Thanks everyone. I was blown away by your questions and now I gotta run to host Thursday Night Football. If I didn't get to your question, I just ran out of time, don't worry we're planning another so watch my Twitter @RichEisen for my next #AMA

The Rich Eisen Podcast. How did you not know I had a podcast?

Punters Are People Too. All the NFL punters and cool kids are doing it.

I've tweeted my verification (@RichEisen)

Comments: 616 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

wilson_quarters158 karma

Has Canton requested your cleats from any of your 40s at the combines yet?

RichEisen400 karma

They have not. But I don't let that get me down. I'm going to keep on keeping on until I break that 6 second barrier in a perfectly tailored Amir Fashions suit, tie and pocket square. And once I do, I dare Canton to keep me out. Nay, I double-dare them.

uhhhhmmmm160 karma

You're a cool dude, Rich Eisen.

RichEisen697 karma

Without knowing you personally and what you stand for, I accept this with all humility. But, if you're some sort of miscreant, I will forever disavow this exchange.

AllRushMixtape150 karma

Did you really just say "Kids love The Reddit." on the radio?

RichEisen292 karma

I did. And they don't?

[deleted]158 karma

Not as much as the enjoy logging into the MyFace

RichEisen258 karma

That is one of my all-time favorite Belichick comments. Period.

AllRushMixtape44 karma

They do. It was just "the reddit" that caught my attention. It reminds me of how my grandmother talks about going to The Walmart.

Joking aside, things have obviously gone quite well for you since you left ESPN, but how hard was it to make that move?

RichEisen286 karma

I know Reddit doesn't have a "the" in front of it. It was my way of inoculating me for any undeserved grief Dan might of thrown my way for coming on here. I know for SURE that Dan hasn't heard of Reddit. But, now that's changed.

As far as leaving ESPN, it was quite a difficult move, but one that was sort-of made easier for me by management at the time. The SportsCenter I was doing in 2003 was far different from the SportsCenter I loved doing in the mid-to-late 90s. Technology had a lot to do with that, actually. When I first started doing SportsCenter, there were no hand-held devices or widely-viewed websites on which you could already see a final score, let alone watch a streamed, full highlight of how the final score came about. SportsCenter, in the 90s, was essentially the main way for you to find out what happened and see how it happened. That was all changing, from a bottom-line ticker to an explosion of talk-radio and internet sites. So, SportsCenter went from being a show that required a smartly-worded on-camera lead-in to an extended narrative-driven highlight to an information-laden full-screen scorepanel graphic to a show with fewer lead-ins and shorter highlights but far more analysis from analysts who were encouraged to give hard-edged points of view, sometimes in the extreme. It reduced the role of SportsCenter anchor, in my mind, to being more of a traffic cop and occasionally, the role of mediator in a sports-version of Crossfire. I wasn't interested in doing that much. So I wanted to do fewer SportsCenters and more of things within the ESPN and Disney toybox. That wasn't made available to me as much as I would have liked. So I said 'no' enough times that ESPN and I said 'adios' to one another. I haven't looked back since. I love what I do and with whom I do it. Every single day. Greatest experience ever.

jdi_nit91 karma

Rich, I think you just very eloquently described why I don't watch sportscenter anymore. Back in 90's I would watch 3 hours of it in mornings knowing they were replaying what I had already seen but I loved the show and the Anchors. I remember having discussions with friends in the late 90's as to who had the best lines. Sportscenter was so big then.

I just have 2 quick questions if it's not too late: What was your personal favorite line that you had, and what was the best line out of anyone in your opinion?

RichEisen229 karma

My favorite line involved the Bowe/Golota fight, when Bowe won because of the number of low blows Golota delivered. Days later, Golota's people held a press conference accusing Bowe of faking being hurt by the low-blows and, as proof, had someone wear the same jockstrap cup that Bowe had worn during the fight and then had someone bash that poor cup-wearing schnook right on the cup with a baseball bat. The schnook didn't flinch and, thus, Golota's people thought they had proved Bowe was faking. It was one of the most absurd stories I'd ever seen. So, I did the on-camera lead-in about it and said: "That's boxing in a nutshell." Boom. Thank you, I'll be here all week. As far as best line out of anyone, Dan and Keith had some all-timers, but my favorite was from Kenny Mayne doing an Australian Open tennis highlight of Mary Pierce. Pierce was wearing a particularly low-cut shirt and as she was seen on a highlight bending over to serve, Kenny says: "Mary Pierce down a set, although she doesn't appear to be so here". Now THAT right there, is a winner.

mofroe20 karma

might of

You are going to get so much shit for this

RichEisen61 karma


hebleb28 karma

just a grammar error...might have

RichEisen101 karma


orangehatguy119 karma

What is your opinion about how ESPN allegedly pushes its talent to talk about certain topics (Tebow) as much as possible, even if it's not relevant to the discussion? Did similar things happen behind the scenes while you were at ESPN?

