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NFL Playoff Scenarios; Six People Survive Avalanche; Top Nine Stories of 2019; Heisman Winner Helps Raise Money for Food Pantry. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired December 27, 2019 - 08:30   ET



JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: We've got Iowa, we've got football. What say you?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST: You know, the fact of the matter is, I've been working very hard this week. Football, the final week of the regular season, and I just want to go through a few different playoff scenarios.

So the New Orleans Saints, Meredith, on our staff, a senior producer, she loves the New Orleans Saints.

AVLON: I love the Saints and Green Bay.

ENTEN: And what's -- there you go. What's the chances they can clinch a first round bye? Well, it's a 51 percent probability. And look at all these different fun little scenarios about how it can happen. They could win. Green Bay could lose or tie. They could win. San Fran could lose or tie. They could tie. Green Bay could -- would then have to lose. They could tie then San Fran would have to lose. Or San Fran loses and Green Bay wins or a tie.

AVLON: You have that much fun alone in a room?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Are there any other -- are there any other possible teams that are playing?

AVLON: Yes. Oh.

ENTEN: So another one of my favorite --


ENTEN: This is my favorite of all of them, a 7 percent probability that the Oakland Raiders, where are only 7-8, can clinch a playoff spot. They have to win and then they need this whole parlay. Pittsburgh has to lose. Tennessee has to lose. Indianapolis has to win. And then either Chicago, Detroit, the Los Angeles Chargers or New England have to win or tie.

AVLON: All right. I mean, so what's your final here, pal?

ENTEN: I just want to say, probability that the Bills make the playoffs, 100 percent. Path to happening, it is!

AVLON: This is a very big deal.

CAMEROTA: Except that I don't know if I buy this math.


ENTEN: I -- I --

CAMEROTA: I don't think there's a 100 percent --

AVLON: Does this seem statistically unlikely?

CAMEROTA: Yes, that seems unlikely.

ENTEN: It's already happened and they're going to perhaps be playing the Houston Texans, and I'll be watching. Whoo, Josh Allen, love it.

AVLON: All right, man.

Harry Enten, love you.

CAMEROTA: Thanks. Thanks.

ENTEN: Love you both.

AVLON: That's great, pal.

CAMEROTA: You can do anything, Harry. Thank you.

ENTEN: Thank you.

AVLON: He really, really can.

CAMEROTA: All right, we have to tell you this story. These skiers were buried alive after an avalanche in the Swiss Alps. But we have their story of survival, next for you.

AVLON: But, first, here's a preview of the new CNN film "Linda Ronstadt" premiering New Year's day right here on CNN.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She came to Los Angeles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Linda Ronstadt.

LINDA RONSTADT, MUSICIAN (singing): Just one look --

RONSTADT (on camera): I was 18 years old and we formed a little band. We called ourselves The Stone Ponies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The L.A. scene was in gear and the whole damn thing broke loose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was rock music, folk music, co-mingling. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can we define what this is going to be?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Linda was the queen. She was like what Beyonce is now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was the only female artist to have five platinum albums in a row.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "I Can't Help If I'm Still In Love with You" was a hit on the country charts. "You're No Good" was a hit on both the R&B chart and the pop chart. I became the first artist to have a hit on all three charts.

RONSTADT (singing): You're no good, you're no good, you're not good, baby, you're no good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was the first female rock 'n' roll star.

RONSTADT (singing): You're no good, you're no good, you're not good, baby, you're no good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Linda Ronstadt, The Sound of My Voice," New Year's Day on CNN.




CAMEROTA: Six people are very lucky to be alive after being buried by an avalanche that hit a resort in the Swiss Alps. All six were rescued or they freed themselves.

CNN's Scott McLean is live in London with more.

How did they do this, Scott?


When you see this video, it is really remarkable that no one was killed or even seriously hurt. This happened late yesterday morning at a ski resort about 70 miles south of Zurich. Video taken by another skier, you can see it there, on a nearby gondola shows the avalanche just after it starts to slide. And if you look closely at the screen, you can see those little black dots. Those are people.

