Richard Eisen is an American television journalist for the NFL Network and CBS Sports and a TV/radio host for DirecTV and FOX Sports Radio.
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I am the host of "The Rich Eisen Show" on DirecTVs Audience Network (239), NFL Network's "NFL Gameday Morning." This is my official AMA, but, as always, the yellow line is unofficial.
Great times! Thank you all!
Can you do us all a favor and lock Phil Simms in the bathroom before the game? Thanks, bro!
Does he have all the game balls in a mesh bag with him at the time? Because we know what happened after the last time that happened.
And nobody wants that again.
You worked as a duo with Stuart Scott during your time at ESPN. Can you share a funny story or fond memory of your time working with him?
Here's my favorite Stuart Scott story. 1998 NBA All-Star Game in NYC. We do the Saturday night 11pm ET SportsCenter the night before the game and take a car in to the city afterwards, heading straight for an All-Star party at the old All-Star Cafe in Times Square, the one that was owned by Gretzky, Shaq etc...At any rate, we pull into Times Square around 145am and the party is just ending, scores of people streaming out into the street and I figured we would just then go to the hotel and turn in for the night. Stuart insists there has to be an afterparty, hops out of the car and asks the first cop he sees about. A police officer. And sure enough, that officer knew exactly where everyone was heading. Go figure. So, Stuart and I start walking there about 6 blocks and two avenues away and suddenly, with each passing block, I'm the only white guy around. And the free world is stopping Stuart each minute; he was like Elvis parting the Red Sea. Two blocks from the afterparty, one guy stops both and says: "Wow, Stuart Scott! You're my favorite!" Then he turns to me and says: "And, wow: The White Guy! I love you, White Guy!" Stuart practically fell over laughing. Will never forget it.
How great is Dan Patrick's hair in person?
It's real and it's spectacular.
Has the NFL ever made you cover something more than it should have been covered, IE Tebow or Tebow, also Tebow?
The NFL has never once told me what or who to cover more than what or who deserves to be covered. However, a higher authority speaks to me about Tebow.
Which "This is Sportscenter" commercial was your favorite to shoot?
Talked about this with SVP last week. It was the one with famed cut-man Lou Duva who "worked" on me in a commercial break from the SportsCenter set in a spot called "Cornerman"
Duva cursed so much during the taping that they truly could not find 5 continuous safe-for-work seconds to use in the spot, so they used a part and bleeped him out. It was not for affect.
Coolest NFL player you've met?
I mean like, you're grabbing a beer with one guy, who do you pick and why?
Grabbing a beer would have to be Favre, although I don't think he does that anymore much. He truly is like a Paul Bunyan-esque figure. He's one of my Rich Eisen Show guests on my Super Bowl Week shows next week from San Francisco, by the way.
The funniest guy in the NFL is, by far, Matt Hasselbeck who may just wind up being the last member of the 1998 Draft Class to play in the NFL, by the way. Especially since I believe Peyton, win or lose, will follow Charles Woodson into retirement.
What should I be eating and drinking for the Super Bowl? I need a professional's opinion, what's the insider take?
Nothing if you're driving.
But, if I had a choice, I go pizza and a big, fat booming Cabernet. Or microbrew.
Who runs a faster 40: you or Peyton Manning?
Please. I once cracked 20 MPH running my 40. Peyton barely cracked 17 MPH Sunday. And he was being chased by somebody.
What's your morning routine for Sunday morning games?
My call time for NFL GameDay Morning is usually around 4am. It's a brutal wakeup call. But I love it. Get in and go over notes and hang out with the guys pre-show. Nothing like the adrenaline of an NFL Sunday.
How elated are you that you don't work at ESPN anymore?
I miss it sometimes, but I'm very very happy with what I'm doing and who I'm doing it for and, especially, where I'm doing it.
Who was your most memorable interview at a super bowl?
Super Bowl 40. Mick Jagger. He broke down the Seahawks and Steelers like he worked on NFL Network. I offered to switch roles with him and sing up front for the Stones. And that's the end of that story.
You and Mike Mayock always make the combine so entertaining to watch. Do you plan to make a push for more commentary?
Also, when can we expect to see your 3-cone drill?
My philosophy on the Combine is to set up Mayock as much as possible to pull out as much information and opinion from him as possible. And then to poke him and rib him as much as possible without, you know, completely irritating him. My crowning achievement on that last front was when, to break up the monotony, he rapped out -- perfectly I might add -- the lyrics to Rapper's Delight off the top of his head. Good times.