RichEisen212 karma

When I was at ESPN, I was never once told to talk about something. During our SportsCenter ideas meetings, we would discuss what we thought was a hot button topic or the huge sporting event of the day. Never once did a producer come into the room and say that we were mandated to talk about a certain topic or player. For real.

uhhhhmmmm81 karma

I miss SportsCenter. When I was a kid I would watch it 2 - 4 times pretty much every morning, ignoring the fact that it was essentially the same thing over and over again. It was like sitting down with people who you kind of felt were your friends and watching the highlights for games and they would watch them too and just have fun. It seems like now the fun is gone. The highlights are largely gone and in their place is the drama and controversial stories of whatever is going on. It's essentially become any other ESPN show, but done in a more "respectable" fashion. I sadly don't watch it very much anymore.

HarkonnenThug89 karma

Keith Olberman and Dan Patrick were fucking amazing.

RichEisen188 karma

Stuart may hate me for saying this, but they were the best tandem at SportsCenter...ever.

molonlabe8842 karma

Please! explain that fascination with Tebow

RichEisen275 karma

I think it's a Skip Bayless thing. Which is not my thing.

RichEisen139 karma

It was a Spinal Tap-like interview. It went to 11. But, I love that sort of stuff. I live for it. On live TV no less.

NapoleonBonerparts86 karma

Steve Weatherford should have been Superbowl MVP. True statement or truest statement?

RichEisen146 karma

I can not speak to the veracity of the statement you've just made except to say that I believe that punters are not only people, but they're weapons and if you think they're most valuable well, then, you're right. Let's band together and help people see the truth about punters.

ParkHarbor5256 karma

As a collegiate Punter, I thank you for this. Keep spreading the good word.

RichEisen118 karma

Punters at all levels deserve our respect. You are people!!!!

splitsand79 karma


First off I'm a huge fan (I signed up for reddit just for this.) and would really appreciate if you could answer my question.

I'm a 20 year old student who is majoring in RTV and trying to get into the field (hopefully sports). What did you do in the beginning of your career to separate yourself from the competition? And what did you do to help train and develop your voice?

I appreciate it!!!

Thanks, Chad

ps. Go dolphins haha

RichEisen155 karma

The first thing I'd say (and I'm actually saying it so I don't know why I'd give that cavaet before responding. Call it a crutch) is that you must stay true to who you are. Every single successful person I've met in this industry is exactly who they are off-the-air as you've come to know them on the air: Chris Berman, Stuart Scott, Deion Sanders. They are all genuine articles who are NOT putting on an act. That's who they are. So, just trust your abilities and let it fly. That will separate you. True story. And never EVER take 'No' for an answer. I've had doors slammed in my face (once quite literally) and wouldn't let it get me down for longer than a few moments. Keep on keeping on. In this day and age with blogs, podcasts, internet channels, there are many more ways to find your niche, hone your craft and distribute your work than ever before. Good luck!

IndianaCostanza343 karma

So Berman really is that passionate about Applebee's 2 for $20 menu?

RichEisen328 karma

Yes. I mean, who isn't?

adamd2864 karma

Hey Rich, huge fan.

Who is the most fun to do a broadcast with, either from your podcast, NFLN, or your days at ESPN?