So as the avalanche is coming down, some of them are safe off to the side. At least two of them at the bottom of your screen you can see actually manage to outrun the avalanche on their skis, and then six people were swallowed up. Luckily, no one was buried more than three feet down. As you said, four people managed to dig themselves out. And two others were rescued within about half an hour.

But the search effort after that continued throughout the day into the evening. They wanted to make sure that no one else was buried under there. Thankfully, they believe that everyone has been accounted for.

What makes this really unusual though is that this didn't happen out in the back country where avalanche risk is typically much higher. This happened inbounds at a ski resort on a run that they believed was perfectly safe. Now, this resort did get about two and a half feet of snow or so over the past week, but that is not unusual for the Swiss Alps. Sometimes they can get that even in a single day. So why this avalanche came down, they don't know. But that part of the mountain is going to stay closed until they figure it out.


AVLON: Unbelievable.

Scott, thank you.

All right, from dominant performances to controversy and comebacks, this past year had it all when it comes to sports.

So here's a look at our top nine moments of 2019.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: From dominant performances, to controversy, to comebacks, this past year had it all when it comes to sports. Here's a look at our top nine moments in 2019. And we start with the single tweet that rocked the NBA.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: The NBA is standing up for free speech and behind Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fallout has been huge.

CAMEROTA: Chinese businesses are cutting ties with the Rockets and the league.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: China's sports channel now says it will not broadcast any of the NBA games being held in China this week.

SCHOLES: Before the start of the season, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeting support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters. This caused a firestorm in China where the NBA is the most popular sports league. Chinese officials condemning the tweet and response from Commissioner Adam Silver.


The whole controversy greatly affecting the NBA's bottom line.

ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: We will have to live with those consequences.

SCHOLES: Number eight, what were you doing when you were 15 years old? Well, Coco Gauff was capturing the hearts of sports fans everywhere with an incredible run at her first Wimbledon tournament.

COCO GAUFF: Jayden (ph) just tweeted me!

SCHOLES: Coco, the youngest player to ever make the main draw at Wimbledon. She beat Venus Williams in her first match and advanced all the way to the fourth round before losing to the eventual champion Simona Halep.

Number seven, controversy on the track.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: A stunning outcome at the Kentucky Derby.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The horse that crossed the finish line first did not win.

SCHOLES: The winner of the Kentucky Derby was disqualified. Maximum Security winning the race, but upon review was seen veering out of his lane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He came up a little and I grabbed him right away. I stayed straight, you know.

SCHOLES: Country House was declared the winner at odds of 65-1. Country House had the second longest odds of any Kentucky Derby winner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did that really just happen?

SCHOLES: Number six, on January 3, 2019, the St. Louis Blues had the worst record in the NHL. But that's when they turned it around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pietrangelo with time. Wires the shot. On (INAUDIBLE) they score!

SCHOLES The Blues season culminating with them beating the Boston Bruins in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals to win their first ever championship. And Blues superfan Laila Anderson, an 11-year-old battling a life-threatening autoimmune disease, was an inspiration for the team all season. And she got to celebrate with the team on the ice after they hoisted the Stanley Cup.

Number five, 2019 was a year of more controversy for the NFL.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was simple. They blew the call.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A blatant, easy call for sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's tough, tough to swallow.

SCHOLES: The Saints were robbed of a chance to play in Super Bowl 53 when the refs failed to call pass interference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Worst call in history. I feel like somebody just robbed my house.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn't throw a flag. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy has to be blind.

SCHOLES: The NFL responded by making pass interference reviewable for the next season.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't help us at all. It's too late.

SCHOLES: The New England Patriots, meanwhile, beat the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl, making Tom Brady the first player in NFL history to win six rings.

Number four, finally something everyone in Washington, D.C., could agree on, that's cheering on the Nationals. The team taking their fans on a miraculous run in the post-season. And for the first time ever, the road team winning every game in the World Series. The Nationals beating the Astros in seven games to win their first ever title.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope they're ready for a party, because we're coming home.

SCHOLES: Number three, it was an emotional year for Simone Biles as she opened up about being one of the victims of Dr. Larry Nassar and the failure of USA Gymnastics to intervene.

