Divisional Podcast: Matt Hasselbeck, Troy Polamalu, Al Michaels and Adam Carolla

The most-watched Wild Card games in the history of NBC and FOX television set off an earth-shattering kaboom in the NFL last weekend.

Literally so on NBC in Seattle, where, apparently, the 12th Man’s reaction to Marshawn Lynch‘s 67-yard punking of the entire Saints defense registered a reading on a seismograph based near Qwest Field. Of course, we needed first-hand confirmation of this, so we called the man who handed the ball to Lynch and also handed the defending world champs their lunch –- Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Matthew (as his mom wishes him to be called) is one of the quickest-witted athletes I’ve ever met and he was as much on his game during our conversation as he was last weekend. He previewed Seattle’s matchup with the Bears and also set the record straight on the Seahawks’ record. It’s quite entertaining.

After that, NFL Network information man Michael Lombardi joined us to set the table for all four divisional games on tap for this upcoming weekend, perhaps the best weekend in all of sports. Who does Michael think has the edge in the matchups set for Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Chicago and New England? And what does the loss to the Jets mean for the future of the Colts and Peyton Manning?

The man who called that scintillating Jets-Colts game on NBC joined us next. With the fifth season of Sunday Night Football on NBC now in the books, five-time Emmy Award winner Al Michaels phoned in for a de facto 2010 season exit interview. Can anyone beat the Patriots in the AFC? Are the Packers for real in the NFC? Might the Seahawks shock the world again? Why in the world are TV ratings for the NFL going through the roof? Michaels gave his thoughts on all those subjects and also delivered a crucial piece of advice for all up-and-coming play-by-play broadcasters.

But, we had to get off the phone with Michaels earlier than we wanted because Troy Polamalu called in on line two. We asked the soft-spoken, hard-hitting safety how in the world he can be, well, so soft-spoken and so hard-hitting all in one sound mind and body.

The answer from the man who personifies the Pittsburgh defense will intrigue you. Same goes for when I brought up the league’s new toothier policy on hard hits, mostly in the secondary. And mostly involving Pittsburgh Steelers. I must be honest: I think I’ve arranged for a Polamalu-Goodell summit. Troy also let us in on his charitable works, notably Twitchange.com — an organization utilizing celebrities to help make dreams come true for returning and fighting veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. He says he can use all our help. We’re all in.

Finally, one of the funniest men in all of podcasting (and TV and radio and best-selling books) called into the podcast –- Adam Carolla. We completed home-and-home appearances for our podcasts (I appeared on his a couple months back) and I wish I could recount in just one neat sentence (or even a paragraph) the topics we discussed.

All I can say is I made him NFL Commissioner For A Day and he ran with it. For some reason, the name Adrienne Barbeau came into play. So did the notion of adding an extra upright to the goal posts on an NFL field, which would change the dynamics of the game we love forever … for the better.

It was a seismic event in and of itself. Enjoy the podcast everyone. Paul Rudd already booked for next week. Good times.

Download: Rich Eisen Divisional Podcast: Matt Hasselbeck, Troy Polamalu, Al Michaels and Adam Carolla


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