RichEisen138 karma

At ESPN, obviously Stuart Scott was the one with whom I had the best rapport. We came from completely different sides of the pop culture spectrum and it was a fantastic mix. I thoroughly enjoyed doing SportsCenter with him and Dan Patrick, Keith Olbermann, Mike Tirico, Linda Cohn. Fond memories. As far as NFLN is concerned, I'm blessed to work with some of the best players from our generation as well as great personalities. Deion is one-of-a-kind. I'd go through the wall for him. Marshall Faulk is the Rainman of football. He views the game like no other. He can look at a formation and tell most of the time if an interception is coming, like telling me the number of toothpicks that just fell on the ground. It's a blessing. My podcast is a pure joy to do. I'm proud to say it just passed the 7 million download milestone after just 27 months.

twifofi220 karma

Faulk: "Quick Kurt audible out of this one! "

Warner: "Marshall we're retired and sitting on a soundstage"

Faulk: "My bad"

RichEisen149 karma

Wait a minute. Do you have a mic on our set? How did you know that they had that very verbatim exchange just last week?

Immynimmy59 karma

Have you ever pulled any muscles when you run your annual 40 yard dash? Do you think you would do better if you weren't in a suit?

EDIT: For those wondering

RichEisen145 karma

Actually, I pulled a hamstring running the 40 at the Combine four years ago. Mike Mayock said it looked like I had gotten shot by a "sniper in the Dome". I was trying so hard to break my personal best that year, that I foolishly attempted the 40 THREE times and, on the third time, boom. There went the hammy. It was the last year I ran the 40 in my actual lace-up dress shoes. Since then, the good folks of Under Armour have been kind to provide me with the latest and greatest in running shoes. I figured that, while fun, I wasn't going to pop an Achilles doing this insanity. But, I'll never not wear a suit and tie doing this. My greatest fear is that, one day, this 40-yard dash endeavor will jump the shark. I think the one way to assure that it does is to actually put on a running outfit and do it. Instead, I run the 40 the only way I know how -- slow.

molonlabe8855 karma

Minus the waking up at 330, what is the absolute worst part about your job.

RichEisen153 karma

Zero. No complaints. It's a privilege to do this. Seriously. I'm blown away that anyone wants to do an AMA with me.

formidable_opponent15 karma

I would fly out of bed at 3:30 if it meant I was able to be on the NFLN! I'm not even a serious football fan but I love this AMA, you seem to be a very humble and intelligent person. You have yourself a fan good sir. Keep up the good work.

RichEisen15 karma

Thanks very much. Become a serious football fan. Life becomes more fun that way.

Blangadanger50 karma

Rich, is there any way you can get Gillian Jacobs to do commentary on an NFL game in the future? Obviously you couldn't replace the awesomeness that is Mike Mayock on Thursday nights, but it'd be funny to listen to Gillian during one of the replays questioning all the rules and terminology like she did on your podcast. It was refreshing to view the game from a very funny person who barely knew what was going on. You guys cracked me up during the podcast.

RichEisen125 karma

Gillian was one of my favorite interviews of the season. She truly didn't know very much about the NFL, but was more than eager and willing to learn. And her concept of referring to "downs" as "chances" actually makes sense and would help explain the game better to those who don't know it. That said, I think making folks understand that punters are people too is an easier endeavor than affecting the change Gillian is proposing. She's the best. My podcast can be Britta-ed anytime.

tludsy50 karma

What's the worst thing that's happened while you were on air?

RichEisen160 karma

When I was at my first job on local TV in Redding California, the entire sportscast crashed on me -- video, graphics, teleprompter, everything. It was my "Boom Goes the Dynamite" moment where I felt I had to reference how bad everything was going. So, I looked directly into the television camera and said "I'm broiling in my own sweat" -- which I actually was. If you can't have fun with something like that you're in the wrong business.

MrDNL50 karma

Hi, I'm about 15 minutes or so late to the AMA. Can I still get a fruit cup?

RichEisen127 karma

Sorry. It's been a long-established rule. Those who are late do NOT get fruit cup. I know. I'm so strict.

_Thrillhouse_48 karma

Funniest athlete you ever met?

RichEisen134 karma

Chad Johnson is one of the funniest for sure. He once told me that if he ever made it to the Super Bowl, he would show up to the media day wearing only a towel. When he said it to me back in 2005, I think he thought the circumstances would be making the Super Bowl with the Bengals and Marvin Lewis. That's because when he finally made it last year with the Patriots, there was no towel to be seen. I don't think Belichick would have gone for that. At any rate, Chad has a great sense of humor. But number one for me is Deion. That man could go joke for joke with Chris Rock. As for current players, it's Matt Hasselbeck. He is laugh-out-loud funny and has a future in TV the moment he wants it. I'm rooting for him to stay on the winning path in Tennessee first, though.