And no 3-cones for me. I do best running in a straight line. Well, "best" should be in quotes.
Is Michael Irvin ok?
Most certainly ok.
Let me check.
Hi Rich! Big fan.
Who is your favorite athlete and/or favorite team outside of the NFL?
New York Yankees.
Big fan! How would you rate Ottawa's chances to make a second consecutive Grey Cup in 2016? #GoBlue
I give them a 5-star rating. That's the way it's done up North, right?
How high were you on this day? http://screengrabber.deadspin.com/nfl-network-pregame-show-is-totally-blazed-1749660854
The air was....pungent.
I mean, wow.
The moment wafted. And we then needed a snack break.
How much do you hate Ohio State?
It's pure and uncut.
Hey Rich, what do you think about all the moves my Eagles are making this offseason? Is there any hope for success in the near future or are we destined for never-ending mediocrity?
I have no earthly idea if they'll work out. That's part of the drama of the non-playing season and how it plays into the playing season. And don't despair. The Patriots were once the bastion of never-ending mediocrity and now their the 21st Century version of a sports franchise gold-standard. Nothing last forever! That said, get DeMarco Murray a freaking block-back, line him up in the I-formation and go to work.
Hey Rich, are you and Jim Mora doing your annual Oscars special again?
The man knows his movies.
And when he comes on and calls Mila Kunis "a fox", it's a tradition unlike any other.
Who are you rooting for? Also, what made you become a journalist?
I root for good games, always. Nothing beats an exciting game to get people engaged and, certainly for my daily radio/TV show, getting the phone lines lit.
And I always wanted to be a sportscaster or a late-night TV host. Growing up, Marv Albert, Howard Cosell and Johnny Carson were people I idolized. I tried doing standup comedy in college at Michigan and realized how incredibly tough it is. So, I tried meshing comedy with sportscasting and found myself incredibly fortunate to wind up on SportsCenter by age 26. And now I find myself so fortunate to have a talk show every day for DirecTV and Premiere Radio.
hey rich, If there was an espn movie, who would play you, DP, SS, SVP, etc?
Me: Dan Aykroyd (Trading Places era)
DP: David Leisure (look him up)
SS: Cuba Gooding, Jr.
SVP: Tim Robbins (shaved head)
Kilborn: Craig Kilborn (as himself)
Berman: John Goodman
Olbermann: Jeff Daniels (as written by Aaron Sorkin)
Go Blue! On a scale of 1 to Harbaugh, how excited are you for the next few years of Michigan football? You were great on Sportscenter the other night with SVP by the way!
I'm so pumped and fired up, it's ridiculous.
Rich, followed your career since you first started with ESPN and always appreciate the energy you bring each and every broadcast. When you and Stuart did the late SportsCenter broadcast was there ever any pranks played between each of you? You guys were the best.
We would "Big Show" one another. That would entail this: let's say there was 60 seconds left in a show, the producer would split up the remaining time with Stuart saying something for 30 seconds and then I say something for 20 seconds and then Stuart would say goodbye, leaving me to throw it to the next show.
Well, we began to mess with each other. Whoever started the segement would take up the entire 60 seconds and not let the other one talk, even having the other just sit there on camera wordlessly and saying goodbye for him on their behalf. So it would go something like, saying a score, giving one last headline and then saying "Baseball Tonight is next, stay tuned for that. That's it for SportsCenter...for Stuart Scott, Im Rich Eisen. Thanks for watching."
And when we started doing it to each other the other one knew it was coming and couldn't stop it. We called it "Big Show"ing.
Hey rich, you've always been my favorite football tv personality by far.
My question: I'm assuming you were a big football fan growing up, what team did you like and what were some of your favorite football moments as a kid?
The New York Jets were my team growing up.
And that means there were never any favorite football moments as a kid. They all ended with a mind-numbingly unforseen trap-door opening up at the very worst possible time.
Who do you got, Broncos or Panthers?
Right now, I find it difficult to see how the Panthers get beat in this game and how Peyton Manning can be protected well enough to get enough points on the board. But this is my 13th Super Bowl for NFL Network and I've seen many many unexpected results who I truly never say never when it comes to Super Bowls. That said, I like Carolina to win it.
Hi Rich - do you ever miss being able to call baseball/basketball/hockey highlights?
