tv Unguarded With Rachel Nichols CNN November 15, 2013 10:30pm-11:01pm PST
tonight on "unguarded with rachel nichols." uninhibit. hall of famer john elway reveals peyton manning's quirky side and the upside of being a boss. >> there is anything about your job now that you like better than when you were playing? >> the fact they don't get hit. >> unafraid. >> there was a bone sticking out of your leg. >> near months after that gut-wrenching broken leg. guard kevin ware of louisville is back. unguarded. kevin ware's coach, rick pitino, shows a side you've never seen. >> he said i learned humility too late in life. i wish i had that at a younger age. >> i was just in my own world between the lines, and nothing else mattered or existed. and that's a very unhumble way
to act. >> welcome to "unguarded" what's the most gruesome thing you've ever seen? for many the answer came during march madness last spring when louisville's kevin ware injured his leg so badly the bone popped through his skin. yet as shocking as that moment was, it was ware's recovery that's been just as remarkable. inspiring his team to win the ncaa championship along the way. this week i sat down with ware and his colorful coach, rick pitino. >> we are sitting here less than eight months after what a lot of people think is the most gruesome injury in sports in the last 30 years, nearly. i mean, there was a bone sticking out of your leg. and we're going to do our viewers a service and not show it right now. i understand that neither one of
you has actually seen replays. >> i saw it happen one time and that was enough. i told him not to watch it, it serves no purpose at all. >> honestly i'm strong mentally because i haven't seen the video. i kind of feel like i'll start doubting myself if i was to watch the video. i wouldn't want to jump on the leg and land on it. i kind of feel like that's just backtracking. >> are you kidding me? >> so you played an exhibition game already, your first time out. you hit a three-point shot. the crowd goes crazy. i think there was half a dozen standing ovations for you during that game. take us through the emotions of that night. >> actually i didn't even know i was playing. it was just one of those things where coach called my name and kind of like the ghost of basketball jumped out of my body when i got off the bench. i honestly felt my first shot would be an air ball so i could get it out of the way but it was total opposite. >> right wing three got it!
>> when that shot went, in i kind of feel like all the jitters and all that wept away right there. so it was a great feeling. >> you didn't tell him? >> i didn't. i knew i'd play him in the exhibition game because it wouldn't matter to him whether a shot goes in or not. >> how are you feeling, kevin? >> good, thank you. >> he's healed a lot quicker than we have thought. he's worked very hard at it. in the first practice he was crashing into people. i was kind of blown away by it. because he was just trying to dunk on people, going into people. >> my boy back duncan. >> and i was very surprised at that. he's had great courage from the time he had the injury all the way until now he's shown great courage with everything. >> what have you learned about him through this period? >> before the injury i had respect for kevin. he's always been a good person. but after the injury, i had much more respect for him. because he showed great courage under the influence of unbelievable adversity. i mean, there he is, his leg is hanging out of his skin, and immediately he just thought of the team.
he got to the hospital, and kevin doesn't know this, but he's just out of anesthesia like 15 minutes. and i say, kevin, i shook him, woke him up. he said first thing out, did we win? that's kind of an amazing thing when you think about it first words. >> not am i okay. >> no. >> did we win. >> he's got a little ways to go. you don't expect to see him in an actual game for a week or two? >> it's all based on practice. he's mentally a lot tougher young man than most. and i just want him to feel very sure of himself, very confident in himself. and he probably thinks he is. but he'll know it. >> kevin! >> you've had so many people invested in you and your recovery. even now, what's it like for you when you go out to a restaurant to just grab a quick bite to eat? >> i usually try not to go out a lot. if i go out it's like to mcdonald's or eating at the dorm. because the attention is always
there. >> even now. >> i'm not rick pitino but just going out. >> who is, really? >> thank god. >> people want to take pictures and wanting to sign autographs. it's a nonstop thing. >> you've had famous faces attending to you as well. >> yeah. guys like kobe bryant and michelle obama reaching out showing you they're supporting you. that was really big to me. >> you and kobe bryant made a bet, i hear. >> i won. bet was basically whoever came back first, the other person had to come to their game. so i got to get in touch with kobe because kobe hasn't come to a game. >> do you think kobe is going to pay him off? >> i think he'll honor his bet. he's a pretty stand up guy. >> sounds like kobe's traveling to kentucky sometime soon. coming up on "unguarded" nfl hall of famer john elway sits down to reveal what peyton manning is really like. and just what made rick pitino say this? >> i was just in my own world
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pop in the drum of any machine... ♪ ...to wash any size load. it dissolves in any temperature, even cold. tide pods. pop in. stand out. i'm rachel nichols, welcome back to "unguarded." we've been talking to louisville's kevin ware and his coach rick pitino who wrote a book "living life as if you were on a one-day contract." that's ironic considering the biggest complaint among college coaches is that players are able to leave for the nba after just one year of school. i pressed pitino on the one and done issue and more.