SIMONE BILES: We've done everything that they asked us for, even when we didn't want to, and they couldn't do one damn job. You had one job. You literally had one job and you couldn't protect us.

SCHOLES: In spite of the controversy, the 22-year-old dominated the world championships to become the most decorated gymnast ever.

Number two, the U.S. women's national team capturing the hearts and minds of people everywhere with their efforts on and off the field.

BALDWIN: The U.S. thoroughly dominant so far.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.S. women's soccer team rewriting the record books.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, SPORTS COLUMNIST, "USA TODAY": This couldn't have been a bigger story.

SCHOLES: As the team took on opponents in the World Cup, they were battling the U.S. Soccer Federation in their fight to be compensated the same as their male counterparts. The team winning their second consecutive World Cup title, beating the Netherlands 2-0 in the final with fans chanting "equal pay."

CROWD: Equal pay! Equal pay! Equal pay!

SCHOLES: The women's equal pay lawsuit now looks like it's headed for a trial in 2020 as the team prepares to take the field in the Tokyo summer games.

And finally the number one sports story on our list from 2019, Tiger Woods was back on top of the sports world winning the Masters. FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, Tiger Woods is donning

the green jacket once again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tiger Woods has made a fairy tale comeback worthy of the silver screen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is an extraordinary comeback.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The greatest comeback ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tiger Woods is back.

SCHOLES: It was Tiger's first win in a major since the 2008 U.S. Open. After multiple knee and back surgeries, many didn't know if Tiger would ever win major number 15, but the 43-year-old won the Masters in dramatic fashion, making his first ever final round comeback in a major. Tiger shared the incredible moment with his 10-year-old son Charlie.


CAMEROTA: That was a fun look back by Andy there.

AVLON: That was an awesome year in sports.

CAMEROTA: OK, so the new Heisman trophy winner is scoring a very big victory off the field for his hometown. We're going to tell you in "The Good Stuff," next.



AVLON: It's time for "The Good Stuff."

OK, so when LSU quarterback John Burrow won the Heisman trophy, he took time out of his acceptance speech to mention the hunger in his hometown.


JOE BURROWS, HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER: Coming from southeast Ohio, it's -- it's a very, very impoverished area, and the poverty rate is almost two times the national average. And there's so many people there that don't have a lot. And I'm up here for all those -- all those kids in Athens and Athens County that, you know, go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. You guys can be up here, too.



AVLON: That's awesome.

CAMEROTA: What he did in that one speech has been remarkable because since then a fundraising page in honor of Burrow's speech has raised almost $500,000 in donations for Athens County.

So joining us now is Karin Bright, she's the president of the Athens County Food Pantry.

Karin, thanks so much for being here.

So how has the food pantry and your life changed since Joe Burrows made that speech?

Uh-oh. Not hearing our end very well.

AVLON: We're working on fixing that.

And apparently, though, they are almost $15,000 shy --



AVLON: Of that half million dollar mark. It's just extraordinary.

CAMEROTA: I mean that's a very lofty goal, right?

AVLON: Of course it is.

CAMEROTA: So this fundraising page set a half million dollar goal. And did they say that Karin's ready? Yes.

AVLON: No, they're working on it. But -- so we've got $15,000 to go. So everyone here at home, you got a chance to take them over the top here, people.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, it's not just for the food pantry. What he did to raise awareness about the poverty of his hometown.

AVLON: Sure.

CAMEROTA: And as we -- I mean, you know, look, we know that that's true. There are all sorts of kind of forgotten places. And when a star emerges from one of those and shines a light on it, it's really helpful.

All right, we're going to take a very quick break. We're going to fix Karin's audio. We'll be right back. You want to hear her story.

AVLON: Absolutely.



CAMEROTA: OK, we may have fixed the audio gremlins. Let's try it again.

It's time for "The Good Stuff." LSU quarterback Joe Burrow's Heisman trophy speech mentioned the hunger in his hometown and since then a fundraising page in honor of Burrow's speech has raised almost --

AVLON: Wait for it.

CAMEROTA: $500,000 for this Athens County where he's from.

