FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 4th, 2020

RORY MCILROY & DUSTIN JOHNSON ON COVID-19 RELIEF GOLF EVENT; PETER KING & FRANK REICH ON DON SHULA — QUOTES FROM TODAY’S EPISODES OF LUNCH TALK LIVE WITH MIKE TIRICO AND THE RICH EISEN SHOW ON NBCSN

“To be able to get together with the best golfers in the world and raise awareness and money for the front-line workers…I am honored that I can be a small part of it.” – Rory McIlroy on the TaylorMade Driving Relief event

“If you were to look at a legacy trait that Don Shula had, it was that the coaches on his staff, the players on his team always knew that the coach had their backs.” – Peter King on Don Shula

“One of my childhood idols growing up…To get a chance to play against him in that division (as a member of the Bills) was a real honor and I don’t forget those days.” – Frank Reich on Don Shula

 “That was the most intense thing that I’ve ever been through every day. Obviously, Michael (Jordan) was the best player…It was a bunch of egos…We were all just trying to prove we were the best at our position.” – Charles Barkley on Dream Team practices

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 4, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • PGA TOUR golfers Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, and Matthew Wolff, who announced this morning that they will participate in TaylorMade Driving Relief, centered around a $3 million charity skins match to support COVID-19 relief efforts and to be broadcast across NBC Sports platforms on Sunday, May 17
    • Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich
    • CBS Sports analyst & former Raiders executive Amy Trask

 

The Rich Eisen Show followed Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN, as host Rich Eisen was joined by:

    • Basketball Hall of Famer & TNT analyst Charles Barkley
    • NBC Sports NFL Insider Peter King
    • Actor Cedric the Entertainer
    • Long-time Miami sports radio host Hank Goldberg

 

Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Rory McIlroy on the TaylorMade Driving Relief event: “Personally, I jumped at the chance to do this. I think with everything that has happened the past few months, to be able to get together with the best golfers in the world and raise awareness and money for the front-line workers — doctors, nurses, and people that are fighting this virus every single day — I am honored that I can be a small part of it.”

McIlroy on planning out for the rest of the PGA TOUR season: “I’m very hopefully that the schedule the (PGA) TOUR put on will happen. Everyone that is working on it is very confident that we will get back on the golf course.”

McIlroy on bringing live sports back to fans on TV with upcoming golf events: “I think everyone in the world is starved for sport on TV…People want a little bit of escapism that isn’t the news and about the coronavirus. To be a part of that and bring something different to TV across the country is a good thing.”

McIlroy on the amount of golf he has been playing: “I’ve hit some balls last week, I think it was on Thursday. I played golf Friday and Saturday, so I played 36 holes over the weekend, which was really good to get back out there.”

McIlroy on coming back from a break from golf: “You don’t think you will be coming back from where you left off, but it’s obviously still in there and it’s what we do…Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised on how well I did over the weekend.”

Dustin Johnson on the TaylorMade Driving Relief event: “Any time you can do anything as small as playing a round of golf to raise some money for people who really need it and for COVID-19 relief, it’s really easy to do something like this.”

Johnson on being teammates with Rory McIlroy for the event: “We’ve played a lot of golf together…and think we will be a good team. I think we will have a tough match against (Rickie) Fowler and (Matthew) Wolff. They are two really good players.”

Johnson on plans for the rest of the PGA TOUR season: “I’m definitely looking forward to playing. Hopefully, if everything goes well and we can get on the other side of this virus, we can start the second week of June.”

Johnson on returning to form: “I hit balls a couple of weeks ago and was surprised on how well I hit it. For me, it’s the little things like chipping and putting, which takes a little bit longer to get your touch back.”

Rickie Fowler on Matthew Wolff, his teammate in the TaylorMade Driving Relief event: “We share a lot of similarities, both growing up in California and making our way to Oklahoma State…He’s an impressive ball striker, has plenty of speed and more there where he needs it or wants it.”

Fowler on facing McIlroy and Johnson: “I’m looking forward to it. They are both guys I spend a lot of time with…Matt and I are going into this as underdogs and ready to bring the upset.”

Fowler on the amount of golf he has been playing: “I’ve been down here in Jupiter, Florida, the whole time with a few courses opened the whole time. Obviously with some regulations, taking your own cart, pins staying in…Looking forward to this match to get the juices flowing and give us a taste of where we are at and what needs to be worked on for June.”

Matthew Wolff on having Rickie Fowler as a mentor: “It’s been really helpful and it all obviously started because I went to Oklahoma State. One of the first tournaments I played in, the best tip he gave me was conserve your energy because we are out there traveling so much. It’s nice to have a guy like Rickie, who has been out there for a while, look out for me and make sure I can do everything right.”

Wolff on facing Johnson and McIlroy: “First off, I’m really happy to be in this situation. Obviously, only being in college under a year ago, everything is going so quickly. I’m really excited and with Rory and D.J. being both No. 1’s, it can be intimidating.”

Wolff on the amount of golf he has been playing: “I’ve played a little bit of golf. It’s nice the courses I have been around have been open, but I have definitely taken some time off. Once everything starts back up, I think it’s going to be really hectic getting into events. It’s important to keep the game sharp and try to get back into it with that competitive nature and not have that rust.”

Frank Reich on the passing of Don Shula: “One of my childhood idols growing up…Don Shula coached with class, coached his players hard. There’s consistency, level-headedness and poise. To get a chance to play against him in that division (as a member of the Bills) was a real honor and I don’t forget those days. He’s truly one of the greats of all-time.”

