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tv   Unguarded With Rachel Nichols  CNN  November 14, 2014 10:30pm-11:01pm PST

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is having a whole lot of fun. and shaking it off just fine. tonight on unguarded with rachel nichols, actor steve corell on his new sports movie and his challenge to the nba's best play. >> i could take on lebron james. i'm sorry i even said that, but he's not so tough. >> nhl commissioner gary bettman answers tough questions about the future of hockey. >> with the issue of domestic violence, we've been providing counciling and education for over a decade. >> and pro ball receiver larry fitzgerald, his arizona cardinals have the nfl's best record. but some big questions heading into this weekend. >> it's devastating to lose our quarterback.
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>> welcome to "unguarded." there are sports movies that make you laugh, like caddy shack, sports music that make you cry, like field of dreams, after steve corell's new movie opens, it's already getting major oscar buzz. it tells the story of billionairon dupont's tragic involvement with a group of olympic wrestlers. as the film is very somber, as you'll see in this "unguarded interview." he's anything but. >> i do the cha cha.
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>> i don't know what we're yelling about! >> that's what she said. >> we normally interview athletes for the show. we have done lebron james, tiger woods and i'm so happy to have an elite level hockey player here. >> i am the lebron james of hockey. al. >> i learned that you play ever week and played growing up. you were serious about it? >> yeah, yeah. there was a period of time i thought maybe i could play this professionally. >> how did that go? >> it didn't go well, clearly. you know, you reach a point in your life when you have to get honest. and that wasn't going to happen.
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but i enjoyed it, i played through college. >> we have not seen you play an athlete on tv, maybe michael scott free throws, but that doesn't really qualify. but your new movie, "fox catcher j you do play the eccentric millionaire john due pontd. he basically lures some elite level olympian wrestlers in, and it ends very badly. but your character is struggling for credibility and he thinks being associated with these olympians, the glory of the sport, that's going to give him the identity he was looking for. >> he wanted to find himself through his athletes because he wanted some of their greatness to rub off on him. and it's absurd because he set himself up as a coach to these premier athletes and he wasn't. and he didn't really know much about it at all. and when we were shooting, i honestly tried to learn as little as i could about wrestling because they did show me a few moves and i learned them and our coach said, no, no, you're already better than dupont was. >> do you remember seeing the scenes from your most popular movies that would not really sync up with this film. why the change of pace? >> because it was a change of pace. and he's a great, great director and i wanted to work with him. >> plus you got to wear that really snazzy sweatsuit. >> snazzy sweatsuit.
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who doesn't look good in a singlet? and i really got in great shape for the singlet shop. it was mostly a steady diet of chinese food. chinese food and french fries. now would you see a guy like john dupont use sports in the wrong way. i know that you grew up in boston, you're a red sox fan, can you describe just what it was like in boston that the red sox were after the boston marathon bombings in how they healed the city, because you experienced that, right? >> there was that boston strong sense that permeated the city, i think that happened in new orleans, i think it happens in cities that have had tough times and when a sports team can give people something to rally around and focus on and enjoy, it kind of lightens the load. >> you have no boston accent, but can you do an impression of a boston sports fan?
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>> not so much. >> we have seen your impressions, you did a good impression of herm edwards. you did that speech. >> you play the win the game. >> and then we had your version of it. >> you play to win the game. >> how long did it take you to study that? >> that took about 13 seconds. they said which one do you want to do and i said i'll do that one. i watched it for 13 seconds and we filmed it. >> and you also spoofed lebron james about the decision. >> who have you already told about your decision? >> everybody. >> did you know that lebron would be in the audience? >> i could take on lebron james. i'm sorry i said that, but he's not so tough. i'm really store sorry, he's really fantastic.