Joining us now again is Karin Bright, president of the Athens County Food Pantry.

AVLON: Karin --

CAMEROTA: Karin, we can -- can you hear us? And if we can hear you, tell us about how this has changed the food pantry.


KARIN BRIGHT, PRESIDENT, ATHENS COUNTY FOOD PANTRY: Well, I can hear you. I hope you can hear me.

CAMEROTA: We hear you perfectly.

BRIGHT: How -- how this is changing the food pantry. This incredible outpouring of donations is going to allow us to pursue opportunities and solutions that we have only dreamt of in the past. Things that we've always said as a board, if we had the money, wouldn't it be nice to be able to. Now some of those programs and opportunities will have an opportunity to really come to fruition and we'll be able to do some of the things that we've wanted to do beyond our core mission, which is to supply emergency food for people of Athens County.

AVLON: So important. And we want to note to folks that you're almost at that $500,000 goal, around $15,000 shy. So people can get you over the top.

BRIGHT: Yes, they could. And we appreciate everybody who's donated to this point. Every donation means so much to us.

And not to us, but to the clients that we serve here in Athens County. This area is really a very impoverished area. The poverty rate's the highest in the state of Ohio. Food insecurity rates also the highest in Ohio. So that -- this is really going to allow us to continue the work that we're already doing and make sure that we can make an impact in this area.

CAMEROTA: And, Karin, just give us some sense in terms of real meals. I mean how many more people will you be able to feed? How many meals? With $500,000, what does that look like?

BRIGHT: Well, we've calculated that we can provide a meal for about 50 cents a meal per person. And so you can do the math on that.

But it's not just meals that are things we can be doing. There are other programs that we -- we're looking at that we can be helping with. And we've had a number of suggestions from the community, from our board members. So there are ways that we can help beyond just that emergency food, which will always stay or core mission, of course. We want to make sure that people that are in need have that emergency food. But there are other things that we can do as well, and that's what we're really looking into now is, how can we help, especially the children, because if you notice that Joe's speech noted children that go home to not a lot of food, go home and they're hungry at night. So any number of options we're looking at.


BRIGHT: But no matter how you calculate it, it's huge.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

Well, Karin, thank you for telling us about it.

AVLON: So much.

CAMEROTA: And I predict that NEW DAY viewers will get you over that gap and that you will meet your goal.


CAMEROTA: Thank you so much. We'll be thinking of you and, of course, we'll follow up with what happens with the food pantry and beyond.

And if you would like to donate, please go to and then search the fundraiser for Athens County Food Pantry.

All right --

AVLON: That's right.

CAMEROTA: We have another special "Good Stuff" now.

One of our beloved colleagues is leaving NEW DAY today --


CAMEROTA: After eight years of leading this show every morning. Here are live pictures inside our control room.

AVLON: There he is.

CAMEROTA: There he is.

AVLON: There he is.

CAMEROTA: That is our director John Duber. He's the man that calls the shots. We call him Duber. He's been -- he's been NEW DAY's director since we launched the show in 2013. I go back even further than that with John Duber. I've known him for more than a decade because we were both at Fox News Channel at the same time.

AVLON: That -- that is a long-term relationship. He's been such a great leader of this show. Love it.

CAMEROTA: He is more than a technical and creative whiz. He captains an 83-year-old sailboat around New York City with his friends. He loves spending quality time with his lovely wife Anastasia.

AVLON: As well he should.

CAMEROTA: Duber has shaped so much of the show that you watch every morning. You don't see him, but we sure hear from him sometimes over the loud speaker whenever we do something that annoys him. He does something like this.

JOHN DUBER, CNN LIVE TELEVISION DIRECTOR: Yes, you know, you know, I'll key you there and say what's up, guys, you know.

CAMEROTA: Oh, yes. Yes, you'll just say, what's up.

AVLON: Just like that.

CAMEROTA: So what --

DUBER: What the hell are you doing?

CAMEROTA: That's better. That's exactly it.

So from our entire team, we can't thank him enough for all he's done here at CNN.


We're really going to miss him. I also did just get a couple of texts from the crew guys over at Fox News Channel who also want to send him a special message. This comes