The FanDuel personality and host of “The Pat McAfee Show” takes his talents to the Worldwide Leader in a multi-year deal announced Wednesday.
Pat McAfee has bet on himself several times since retiring from his days as an NFL punter in 2016, but his latest move would hardly be considered a gamble.
McAfee, 35, has made appearances on GameDay in the past. Now, he becomes a fixture alongside Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, and the whole gang. His first assignment comes this Saturday ahead of No. 1 Alabama’s meeting with Texas in Austin.
As McAfee said on the occasion:
“College GameDay is one of those shows that is universally beloved. It’s an institution. It’s a Saturday tradition for everybody. From truck drivers to suits and all the folks in between, GameDay is a staple of all of our fall routines,” said McAfee. “Getting the opportunity to join full time is an absolute honor. I understand the weight that the show holds in the sports universe and I will try my best to somehow add to it.”
All told, it appears to be a win-win for both sides. ESPN will lose its broadcast and streaming rights to the Big Ten starting in 2023 August after FOX, CBS, and NBC swooped in and completed a deal worth $7 billion over seven years, so it was only fitting that they swoop in for a big move such as this one.
Added ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro in an official release:
“Pat is exceptionally talented and entertaining, and he was so well-received in his previous stint on College GameDay that we’ve wanted to reunite him with the show ever since. We’re thrilled Pat is returning to ESPN for college football and for even more opportunities in the years ahead.”
McAfee brings a major audience with him to the GameDay desk. He currently sports 1.9 million subscribers for his streaming program and podcast at FanDuel, “The Pat McAfee Show,” as part of a deal that pays him a reported $120 million over four years. Additionally, the media phenom reportedly had discussions with Amazon about being part of its Thursday Night Football crew, while also being a regular on WWE SmackDown on Friday nights.
“I can’t wait to celebrate everything that makes college football amazing with the show that has embodied everything great about sports television for the last three decades-plus,” McAfee said. “This is truly a unique opportunity that furthers the notion that I am currently living the dumbest life of all time. I’m grateful for it all. Big thanks to Paisano Jimmy Pitaro for making this happen. I’ll see yinz in Austin, Texas. Let’s have a great season!”
Now, we just have to wait and see if he rocks the trademarked tank-top look.