FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

CAL RIPKEN JR. ON MLB SEASON; AL MICHAELS ON SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE — QUOTES FROM TODAY’S LUNCH TALK LIVE WITH MIKE TIRICO AND THE RICH EISEN SHOW ON NBCSN

“All those things can be worked around because the real competition starts when you are facing the pitcher on the mound.”Cal Ripken Jr. on a potential MLB season without a traditional clubhouse due to social distancing

“I’ve had the chance to tour it on a couple of occasions, and I think it’s going to blow away every stadium probably in the world.” – Al Michaels on SoFi Stadium in L.A.

 “It was bizarre…We had to write our numbers on our own basketballs so that nobody touched them besides us.” – Larry Nance Jr. on returning to the Cavaliers’ practice facility to train

“I just had this kind of motivation to go out and prove a lot of people wrong. Just kind of a chip on my shoulder to go out and prove to everyone.” – Christian Pulisic to Rebecca Lowe on his Oct. 2019 hat trick vs. Burnley (full interview debuts this Thursday on NBC Sports Digital channels)

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 12, 2020 – Rebecca Lowe hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • Two-time Olympic Gold medalist and the winningest slalom skier in World Cup history Mikaela Shiffrin
    • NBC Sunday Night Football play-by-play announcer Al Michaels
    • Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr.
    • NBC Sports Premier League play-by-play announcer Arlo White
    • NBC Sports motorsports commentator Kyle Petty

 

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

    • Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.
    • All Elite Wrestling’s Chris Jericho
    • Comedian/actor Nick Swardson from Netflix’s “The Wrong Missy”

 

Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Al Michaels on the Sunday Night Football early-season schedule: “When you look at the schedule — and let’s hope that we’re able to kick it off in September…it’s a great way to begin and it’s certainly West Coast-oriented, but that’s where the power lies right now in the National Football League.”

Michaels on the opening of the Rams’ SoFi Stadium on SNF in Week 1: “I’ve had the chance to tour it on a couple of occasions, and I think it’s going to blow away every stadium probably in the world…This is going to be the top-of-the-line with everything.”

Michaels on ‘wow’ moments walking into a new stadium: “I would say most recently what Jerry Jones did in Texas (with AT&T Stadium)…We did the opening game there back in 2009 and it was just breathtaking…Jerry was very instrumental in getting (Rams owner) Stan (Kroenke) approved to move to Los Angeles…and I think that Stan Kroenke has taken a lot of things from Jerry.”

Michaels on Las Vegas embracing the Raiders: “Vegas has a lot of transplants from all over the country and they will embrace this team. The Raiders are a brand and the Raiders will do extremely well.”

Michaels on who he would like to see a “The Last Dance” style documentary about in the NFL: “Tom Brady obviously comes to mind. Maybe you would’ve done it with Peyton Manning, but those guys wouldn’t have allowed the access that Michael (Jordan) did…I’m not sure there is another guy at that level.”

Mikaela Shiffrin on the end of the skiing season due to the pandemic: “I was in Sweden when the U.S. got hit harder. It was actually the night before I was supposed to do my first comeback race after spending a big chunk of time at home during the season after my dad passed away. We basically got the word at 8 p.m. at night that the races were all canceled.”

Shiffrin on the passing of her father: “I enjoy talking about my dad with pretty much anybody. The more I talk about it, the more I feel like people are thinking about him and remembering him…One of the most amazing things that I ever experienced in my life was how many people reached out to us in February when they heard the news…He touched a lot of people’s lives.”

Shiffrin on her father’s memory pushing her skiing career: “I’d like to say that this will be something that I could use as strength, but I think there’s going to be moments where everything is a little bit harder because of it too.”

Shiffrin on Kindness Wins: “I’m partnering up with Kindness Wins foundation…Essentially (tennis player) Madison Keys started this foundation and I am joining her as one of the Founding Champions of Kindness Wins. The mission is honestly pretty simple — it’s to spread the message of kindness in really any way that we can.”

Larry Nance Jr. on returning to the team practice facility last week: “It was bizarre…There was our security guard standing there and he would check your temperature…We got to do a 45-minute lift, all while staying six feet away from each other, and disinfecting the weights after each time we touched them. After that, we had to write our numbers on our own basketballs so that nobody touched them besides us.”          

Nance Jr. on his Chelsea fandom: “I became a Chelsea fan originally via the 2010 World Cup. My favorite team being Cameroon and I loved Samuel Eto’o. I fell in love with the game at that point…I’m a Blue through and through.”

Nance Jr. on his Premier League morning routine: “The first hope is that I don’t have a game…If I don’t have a game…I turn the TV on and have my scarf wrapped around me…It’s something that I wouldn’t miss for the world. Saturdays and Sundays, I look forward to them just because of that.”

