This fall, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to have two great gigs lined up. I am a field analyst for ACC Network as well the color commentator on the Buffalo Bills radio broadcast.
To be able to work in college football and cover just one conference has been ideal for me, as it can be a daunting task to learn all about a college team in only one week. Further – college rosters are enormous, player turnover in programs is high, players can wear duplicate numbers (as long as they won’t be on the field at the same time), there are 130 FBS teams, some colleges can be extremely difficult to travel to, and the list goes on.
Last year, the only game that I did a broadcast for was Kansas State at Iowa State on Thanksgiving week for Fox. As I wasn’t given the assignment until the actual week of the game, I knew nothing about either opponent heading into it. I ended up spending all week cramming – watching game tapes of both teams, talking to coaches for each team, and studying media guides. I’m grateful for that experience though because it was a good learning opportunity and allowed me to have a tape that I could use for my resume.
For the reasons I listed above, it’s a blessing to be able to work for just one conference and be able to lock in on the ACC teams for the entire year to help with prep. All the schools are in the eastern time zone, so commuting from Louisville will be manageable as well.
The Bills radio job offer came after I accepted the ACC job, and I’m extremely grateful to the Bills and ESPN for working together and allowing me to do both. To be a part of the Bills organization in some capacity again has been an absolute joy. I love seeing all the familiar faces each week, and it’s great to be connected with the community again.
I’m thankful that my foundation in Buffalo, the Eric Wood Fund, will also be benefiting from my presence in Western New York. We have continued to fund a suite for Bills games for families with sick or disabled children, and when my family doesn’t use my four tickets to each game, I’m able to gift them to those families as well.
Each week I will be doing an early Saturday ACC game and then heading straight from there to wherever the Bills are playing in order to make the Sunday game. People often say to me that this will be a daunting fall – and it may well be – but after a year off of work, I’m ready for a challenge. I had an incredible time last year traveling, enjoying holidays with family, and being around the house more to help out… but I knew I needed to pursue a career that would be challenging and something I could push myself to try to be the best at.
I’m genuinely excited about this fall and thankful to have a wife that is supporting me chasing after another dream career of mine. It won’t be easy to be away from Leslie, Grace, and Garrett for over half of every week this fall, but I will do my best to make the time that I am at home count. Also, having 7 months off of work once the season is over will allow us to have time together again.
Though people may think I’m crazy to welcome the schedule I have this fall, it ignites a fire in me to rise to the challenge and try to succeed at this new and exciting venture!