CFP Semifinals provide backdrop for several must-read features on ESPN

(Photo Credit: Daniel Tepper/The Athletic)

Saturday’s College Football Playoff Semifinals’ news coverage isn’t limited to the four schools vying for the National Championship. Several well-done and revealing features have been written about ESPN employees working the games this weekend. Here are a few to check out before kickoff of the first game (Cotton Bowl with No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN):

• The New York Post’s story on Sean McDonough, who will call his first-ever CFP semifinal on Saturday.

Sean McDonough during a regular season Monday Night Football game. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

Of note: “McDonough seems genuinely pleased with his new role and few would question that he is one of the top college football voices in the country. . .

. . . “College football is much more about storytelling,” McDonough said. “When you do the games every week a lot of the people watching don’t know much or anything about the players on the field. When you do an NFL game, you know a lot about those people you are watching. It’s not as important that the announcers humanize the participants. People aren’t tuning into an NFL game to hear Tom Brady has a stamp collection. I enjoy doing that.”

• This column in the Chicago Tribune also focussed on McDonough.

Of Note: “While McDonough’s resume includes a phenomenal number of major sports events — including “Monday Night Football,” baseball’s World Series, the U.S. Open in tennis, golf’s major tournaments and the Olympics — he isn’t a flashy sportscaster.

McDonough is an outstanding announcer because he tells what happens efficiently, knows how to share a story without gilding it.”

• The Athletic (subscription required) presented this very well-received story on Maria Taylor and Holly Rowe.

Of Note: “. . . Taylor has used her platform to try to highlight other women in sports media. She has organized for college broadcasters to shadow her during game days. She has pointed out that she and Rowe are just as qualified as the men who always get called to hop on “SportsCenter” to discuss breaking college football news.

“I have more accepted the roles they’d given me instead of trying to bang down doors even though I have in my way banged down a lot of doors,” Rowe says. “She pushes me and she pushes us. It’s awesome.

“We’re stronger together.”

More to read:

The 2018 Athletic Media Awards: ESPN’s Holly Rowe selected as Sports Media Person of the YearThe Athletic

Young quarterbacks the key to Notre Dame-Clemson game, says ESPN’s Todd Blackledge: ‘I’m anxious to watch the matchup’Chicago Tribune

ESPN’s Taylor figured Saban outburst back in September was just part of the jobMontgomery Advertiser

ESPN Reveals Its ‘Coaches Film Rooms’ For CFB Playoff Games –

ESPN is sticking college football fans on a billboard to live for 12 days – For the Win/USA Today



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