The bug got to Greg McElroy when he was talking about Auburn’s defense.
Now, why would a former Alabama quarterback want to speak in glowing terms about his arch rival? Well, that was in early 2011 when McElroy just finished his career with Crimson Tide. ESPN invited him to come to Glendale, Ariz., that week to talk about the BCS championship game against Auburn and Oregon.
McElroy’s on-air performance went so well that ESPN wanted Carroll’s state championship quarterback to think about a career in broadcasting. After a three-year stint in the NFL between the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals, McElroy realized he had enough of football. He called Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis in March and told him he was retiring. Football was no longer fun. It had become a job.
After some consideration about going to law school and turning it into a career in politics, McElroy put those on hold because he is really living his dream.
Two weeks ago, he began as the morning drive co-host for Sirius/XM satellite Ch. 91 from 6-9 a.m. He joins longtime connection Taylor Zarsour for the show that originates out of Charlotte, N.C.
In the coming days, you will see McElroy on ESPN’s new SEC Network as a studio analyst. The network launches on Aug. 14. And don’t be surprised to see McElroy in the broadcast booth calling the action.
“I can’t tell you how lucky I am,” he said. “I’m probably overstating it, but it was right place, right time. I’m fortunate to get paid for doing something I love. Sometimes, it’s not work, because you’re doing what you love.”
And McElroy, 26, is all in on this. He’s already looked at and studied tape from just about every SEC game played in 2013. That entails breaking down film of returning quarterbacks, running backs and defensive lineman, and whoever else he needed to see.
But he’s going beyond that because when he watches Mississippi State and current coach Dan Mullen, he thinks about how much of an influence Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was on the way Mullen runs a game. Mullen was Meyer’s offensive coordinator at Florida when the two were together in the 2000s.
Yet McElroy is wired this way.
“I’m a little OCD and I get that from my mom,” he said. “We’re similar in the way we go about our lives. I like to do my own evaluations and find my own stats. I watch film all day, every day, because I want to make sure I’m really looking at everything I can.”
So you can how seriously he’s taking this. As good as a quarterback he was with the Crimson Tide (winning a national title in 2010), the 2014 season is probably going to be his most enjoyable. He doesn’t have a 275-pound defensive end coming after him to put his face into the turf after he throws a pass. Now, all he has to do is tell you why the defensive end placed that quarterback’s face into the turf.
“I really have a passion for this,” McElroy said. “I want to be good at this, from understanding game plans to knowing a team’s strengths and weaknesses. I can’t ask for more.”
In time, it is my hope that the Grapevine-Colleyville school district will give serious consideration to honoring the late Ted Brevelle by naming the field at Mustang-Panther Stadium after him. Brevelle’s leadership through so many transitional moments in the district’s history shouldn’t be forgotten.