Nance Jr. on his foundation, Athletes vs. Crohn’s: “When I was 16 years old, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease…For me, when I got to the highest level of sport and had a platform that I could potentially help others with, I really wanted to jump on that opportunity and do something with it.”

Arlo White on the return of sports in the UK: “Professional sports, in theory, could start again on June 1st with the proviso that the infection rate remains stable and that all sport happens behind closed doors.”

White on the possibility of the Premier League’s return: “I know there’s a thirst for it at both government level and obviously the Premier League itself. There is a lot of money riding on this…The government are keen for the morale boost that a return of top-flight soccer would bring to people…There is definitely an appetite for football.”

White on Premier League players training: “Obviously the players are not in group at the moment, a lot of training individually. Practicing social distancing at the training grounds. There is a thought that May 18th, next Monday, is the date that they will return to full training.”

White on relegation: “The main stumbling block appears to be the relegation issue…The initial plan was they were going to play at neutral grounds. The bottom six clubs at the moment are against that because they see that as a competitive disadvantage even if the games are played behind closed doors.”

White on Chelsea and USMNT player Christian Pulisic: “It was a tough baptism in the Premier League…(Chelsea manager Frank Lampard) knows how much pressure is on Christian Pulisic to perform as the leading American soccer player in the world at the moment…I expect great things from him.”

Christian Pulisic to Rebecca Lowe, in an interview that will air in full on Thursday on NBC Sports Digital channels, on his injury: “I’d say I’m fully recovered. I’m ready to go as soon as we get back.”

Pulisic on his hat trick vs. Burnley earlier this season: “I just had this kind of motivation to go out and prove a lot of people wrong. Just kind of a chip on my shoulder to go out and prove to everyone and I think once that first goal came, my confidence just kind of shot through the roof and everything just kind of fell into place.”

Kyle Petty on NASCAR’s return at Darlington: “It would be different if it were Daytona, it would be different if it were Talladega, but Darlington is one of our toughest race tracks…These guys are going to play with no practice, so it’s going to be incredibly hard for these guys just to jump in cold turkey.”

Petty on if the lack of practice will impact the race: “I would like to think not. Once they drop the green flag, once the race starts going, the game itself — the race on the race track — I don’t think we’re going to see a huge difference…If we focus on what the drivers are doing, once we get through the first little bit, I think it’s going to settle in to a pretty good, pretty typical NASCAR race.”

Petty on having four races in 11 days: “It’s something that we have not experienced in this sport since the early or mid-1960’s…It’s going to be that balance between experience and youth that will get you through these 11 days.”

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Cal Ripken Jr. on a socially distanced MLB season without a traditional clubhouse: “All those things can be worked around because the real competition starts when you are facing the pitcher on the mound, and you get in situations and try to win a game.”

Ripken Jr. on team-building without clubhouse interactions due to social distancing: “I don’t know what clubhouse camaraderie is. To me, chemistry and camaraderie are built out there on the field. It is built on your successes out there in the eighth inning, executing a bunt play, holding a guy on, throwing a guy out stealing, preserving a win with a double play. I think all those confidences are made mostly out on the field.”

Ripken Jr. on watching “The Last Dance” and Michael Jordan’s leadership style: “The emotions (basketball) pulled out of me just playing high-level pick-up games and those sorts of things is a different sort of competitive fever…I am learning and listening.”

Ripken Jr. on his leadership style: “I think the most powerful form of leadership is by example.”

Chris Jericho on wrestling being deemed an essential business in Florida: “We are providing entertainment throughout this lockdown.”

Jericho on wrestling without fans: “We have placed some of our staff ringside…So, if you are doing 10-12 people around, 30 people all included, it makes some noise. When I first started wrestling, I wrestled to a lot less than 30 so it does give you some ambiance.”

Jericho on All Elite Wrestling’s success: “We are doing things completely different from everybody else, any other wrestling company, in that we are letting the guys basically — not call their own shots — but let the professionals be professional and be creative…We have a very passionate owner in Tony Khan, and Shahid (Khan) as well has been very supportive.”

Jericho on why he continues to wrestle: “Every level is different than the last and the one thing about a true pro, even to this day, is you always want to get to the next level. You always want to do more, and I think that is one of the reasons I am still here is I still have that passion and that fire to continue to create and continue to succeed.”

Jericho on real-life emotions fueling sports rivalries: “I think there is always that little bit of animosity that drives you to become better and if you have a case like Jericho and Triple H. Our matches were always great because there was a little bit of real-life animosity between us.”

Nick Swardson, an avid Vikings, on the Packers drafting QB Jordan Love: “That, to me, was phenomenal…Just to me, that there was upset in the Green Bay universe and confusion and anger, that just brought me so much joy.”

Swardson on the actor who is the best athlete: “Honestly, (Adam) Sandler is so deceivingly good… In terms of just athletic ability, Sandler’s basketball skills are really shocking.”

–NBC SPORTS–