Reich on selecting WR Michael Pittman Jr. and RB Jonathan Taylor in the Draft: “We were hoping that was best case scenario. We were just talking about the order and loved them both. Obviously, you have to prioritize, so we picked Michael (Pittman Jr.) first. They are two explosive players we can put behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.”

Reich on the Colts producing behind the scenes videos of their NFL Draft process: “We have embraced it and are adapting with the times. It’s giving our fans an inside look. Obviously, we aren’t exposing our secrets, but we can pull the curtain back. We trust our in-house people and they have done such a good job with it. It’s been fun.”

Reich on signing QB Philip Rivers: “It was a unique opportunity. You have a chance to get a guy who I believe will be a future Hall of Fame quarterback. I think what he does in the next couple of years here will contribute to that.”

Reich on Colts backup QB Jacoby Brissett: “The message to Jacoby (Brissett) is easy…‘Get ready, you will play an instrumental part of our success.’…We get an elite quarterback in Philip Rivers and a winning quarterback in Jacoby Brissett, who can save two or three games in the path we want to go.”

Amy Trask on NFL contingency plans regarding the schedule: “They are going to plan for every contingency. No one knows what’s going to happen and the timeline in which they will happen. Planning for multiple contingencies makes total sense…I’m confident that not only the league office, but the teams, will be working on this collaboratively.”

Trask on the Raiders moving to Las Vegas: “It’s going to be a paradigm shift for the team. As you went to a team in Oakland, that stadium was filled with 90-95 percent with Raiders fans. While there will be a lot of Raiders fans in Las Vegas, there also will be a lot of fans of the visiting team.”

Trask on working for Al Davis: “It was an opportunity of a lifetime. The biggest misconception of Al (Davis) is that he wouldn’t tolerate anyone that disagreed with him. If that was the case, I would have been fired two weeks into my job. I think I disagreed with him more than I agreed with him..”

Trask on the passing of Don Shula: “The moment I met Don (Shula) and had discussions with him in league meetings, he never treated me in the manner that was different than my male colleagues…For that, I was better at job because of my relationship and interactions with Don.”

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Charles Barkley on watching himself in “The Last Dance”: “It brings back great memories, especially looking at the Dream Team stuff. That was just so awesome reliving the Dream Team.”

Barkley on Dream Team practices: “We had so many great players, everybody had a bunch of great moments…That was the most intense thing that I’ve ever been through every day. Obviously, Michael (Jordan) was the best player…It was a bunch of egos. It was awesome, but we were all just trying to prove we were the best at our position. That’s what made it so intense. It wasn’t just one great practice, it was like that every single day.”

Barkley on Isiah Thomas being left off the Dream Team: “Isiah Thomas probably should have been on the team, but I can honestly tell you, it never came up in conversations with Rod Thorn or Chuck Daly. I have no idea why he was left off the team. Michael (Jordan) never mentioned that he did not want Isiah on the team, and I can say I have no honest answer why Isiah Thomas was not on the team.”

Barkley on Michael Jordan’s impact: “He’s the greatest basketball player ever, but what his biggest influence was is guys are making all of this money away from basketball…Athletes didn’t even do commercials before Michael Jordan…What he did for the shoe business and the apparel business, that’s probably his greatest contribution to sports.”

Peter King on the passing of Don Shula: “One of the things about Shula that I really appreciated is how he empowered the people wo worked for him. If you were to look at a legacy trait that Don Shula had, it was that the coaches on his staff, the players on his team always knew that the coach had their backs. I think he empowered people…to do their job to the best of their abilities.”

King on Shula: “The difference between Shula and so many coaches who were in his league was Don Shula really knew honor was something that was really important to him…Every experience I had with him was so incredibly solid and memorable for the thought that he would always do the right thing, he’d always say the right thing.”

King on the 2020 NFL schedule release: “The two big factors that you should be looking for, I think, are the ability for the NFL to easily pivot in the event that something goes wrong…(And) for one part of the schedule to maybe be portable.”

King on Mitchell Trubisky’s future with the Bears: “I would say that this is probably his last year there. It’s not too late for Mitchell Trubisky to reclaim the long-term starting quarterback job with the Bears, but now there just isn’t the kind of support for him that there always was.”

King on the Cowboys signing Andy Dalton: “I thought it was brilliant…They have bought the best insurance police. Andy Dalton will play this year as the best backup quarterback in the NFL and he might have to be more than that.”

Hank Goldberg on Don Shula: “He was a very demanding coach, but his players still loved him…He knew everything that was going on with that team. Everything that was going on in that locker room, he was on top of…That was him. He just was always prepared, and he always did things the right way.”

Goldberg on Shula: “People who coached against him say he was a difficult guy to coach against because he took every game separately. He was adaptable. I thought one of the more amazing things about him was he threw the ball only seven times in one of the Super Bowls with (Bob) Griese…But then (Dan) Marino came along and he changed his whole philosophy. He really was the forerunner of today’s offenses.”

Cedric the Entertainer, a Missouri native, on his fandom: “The Bulls are my team…It was the best team to go and watch and Chicago was an exciting city for St. Louisans to get to.”

Cedric the Entertainer on going to Bulls games in the Jordan era: “They could pull this kind of energy anywhere in the country. Wherever he showed up, it would be the craziest night in town…I liken it to the old Mike Tyson fights. It was the best of the best, everybody is going to come.”

–NBC SPORTS–