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i'm going to be in trouble. >> 6'8", i just want to put that out there. >> i'm actually 6'9". >> good to know. >> i wear flats. >> i have to ask you about your political reporting career, since you have an extensive one, five years on "the daily show." >> it's every reporter's dream to spend a day on the campaign trail with a front running candidate. >> what was that like? >> we were on the radar at first which was good. we went to the new hampshire primaries and no one knew who we were. and we asked questions from trivial pursuit. we just had the cars in front of us and asked trivial pursuit questions. we had a lot of perplexed looks but no one caught on at that point. >> did they answer you? >> yes. >> did you learn anything about politics through all that? >> no. >> you know what? learn about it and then go to the daily show to laugh about
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it. >> nice thumbs up there, it was amazing watching some of that video is that steve corell almost didn't become an actor. he wanted to go to law school. but when he got to the question, why do you want to be an attorney and he couldn't answer it. you heard steve talking hockey earlier. coming up on "unguarded" we're going to get an interview from the top man, gary bettman. denver international is one of the busiest airports
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in the country. we operate just like a city, and that takes a lot of energy. we use natural gas throughout the airport - for heating the entire terminal, generating electricity on-site, and fueling hundreds of vehicles. we're very focused on reducing our environmental impact. and natural gas is a big part of that commitment.
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welcome back to "unguarded" where i am thrilled to be joined by nhl commissionner gary bettman. pretty soon when bud selig retires you will now be the oldest as well. but only 62. we got to point that out. it's a real accomplishment to be the senior man among the group of men. is this how you always envisioned yourself? >> if you had these visions when you were younger, they would institutionalize you. there was no way to predict where we would be today, but it's been a lot of fun and i'm looking forward to the fact that even the best for the nhl is ahead. >> do you and selig and the nba commissioner's adam silver and nfl commissioner roger goodell, do you have secret meetings? a secret hand shake? >> we periodically talk to each other, hi, how are you doing?
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either particularly good or stressful times, but there's no structure, no secret clubhouse. >> nba commissioner adam silver talked about legalizing sports gambling. he advocated that pretty strongly. what do you think? >> i think much attention needs to be paid to what sport is going to be represent to young people. should it be viewed in the come fetive, team-oriented sense that it is now, or does it become a vehicle for betting? which may in in effect, change the atmosphere in the stadiums and the arenas. >> do you think it could change sports in. >> i think it could. do people root for the team or the spread? >> and las vegas has talked about wanting an nhl team there. >> i have heard. >> what do you think about that? >> the good news is that the nhl has never been stronger, never been more popular, i guess that leads to a number -- on interest
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in getting an expansion team and las vegas happens to be one of those places. >> i mentioned roger goodell, certainly he has been the subject of much scrutiny, since things exploded over the summer. have u you spoke on to him since that time? >> briefly we were at a conference together. >> i asked how he was doing, and he said fine, but we didn't get substantive on the issues of the day. with respect to the issue of domestic violence, we have been providing counseling and education through our bebehave youshl health -- >> what went into your decision to keep him off the ice? >> we decided that with
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everything that was pending, the most prudent, sensible, appropriate course of conduct was to suspend him until things could be sorted out through the judicial process. >> it does seem you're also evolving on the olympic games. what is your biggest concern with having new york hl players in the olympics? >> actually the issues are not new, that is to stop the season, football's gone, there's no baseball yet, it's just us and basketball. we're getting ready for the stretch drive and then we stop. some nhl teams will send ten players to the olympics and some will send two and they will come back in different condition. it's something that's not all good, it's not all bad, but it's a balancing act. >> what are your goals for the nhl going forward? >> internationally, whether or not we do another olympics, we are focused on bringing back a world cup and that's something
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we're working on for the players association. >> how much longer do you want to do this? >> as long as the owners are happy, we'll continue to keep doing it. >> all right, coming up next on "unguarded" we're going to switch gears to the informal. >> when you're in mumbai and you're walking through the slums, come on now, there's real issues in life and there's real problems.
