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Ex-NFL punter, radio personality Pat McAfee to join WWE Friday Night SmackDown as analyst

Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY
·2 min read
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Former NFL punter and popular sports analyst and podcaster Pat McAfee is crossing over into pro wrestling.

The WWE announced Friday that McAfee will make his debut as the organization's new analyst for Friday Night SmackDown. McAfee also made his own announcement Friday morning through his verified Twitter account.

"For as long as I can remember WWE has been a company that I have admired, both for its incredible staying power of creating riveting entertainment and for its ability to connect people all over the globe," McAfee said Friday in a statement. "I’ve been fortunate to try a lot of cool professions but working for WWE was the one I looked forward to most. I am incredibly honored and grateful for the chance to give back to the business that has given me and many others so much and having the opportunity to sit at the same table that legends have graced is truly a dream come true. Now let’s go get it."

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McAfee's first assignment comes on Friday, with his debut show airing on FOX at 8 p.m. ET. On the broadcast, he will join Michael Cole, the voice of Friday Night SmackDown.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 06:  Pat McAfee attends SiriusXM's "Busted Open" celebrating 10th Anniversary In New York City on the eve of WrestleMania 35 on April 6, 2019 in New York City.  (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 06: Pat McAfee attends SiriusXM's "Busted Open" celebrating 10th Anniversary In New York City on the eve of WrestleMania 35 on April 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

After transitioning from his playing career, McAfee now hosts "The Pat McAfee Show," which is simulcast both on YouTube and on Sirius XM. He also hosts the podcast "The Pat McAfee Show 2.0."

McAfee and his crew — which split from Barstool Sports in August 2018 — have used the video platform to climb to the top of the sports media world and were the most-watched sports show on YouTube in January (54 million total views).

In addition to his daily show, McAfee worked as a guest commentator on ESPN’s “College GameDay” during the last two seasons.

A two-time Pro Bowler and one-time all-pro punter for the Indianapolis Colts, McAfee played eight seasons in the NFL from 2009-16.

Contributing: Chris Bumbaca

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pat McAfee to join WWE as Friday Night SmackDown analyst