Georgia-raised ESPN analyst David Pollack will stay close to home this weekend in a rare all-Georgia work stretch.
Beginning Thursday night, Pollack drove an hour southwest from his home near Athens, Ga., to call Virginia Tech’s 17-10 win against Georgia Tech in Atlanta. As a former Georgia Bulldog, stepping into Bobby Dodd Stadium sans helmet and pads was one of several firsts he’ll experience through Saturday.
Long considered in-state rivals, Pollack was 4-0 in his playing years vs. Tech. Still, Georgia Tech officials displayed a sense of humor about the history by presenting Pollack with his own Georgia Tech jersey as part of their special “throwback jersey” night at the stadium. And though he declined to wear it – as any good Bulldog would – he said, “This continues to be a great rivalry. Playing against Tech was always a big game because I knew so many of the guys from high school ball. A lot of us took our recruiting trips together. I always looked forward to that game.”
After Thursday night’s game, Pollack drove back to his home – a welcomed luxury given the rigors of the season – to prepare for ESPN College GameDay Built by The Home Depot at his alma mater, the University of Georgia, as it prepares to take on SEC rival LSU on Saturday.
While playing at Georgia, Pollack racked up a slew of post-season accolades including three-time All-America honors, 2002 SEC Player of the Year, the 2003 and 2004 Ted Hendricks Award, and, all in 2004, the Chuck Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award, Lott Trophy and SEC Defensive Player of the Year. It will be his first time back as a member of the GameDay team and a moment he is looking forward to.
“It’s just great all the way around,” Pollack said. “I got to take my kids to school [this week]. I’ve slept in my own bed. I’ll see friends and people I knew as a player here. And, I get to take my son to his first ever football game Saturday. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
– By Keri Potts
ICYMI: Highlights from the past week on Front Row
• The Virtual Yellow 1st and Ten line debuted on ESPN 15 years ago. Check out the original ESPN press release touting 1st and Ten and some of the early media coverage following the announcement.
• ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine program E:60 featured the unique story of a batboy for the Cincinnati Reds during this week’s episode. The show airs Episode 100 this Tuesday.
• Book of Manning opened film vaults for a rare peek into the family’s history and explored the personal and professional life of former NFL and Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning.
• On the anniversary of the ‘Fail Mary,’ Mike Tirico shared his thoughts on the play that became MNF legend.
Row of Four
Our favorites from across ESPN over the past week
• From espnW’s Jane McManus: As recent examples show, sometimes the decision to not play shows true character.
• College hoops season is upon us, as practice opened across the country this week. In that spirit, take a look at the ESPN 100 for the Class of 2014 and then feel free to #AskCoachB why “your” guy didn’t make it!.
• From Grantland’s Jonah Keri: Mariano Rivera’s last home game.
• Enjoy an array of photos from the ESPN Images’ Images of the Week