For the first-time in the short history of this podcast (celebrating nine months!) the number of authors on our guest-list nearly eclipsed the number of football-related guests. And, yes, I’m counting Rex Ryan as an author.
The man best known for what comes out of his mouth wrote a book called “Play Like You Mean It” and the Jets head coach has been making serious media rounds to promote it. From NFL Total Access to David Letterman (four shows after yours truly appeared on the “Late Show”), Rex has been all over the media map to talk about his book and he shoe-horned this here podcast into his busy schedule.
Rex and I chat about some of the best stories in his book (did you know he elicited the Commissioner’s help to build trust with Santonio Holmes last training camp?) as well as whether he thinks all of his free agent wide receivers – Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith — could possibly return in 2011. Plus, we get a health update on his dad, Buddy.
After Rex, we dial up another best-selling author. Actor Rob Lowe returns to the podcast for a second consecutive week to talk some more about his tome “Stories I Only Tell My Friends.” In this second chat with Rob, we dig deeper into his filmography and upbringing: “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “About Last Night,” “West Wing,” growing up with Martin and Charlie Sheen and hanging, if you will, with Demi Moore. Hey now. It’s all in there, including Rob’s thoughts on Charlie Sheen’s, shall we say, eschewing of the one thing that Rob credits with saving his life: rehab. Good stuff, all.
But before we get into our book nook, we revisit the NFL draft with the man who had the biggest scoop of draft weekend: insider Michael Lombardi, who was the first to report on the Patriots drafting of Ryan Mallett several minutes before the Patriots actually drafted Mallett. We delve into Mallett’s future with New England, as well as the pro readiness of every single one of the quarterbacks drafted within the first three rounds. When might we see Andy Dalton under center? Jake Locker? Christian Ponder? Colin Kaepernick? Blaine Gabbert? We also discuss the first-round intrigue surrounding the botched (or purposefully sabotaged?) draft deal between the Ravens and Bears.
The podcast wraps up with the Hot Topics segment with NFL Network Grand Dame Kara Henderson and future Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk, who may just be the best Hot Topics pairing in the post-Worm history of the podcast. In the wide-ranging chat, we all get something off our chest (which leads to Kara wanting to rename the segment) and Marshall makes a big announcement – his choice of musical entertainment for his and Deion Sanders‘ joint post-induction party in Canton this summer. It’s a big name.
If I may, most of you will be interested in hearing what I get off my chest since it involves what is, judging by my Twitter inbox, the biggest pet peeve of any draft viewer: the tipping of picks. With 25 kids invited to Radio City Music Hall this season and the proliferation of Skype cameras and satellite trucks in the homes of prospects who don’t go to New York City, the picks are being revealed on television well before the Commissioner makes the announcement. In effect, the Commissioner is just confirming what most of us already know: the guy on TV crying on the cellphone is about to get picked by the coach on the other end of the line.
I hate it, too. So, I make a suggestion that I think will fix the problem. Listen for it. And, as always, let me know your thoughts either by posting a message here or on my Twitter page: @richeisen. Even people agree with me and perhaps, together, we can make a difference, people.
Enjoy the show. A stand-alone podcast with the best of the best NFL draft experts and now NFL Network Thursday Night Football analyst Mike Mayock will be released Friday, May 6.