Colts QB and PA native Matt Ryan seems to have Phillies Wild Card fever.
The Philadelphia Phillies broadcast team is seeing a bit of a shuffle this weekend, as the team takes on the Major League Baseball-worst Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Just as slugger Bryce Harper was absent from the Phillies lineup on Friday, so was NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Tom McCarthy.
McCarthy, along with being a longtime Phillies television play-by-play broadcaster, is entering another season calling National Football League games for CBS. He has flown to Texas ahead of his duties to call Sunday’s season opener between the AFC South’s Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts.
Filling in for McCarthy on TV is longtime Phillies radio announcer Scott Franzke, who is working alongside John Kruk. Meanwhile, replacing the revered radio broadcaster — to complement Larry Andersen — is no other than McCarthy’s son, Patrick, who normally broadcasts games for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Preparing for his Sunday broadcast, McCarthy typically interviews the starting quarterbacks for both teams. In this case, for the Colts specifically, Exton, Pennsylvania, native Matt Ryan. According to Kruk on the popular, post-game Friday Night Roundtable on SportsRadio 94WIP, Ryan seemed to be more interested in Phillies baseball, above anything else, and has some “Wild Card fever.”
Kruk told his broadcasting colleagues:
"“Did you hear what Matt Ryan told T-Mac when [McCarthy] texted him about the quarterback interview before the game? [Ryan] said, ‘Okay, but I just want to talk about Phillies baseball.’ That’s what Matt Ryan told him.”"
This year on the Colts, Ryan is quarterback teammates with Philadelphia Eagles legend Nick Foles — who beat the former longtime Atlanta Falcons quarterback five seasons ago, before going on to win Super Bowl 52. Andersen went on to ask what Foles has said to Ryan about Philadelphia. Kruk jokingly replied:
"“Nick Foles said, ‘I’ll let you know about Philly football … I’ll show you how to win a Super Bowl, too, pal.'”"
Colts head coach Frank Reich notably was the offensive coordinator when Foles and the Eagles hoisted the Lombardi Trophy after a thrilling game against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Rob Tornoe, McCarthy will also miss calling a pair of Phillies games against the Atlanta Braves next week, as he is scheduled to call the Colts’ Week 2 game against the Doug Pederson-led Jacksonville Jaguars.
Between Foles and Pederson, McCarthy surely will be making his rounds among NFL circles in the next two weeks. Let’s hope by the time he returns after the Colts-Jaguars game, the Phillies’ chances to clinch a Wild Card spot will be all but guaranteed.