TheAthletic.com named Pat McAfee its Sports Media Person of the Year for 2022 and Smackdown announcer Michael Cole commented on McAfee’s impact on WWE…
“I first met Pat in late 2017 when WWE was looking for a talent from outside the wrestling world to add some insight into our fast-growing world at NXT. My first impression of Pat was how real he was. There was no facade, no ego, just a cool dude with a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm. For whatever reason, we just clicked and became close friends. That chemistry would later pay off in our incredible run as a tandem on ‘Friday Night Smackdown’ on Fox.
Pat was immediately successful as a broadcaster in our universe because of two things: First, Pat is a fan, and it comes out on the air. He wasn’t trained as a traditional broadcaster so has no built-in habits that we needed to break. His love for the product just oozes out of him. Second, Pat has endless energy and charisma. He makes everything sound big and important. He is one of the hardest-working people I have ever been around. He treats everyone equally, has no ego, and has a magnetic personality that draws people to him.
Pat helped reinvigorate my love for our business. I have been sitting in that chair at ringside for 25 years calling live sports entertainment every single week. I have missed two television shows over that period. As one can imagine, that amount of repetition can become tedious after time. Pat changed all that, and each week became a new adventure and a new chapter in my career. Pat also gave me the confidence to open up and have fun out there. One of my career highlights was calling Pat’s match at WrestleMania. He deserves all his success.”