The NBC broadcasts of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football just got a major upgrade. The Peacock network announced Monday that Mike Tirico would be the new play by play man for all Irish home games.
Tirico, who calls NBC’s Thursday night NFL games, replaces Dan Hicks. Hicks, who is married to ESPN reporter Hannah Storm (a ND alumna), will continue in his role as announcer of golf and downhill skiing. Hicks replaced Tom Hammond before the 2013 season.
Tirico is in his 26th year as a professional broadcaster, having worked at ESPN for the majority of that time. He was the voice of the cable channel’s Monday Night Football for ten seasons, and will lead NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage next year.
Basically, Notre Dame got NBC’s No. 1 play-by-play man.
Tirico will be joined in the booth by Doug Flutie, the former Boston College Eagles quarterback. Flutie has provided color commentary on Notre Dame broadcasts since 2014, when he replaced Mike Mayock. Kathryn Tappen, who joined with Flutie, will remain the sideline reporter during games.
NBC also announced that Chris Simms, the former Texas Longhorns quarterback, will be an in-studio analyst during Irish football games. Simms, the son of legendary New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, will appear alongside Liam McHugh, who has anchored NBC’s studio coverage since 2011.
Tirico did an outstanding job during his three-game replacement for Hicks last season, and I’d imagine Irish fans will consider this an upgrade.
Since Irish fans seem to concentrate on this, let’s review the alma maters for each sports personality working Notre Dame games on NBC:
- Mike Tirico: Syracuse University
- Doug Flutie: Boston College
- Kathryn Tappen: Rutgers
- Liam McHugh: University of Buffalo and Syracuse University
- Chris Simms: University of Texas
What do you think of NBC’s booth change?
This poll is closed
Tirico is a definite upgrade; Flutie sucks
I liked Hicks; Flutie sucks
No change is worth talking about until NBC gets Brady Quinn in the booth for Irish games.