ESPN’s “College GameDay” has a new shot of life: Pat McAfee.
The energetic host will become a full-time member of the iconic pregame college football show, the New York Post reported on Tuesday. McAfee, the former Indianapolis Colts punter turned media sensation, will make his debut in the role Saturday in Austin, Texas, ahead of Texas’ matchup against No. 1 Alabama.
ESPN declined to comment. Earlier Tuesday, McAfee wrote on social media: “My life is dumb. If I was (to) die tomorrow, right (before) passing I’d be proud & dumbfounded of what I have been lucky enough (to) do. Massive announcement coming at some point this week..truly Bananaland. Have a great night beautiful people. I appreciate (you) all more than (you) could imagine.”
McAfee retired from the Colts in 2017 and joined Barstool Sports. His Indianapolis-based mid-day show spun off from the site two years later and exploded in popularity in recent years on YouTube (1.94 million subscribers) and SiriusXM (McAfee ended his deal with Sirius last month).
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Accompanied occasionally by former NFL linebacker A.J. Hawk and a cast of producers, McAfee blends comedy, professional analysis and insightful interviews with former and current football players.
McAfee is also a color commentator on WWE SmackDown broadcasts. FanDuel and McAfee are in the first of a four-year, $120 million sponsorship deal.
“College GameDay,” in its modern version, has been on the air since 1993. Analyst Lee Corso, 87, is an original cast member and Kirk Herbstreit joined the show in 1996. Desmond Howard and David Pollack are the other analysts on the desk. Rece Davis took over hosting duties in 2015, replacing Chris Fowler.
McAfee contributed to “GameDay” in 2019 and belly-flopped off a boat into a river during one of his appearances.
This time he and ESPN appear to have both feet in the boat.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.