FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

ALLYSON FELIX ON THE 2020 OLYMPICS; MICHAEL WILBON ON MICHAEL JORDAN & THE DREAM TEAM — QUOTES FROM TODAY’S EPISODES OF LUNCH TALK LIVE WITH MIKE TIRICO AND THE RICH EISEN SHOW ON NBCSN

“You work so hard for this moment. Everything is planned out and timed out so perfectly that right away, I think that emotion that it wasn’t going to happen was a bit overwhelming.” – Allyson Felix on postponement of  2020 Olympics

“This was like summer camp for them. I don’t think they really knew they were having the impact on basketball globally, that they were going to be the greatest marketing push maybe any sport has ever seen.” – Michael Wilbon on 1992 Dream Team

 “The biggest thing that is going to help me is the experience of having to know your entire roster.” – Joe Judge on the benefits of having a background coaching special teams

“When you look at a solution that’s fully quarantined…We have the advantage of being newer and more agile.” – Paul Rabil on announcing the PLL Championship Series

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 6, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • New York Giants head coach Joe Judge
    • Six-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter Allyson Felix
    • Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Tyler Johnson
    • Premier Lacrosse League co-founder Paul Rabil
    • NBC Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya

 

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

    • Co-host of ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption Michael Wilbon
    • Actor Dennis Quaid

 

Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Joe Judge on what Bill Belichick shared with him about what makes the Giants organization special: “You could tell there was a different feeling talking about the Giants for him [Belichick] than conversations we have had about other teams…He was very complimentary of the fan base, the passion of the city.”

Judge on the how his background as a special teams coach may help in the transition to becoming a head coach: “The biggest thing that is going to help me is the experience of having to know your entire roster. Not only know how to use them for their strengths on a game-by-game basis, but just really knowing your roster personally and how they tick and how they beat as a team.”

Judge on trying to get to know the team during the pandemic: “I think we are trying to make everything as normal as we can and not worry about reacting to everything around us…The one thing we can’t have is we walk into training camp in July or August and we start looking around and start introducing ourselves to each other. We can’t have that…The more interaction we can promote the better it will be for us as a team.”

Judge, a Philadelphia native, on what he thought of the Giants growing up: “I grew in Philadelphia so obviously there was more of a rivalry feeling…But as you get older in this business, you start rooting more for people than places.”

Allyson Felix on her reaction to the postponement of the 2020 Olympics: “Kind of devastated, really. You work so hard for this moment. Everything is planned out and timed out so perfectly that right away, I think that emotion that it wasn’t going to happen was a bit overwhelming.”

Felix on attempting to qualify for her fifth Olympic Games: “I am still super excited about this push for the fifth team…I am still building to be my best when it comes time for Olympic Trials…The goals are still there. I still got to work hard and work through all of this.”

Felix on becoming a mother and being an Olympian: “It just makes this push for the last one extremely special.”

Tyler Johnson on the Lightning and rebounding from last year’s first-round playoff exit: “I think at the start of the season, everyone kind of had the chip on their shoulder that was kind of weighing them down and it took a little bit for us to get that confidence back in a way.”

Johnson on if the NHL will return this season: “Hopefully we can figure out something that is going to be safe for everyone, is going to be at the right time and manner for everyone, and hopefully we can compete.”

Johnson on how much time players would need to get back to game shape: “We have talked about it as the NHLPA, and we have kind of thought it would take us about three to four weeks of trying to get back to skating shape to be able to compete and play.”

Johnson on staying in shape at home during the pandemic: “I have been running and rollerblading — which I don’t remember the last time I’ve done that.”

Johnson on staying busy while social distancing: “I am actually studying, doing the Series 65 test to become an investment advisor. I just thought with the time, I might as well.”

Paul Rabil on announcing the PLL Championship Series: “When you look at a solution that’s fully quarantined — and that means take over an entire campus — we have 154 players and then between ops, medical personnel, production and talent, that takes us to still under 300 total. So, I think that’s where the challenge is right now with the NBA, NHL and a few other groups…We have the advantage of being newer and more agile.”

Rabil on working with the White House’s Sports Committee Task Force: “They were encouraging…They were giving us guidelines around timing.”

Rabil on the PLL’s headquarters being located in Los Angeles: “We wanted to be where the game is developing and that is on the west coast to the Midwest.”

Michele Tafoya on tomorrow’s NFL schedule release: “How this season is going to pan out, who knows? But at least we will have a schedule to sink our teeth into and hope and dream.”

Tafoya on Frank Gore joining the Jets: “To be that durable and that low maintenance in terms of the attention that he needs is truly remarkable. He is just kind of a quiet warrior.”

Tafoya on Marshawn Lynch discussing a return to Seattle: “His presence in the building, you just feel it. He is one of those guys that you just know when he is around, and he is sort of bigger than life in that way…It would not surprise me in the least if he winds up in Seattle next year.”

Tafoya on Daniel Jones stepping up as a leader after Eli Manning’s retirement: “It is funny what addition by subtraction can do and it takes shape in many forms…Now it is no longer a question of is Eli going to come back in and save the team? There is none of that anymore. Daniel, it is your team.”

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Michael Wilbon on the possibility of keeping the Bulls team together following the 1997-98 season: “I think there was (a chance)…The reasoning behind why Michael (Jordan) wanted to (continue to) play — how many times did he say, ‘We should do this until somebody beats us’?…It’s always (about) money, there was so much money to go around…It was evident that it was going to take some enormous rerouting of the thinking and planning to bring them back for a seventh time.”

Wilbon on Isiah Thomas being left off the Dream Team in 1992: “This is not a pleasant thing for him…What I know is bothersome (to him) is that people looking at it now probably take away that he wasn’t worthy. Yes, he was…The narrative that (Michael) Jordan waved his hand and said, ‘This isn’t going to happen,’ is also inaccurate.”

Wilbon on the Dream Team: “This was like summer camp for them. I don’t think they really knew they were having the impact on basketball globally, that they were going to be the greatest marketing push maybe any sport has ever seen.”

Wilbon on the significance of The Last Dance: “The real power in the documentary is seeing a guy who was the most famous person in the world sit and talk about the ins and outs of why the things happened.”

Dennis Quaid on his 1979 film, “Breaking Away,” centered around cycling: “The movie had such charm…Such a great heart-of-America, Americana story that still holds up today.”

Quaid on a his recent conversation with L.A. Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, including the talks around the start of the 2020 MLB season: “He is a Hall of Fame guy as a person and a shoe-in into the Hall of Fame…Everybody (around the MLB) still wants to think that (a season will take place), they are training that way.” 

–NBC SPORTS–