The Pat McAfee Show made their college football simulcast debut this past weekend for the Clemson vs NC State prime time game. The show aired on ESPN 2 while the regular broadcast with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit calling the game aired on ABC.
Back in August, it was announced that McAfee’s show partnered with Omaha Productions, led by Peyton Manning, to create an alternate broadcast for college football’s showcase game of the week. Similar to what Peyton and his brother Eli do for Monday Night Football with their ManningCast.
Unfortunately, the McAfee Show simulcast didn’t live up to the ManningCast standard. It didn’t have the same feeling watching them as it did viewing Peyton and Eli. A few reasons stuck out why I didn’t find McAfee’s show attempt at simulcasting a college football game entertaining.
Hard to See Them
The very first thing you notice when you flip on the McAfee simulcast is that there are eight people there. It’s Pat McAfee, A.J. Hawk and the rest of the Pat McAfee show crew. The camera had to be so zoomed out to fit all of them in the shot that you barely saw any of their facial reactions. It’s not like Peyton and Eli where it’s the two guys in their respective boxes on the screen, and you can clearly see them.
You can actually see Eli making a weird face after Peyton says something he doesn’t agree with. Or when Peyton is motioning for a timeout, like he did in the first Monday Night Football game this season with the Denver Broncos. Those little moments help make the broadcast more entertaining.
My home set up is a 48-inch TV and my couch sits about seven feet away. The whole time I was watching the McAfee broadcast, I couldn’t help think, what if I had a smaller TV? I wouldn’t be able to see the guys well or have a great view of the game because the box only goes about half the screen.
If you look at the pictures below, you can see the difference between the two broadcasts.
Too Much Talking
The other obvious problem with having eight people on the broadcast is there is way too much talking. And it gets to a point where they start talking over each other, so you can’t always hear what they’re saying. That might be funny to some, but to me it got really annoying. And it got to a point where it was distracting me from the game.
You have so much happening on one side of the screen, between four people talking at once and McAfee jumping off the couch at times, that you aren’t really focused on the other half, which is showing the actual game.
Again, this is where Peyton and Eli keep it simple. They don’t talk over each other. Sometimes they actually don’t talk enough. To be fair, the one area where Peyton and Eli could be better is not talking over their guests. But they aren’t in the same room as them so it’s difficult to completely avoid that happening.
Peyton Raises Your Football IQ
The third complaint, I didn’t get the same football lessons from them as you get with Peyton and Eli. I’ve watched football my whole life and know a good amount about the game, like most fans. I’m not dumb enough to win the coin toss in overtime and kick it, sorry Marty. But it’s nice when Peyton breaks a play down and gives you that insider knowledge that the average fan wouldn’t know.
You don’t get that with the McAfee simulcast. They spent more time talking about gambling and if Clemson has a nice campus or not. That’s cool, and I’m sure a lot of people enjoyed that. But I’m never going to visit Clemson, so I don’t care.
It’s Not All Bad
I’m not saying the McAfee Show simulcast was awful. It just felt like a lot was going on while I was trying to watch the game. If you don’t care about the game and would rather listen to eight dudes sitting in a gymnasium talking football, then this might be for you. Or if you’re someone that loves The Pat McAfee Show and watches it every day, then obviously you’re going to like it. And that’s fine.
McAfee and his crew do a great job with their daily show. I watch it occasionally and it’s genuinely funny. They are talented guys who certainly deserve to do stuff like the simulcast. But the way they presented it on Saturday night with everyone on it? Nah, I’ll pass.
Photo credit Ken Ruinard / USA TODAY NETWORK