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Posted Aug 31, 2006
There will be a familiar face and voice this week broadcasting the Georgia / Western Kentucky game on Lincoln Financial Sports. Dave Neal has been covering SEC Football for almost a decade. This 2-time Emmy winner has covered a wide range of SEC sports in his time and he is also the host of FSN South's original show "SEC-TV." What are his thoughts on this game? He tells me in this interview.
-- For a broadcaster you too have to be excited that college football is back?
-- Yes I am. Growing up in the south (Atlanta) you understand how important college football is to every sports fan. It isn't just a game, it's a part of everyday life and for me the same holds true. I am lucky to be broadcasting SEC football every weekend for 3 months because there isn't a better league anywhere in the country.
-- How many seasons have you been broadcasting college football games?
-- I will be entering my 8th season with Lincoln Financial Sports (formerly Jefferson Pilot Sports). I will be doing my 100th game with them sometime this season but I actually did a few games with Fox Sports Net back in 1997 and 1998.
-- Do you remember your first game?
-- Sort of... I think it was
in Athens when Jim Donnan was coaching, and the Bulldogs actually were upset by the Golden Eagles. I was working with Charles Davis, who now does the Big 12/Big Ten game of the week for TBS Sports.
-- You have done a lot of Georgia games in the past.... Any player or players stand out as the best in that time?
-- I think the two David's stand out the most to me.
wasn't a flashy quarterback by any stretch but you never felt like he was going to lose a game. He did all the little things that go unnoticed so well, such as getting the team in the right play at the line of scrimmage. He didn't have the strongest arm but would always make the throws when it counted.
was just awesome to watch, high energy on every play and and like Greene, seem to make the plays when Georgia needed it the most.
-- Have you met Uga before?
-- I always get a chance to see Uga on the field before kickoff when I'm in Athens. He's the only one that will listen to me so we get along great.
-- What are you thoughts about this year's team?
-- I think Georgia has a chance to be real good if they can find a leader at QB who can make the plays in crucial situations. There are always 3 or 4 moments in a game that will dictate a winner or loser and if the Dogs have a guy who can convert in those situations they should be fine. I think the game at
will go a long way in determining what kind of year Georgia will have.
-- You are broadcasting Georgia's first game vs Western Kentucky... On paper it could be a blowout... How much additional information do you have to think up to cover blowout games?
-- One good thing about doing SEC football is there is always a lot to talk about. But with Georgia there will be a little more this year because of some of the questions that have to be answered, both on offense and defense. Let's just hope that if it is a blowout both teams run the ball and keep the clock moving.
-- Another thing you have to do in blowout games is to know about 2nd, 3rd and maybe 4th string players... do you have bits of info on every player?
-- I try to have at least one thing on every player that is on the depth chart. There isn't enough time in the day to cover 100 guys but I should a tidbit on 50 or 60 players. Luckily in today's world it's easy to find info on just about everybody but the key is making sure it's correct, you never want to make someone's mom mad.
-- Your father has been a broadcaster for years and years... The Caray family announces together... is there anything in the works for Dave and Bob Neal broadcasting a game together?
-- Probably not because in football or basketball, there is only room for one play by play announcer and I need the money so he'll just have to watch from his living room. I have been blessed with outstanding parents who provided me with everything I ever needed growing up and because of them I have the chance to live out my dream, and my father's guidance, throughout my 19 years in the business, is immeasurable. But as far as a Dave and Bob show, maybe one day we'll be lucky enough to a radio show together. That would be fun!!!
-- One of the best non-Georgia games you broadcasted was the Bluegrass Miracle when
defeated Kentucky... What is your reaction to the last play of the game?
-- I still can't believe what I actually saw that day. From Guy Morriss getting drench with the water cooler to the fans storming the field, it's all surreal but I'm glad I was there and paying attention. As an announcer you just hope to have one of those in career and I was lucky to have mine early so maybe there will be more to come.
-- Thank you for your time and good luck getting another fantastic finish, but for Georgia's sake... let it be happen during the 2nd week.
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