Wednesday, April 8th, 2020


 “It was time. It was one of the great dynasties ever. I can’t imagine this ever happening again to have a two-decade dynasty like that. But Tom needed a little fresh air.” – Al Michaels on Tom Brady leaving the Patriots

“It is really a touching a moment…Nothing is better than the respect of your peers and people in the industry.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. on being nominated for NASCAR’s 2021 Hall of Fame class

“I miss the vibe…Walking out from the lunch room just going to that first tee, that putting green, it is just totally a different buzz.” – Justin Thomas on The Masters

Tomorrow’s Lunch Talk Live Guests Include CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz, Arizona Cardinals LB Chandler Jones, and NHL on NBC Analyst Eddie Olczyk

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 8, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • NBC Sunday Night Football play-by-play announcer Al Michaels
    • NBC Sports motorsports commentator Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    • PGA TOUR golfer Justin Thomas
    • NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms
    • NBC Sports motorsports commentators Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett


NBC Sports’ new daily sports talk show Lunch Talk Live focuses on the current state of the sports world and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, providing guests with a platform to discuss the state of sports, voice their personal stories, and detail how they are adapting their daily lives during this challenging time.

On tomorrow’s episode at Noon ET on NBCSN, Tirico will be joined by CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz, Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones, and NHL on NBC analyst Eddie Olczyk.

Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Al Michaels on Tom Brady sensing it was his last year in New England: “I think the most revealing thing we heard from Tom [Brady] was when we went in for the midseason game in Baltimore, Sunday night in early November, and they were undefeated. We were talking to Brady and Brady said to us, ‘I am the most unhappy 8-0 quarterback in football.’ So that was an interesting thing and at the point I said, ‘I know you aren’t going to answer this question, but I just can’t imagine you being in any other uniform but New England’s uniform.’”

Michaels on Tom Brady leaving New England: “It was time. It was one of the great dynasties ever. I can’t imagine this ever happening again to have a two-decade dynasty like that. But Tom needed a little fresh air and he is going to get it on the Gulf Coast.”

Michaels on recently watching re-airs of older sport events: “I think the most fun I am having watching these games is to see how television production has evolved through the years. The graphics on the ’68 World Series were nothing, they put up a card with the score. To go to where we are today is amazing.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on nomination for NASCAR Hall of Fame – Class of 2021: “It is really a touching a moment. I didn’t really think it was going to feel that way. I didn’t know how to expect it to feel if you ever get that kind of acknowledgement, but it was really a personal, emotional feeling, and I think nothing is better than the respect of your peers and people in the industry and the people who voted for the nominees.”

Earnhardt Jr. on competing in this Saturday’s iRacing event: “I’m a fish out of water. I’ve been a big fan and part of the customer base with iRacing and their service for a long time, but I’ve have had hardly any time in that particular car on the service…I’ve got a few days to get acclimated with it and understand how to drive it, what its characteristics are…I just want to go out there and enjoy it and have fun and run all the laps…Everybody tune in at 2:30 ET on NBCSN on Saturday – we’ll be out there in the number 3.”

Earnhardt Jr. on the impact of his first Indy 500 experience in 2019: “I got such a reception…when I went to my first Indy 500 last year, the welcome and warm reception, the way the people in the industry, the drivers showed me around and really helped me enjoy that experience to the fullest. It made quite an impression on me. It really touched me that they wanted me to be there and excited for me to enjoy myself and see the Indy 500 for what it truly is. So, this is certainly on a smaller scale, but I want to join those guys and have a good time.”

Justin Thomas on what he is missing the most about not being at Augusta for The Masters this week: “I can’t pick one thing. I miss the vibe, you know how it is. Walking out from the lunch room just going to that first tee, that putting green, it is just totally a different buzz.”

Thomas on the potential of playing a condensed schedule in the fall: “I know one thing, I would really like to be peaking come August to November. It sure seems like a good time to be hitting your stride. I have talked to a couple of players earlier this week and this is always the time of year we are trying to peak…We all get ready, we all prepare for the majors and that is something we are going to have to treat differently.”

Thomas on if tournaments go on without fans: “It will be bizarre. I don’t know how to describe it. I had one tournament in Japan this year I played with Rory [McIlory] and Xander [Schauffele], I think it was and we had no fans. It is so crazy. You find yourself sarcastically waving to the crowd and no one there. I can have a conversation with my dad walking fairway outside the ropes… For me it was hard to get focused and I feed off the crowd, off that energy and a lot of us do. It is definitely going to be an adjustment if that is the case. That being said, there is still going to be one winner at the end of every week.”

Chris Simms on Tom Brady’s interview with Howard Stern: “The things I found most interesting, the talk about [Bill] Belichick certainly I agree a lot with what he said. Do I give Belichick more credit than I do Brady? Yeah, I probably do. I don’t think Belichick is sitting here with six rings without Tom Brady either. Brady’s clutchness is to me is one of the greatest things we have seen in American sports over the last 20 years.”

Simms on how he sees Brady’s fit with Bruce Arians offense: “It is interesting. First off, I think it is a great pick by Tom Brady. Creative offense, there is a lot of talent on the football team. I think you would agree, Tampa is one of those teams we stared at the end of last regular season, no matter who was the quarterback to go they could be dangerous next year. Now of course, Brady brings them into a different discussion, a different stratosphere as far as that is concerned. Brady’s arm is top-notch. First off, Brady’s physical talent gets underrated…Brady’s talent and physical ability to throw the football is all-time special. His arm is special.”

Simms on why Joe Burrow is at the top of his quarterback draft list: “It is about the cleanest film you could ever see from a college quarterback. It is hard to find negatives for Joe Burrow…He really checked all the boxes, he reminds me of Peyton Manning. That is really the guy I look at where I go big underrated athlete and unbelievable accuracy and ability to process the field as a whole and make quick decisions are off the charts.”

Jarrett on Earnhardt Jr.’s win in the Pepsi 400 race in 2001 at Daytona: “I think the whole weekend was something that none of us knew exactly what was going to happen or how we were going to react…But this was a night that was for Dale Jr. Incredible that he could put all those emptions aside and go back to a place that had just taken his dad months earlier and put all that aside and go out and get the job done. It was only fitting that it finished like that.”

Kyle Petty on what Earnhardt Jr.’s win meant: “It was the moment for us in NASCAR, in this sport, where we could celebrate again. We could celebrate victories, we could celebrate the sport. Until that time, it had just been an emotional roller-coaster. So it was a very healing moment for our sport.”