SmackDown fans will be missing Pat McAfee for the foreseeable future as he takes time away from WWE due to his new role on ESPN’s College Gameday.
On April 16th, 2021 Pat McAfee became colour commentator for Friday Night SmackDown alongside Michael Cole. Since taking the position the star has become a favourite among fans for his child-like enthusiasm and incredible natural chemistry alongside Cole.
However, with McAfee being a former NFL star, football is never far away and it has now been reported by the New York Post that the star has become a full-time member of ESPN’s ‘College Gameday’ team. His first assignment will be the clash between Alabama Crimson Tide versus Texas Longhorns on September 10th.
The announcer has also agreed to do alternative broadcasts for select college football games on ESPN 2.
Speaking on The Pat McAfee Show, the former Colts punter revealed that with taking this new job, WWE has told him he will not be on Friday Night SmackDown for the college football season with College Gameday airing on Saturday mornings. McAfee explained:
“I was thinking about maybe doing both [SmackDown and College Gameday] […] So the original thought for me was I can do both, I can do SmackDown and I can do Gameday. The folks at the WWE who I have nothing but love and respect and appreciation for, old regime, new regime, whoever you think is in charge over there I have nothing but love and appreciation for.”
“So I reach out to them, chit chat with them, and they were the ones that said ‘hey dude, if you’re gonna do Gameday which is a great opportunity, congratulations, we love the show, you cannot be travelling overnight for the entirety of the season, it’s not good for your health, it’s not good for your family, it’s not good for anything. Whenever the time is right we will have you back in our family.'”
“So SmackDown will be on hold for a little bit, commentating, while I do College Gameday. I’m still very much in the WWE family and as one OG in the WWE family said to me in a message, very heartfelt, ‘hey now one of our guys is on College Gameday.’ So I’m still very much a part of the WWE family, will still very much be doing things but for the good of college football and College Gameday I’ll be focusing on that on Saturdays.”
WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H has taken to social media to confirm that Pat McAfee will be returning to his role in the company again in the future:
“@PatMcAfeeShow approached us about his amazing opportunity with College GameDay. We’d never stand in Pat’s way, as he continues to architect his exceptional career. Pat will remain a member of the @WWE Universe and we look forward to his return. #UpToSomethingSZN”
.@PatMcAfeeShow approached us about his amazing opportunity with College GameDay. We’d never stand in Pat’s way, as he continues to architect his exceptional career.
Pat will remain a member of the @WWE Universe and we look forward to his return. #UpToSomethingSZN
— Triple H (@TripleH) September 7, 2022