ScottyF31138 karma

Do Punters put on their pants one leg at a time, just like me?

RichEisen101 karma

Are you a person? If so, then yes.

Immynimmy37 karma

As of today, what are your current superbowl predictions?

RichEisen88 karma

Going into the season I had the Patriots vs. the 49ers and, despite the obvious malaise that currently ails the Patriots and 49ers, I'm not coming off that prediction just yet. But if I was given a mulligan right now, I'd go with the Texans and Giants. That said, I'm not ready for a Super Bowl Breakfast Ball just yet.

eggfriedrice37 karma

What are your thoughts on the international series going forward?

RichEisen76 karma

I think sending a 2nd game there next year as the league is doing is a great thing. Everything I hear from the UK is overwhelmingly positive. If an NFL team wants to give up a domestic home game to play one abroad, I'm fine with that. I still need to be convinced that a franchise can be based there but, for the time being, I'm jealous of Marshall Faulk that he's over there this week. I'd love to see the scene at Wembley in person and hope that, for one of the two International Series games in the UK next year, that we can do NFL GameDay Morning from outside Wembley and then go inside to see the proceedings. It would be a career highlight for me.

JayK102626 karma

Thanks so much for doing this Rich. Big fan of the podcast and your work on NFLN. I hope my comment doesn't get boat raced by all the others, but here is my question:

What has been the biggest contributing factor(s) to or to what/whom do you owe your success in entertainment & broadcasting to?

RichEisen42 karma

There's so many people who have helped me along the way, from colleagues, like KRCR-TV's Mike Mangas -- my first sports director who no doubt helped save my job many a time -- to Keith Olbermann, who helped (with many tough-love-type scenarios) guide me in the early SportsCenter years in becoming more of a less-is-more type of broadcaster. Then there's folks who I idolized growing up, like Marv Albert and Howard Cosell and a WPIX-TV sportscaster named Jerry Gerard, who was doing SportsCenter-type broadcasts years before ESPN existed. But, mainly, it's my parents who supported me in my college and low-wage post-college endeavors. They never asked me if I was doing the right thing or if I should try something else. They always supported me to help get me started. And then, while at ESPN, I met my wife, (and also a fellow broadcaster) Suzy Shuster, who helped me hone what I was doing and how I presented it in a way that's helped me take things to, what I hope all will agree, is a new level.

laydowndead23 karma

Have you begun training for the 2013 combine 40 yard dash?

RichEisen98 karma

Yes. I'm working on my core with a quality regimen of pilates and yoga-lates and venti mocha-lattes. By the time, I get to Indy I should have enough powerhouse strength and caffeine to get me past that elusive 6-second barrier.

d-nj22 karma

Biggest bust this year: Terrell Owens or the replacement refs?

RichEisen87 karma

Replacement refs. By far. Terrell Owens didn't affect a team's win/loss record or cost several coaches several tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

sarabeck8 karma

Not a question, just wanted to say I love, love, love when you're on the DP show. You two are hilarious together!!

RichEisen21 karma

Thanks. DP and I go back a very long way -- to 1996, when I first started on SportsCenter and he would, essentially, haze me every night. I would do the 2AM late LATE night SportsCenter, for which a lot of the highlight tapes would come from the 11pm ET show that Dan did with Keith. So when those tapes came back from the control room, I would immediately start looking at them to prepare. Frequently, as I was looking at them, I would feel this presence hanging over me. Frequently, it was Dan just back up from the studio after the 11PM show was over, staring at me saying, in his sotto voce: " nervous?" Classic. Sixteen years later, we have a similar relationship. But now I could give him some crap right back.

emmababemma36 karma

Who is starting on your fantasy football team this week?

RichEisen16 karma

Ben at QB, Lesean/Turner at RB, Julio/VJax at WR, Graham at TE if healthy and Miller if Graham can't go, Decker at flex, Arizona D and Young GZ at Kicker. That's one league in which I'm 3-4. Another league in which I'm leading at 5-2, it's Brees at QB, Turner/Mendenhall at RB and Turner/Dwyer if Mendenhall can't go, Jordy/VJax at WR, Gronk at TE, Vernon at Flex, Chicago D and Barth at K