Friday, May 22nd, 2020


“I think everybody gave up on us, but it was a team of destiny…Game 6 was just another part of who we really were that year.” – Darryl Strawberry on Game 6 of 1986 World Series

“It was honestly probably the most intense and focused part of my career.” – Simon Pagenaud on his final pass to win the 2019 Indianapolis 500

“I didn’t see any drop-off physically. You’re 38, turning 39, so maybe you hit the wall at some point, but I haven’t seen it.” – Colts head coach Frank Reich on Philip Rivers

“[The field is] the best it’s ever been — maybe the best it ever will be — and so I think guys are excited to get back out and play.” – GOLF Channel analyst Justin Leonard on the Charles Schwab Challenge

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 22, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • Former MLB right fielder Darryl Strawberry
    • 2019 Indianapolis 500 Winner Simon Pagenaud
    • NBC Sports writer Tim Layden
    • GOLF Channel analyst & 12-time PGA TOUR winner Justin Leonard
    • Men in Blazers’ Roger Bennett


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

    • Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich
    • USC head football coach Clay Helton
    • Former NFL long snapper and United States Army Green Beret Nate Boyer
    • Actor Terry Crews, host of NBC’s America Got Talent


Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Darryl Strawberry on Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, which will air tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN: “I think everybody gave up on us, but it was a team of destiny. We never gave up on ourselves that year. I think that’s what made us so special…Game 6 was just another part of who we really were that year.”

Strawberry on the Bill Buckner play: “Everybody always wants to blame Bill Buckner for the mistake…All they had to do was get one out, but our guys never quit.”

Strawberry on his post-playing career: “I’m a minister now…I also work with people who struggle with addiction…I’m in recovery for a very long time and I try to help so many young people aware of not making bad choices, bad decisions.”

Simon Pagenaud on his final pass to win the 2019 Indy 500: “I’m a very studious driver, so I study a lot of the past races. I study a lot of the moves…This scenario, I actually thought about it. In the moment, I never thought about winning at that time…I was just in my strategy in the moment without thinking about anything else. It was honestly probably the most intense and focused part of my career.”

Pagenaud on the pressure of the Indy 500: “People deal with pressure like that differently…I was in my element, I had a great team around me. I knew what we could do.”

Pagenaud on staying sharp for upcoming season: “I’ve never been as ready as I am now…I’m someone that always thinks forward, and I’m always trying to be positive. This is a bad situation (which) I’m trying to turn into a good one by putting a routine together. Training everyday with my trainer on FaceTime, and being able to do three hours every morning, then respond to interview requests at lunchtime, then simulator in the afternoon.”

Justin Leonard on competing against Tiger Woods and Golf Films’ Tiger Slam, premiering this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on GOLF Channel: “In the locker room, we were all looking at each other going, ‘What are we going to do against this guy?’ We literally had no chance…I’ve seen the Tiger Slam, I watched it this week. It’s fascinating. The relationship between he and (swing instructor) Butch Harmon. There’s a couple of great stories with his caddie at the time, Steve Williams. Really, it’s must watch TV.”

Leonard on participating in the 1999 Ryder Cup (encore this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN) and the U.S. team’s comeback victory: “Seeing Ben Crenshaw pointing his finger…It was one of those things where we thought, ‘Okay he’s lost it’…and then when we got their pairings that day for the Sunday singles, we felt like we had a really distinctive advantage…We need to get momentum on our side and we’ve got a great chance to do that…All of a sudden there was a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.”

Leonard on golfers returning to play on the PGA TOUR: “I think the guys will be in pretty good shape…I think you have to understand that the players that live in Europe that play the PGA TOUR may not be willing to come over because of the quarantine…But for the guys that live in the U.S., if the PGA TOUR said, ‘Hey guys, we’re going to have these tournaments but you have to wear a hazmat suit lined with barbed wire,’ I think they would still play.

Leonard on the first tournament back, the Charles Schwab Challenge: “Look at the field for the Charles Schwab Challenge. It’s the best it’s ever been — maybe the best it ever will be — and so I think guys are excited to get back out and play. Not only for themselves, but for the game of golf and to give people at home something to watch.”

Tim Layden on the future of sports: “I think that we all know that the next four, six, eight months of sports are going to look quite a bit different than what we’re used to in terms of empty crowds and just a different complete feel to the sound and the experience of sports, and I think we’ve all accepted that.”

Layden on the Triple Crown schedule: “I think we all have to accept that this is not the Belmont with a capital B that we’re used to, but at the same time, it’s still a big race at Belmont Park…It’s almost a prep race for the (Kentucky) Derby at this point, not the culmination of what we think of as the Triple Crown.”

