Pat McAfee was left star-struck after receiving special gesture from Barack Obama following ESPN coverage - “President Obama has no idea”
If we were to ask you the similarities between Pat McAfee and President Barack Obama, very few people would be able to point it out right away. But look under the surface, and it emerges that they are both mold-breakers.
One of them ascended to the highest office in the land coming from a background no one had before and another took the business of sportscasting to new and uncharted territory.
What fewer people might know still is that the former Indianapolis Colts punter and the former US President's path have crossed before, thanks to college football. The former NFL player recounted a situation when he presented a colleged football game featuring South Dakota State, but mentioned he only got the opportunity because Adam Vinatieri was unavailable.
Speaking to Jimmy Traina, he said:
“So, in 2019 before COVID, I got to do a few [GameDay shows] because Adam Vinatieri was supposed to do it in South Dakota State, but he was not available. They sent me over there, I cut a couple promos, had a good time. They invited me back to the next few, and then COVID happened, and I was kind of going in from my studio, kind of dropping in, dropping out."
That unexpected opportunity led to an even more unexpected correspondence. Somebody working in the President's office contacted Pat McAfee saying that they enjoyed his presentation there.
Needless to say, the presenter acknowledged he was taken aback and because he did not assume the commander-in-chief of the United States watching his show. He added:
“And one of the times, I forget what it was, I was live from my studio, they were on location. I did something and I got a message from somebody that was working in President Obama’s office. So he has an office in Chicago and the message was ‘President Obama wanted me to let you know that he enjoyed what you just did on College GameDay,’ or something like that. And I was like, ‘Oh ****.’ Like, O.K., so President Obama’s not watching my YouTube show. You know what I mean?"
Pat McAfee said that he was so unsure about the veracity of the message that he had to get someone else to check it. And once that was confirmed, the current YouTube host realized that there is something different about college football GameDay. He noted:
“Yeah, it was wild. I literally read it and was like, ‘This is a joke.’ I said, ‘This isn’t real.’ And then I had to get it checked by somebody else. I’m like, ‘Yeah, President Obama has no idea. I exist on YouTube. So, yeah, GameDay’s a littttttttle bit different. I think GameDay’s a litttttttle bit different.”
Perhaps it is that recollection that has made him continue to present college football on ESPN depite his ubiquity in NFL circles, which ultimately might be the reason why he was drawn to the network.
Barack Obama merely reinforces joy of working on GameDay for Pat McAfee
College GameDay has existed for nearly five decades now and its importance was underscored by Barack Obama's message to Pat McAfee. However, as the host recounted, what sets the team apart is its professionalism and their kindness towards him. He said:
“So like it was in 2020, I think, when I realized like, hey, this is a completely different animal and it is an institution, and the people that have worked there have been there basically since it started. I mean, there’s a lot of history in that room whenever I go in there. And they were all incredibly kind to me. And I’m very, very grateful for that. And lucky to be part of it.”