When Pat McAfee burst on the broadcasting and entertainment scene a few years ago, the former Indianapolis Colts punter was hailed as an everyman. Unpolished and unfiltered, he was the stereotypical, ‘guy you’d like to have a drink with.’ But that perception may be changing, and it’s likely due to overexposure. A recent poll of ESPN College Gameday viewers says they don’t care for the precocious podcaster on the pre-game program.
A recent poll conducted by The Athletic of over 3,000 readers regarding their viewing habits, as well as their likes and dislikes. And it revealed some surprising results for the seemingly likable Pat McAfee.
According to the survey, Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit are the two most popular announcers in NCAA football today, while McAfee came up a little bit short in the informal popularity contest. The Athletic readers actually dislike his college coverage, at least for the most part. 48 percent of those polled said they don’t like his presence on the show… compared to just 30.1 percent who say they like him.
Pat McAfee has already been facing backlash from his fan base for joining Disney-owned ESPN, fearing that it would become watered down and highly censored. So far, it seems like the former NFL player has been able to plug any holes in his ship, but the negative perception regarding his show may be hurting him in other endeavors – like Gameday, for example.
“I don’t watch Gameday anymore solely because of Pat McAfee,” one fan commented to The Athletic. “I think he’s an embarrassment to ESPN and a major knock on whatever credibility they have left.”
Granted, there are reasons why McAfee might rub some sports watchers the wrong way. He’s loud and brash. They may dislike that he associates with some controversial friends who frequent his talk show (like Aaron Rodgers). Or possibly, because he also works for World Wrestling Entertainment, a role that makes him somewhat of a punchline to ‘traditional’ sports fans. Others share a growing opinion that Pat McAfee is just being seen a little too much. And to be fair? He does seem to be everywhere these days.
“Pat McAfee is being over-utilized and I’m not sure he has a distinct enough point of view to stick in people’s minds,” said a fan who shared the latter sentiment. (Dan) Orlovsky is excellent with analysis but in danger of over-exposure, as well.”
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