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“It’s friends, fellowship, and football. Also, HBCU football means pro-level talent”

Before calling MEAC/SWAC Challenge today on ESPN2, pxp voice Tiffany Greene "paints it forward" in Atlanta

ATLANTA – Nothing says the start of college football season like … paint cans and drop cloths.

That is the case if you are taking part in the inaugural “Celebration of Service” effort held in conjunction with the 14th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge. The ESPN Events-owned-and-operated game pitting Prairie View A&M versus North Carolina Central kicks off today (noon ET, ESPN2) from Pete Petit Field at Georgia State Stadium, its home for the next three years.

The contest marks the finale of a weekend of activities aimed at highlighting the spirit of community and service of HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) schools and their “Divine Nine” Greek fraternities and sororities.

Front Row caught up with second-year ESPN college football announcer Tiffany Greene at the Paint-It-Forward community service project held Saturday morning here. She and several other volunteers, including SportsCenter anchor Jay Harris, helped paint the more than 10,000-square foot B.E.S.T. Academy.

Greene will call today’s contest alongside former Howard football star and analyst Jay Walker. Greene broke barriers as the first African-American woman to handle play-by-play for a college football game. She also is a proud Florida A&M University alum and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

What storyline do you find most intriguing in this matchup?
I’m excited to see how these long-time assistants – but first-year coaches Granville Eastman (NCCU) and Eric Dooley [PVAMU], respond on a national stage; everything will be magnified, and everyone will be watching.

What do you want people to know most about HBCU football?
HBCU football is a family reunion; that’s the feel of it. It’s an event. It’s friends, fellowship, and football. Also, HBCU football means pro-level talent. We’ll see some of that in the game for sure.

Do you think college football will get in the way of your future as an industrial painter?
Look, I’m game to paint. I get great satisfaction and a personal high when I leave a service project. But I’m ready for college football and this is a great game for me to start the season.