I most certainly do not. Although I wouldn't mind hosting one more SportsCenter one time soon, depending on the co-host.
Any chance you might get Tony Kornheiser as a guest or you on his show? The days of his internet show and the Bea Authur story was great.
I'd love Kornheiser on my show. It's been years since I was a guest on his. He's one of my all-time favorites to say the least. And the Bea Arthur story was my retelling of the great Jeffrey Ross' joke at the old Jerry Stiller Roast ragging on both Bea Arthur and Sandra Berhardt. I have no idea why some fans from the old TKShow attribute the joke to me.
Hi there! I don't know why all these fools are calling you Rich. You're clearly Reece Edjans of the Reece Edjans Podcast.
Seriously though, before I ask a question, I just wanted to say thank you. My family has been going through some pretty rough times over that past four months. My mom has been in critical care multiple times. You and the coconuts have unknowingly been helping me through all of this, and you'll never know how grateful I am that you all have been able to keep me entertained through this trying time. Thank you Rich.
Now then, for my question. You always strive to strike a balance between talking sports and entertainment, especially relative to the guests that you have on the show, as well as speaking on social issues that pop up between the two. Dating all the way back to the podcast, with the interview you did with Vince Gilligan, and your telling of what happened when Michael Sam was picked in the draft. It has continued with the Rich Eisen Show, quite admirably. How hard, or easy, has it been to strike that balance between these topics? And did you ever feel any pressure at any time to only focus on speaking about sports?
Thanks Rich. Have yourself a good one.
Wow. Thanks so much for saying this and truly hope everything goes as well for you and your family as you wish it to go.
That said, I truly feel that sports is part of a larger pop culture structure in our world and try to keep it all in perspective. That's why I like the daily show I have because it includes folks from all walks of life and their thoughts on sports as a popular part of our culture rather than just for sports-talk sake, if that makes sense. That's part of why I'm attempting to do more than just a regular, straight-up "sports talk" show and include various elements from the whole pop culture landscape, all under a sports umbrella. Glad you're enjoying it. Vince Gilligan is one of my favorite guests, by the way.
What's your go-to stop in Ann Arbor?
Rick's Cafe. Brown Jug. Mr. Spots. Dominick's on a beautiful day.
Hey Rich, love your show. Two questions.
Sometimes there are days in the NFL where the ever-changing news, and the absurdity of some sources almost makes you hope it never ends - like Chip's Free Agent Frenzy or the Owners Meeting this month. Did you ever have such days at work when you dreaded leaving, the news was so crazy to cover? What were they like?
You did play-by-play for tennis in 2014. If you had to commentate on a football game, who would you want as your partner(s) in the booth?
1) I love what I do and feel fortunate every day to do it. But the day Terrell Owens left the Eagles training camp facility and wound up doing shirtless situps on his front lawn, with us breaking into NFL Network programming to discuss it live did make me rethink life in general, not just as a professional broadcaster
2) I loved doing the US Open Late Night Show for CBS from 2003-05 (nominated twice for a show Sports Emmy, by the way) and I'd love to have McEnroe in the booth for a football game. I think Barkley should do that once too and then having him call a tennis match. Then put Collinsworth courtside to call a hoops game. I think fans would love having top analysts swap sports for a week and see how it flies.
Hypothetical situation: You go out for drinks with your NFL Network crew. Which of the crew:
1) Declines to attend?
2) Is the life of the party?
3) Is still out long after you've decided to call it a night?
Also, can you have The Worm and Mooch on your show again to talk/argue about the NYG/SF Wild Card game in 2003? As a Giants fan, that was cathartic.
1) Deion doesn't drink.
2) Deion is the life of every party.
3) And I have my suspicions....but can't confirm or deny anything.
Mooch's take on the day Ron Winter didn't call a penalty on the Giants game-losing botched FG to give him what turned out to be his last playoff win as SF coach is forever a classic. "Bummer"
Is Mike McCarthy's Pro Bowl "illness" more legitimate than Aaron Rodgers' "injury?"
I think it's born from the same outbreak. It's a VERY long season for most. I think you're going to see the Pro Bowl in Los Angeles more often than not once the new stadium is built. And that very long trip across the Pacific might cause some to have less "illnesses" and "injuries"
Hi Rich, big fan of your show!
Are you already in shape for the dash?
I'm always taking mental reps. And working on my core.