>> the one and done guys, they're really not getting a college education. the flip side of that, it's a very good point, that the kentucky coach makes is that today, freshman and sophomores and juniors are all paying attention much more to their academics to get eligible to go to college. so they're much better in high school. if you let them go back to let them go out of high school, every mediocre freshman in the country will think he's going pro, won't even pay attention to their studies. >> one of other big themes in your book is humility. you said "i learned humility too late in life. i wish i had that at a younger age." when i heard you say that, i imagined people in new york and boston and lexington all saying ha. what's been the reaction? >> i was in my own world between the lines and nothing else mattered or existed. and that's a very unhumble way to act.
there are so many people that need your attention, it's not about you. and back then it was just total between the lines all out. and you weren't paying attention to anything else. i never thought i was a better basketball coach than anybody, but i was just tuned into myself too much. and i learned it too late in life, but better late than never. >> and now i did see also that you almost quit coaching two years ago. >> i did. >> that's part of what spurred you to write your book. >> it did. >> when you were recruiting him by the way. did you know that? >> i didn't know that. >> i needed motivation desperately. i was getting close to 60. i said i've got to renew our brand as a team, renew myself. three years ago if someone of our plays had a problem and they did something wrong, that's it. we're going elsewhere. and the world's not that way. and my own failings i realize that, that we all need help. >> listen to the umps.
>> i tell them the name on the front if you take care of that, the name on the back gets taken care of as if it's your shadow walking into success. >> has that been effective for you? >> oh, definitely. it makes you play even harder. especially how he pushes us. you've got to give your best. that's how we look at it every day. [ cheers ] >> it's going to be a lot of fun watching those guys defend their title this season. and watching ware completing his truly amazing recovery. and now i want to bring in our panel, former new york giants great current radio host amani toomer. agents and inspiration for the movie "jerry mcguire" lee steinberg and jeffrey wright, "boardwalk empire" "hunger games "franchise. we are trying to bring in a broader range of perspectives to talk about sports. and let's start off with pop warner. they reported that in the past
two years they have seen a 10% drop in enrollment. and the medical director said they think that it's because of all the reporting and awareness about concussions. do you guys think this bodes for a larger trend in the sport of football? >> if mothers start fearing this, you will start to see players back away from football. because their moms will tell them you can't do this. and it will -- the socioeconomics of football will change. >> united states will win the world cup. >> i didn't even know what i a concussion was. i got knock out one game and i told the coach, coach i got a concussion. he says can you go in on third down? and this was in 2001. so now i think the football is going to be different from now until forever. they're never going to have the same type of problems that they had in the past because they know what it is. and they know how to treat it. >> i beg to differ. the players are so much bigger, stronger and faster now that the g force that's occurring between
the lines is much much stronger. >> there's also another point, though, that there's something about danger within a game that adds to the heroicism of the plays who do it well. >> i want to switch from a different part of the head from the brain to the beard. pitcher brian wilson, the effervescent bearded guy. the yankees said no facial hair and he said i'm not cutting it. >> you know what people want from the new york yankees? they want them to win. >> it's too competitive of an industry to have these weird rules that don't mean anything and don't help them win games. >> if they continue losing to the boston red sox every year, i think they might reconsider. >> look at the top. the guys who wouldn't world series this year had beards. maybe they might want to start rethinking how they do that. >> interesting stuff.
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welcome back to "unguarded" i'm rachel nichols. we're going to pick up with my panel, nfl great amani toomer, and you saw jonathan martin come to the nfl headquarters today to discuss the bullying he said he suffered against richey incognito. the most damaging, the racist language he used toward martin. let me get your quick take on incognito. is this a bad guy being exposed as a bad guy or a nfl player being brought up into the
forefront as an example? >> first i don't know why we're only focused on this racial remark he made. sure it's bad. but the other things were equally bad. i think that it's really a function of character at the end of the day. >> i don't know that we have a really clear view of the situation yet. i think there are more facts to come out. i've never seen anything close to this. if you would take the way that males talk to each other in locker rooms, in fraternities, in all sorts of places, they sort of would not stand up really well if you put them on a screen and magnified them and let the public talk. they're in a private locker room. >> i think he's a bad guy. the nfl needs to take a look at when you're taking on players like this with a $10 billion industry, you got to think twice. >> this debate goes beyond incog knee toe. it's transcended across sports this week. this week clippers matt barnes was fined $25,000 by the nba in part for using the n word in a
tweet talking about his own teammates. now, barnes is black. and this issue has charles barkley, among others, up in arms. >> i'm a black man. i use the n word. i'm going to continue to use the n word with my black friends with my white friends. what i do with my black friends is not up to white america to dictate to me what's appropriate and inappropriate. >> what do you guys think? >> i i think when you start using that type of language around people that aren't your friends, it kind of gives them license to start using that word. and that's a very divisive word and has a lot of -- it's a very loaded word. and i try not to use it at all. because i just don't want any of my friends or anybody to make the mistake that they could use that word towards me. >> i happen to think that charles makes an interesting
