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Talent Profile: Bob Papa, Play-By-Play Commentator

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 4:15 PM, under , , ,

So just who is this Bob Papa guy? Neil Best of Newsday is reporting that the NFL Network is getting ready to announce his hiring as their new play-by-play man. Being in the South, I do not know much about him, but I now know that he is Jesuit-educated, so is a thinking man. He is also from the Bronx and New Jersey, which in some quarters makes him a tough man. And with all of their Fordham connections, why had not CBS Sports brought him up before? So just who is this guy? Here is his profile as published by HBO Sports. Last updated June 25, 2008.

Bob Papa joined HBO Sports in the spring of 2007 as the blow-by-blow announcer on HBO BOXING AFTER DARK having established himself as one of the top play-by-play announcers in the broadcast industry. The 1986 Fordham University graduate has been the radio "voice" of the New York Giants since 1995. Bob has been associated with the NFL's flagship franchise since 1988, where he began as the pre-game and post-game host of the Giants Radio Network. Along with his play-by-play duties, Bob hosts the NY Emmy award winning GiantsGameplan on Fox-5 as well as Giants On-Line on the YES Network.

While has been a fixture in the New York market, he has also worked quite extensively on the national stage as well. He has been involved with NBC's Olympic coverage since the 1992 Barcelona Games. Bob has handled the play-by-play for boxing, water polo, cross country skiing, biathlon, bobsled, skeleton, luge and even curling. Over the past several seasons he has also handled the play-by-play for NBC's Arena Football coverage as well as the Bayou Classic, the US Army All-American Bowl as well as the Budweiser Boxing Series.

The Marty Glickman protégé has proven to be one of the industries most versatile talents. Bob also handles play-by-play duties for Westwood One radio. He is part of the network's NFL broadcast team, working the Thanksgiving Day broadcast from Dallas as well as numerous other regular season and postseason NFL games. He also serves as the anchor for Westwood One's coverage of the Masters, US Open, and PGA Championships from the 18th hole tower position. Along with his football and golf roles, Bob handles play-by-play for Westwood One's NCAA men's basketball tournament coverage.

Bob's involvement in NFL has turned into a year round commitment. In August of 2004, he was part of SIRIUS Satellite Radio's launch of the NFL Channel. Bob hosts a show each weekday morning called the "Opening Drive" with legendary NFL coach Dan Reeves. Two days a week, Bob also hosts "Moving The Chains" with former NFL great tight end Shannon Sharpe.

After graduating from Fordham's College School of Business in 1986, Papa immediately started working in Utica, NY handling play-by-play for the Utica Blue Sox baseball team. He returned to his native New York City in 1987 where he landed a job at WNEW, which at the time was the flagship station for the New York Giants Radio Network. While Papa's association with the Giants was beginning, he also began to cultivate his television career. In 1989 he was hired by SportsChannel America to handle the blow-by-blow for their boxing series, play-by-play for their national football package, as well as serve as the studio anchor for the network's NHL playoff coverage.

When Sportchannel America folded, Bob joined Sportschannel New York as a studio anchor for the Nets, Devils, Islanders and Mets. In 1996, Bob began an eight year association with ESPN handling the blow-by-blow for their boxing coverage working alongside Al Bernstein. In 1998 ESPN re-created the Friday Night Fights series as Papa was teamed with Teddy Atlas. The tandem called over 200 bouts per year for six years before Bob left the series to join NBC Sports.

Papa has always remembered one of the key lessons from his mentor, the late Marty Glickman. "Always keep your New York radio roots," Glickman would remind Papa. And Bob has never forgotten that lesson. Bob spent six full seasons as the radio "voice" of the New Jersey Nets from 1996 to 2002 as well as his current relationship with the New York Football Giants.

The Bronx native has also had a chance to work with the team from "his" borough. When the YES Network was launched, Bob spent three seasons as the host of "This Week In Football". The weekly show, co-hosted with Giants running back Tiki Barber, reviewed and previewed each week in the NFL. Bob also handled a fill-in role on the Yankees pre-game and post-game coverage during the 2003 season. Papa also spent some time in the broadcast booth for YES, serving as the play-by-play announcer for the Staten Island Yankees telecasts for two seasons.

Bob Papa was born in the Bronx before moving to New Jersey as a child. After graduating from Bergen Catholic High School in 1982, Papa received a business degree from Fordham University in 1986. Despite majoring in business, Papa honed his broadcasting skills while at Fordham. He spent three years working at the famed college radio station WFUV. The Fordham radio station has produced talents like legendary baseball announcer Vin Scully and CBS's Charles Osgood. Most recently, Fordham has turned out Yankees announcer Michael Kay, Mike Breen of the Knicks, Chris Carrino of the Nets as well as Spero Dedes of the Lakers.

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