Thursday, April 9th, 2020


 “If we didn’t know it already, I think we’ve gotten a real checkpoint here of how vital sports is in our society in this country.Jim Nantz on sports void

“It’s conceivable for me, as long as we’re in that early July window, we can get ready for the start of the season…There’s the potential that we could start as late as October and still get our 12-game schedule in.” – Brian Kelly on college football’s potential timeline

“Being a defensive player, I didn’t even learn defense until maybe my second week of rookie minicamp. They taught me offensive terminology…The way they think, it’s just different over there.” – Chandler Jones on the Patriots

Tomorrow’s Lunch Talk Live Guests Include Former Panthers Linebacker Luke Kuechly, NBC Sunday Night Football Sideline Reporter Michele Tafoya and Football Night in America Analyst Tony Dungy

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 9, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • CBS Sports play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz
    • Notre Dame Football head coach Brian Kelly
    • Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones
    • NHL on NBC analysts Keith Jones and Eddie Olczyk
    • Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams


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, Tirico will be joined by former Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, NBC Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, Football Night in America analyst Tony Dungy, GOLF Channel on NBC’s Dan Hicks and Paul Azinger, and NBC Premier League analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe.

Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Jim Nantz on the void of sports right now: “I think if we didn’t know it already, I think we’ve gotten a real checkpoint here of how vital sports is in our society in this country…We have so many sports that we avidly follow here as a culture and for it all to be taken away from you at one time, it’s been jarring.”

Nantz on the state of the world: “I do believe that we’re going to get through this. We’re going to have a recheck of things in our lives and a greater appreciation for the little things and how fragile it can be and how fast it can be taken away from you. I will never look at the world the same.”

Nantz on missing The Masters this week: “It is pure poetry at times. The music, the visuals, the drama, the history, the heritage, the champions off the first tee to get us started on Thursday morning…I mean it is, if not the ultimate stage in sport, I’m not sure there’s any arena really that can bring all of those sensory overloads I mentioned before together and to try to make it all work in the tapestry of the broadcast. I miss that challenge.”

Jim Nantz on speaking with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods about their Masters victories: “You know how golfers can always remember and cite how they play a certain hole from 15 years ago? Well it’s been 16 years since Phil won the ‘04 Masters and the minute detail he gets in to, I mean it’s brilliant…When you start to hear the sensory overload that these guys have and Tiger talking about the wind conditions that were not visible with the eye (at last year’s Masters)…what he was seeing in the bushes and the trees and all of this stuff that he was picking up on and putting into his databank…it’s fascinating.”

Brian Kelly on a potential college football timeline: “As we get longer into the summer, you’ll start to see where this may have to start to push the start of the season back. I think it’s conceivable for me, as long as we’re in that early July window, we can get ready for the start of the season for where it is right now. Anything that pushes later into July and into August, we’re going to have to make some adjustments…There’s the potential that we could start as late as October and still get our 12-game schedule in without bye weeks and moving a little bit later into December because we don’t play a conference championship.”

Kelly on the importance of fans attending games: “I think it’s part of college football. I think fans and the collegiate atmosphere and students are part of college football so I think they come back together…Eventually this is going to have to be everybody’s involved or nobody’s involved…It’s about student-athletes. This is about bringing our university back as well.”

Kelly on working with NFL teams ahead of the draft: “We’re getting more information out to the scouts than we ever have in the past. We’re getting information to them like GPS numbers, what’s their work volume like. Things that they couldn’t get when they were normally able to work them out…They’re asking for different information. A lot more science-based information.”

Chandler Jones on his time in New England: “One thing I admire about them is they teach you so much, they teach you about the little things and doing your job. Being a defensive player, I didn’t even learn defense until maybe my second week of rookie minicamp. They taught me offensive terminology, how the offense worked. Just the way they think, it’s just different over there.”

Jones on what he learned from the Patriots: “I still prepare the same exact way and I realize that a lot of coaches and a lot of coordinators, they do come up to me and ask, ‘What did you guys do over there?’ or ‘How were things run over there?’ Because it’s a lot of success and what Bill (Belichick) did over there, they created a dynasty…and he has a formula that works.”

Jones on the Cardinals trading for DeAndre Hopkins: “Our offense should be, and will be, explosive. I’ve watched his highlights since the day we traded for him…I’m going to have a front row seat to the Kyler Murray and D-Hop show every Sunday.”

Jones on being named to the NFL’s All-Decade team: “That was great news. My name being up there with all those other names. That’s what stuck out to me the most. Von Miller, Khalil Mack, Tom Brady. Some of those names are the icons of the sport, the face of the NFL.”

Charean Williams on Dallas’ draft plans: “They’ve got to address that defense, especially in the secondary at the cornerback position having lost Byron Jones, and then trying to get some pass rushers…It’s got to be defense, defense, defense for this football team.”

Williams on new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy: “I think he’s changed being out football for a year…If you’re going to see a difference in this team, I think it’s going to be from the coaching standpoint. They’re just going to be better prepared and better in-game adjustments than what they had the past few years.”

Eddie Olczyk on how the 1994-95 lockout compares to the current NHL hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic: “Not being able to go to work and play certainly was hurtful. This is a way different animal here, this is not just something in our hockey world, this is much bigger and much more important.”

Keith Jones: “There was a certain level of excitement that came with the return of hockey that year (in 1995) because we thought we might miss an entire season. I do think there will be a similar feeling, although I think a much greater one.”

Jones on NHL playoffs: “Under these circumstances, I think it’s reasonable to jump in and start the playoffs. I think there would an understanding amongst everybody, including teams that were on the bubble, that with the uncertainty of everything that went on here, just having the playoffs back would be an unbelievably great thing. Best-of-seven series, ideally that’s what we want.”

Jones on how effectively players will be able to get back into shape: “It’s a level playing field. It’s the same for every team, so no one is getting an advantage. And we’re probably going to see the healthiest teams ever entering the playoffs, which is going to make for some very intriguing moments when the playoffs roll around.”

Olczyk on how the Kentucky Derby being postponed until September 5 affects the current horse racing landscape: “This is really uncharted territory…You may like a horse today like Tiz the Law or the three (Bob) Baffert horses, but what are these horses going to be and look like in four or five months? That’s the great unknown.”