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Pasch Factor: McDonough Rules

Fellow Syracuse alum -- and brother of Cardinals' VP -- comes to town for "Monday Night Football"


I remember the moment like it was yesterday.

I was sitting in my room in 1992 at Syracuse University with many of my classmates who were radio and television broadcast hopefuls. We were watching Game 7 of the National League Championship Series between the Braves and Pirates. Syracuse alum and CBS play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough was calling the dramatic finish.

"SAFE! Safe at the plate!" McDonough shouted as the winning run crossed home plate, and the Braves advanced to the World Series. Syracuse had produced many legendary announcers, like Marv Albert, Marty Glickman and Bob Costas. But McDonough was

the announcer all of us dreamed of being while we were in school. Sean was only 30 years old at the time, just 10 years older than all of us. Yet he was the lead CBS Major League Baseball Announcer. Having a top gig at such a young age made all play-by-play wannabes feel like the dream was possible. Of course, none of us were as good as Sean, which allowed reality to set in quickly.

Sean became a good friend and sounding board over the years, always willing to give advice and wisdom. When I got the Syracuse football and basketball play-by-play job in 1999, McDonough helped smooth the transition. The University tabbed several Syracuse alums to broadcast a college football or basketball game with me. I got to work with some of the best in the business, names like Albert, Hank Greenwald, Andy Musser, Dick Stockton, and McDonough, along with up-and-comers Ian Eagle and Mike Tirico.

At that time, Tirico was working on ESPN's SportsCenter, hosting studio shows, and calling college football games. All of us knew he was destined for a number one play-by-play position. Seven years later, Tirico was named the voice of "Monday Night Football" on ESPN. Mike held that position until moving on to NBC Sports, where he will be their top NFL voice in the years to come.

McDonough is in his first season as Tirico's successor and just the fifth person to hold that position in more than 45 years. When you listen to Sean call a game – including Monday's matchup between the Cardinals and the Jets -- not much has changed over his three decades as a top national announcer. He was one of the best then and he remains one of the best. From his terrific pace and description to outstanding storytelling and timely opinions, McDonough is the gold standard for play-by-play announcers.

Sean, of course, isn't the only McDonough who is at top of his profession. His brother Ryan McDonough is the General Manager of the Phoenix Suns. His other brother, Terry, is the Cardinals vice president of player personnel and a future GM himself.

"Monday Night Football" is always a distinctive event. This week's game between the Cardinals and Jets is huge for the players, coaches, and fans of both teams. I'm sure it will be special for the McDonough family as well. 

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