When ESPN brought Pat McAfee on to College GameDay, the expectation was the lively former NFL punter would bring a jolt of energy to the show. The show had seen a downtrend in the ‘fun’ aspect as the lovable Lee Corso ages, so McAfee had big shoes to fill.
Throughout the last year, to McAfee’s credit, he’s done a bang-up job meeting those expectations. It’s true that ESPN’s hire of McAfee has gotten criticized, but this particular decision seems to have really paid dividends. And if you didn’t believe that before, Saturday morning might have changed your mind.
College GameDay emanates from Tuscaloosa on Saturday as ESPN prepares everyone for the heavyweight bout between Alabama and Texas. The Crimson Tide and Longhorns are two of the sport’s biggest programs, so the hype train for this game is massive. McAfee seemed to understand the assignment. Right out of the gate, Pat was ready to get himself fired up and to get the crowd in Alabama fired up too.
Pat McAfee, ladies and gentlemen pic.twitter.com/xogSNOHSnW
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 9, 2023
Less than 10 minutes into the show, McAfee led a boisterous “ALA… BAMA!” chant with the crowd. He said, “ALA,” they responded with, “BAMA!” This kept on until the chant rolled into a loud “ROLL TIDE!”
McAfee being McAfee, the former punter stood up in his chair and then up on the desk. He turned around and helped lead the crowd in the chant before commencing with the famed “ROLL TIDE!”
Whatever you might think of him, Pat McAfee and his energy brought the fire this morning, and the crowd was ready to take every opportunity to buy into it too. And if you don’t believe us? Check out the reception.
Everyone needs to something that makes them as happy as Pat McAfee seems anytime he’s in front of a crowd. https://t.co/GfQQgZKCcT
— Scott Warheit (@swarheit) September 9, 2023
This is the college gameday that would make me watch it religiously again https://t.co/myCJInBtEs
— ab (@alec_bradley) September 9, 2023
Pat is electric, I’ll never understand the people that hate him https://t.co/L1vk8140Jh
— Mason (@MasonPlummer_) September 9, 2023
Name someone having a better year than Pat McAfee ??
NO ONE does live TV like him – his glow up > https://t.co/wc6zgbxwGM
— Ashlyn Sullivan (@ashlynrsullivan) September 9, 2023
An unbelievable addition to College Gameday. What a talent! https://t.co/Z9ymoEqeSd
— James Scholey (@JamesFromLeeds) September 9, 2023