thanks so much, Rich. Look, best of the holidays to you and her and all the family. Same to you and Hillary and the rest of your family, too. You be well. Thanks, Bob.

Thank you for everything. It's the great Brian Gumbel right here on the rich on. That was great.

Can I wait to watch that tonight? Honestly, Susie looks at everything through the lens of. Her time at real sports. Which I'll be straight up with you is very difficult when she's asking me questions.

It's very difficult. I'm under the withering spotlight. That's tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern on HBO and available to stream on Max, which you can do right here on Roku. When we come back, speaking of great stories and great people who bring it out. There was one last night with Drew Locke, and we'll hit that.

And the Seahawks before Andrew Whitworth walks in the door. That's the Rich Eisen show, everybody. We're back here. That was great with Brian Gumbel, huh? Awesome.

That was awesome. And that's what we love about shows like real sports. Yeah, there's some exposes and let's be honest, it's 60 minutes of sports, right? Yeah, totally. And then 60 minutes try to sports version never really was the same anyway. But you need a a a great storyteller to tell it, which is why they got people like remember Frank, the Ford, the rest in peace, and Susie loved that guy.

Oh, my God, he would he would walk around in an ascot and and and a double breasted and and a double breasted sports code in classic, you know, hold open the door for her. You know, like stuff, old school writers and reporters and serious. And you still need people who understand the moment in time when a story is right in front of them to pull it out. And I respect those people so immensely.

Certainly when you have an interview subject that appears to be willing to share. Yeah. And that happened last night on live TV, which makes it even tougher. Drew Locke. Took care of business for the Seattle Seahawks. Again, we were so focused at the beginning of the show and understandably so. The Philadelphia Eagles are the defending NFC champs having lost three in a row with a quarterback who could have been the MVP of the Super Bowl, if not the league last year, saying at the end of the three game losing streak that they're intimating that there's some people who aren't committed enough on the team right now.

So obviously that's going to get the top story. But the Seahawks, you can make the case they needed it more last night. OK, they needed it more last night because I finished my opening segment about the Eagles to say, hey, look, here's the good news. You're still a team that can win the division and play not one, but maybe two home games. Being the two seed and all you got to do is beat the Giants twice and the Cardinals once, and those are teams that appear to be beatable, although it's in any given Sunday situation.

You know what I'm saying? Seattle lost four in a row and they were losing track of the rest of the playoff race that now the Rams are sitting in a playoff spot and the Rams have already swept them. So they're losing track with the rest of the wild card race. Wild card race, they needed it and Drew Lock didn't know he was starting. We didn't know I was doing the Westwood one radio broadcast last night. The studio number of times I'm like, what are we seeing? What's going on? Would you know anything? They dressed Gino just to what?

Mess with everybody? I think maybe they really thought he might start. And so so Drew Lock is one of those guys who's. Once upon a time, a starter, then he got covid when there was a battle for the quarterback position two summers ago, Gino got the start, became comeback player of the year.

It's his team. And Drew Lock got a chance last night. Oh, by the way, Monday Night Football against the defending NFC champs.

Go for it, kid. And then he's in a position. On his own eight yard line. Needing to drive the field to make plays, and he made the play. Jackson Smith and Jigba, what a throw, what a catch, what a moment. And then the defense picks off Jalen Hurts again. A guy named Love gets the win for Lock.

And locks it down for Drew. And that's where. Lisa Salters found him in the rain.

You want to talk about that? How about that moment where he was after the touchdown? He looked up like Andy Dufresne right in the rain. That's what it looked like to me.

It was really cool. And ESPN was all over it with the shots. And Lisa Salters steps up and speaks to Drew Lock. And I just want to say this again, because the the conversation a few weeks ago was all about, as we know, sideline reporters. And what do you need him for anyway?

This is what you need him for. Of the many, certainly when there's a real pro at the mic and Lisa Salters asked the right questions and let it breathe. And this I'm playing every last second for it because it's an amazing story that Drew Lock was telling. And that Lisa Salters elicited. Amazing won't do it justice.

Amazing won't do it justice, but amazing also doesn't do justice. What the O-line, what DK did on that catch, what the receivers did, what Ken Walker, Zach Charbonnet did all game long, the tight ends, man. It takes a special group to rally around a guy that, you know, has come into a second game of the year, right? Used to the same thing all year long, same cadence, same spin of the ball, everything.

A team like that, not just the offense, the defense to rally around. Me and I, man, that was, that was amazing. I see some, I hear some emotion in your voice. It's been a long time. It's been a long time. I'm just blessed. I'm just blessed. I'm just blessed, blessed with a great group of guys, a great city, great coaching staff. It's just, it's awesome.

It's a wow. Drew, when did you even know you were going to be playing tonight? Oh, there's a long story going in that one, but I kept the mentality that I was going to play regardless of what was going on, how people were looking and whatnot. I was just like, you know what, you're going to go out there and play.

So just be ready to play. I found out when we got here that I was going to get the nod and roll the dice, baby. Let's go. Take us back to the touchdown pass to Jackson. Just what was the play call?

Take me through. Yeah. I mean, I'll remember that play call for the rest of my life, but we're breaking the huddle. I knew Jax had the one-on-one. Good reminder from Shane in the headset. I said, hey, Jax, you're one-on-one. I'm throwing you this pill.

Sure enough. Gave us the one-on-one look. Corner was soft. Jax hit him with some speed.

Back pylon, back box throw. Came down with it. Again, Drew, we can see the emotion on your face. We can hear it in your voice. Can you just describe what you're feeling in your heart right now? It's so hard.

It's so hard to describe the feeling of not playing for so long, or at least for a long time to me. And then you sit there. You watch games. You wonder, can I do this still? I haven't been out there on the field.