point about not being so hypersensitive as people of color to the perceptions of white people about who we are. >> we have a really wonderful test tube going on with real white, black, hispanic, asian people. these are real people. >> in the nfl. in the locker room in the nba. >> who shower together. it's actually an experiment in how people can get along. >> but if the yankees can limit players from growing beards, then conceivably an organization can limit the language that players use as well. but it's a very complex racial dialogue. >> but who gets to decide? >> no one gets to decide. it's subjective. >> the person who's offended. you have to look at the offended group. >> did you use it in the locker room? >> i tried not to use anytime locker room as much as i possibly could. i just felt like you don't want to confuse things. the locker room is already like leigh said it's already an area
where everybody has a common goal. it's a pretty cohesive most of the time place. so why would you even bring that in to agitate an already calm situation? and i just think that it confuses people, and it confuses some of the white players. >> absolutely. >> and i just feel like it just need to be out of there. >> i do want to bring up a contextual issue. i grew up in washington, d.c. we have seen you in your redskins jersey and sweatshirt all over. how can the nfl start to ladies and gentlemen -- legislate. >> a leading linguist at the smithsonian institute had a study. the word "red skin" was used initially by native americans to distinguish themselves from the white. so what they were doing, his argument is, is defining themselves in moral superiority
to the white. >> leigh as chafing here. >> an example of a brilliant man who's a red skin fan. because the issue is simply this. are there people in the world that feel totally discriminated against. >> excluded. >> i understand that. >> for which this word is a problem. and if there are, it's not worth having a sports nickname. >> every time i went to play the redskins, i was -- you have to kind of dumb yourself down. because you know that it's offensive. >> so you thought about that while you were playing? >> every time i played against them. i thought, man, this is the redskins. how can they still have this name? in washington they would follow that team regardless of what the name was. >> all right. that is going to be the last word. but thank you guys for some very smart discussion. it's important to talk about thesish use. we're very happy that you're here to do that. we hope you guys stick around. right after the break we're going to hear from nfl hall of famer john elway. just how hard it is to step off the field.
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welcome back. i had the chance to sit down with the man in charge of putting the denver broncos powerhouse together. you may have heard of him, a guy named john elway. i wanted to get his thoughts on peyton manning and how the nfl hall of famer misses playing. >> i called john elway monday morning and let him know i wanted to be a denver bronco. >> when peyton manning was first being recruited by all of these teams, he said his biggest decisions about going with denver was because of you. what would you say are the biggest things you've noticed about him that you didn't know from just being friendly an seeing him around? >> i think everybody is different. but i think peyton's attention to detail, i've not seen anything else like it how he works with his teammates and the receivers and the precise routes he wants those guys to run. so he does a tremendous job with the film study that he does. like i said, to me his attention to detail is unmatched. >> what about for you?
because a lot of elite athletes find that when they try to go into management, they're frustrated. michael jordan has talked about the fact that there were times when he just wanted to say just do it this way but they couldn't do it the way michael jordan did it. what has it been like for you? >> it is frustrating. even though i really enjoy the position i'm in now, 53 years old, knowing that i can't play it's not like playing. when you're playing as a quarterback you're in control of the game because you touch the ball every down. whether you're handing it off or throwing it you were much more in control of the game. whereas in my position now all i can do is do the best i can on paper, get us in the best position to win football games. then the coaches have to coach and plays have to play. not to evenly be a part of that is a frustrating part. and i relate to what michael is saying, it's frustrating. it's not what we're used to doing. and you're turning over control that you're not used to turning over. >> is there anything about your job now that you like better than when you were playing? >> the fact they don't get hit.
that's the up with thing i like better. i think that -- and it takes awhile to get used, to too. the hard thing about being the boss you got to make some tough decisions you don't have to make as a quarterback. it's a lot more difficult. because i know having been a player and having had teammates, it's tough on everybody but i think having been in a locker room and knowing how it feels to be down there. >> winning a championship is something you've done. you've experienced it. you have the rings. so does it mean as much to you if you can win again now? do you think it will mean more to you bass of everything you've had to go through to get there? >> i think it will be different. but putting the team together and making those decisions is very fulfilling. the reason why i got back in football they do have a super bowl and there is a world championship. and as players we're all competitors. and so i hope i get a chance to compare them. let's put it that way. >> well, according to vegas oddsmakers, the broncos still favorites to win the super bowl. so hey, elway in good position to fulfill his wish.
that's it for us tonight. but you can follow me on twitter, like us on facebook or visit us on the web at cnn.com/unguarded. while we'll be off for the next couple of weeks we'll be right back in december for a whole new run of "unguarded" where the end of the game is just the start of the story. good night. detroit's the city of champions. the whole world knows that detroit is the american city whose products have revolutionized our way of living. and only in michigan will you find the men and women whose tant made us the arsenal of democracy in wartime and the economic pace setter in peace time.
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