Kirk Herbstreit 'Would Love the Challenge' of Calling College Football and NFL Games: TRAINA THOUGHTS

Author:
Publish date:

1. ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler did something two months ago that is very rare these days: They drew an overwhelming amount of praise on Twitter for their call of the Steelers-Giants Week 1 Monday Night Football game.

The fact that the network's top college football broadcast team would call a good game isn't all that shocking. But the smoothness Herbstreit and Fowler showed in transitioning from college to the NFL was impressive.

The new experience also seemed to give Herbstreit a jolt. He recently told The Big Lead that he was now more open to the idea of calling NFL games.

Herbstreit reiterated this thought and expanded on the idea during an appearance on this week's SI Media Podcast.

I asked Herbstreit whether he ever sees himself not doing College GameDay.

"I don't know," he said. "I love it right now. I hope to do it forever. I hope to be in college football forever. We were talking earlier about GameDay bouncing around to different places and sometimes it goes to the same place.

"It's hard to describe to people unless you're a college football fan, the energy of it, the pageantry, getting onto a college campus in the fall. It's very, very different and very hard to explain to people unless you've done that. So I'd love to keep doing what I'm doing for as long as I can, especially doing studio and the game, but hopefully they never ask me to leave doing studio. But we'll see."

I followed up by asking Herbstreit whether he could ever see himself doing NFL and not college, or whether he would do NFL and keep college, and whether he's even thought that far down the road.

"I haven't," said Herbstreit. "I've always looked at it like, if you asked that me a year ago, I would say college. I would definitely do college. And after that experience, I'd say I would love to entertain both. I would love the challenge. I don't know if anyone's ever done that, where they do a big college game and then do a game in the NFL. It would have to be a Monday game, obviously. If it were a Sunday game I wouldn't be able to do college and pro. Ideally, in a perfect world, I would love the challenge of trying to do both. But I'm now much more open to the idea of doing the NFL."

Herbstreit later added, "There's a willingness and excitement in me after that experience with the Giants and Steelers that I've never had—the notion of doing the NFL."

So what happens if ESPN asks Herbstreit to do NFL but not college football?

"I would think about it," said Herbstreit. "But I would not say I'd definitely do that for sure. I just wanna see where the college game is when we get on the back end of this COVID and how the game changes, if it does at all, with the powers that be, the realignment, the conferences and where we're headed as a sport."

During the 50-minute interview with Herbstreit, many topics were covered including what it's been like this year to do College GameDay without fans in attendance, blowback he got from commenting on social justice, doing GameDay from home one week as a precaution after coming in contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19, the famous incident when Lee Corso dropped an f-bomb on the air, the bizarre interview he and Brent Musburger did with Eminem, his favorite guest pickers and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

2. Congrats to Good Morning Football on its 1,000th episode, which aired Thursday morning. This montage is a must-watch for fans of the show, with Peter Schrager's imitation of Ray Lewis being the highlight.

3. Like almost every sport, Major League Baseball saw a ratings decline for the World Series. Dodgers-Rays finished as the lowest-rated Fall Classic of all time.

4. Excellent shot here by Nick Jonas on Drake while comparing the "Jonas Blessing" to the "Drake Curse" when it comes to the sports world. It seems athletes who have attended a JoBros show have had a good run in 2020. On a side note, in case Nick Jonas is reading this, "Jealous" is an all-time banger.

5. Big props to Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks for this very creative Halloween choice and excellent Clair Huxtable tribute.

6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Saw this tweet this morning about the great Dolly Parton–Kenny Rogers duet ...

... and immediately thought of one thing.

7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: LeBron James played in his first NBA game 17 years ago Thursday. The King, at just 18 years old, finished with 25 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals in 42 minutes in the Cavs' 106–92 loss to the Kings.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.