That's the human nature of it. You get back out there last week. I'm like, you know what? I'm the man still.

I can go do this. And then you got another test this week where I didn't know if I was going to play or not. Sure enough, ended up playing.

We're playing the Eagles tonight. The boys around me rallied tonight. And it's just, gosh, it feels so good. It feels so good. I'm so proud of everybody tonight. Wow, right? Wow. It was great. It was great.

Drew Locke, just to share that, I'm throwing you the pill. But the boys rallied around me. And I'm still the man, right? I'm questioning, it's such a human game. Sports is such a human moment sometimes. And for him to share his fragility and his... Yeah, the self-doubt, the confidence, all of it. It really was beautiful. And it makes you want to root for him. And then sometimes the best question is not a question, just to have a human reaction. I can see you're emotional, which is a way to make him feel comfortable about being more emotional. Lisa Salters just showed you again why she's the reigning Emmy Award winner for sideline reporting.

It was so well done. And then you see what he's talking about with his teammates rallying around him, that he's given heart signs to Geno, who's making it back to him. Is that what they were doing? They're making some sort of sign to each other?

Yeah, I don't know what exactly it was, but yeah. But yeah, these guys obviously have a bond. And here's the thing. This is Pete Carroll's special sauce. The signs are all there.

I'm sure Susie's gonna talk about it on What the Football later on today, because she covered Pete at USC. The signs are there on the wall. Always compete. He says it all the time. He wants everybody to compete against one another, because you will then compete your hardest against your actual opponent.

But you'll also stay ready for the moment, and nobody takes it personally that you're competing for someone else's job. And if they do, they're out. You're not a Seahawk or you're not a Trojan from back in the day.

You're out. Don't take it personally, because at some point we're going to need you. How many times do you see after a game, a Seattle Seahawk is significantly hurt? And Pete goes, yeah, I mean, and he talks about matter of factly. And your fans are like, Pete, we just lost our player X, player Y, because he just knows the next man up is ready for the moment, because he has prepared that person and that person is competing. And nobody on the team takes it personally. So Drew Locke is clearly competing against Gino.

He was two summers ago and lost out at the time because he got COVID and couldn't compete. And obviously, Gino, you have to go with the guy who's ready to go. And then Gino made the most of it. And now here's Drew Locke in a moment winning, essentially saving the season with the longest drive of the season for Seattle.

92 yards. And now he's going to wind up what? Handing it back to Gino? Probably so. And he's done his job.

He competed. And Gino's not sitting there going, damn, is my job in jeopardy? No, he's telling him he loves him from the sideline. I get goosebumps thinking about it.

That's Pete Carroll's special sauce. Along with being, what did Jim Brockmire call him back in the day? He's America's oldest teenager.

Oldest teenager. Like Dick Clark. Now that Dick Clark has got him.

Now that Dick Clark is no longer with us. Honestly, he's jumping around. He was wearing his hat backwards in the post game. He's sick, he's sick.

But that's not an act. That's literally this, that's a guy who took his shirt off with DK Metcalf walking in the room, rides around on a scooter. It's his special sauce.

And even when you're in a four game losing streak there, right there, Rick Dalton shift. Boom. That's what happens. Always compete.

They don't take it personally. They root for one another because the moment's going to hit. And Drew Locke kind of it poured out of him. Well done by Lisa Salters. That was awesome. All around and kudos to ESPN for letting it go. Not like we got to go to Sports Center.

We got to go break. It was like a two and a half minute conversation. Yeah, that was like practically a sit down interview in the rain. It was pouring. All of it.

All of it. I'm here for all of it. Great sports TV. Great sports moment.

And Seattle season still alive. Andrew Whitworth coming up. That was great. So big wits coming out. Big wit.

Oh, let me tell you something about how big he is. Well, I mean, if I won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. You walk around with that trophy everywhere.

No, you can't do that. That's that's gaudy. Okay. I put the patch on everything. Everything.

Look at the guy to your left. He's wearing, he's marked up. What are you wearing? What is your hat? Yeah, what's the hat? Is that a Super Bowl hat? 50.

50. I like this. I have like three or four of these. I believe this is my favorite hat. That hat's an eight year old hat. I like, it's worn. Okay. I'm a warning guy.

Look, it's worn in. I'm a warning guy. That's okay.

Like a warning. So, and he didn't win the Super Bowl. He didn't play in it.

He didn't win it. But I've been at 25. That's whatever. You've been a lot. I've been a lot.

I've been a lot. I have a Lombardi at my house. If I won the Walter Payton Man of the Year, I'd have it be the patch right here. And it would be big.

And you'd be saying it's too big because that's what you say all the time about the Rich Island Show. You like big logos. Okay.

Yep. Well, I want you to see it. There's best dad ever.

You need a patch for best dad ever. From space. Sometimes from space, Chris. If I won Walter Payton Man of the Year, I want people on Mars to know I won it because I'm walking around, but I draw the line of bringing the trophy everywhere. Okay, cool. Because that's large. By the way, it's a beautiful sculpture. It's a sculpture. That's not a trophy. That's a sculpture. Can't bring sculptures, but patches, I'd have it on everything.

Whit doesn't have it because, you know, he's more humble than me, I guess. For the real story behind some of wrestling's biggest moments, it's Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson II. 1995, when WCW announces they're going to be live and head to head with Monday Night Raw, feels like this would have been something Vince would have kind of laughed off. No, we did not like them moving to Monday nights. There were a lot of hotels. They all carried CNN, TBS, and TNT. Vince was convinced that Ted Turner had deviously done this deal to get in the hotels and keep us out. Something to Wrestle, wherever you listen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-19 16:24:26 / 2023-12-19 16:46:02 / 22

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