Newspaper guys doing television? What a concept!
That was my initial reaction anyway, to the Indy Star’s introduction of the Pat McAfee Show. The online sports broadcast, hosted by Colts punter and social media star Pat McAfee, launched just prior to the start of the Colts season.
I attended my first show this week. And you know what? It works! And I think they’re on to something.
In our fast-changing, social-media-driven world, no medium has faced more pressure to stay relevant than newspapers. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and smartphones revolutionized the way we receive information. And that left print news providers with two options: fight change or embrace it.
The Indy Star chose the latter. And the Pat McAfee Show is the latest example of this. Held in front of a live audience every week, and in his natural game show host style, Pat McAfee gives fans an up close and personal account of the Colts season week by week.
His opening dialogue is token McAfee and demonstrates why he’s one of the most popular NFL players on Twitter, with 131,000 followers and counting.
McAfee then grills Indy Star sports writers Bob Kravitz and Mike Chappell, who didn’t give the Colts a chance to beat the 49ers in last week’s game. They go on to give predictions for the upcoming game against the Jaguars.
No, they’re not television guys. But the reporters for the Indy Star are personalities themselves and viewers get a rare glimpse of that during the show. Their job is information. And they deliver. Not with the same gusto as McAfee, but that’s what they have him for…swag.
If there was anything awkward about the show, it was probably the guest, Mike McGlynn, who came off as the big, angry, white guy. The offensive lineman has taken much heat over the lack of protection of quarterback (and meal ticket) Andrew Luck this season. As a result, McGlynn’s dislike of the Indy Star reporters, partially prodded by McAfee, was palpable. From my vantage point, I could see Mike Chappell in a chair near the set…as McGlynn went on and on about his dislike of Mike Chappell. To be honest, it was McGlynn who came off as unlikable.
I wondered how that was going to work, handling Colts team issues (some of them not flattering) while McAfee performs double duty as host and team representative. I guess they’ll figure it out as they go. But in a way, McAfee is so much in performer mode, at times you almost forget he is a member of the team.
There’s a word for that. I think they call it a “natural.” And if McAfee weren’t such a good punter, I would say he’s wasting his talents in the NFL.
For now, fans are just lucky to have Pat McAfee in both roles.
Because, the show must go on…
Both on the field. And off.
And that seems likely. Indy Star sports editor and executive director of the Pat McAfee Show, Ronnie Ramos, says they are thrilled with the response so far and with the buzz created in social media.
“The live audience continues to grow each week and we are seeing great numbers of online viewers. We also are seeing hundreds of people come online to see replays of the shows and highlights each week.” -Ronnie Ramos, Indy Star sports editor
Touchdown, Indy Star!
The Pat McAfee Show is taped live at Kilroy’s in Broad Ripple every Tuesday at 7:00 PM. The show will move to the Kilroy’s downtown mid-season. You can also view the show live online, see a replay, or view past episodes at Indystar.com. Click on the Pat McAfee Show link.