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Pat McAfee wins Award, gets more love from Michael Cole

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We’re big fans of Pat McAfee around these parts, and are anxiously awaiting his return to SmackDAHN*.

So we’re tremendously excited that McAfee was named The Athletic’s “Sports Media Person of the Year” this week. He certainly deserves it.

Who else massively upgraded their popular daily streaming sports talk show while maintaining full control over its content & direction (and giving a bunch of the money they made signing a new sponsorship deal to co-workers, friends, family, fans & charity), wrestled twice at WrestleMania (and served up a picture perfect sell of the Stone Cold Stunner in the process), and landed another dream job with ESPN (where he paid immediate dividends by being part of at least on viral College GameDay clip per week)?

But we’re also a little anxious that as McAfee continues to collect accolades like this one, he’s going to have less-and-less time in his increasing busy schedule for our little corner of the sports entertainment world. Especially once he becomes Papa Pat in 2023.

We’ll trust that his love of the business will keep him coming around, even if it’s not every Friday night during the football offseason. We know that Michael Cole will be bugging his buddy to come back. Cole once again confirmed his status as the president of the Pat Mac fan club in Richard Deitsch’s piece for The Athletic:

“I first met Pat in late 2017 when WWE was looking for a talent from outside the wrestling world to add some insight into our fast-growing world at NXT. My first impression of Pat was how real he was. There was no facade, no ego, just a cool dude with a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm. For whatever reason, we just clicked and became close friends. That chemistry would later pay off in our incredible run as a tandem on Friday Night SmackDown on Fox.

“Pat was immediately successful as a broadcaster in our universe because of two things: First, Pat is a fan, and it comes out on the air. He wasn’t trained as a traditional broadcaster so has no built-in habits that we needed to break. His love for the product just oozes out of him. Second, Pat has endless energy and charisma. He makes everything sound big and important. He is one of the hardest-working people I have ever been around. He treats everyone equally, has no ego, and has a magnetic personality that draws people to him.

“Pat helped reinvigorate my love for our business. I have been sitting in that chair at ringside for 25 years calling live sports entertainment every single week. I have missed two television shows over that period. As one can imagine, that amount of repetition can become tedious after time. Pat changed all that, and each week became a new adventure and a new chapter in my career. Pat also gave me the confidence to open up and have fun out there. One of my career highlights was calling Pat’s match at WrestleMania. He deserves all his success.”

Congrats, Pat. We miss you. Cole misses you. Please come home.

* I know we still have bowls and the playoff ahead, but College GameDay’s season is a wrap so again, please come home, Pat Mac.

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