ESPN’s Sean McDonough Is Ready for an ‘Emotional’ Trip Home to Call Patriots Game
Monday’s night matchup between the Patriots and the Ravens won’t just be another football game for Sean McDonough.
While the lifelong Boston sports fan has spent a lot of time in Foxboro over the years, tonight’s showdown will be a special occasion for the ESPN broadcaster. The Massachusetts native and former Red Sox sportscaster will get the chance to call the play-by-play for his first Patriots game since joining the Monday Night Football crew.
“When I first got hired back in late April, one of the first things I did was look at the schedule of games, and that was the one that jumped out at me immediately,” McDonough says. “It’ll be special and emotional in a lot of ways for me.”
Aside from living out a childhood fantasy, Monday’s game will be a meaningful night for McDonough mostly due to his late father’s close connection to the Boston sports world. His dad Will McDonough was an acclaimed television football reporter and sportswriter for the Boston Globe who covered the Patriots since the team’s inception.
Being the son of a legendary sports media figure obviously taught McDonough a few important lessons on how to succeed in the business. In particular, he praises his father for teaching him the “importance of hard work” as well as having confidence in his convictions.
“He worked really hard at his job, that’s why he got so many scoops,” McDonough says. “In terms of on the air, part of my style that probably most closely resembles his is, I hope, the candor and honesty and not being afraid to have an opinion.”
McDonough has become a notable media personality in his own right over the years.
After graduating Syracuse University, he went on to land his first big gig in 1988 as a TV broadcaster for Red Sox games. Since then, he’s called the World Series, the U.S. Open, and other major sporting events for everyone from NBC to ESPN.
“I’ve been very blessed to be at the right place at the right time on a number of occasions,” McDonough says.
Although he’s had the privilege to announce several high-profile games, the broadcaster calls his first Opening Day at Fenway Park one of the best moments of his professional career.
“Having a chance to do the Red Sox games on local TV was the dream job,” McDonough says. “I’ll never forget Opening Day in 1988, sitting at Fenway Park, looking at the field thinking, ‘Oh my goodness. This is really happening. This is actually my job.’”