Layden on sports journalism post-Coronavirus: “I think we’re seeing the end of the open locker room…I think you’re going to see open locker rooms closed…You’re going to see just a little more distanced relationship between the sports media and athletes and coaches.”

Roger Bennett on last weekend’s return of the Bundesliga in Germany: “When Dortmund opened the scoring with just a lustrous team move and the ball smacked into the back of the net, I felt those feelings of the 70 days (without live soccer) I had not felt of being connected to a joyous, human…conversation that was taking place globally in that moment. That’s what live sports is. That moment of human connection. We will have that again.”

Bennett on the return of the Premier League: “I do believe that by the end of June, football will be back with Rebecca Lowe in our loving arms.”

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Frank Reich on the Colts’ training plans: “We are still following league protocol…Coaches, players, not a lot are in the facility. We are being productive…It may not be the same, but we are getting as much out of it as we possibly can.”

Reich on new Colts QB Philip Rivers: “When I looked at his (Philip Rivers) film from ’18 and ’19 — I was with him for ’13, ’14, and ’15 — I didn’t see any drop-off physically. You’re 38, turning 39, so maybe you hit the wall at some point, but I haven’t seen it.”

Reich on the team adapting to Rivers’ play-calling cadence: “After 16 years of calling cadence, I’m not about to change the way he’s calling his cadence. We’ll adapt to his style of cadence. That’s common when you get a new starting quarterback. The guys are picking it up well and it has been fun.”

Reich on the last time he spoke to Andrew Luck: “I talk to him a fair amount. We keep in regular contact…They (Luck and wife Nicole Pechanec) got married in Prague, but when you come back to the states, part of the legal proceedings to be legally married is having an ordain minister to sign the document. I was honored he would ask and (Colts GM) Chris Ballard signed as a witness. All four of us made it official in my office.”

Reich on the proposed rule change to have a fourth-and-15 play replace onside kicks: “I think it will be interesting and I am open-minded about it. If and when we need it, I would think with our offense, that it could be an advantage for us relatively speaking.”

Clay Helton on plans surrounding the 2020 college football season: “I think we are really optimistic for having a 2020 football season. I don’t know what the start date will be, or the structure is, but the NCAA leadership and conference commissioner from each conference is working diligently to put together a…different structure. I think we will have a lot more clarity in six weeks.”

Helton on how he is interacting with his team during the pandemic: “I have three children by birth and 110 adopted sons that are scattered from Connecticut all the way to Hawaii. So, one is their health and safety, and then keeping them in a routine and keeping their minds engaged on football.”

Helton on evaluating positions over video: “It’s really hard until we get back together. Right now, you are looking at the mental part of the game. Our position coaches are doing a tremendous job of being able to grow their (players’) minds and keep kids in physical and nutritional shape. Our university has been great supplying or kids with additional meals and nutrition packets in order for them to maintain their calorie intake.”

Helton on QB J.T. Daniels, who entered the transfer portal this spring: “J.T. and I talk every week. I’m working with his family as he goes through the process. J.T. is such a great kid and great player. He came to us in the spring and said he wanted to evaluate all his options for 2020. USC is one of those options and that door is being left open for him. It’s a personal decision and he needs to make the best decision for himself…J.T. will always be welcome at USC.”

Nate Boyer on Memorial Day: “It is a tough time and it can be a somber weekend. We are obviously memorializing those that fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice. A lot of us in the veteran community served alongside those people — they were our brothers and sisters not only in arms, but literally became our brothers and sisters.”

Boyer on what civilians can say to veterans on Memorial Day: “You can say thank you in various ways and show that you are there to listen. It’s not just supposed to be a downer day, it’s a celebration and holiday for a reason. Nothing wrong being decked out in the red, white and blue, but just understand why we are doing it.”

Terry Crews, a former NFL player, on if he has watched his old games on TV during the quarantine: “That has not happened. That’s the internet though, they always have old clips of me. On TV, it doesn’t get played that often.”

Crews on what he learned from “The Last Dance” documentary: “I already learned this stuff while playing in the NFL. One thing I learned is what is successful in sports isn’t necessary successful in life. A lot of times, it leads to things to get rid of — the whole competition aspect, grudges, fights, etc. I’m glad I am out of that. It reminded me of a lot of pettiness that I needed to get out of my life.”

Crews’ on Michael Jordan still holding grudges: “You have to know, I love Michael Jordan for what he is and everything about him. When you look at the thing with him and Isiah Thomas and him and Horace Grant…Just go out, have a lemonade and relax…You just want people to be at peace with each other because life is short.”

Crews on being cut from the San Diego Chargers in 1993: “I was told once a week by my coach that they would bring me back and they never did. The next year, they went all the way to the Super Bowl and kept telling me they were going to bring me back. I was crushed, trying to pay my own way to stay in town.”