Soundbite: Chris Fowler

Pranav Ramasubramanian 

January 8, 2021

Photo by Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

Color commentators are sports broadcasters or analysts with extraordinary speech skills along with superior knowledge of the particular sport they are covering so they can manifest the game in several variations to attract and capture an audience that spans from generation to generation. Some of the best color commentators in sports currently are Chris Fowler, Kevin Harlan, Dick Vitale, Tony Romo, Bill Walton, etc. In advance of Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship Chris Fowler met with the media on Zoom to discuss respective opinions on particular subject matters that he was questioned about. Here's what Chris Fowler vocalized during that webinar. 

Question: The COVID-19 pandemic made this College Football season an unprecedented twenty weeks. Can you explain the challenges you went through personally and professionally during this unique College Football season?

Answer: I went through the same challenges as everybody else. First of all, life is a challenge so we don't need to detail that. I have a sense of what the coaches and players go through with the continual testing, which is appropriate given the circumstances. Companies were very vigilant worldwide and wanted to keep their employees safe. I consent to that, but it is something you think about. I can also connect to the experience of always awaiting my next COVID-19 test then anxiously standing by for the result even if I am healthy because of the week-to-week uncertainty. I have had 54 tests so far this season with impending tests due to my College Football Playoff National Championship game assignment in Miami, which is alright. All of us who have been in the testing process can understand the tension. Travel isn't the same. I detailed earlier how distinct TV production is and how much I miss the collaboration along with overall face-to-face communication. Some of the other activities I miss the most when it comes to production are having a drink with the crew on Thursday and Friday night watching football practices together, sharing meals, and being in the same room as we prepare to cover a major football game. Football is a very communal sport and the production of it is more collaborative compared to any other sport I've worked on besides the FIFA World Cup in soccer. All of that is missing currently as everybody is a screen and a camera. That makes it tougher to experience this abrupt modification because we are all human at the end of the day. Those are some of the challenges that as a commentator and other individuals employed in sports have endured this year, but it's a minor impediment compared to what other people are encountering due to the nationwide spread of COVID-19 in 2020, which needs to be acknowledged by everyone. That should go without verbalizing. As thankful as I am to have this job and every single day that gratitude is authentic, my gig is not as enjoyable as it usually is presently with the current health guidelines. However, we have made it to the end of the year and the goal is that by next season we wish to relish the coverage of the sport and everything else in life the way we used to. 

The video of these interviews is now available on YouTube. You can choose to view it down below. 

A special thanks to Amanda Brooks of ESPN for arranging and conducting the videoconference spectacularly. Make sure to tune in next Monday at 8:00 PM Eastern/5:00 PM Pacific to see Fowler commentate the College Football Playoff National Championship game alongside colleague Kirk Herbstreit on ESPN.