Finally, Pat McAfee has come to “College GameDay.”
McAfee appeared on the ESPN college football pregame show a few years ago a couple of times, but Saturday in Austin — where Texas is hosting Alabama — was his first time as a full-time member of the cast.
“Absolute honor to be here. One of the biggest days of my life comes in the state where everything’s bigger,” McAfee said, after being introduced by host Rece Davis. “I’m gonna talk about this on my death bed. It’s an honor to be with you guys. Let’s enjoy some college football.”
The Post’s Andrew Marchand was first to report McAfee would be joining the show.
McAfee, 35, has had a meteoric rise in media since retiring from the Colts in 2016 to work for Barstool Sports.
Considering McAfee had been a two-time Pro Bowl punter and was retiring at just 29 years old, the move was met with much skepticism. Speaking on ESPN’s most watched daily talk show “Pardon the Interruption,” Michael Wilbon at the time opined that McAfee’s friends should “stage an intervention” to prevent him from making such a terrible career decision. Wilbon has acknowledged he got that one wrong.
McAfee did a weekday show on Barstool’s former SiriusXM channel, before leaving the company after feeling disrespected by middle management.
Ultimately, McAfee began airing his show live on YouTube. It was later distributed by DAZN, and after that, SiriusXM. Along the way, he has had an enormously lucrative partnership with FanDuel. The show regularly makes news, especially in the weekly spots with star Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
He will also be partnering with Omaha Productions — the media empire led by his former Colts teammate Peyton Manning — to do a “ManningCast” type simulcast for a number of big college football games aired by ESPN.
McAfee also became color commentator for WWE’s “Friday Night SmackDown” on Fox, which he’s taking hiatus from for GameDay. He became profoundly popular with the pro wrestling audience, and even competed in a couple of matches, where his performance as someone who should’ve been a novice was widely praised by industry critics.