NFL Network to hire Bob Papa for its play-by-play gig
The NFL Network wisely has decided to take my advice and hire Bob Papa as its new play-by-play man, replacing Bryant Gumbel, who had held the job for the previous two seasons.
I don't know when the network is announcing this, but three people familiar with the situation said Wednesday that Papa would be the choice.
Other candidates are believed to have included Spero Dedes - like Papa a Fordham alum - and Tom Hammond, who was the presumed leading contender when Bryant first departed.
Papa, the Giants' radio play-by-play man, received national attention during the team's Super Bowl XLII run. He is a veteran broadcaster who has done extensive work outside New York, but having his calls replayed over playoff highlights introduced him to a wider audience. He also calls boxing for HBO.
The NFL Network games, primarily on Thursdays, will not conflict with his Giants or boxing duties.
Hiring Bryant, who hadn't done play-by-play in decades, was a risk that flopped. Hiring Papa, who called the most recent NFL game played, is a no-brainer that will be a hit.