CFB People & Personalities: ESPN Branching Out With McAfee Hire
In N.Y., Andrew Marchand writes new ESPN college football game analyst Pat McAfee is "fiercely independent, which is what makes him genuine, but could be considered dangerous for a Disney-owned" network. McAfee, who will work Thursday night telecasts this season, "might turn out to be a 2.0 football version of Dick Vitale." His "looseness is his appeal," and "like Dickie V, you will know he is there." That "could be a good thing to a lot of people, but maybe not for others." McAfee makes his debut in the booth tonight at 7:00pm ET for UCLA-Cincinnati (N.Y. POST, 8/29).
HOPING TO HIT THE MARK: ESPN VP/Production Lee Fitting admits the net is taking a "calculated risk" by putting TV newcomer Mark Sanchez in ABC's main studio alongside Kevin Negandhi and Jonathan Vilma. Fitting said, "He's never done TV and I'm sure some people are like, 'What are you doing here?'" However, he listed Sanchez' attributes as having been a QB at big school (USC) and that he can "relate to the modern athlete" (THEATHLETIC.com, 8/29).
CAMPUS TIES: Oklahoma State play-by-play announcer Dave Hunziker will become the "longest-serving radio voice in OSU history" when he calls Friday's game against Oregon State. This will be Hunziker’s 19th season, and he has "provided a loyal and constant and familiar voice" and a "down-home demeanor and attitude" (OKLAHOMAN, 8/27)....LSU play-by-play announcer Chris Blair said that the entire crew at LSU Sports Radio Network "will be back this season." He will be in the booth alongside long-time color commentator Doug Moreau, while Gordy Rush returns as sideline reporter. Blair said that he "doesn’t worry about trying to please every single listener with his call or his style" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 8/26).