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welcome back to "unguarded." arizona cardinals wide receiver larry fitzgerald is one of the nfl's best players. he's also probably the nfl's most worldly player, having
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traveled to nearly 100 countries. he's hiked glaciers in antarctica, scaled volcanos in nicaragua, this year, his eight and one cardinals are at the very top of the nfl standings. but this journey has a catch. on sunday, the cardinals starting quarterback carson palmer tore his acl, knocking him out for the season. earlier, i checked in with fitzgerald to find out exactly how his team intends to keep their perch. larry, welcome, we have to start unfortunately with devastating news for quarterback carson palmer, that of course means that drew stanton is the next one up. the number two quarterback is generally the number two
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quarterback for a reason. how do -- >> losing carson was a devastating blow. but we're confident drew is going to be able to get it done for us, he won a lot of games, and he's got confidence in himself. >> when you have a team that's playing this well, do you let your hopes get up at all, especially a guy like you? you know, five years ago, less than a minute away from winning a super bowl before the steelers went and snatched it from you guys, i know you guys have been trying to get there ever since. >> there's a lot of excitement
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in town, we see a lot of drivers taking my son to school, flash flying, but we're making sure we're doing everything we can to sustain that. we're playing at a high level and hopefully our fans will stay behind us. >> there's been some controversy about your role in the team, are they using you right. we have heard from your dad, your old quarterback kurt warner, what do you think? >> it's interesting you ask me that question, because i hear a lot of talk, from other people not from me. if i have issues or complaints i will voice my opinion, but i zojt have any. it's hard to complain about an 8-1 record. >> is it easier to have perspective on this kind of stuff when you've had the off the field experiences that you have had? you're one of the most well traveled people in the nfl, you've been exposed to people in very different circumstances than your own. >> when you're in mumbai and you're walking through the slums, there's people with no clean water and no sanitation, i'm getting three or four targets per game. there's real issues in life and then there's champagne problems and that's definitely one of them. >> you take a lot of pictures
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when you travel, they're incredible, you've got the pyramids, the great wall of china, looks like you're about four feet from a gorilla, a lion right there in your path. what's more intimidating? >> it's definitely more intimidating going against one of the nfc west division opponents than standing there facing an elephant. >> it's amazing, what was it like to take those photos? >> i like wildlife photography, something i have been passionate about for a long time. it's really a peaceful experience for me to be able to photograph them. >> elephants, gorillas, now you've got the detroit lions coming this week, it's a whole other kind of animal problem. we wish you the best, good luck in the game and thank you for joining us. >> thank you, rachel, it's always a pleasure. >> that elephant looks serious, the cards run into trouble this season, fitzgerald might have to give him a call. coming up later a college football player perseverance. you're not going to want to miss it. >> you can do anything you put your mind to.
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welcome back to "unguarded." i'm rachel nichols. we talk all the time about how sports build character. but what happens when hard circumstances shape a boy into such a strong young man that he becomes a better football player and that in turn earns him a college education. meet quay jefferson and his mother, you're not going to soon forget them. the university of delaware's football team is 6 and 4 this season, by no means a gridiron power house, but for freshman wide receiver quay jefferson, football is about so much more than just winning and losing.
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>> football is my love, there's nothing like when i'm catching passes. >> when he's on the field doing something for football, all the spectators on the side is feeling good and getting their heart filled up and that's amazing. >> quai's mother has multiple sclerosis, she was diagnosed in 2002. and a lot was thrust on the boil's shoulders. >> quai was 6 years old when i started using him for strength and balance. i would have to walk down the street and hold on to quai to stand up. >> multiple sclerosis is an auto immune deficiency that attack the central nervous system.
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i kind of got the sense that it was time for me to grow up and become a man. >> because quai knew he was gone all day, he would line my bed up with food and fruits and water. and he would make sure i had everything i needed lying down my bed. >> it was hard, but their bright spot was football. for veda, it was a chance to get out of the house, be a normal mom. >> i would tell quai, let mommy rest up before i have to drive you to practice. >> for quai, it was even more, every time someone would praise his work ethic and leadership on the field, he would point to his mother. >> i absolutely believe in
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things i have faced sculpt me to the person i am today. it showed me you can do anything you put your mind to. as tough as things get, there's a brighter day tomorrow. >> that brighter day came this fall when quai began at delaware on a full athletic scholarship, his only concern was leaving veda, but his father had stepped back in to help. both parents wanting to lift up the son who carried the load himself for so long. >> my father said he would do anything he needs to do to help take care of my mother. >> i'm looking forward to my delaware game. i'm going to be out there quai! and it's going to be fun. >> veda certainly has a lot to cheer for, just very inspiring. all right, that is it for our show tonight, but you can follow me on twitter and facebook or on the web at cnn/unguarded.
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and we'll be back here next friday night for more unguarded, where the end of the game is just the start of the story. good night. this is where i bought my first bag of heroin. it was 1980, i was 24 years old. but in a lot of ways, my whole life up to that point was leading to this address. western massachusetts, the unlikely new frontier of america's war on drugs where heroin has become an exploding problem that's begun to touch nearly every family. ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪


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