This Sunday, Feb. 2, is Conor McGahey’s birthday.
It’s also Super Bowl Sunday, and McGahey will be celebrating his 29th year at the MetLife stadium in New Jersey watching the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks.
It’s not all play for McGahey, however; he’s been working all week broadcasting for a live web show on the Broncos website. As associate producer of game presentation for Kroenke Sports Entertainment, this Breckenridge native isn’t new to live broadcasting. But the trip represents a handful of firsts for McGahey, including his first time in New York City and first time attending a Super Bowl.
McGahey grew up in Breck, graduating from Summit High School in 2003, before moving on to the University of Denver. He was active in high school, playing on the varsity soccer team for four years and participating in jazz band, string ensemble and audio and theater tech for the auditorium.
That background has served him well as he has moved into live announcing and production for sports teams, particularly the Colorado Avalanche and the Colorado Mammoth.
“I was at the first-ever Avalanche game,” he recalled, “October 1995 against the Red Wings.”
As a student at DU, McGahey started announcing the DU hockey games.
“When I was 20, the Avalanche actually called me up and had me announce one of their games,” he said. “It was November 2005 against San Jose, if I remember correctly.
“I’ve been in this (career) by accident for a while,” he said with a laugh, “but it’s been fun.”
While he loves watching the games, McGahey also truly enjoys his announcing positions.
By interviewing players and other key members and talking to the audience, he can make the game that much more real to them.
“It’s about a personality, making a connection with people and really helping them enjoy what they love most,” he said. “I really enjoy the connection of really connecting and telling the stories that people want to hear. … I like to engage with people and be funny and entertaining or informative that way. I think that’s definitely what I enjoy most.”
Riding with the Broncos
This season, McGahey said, he started working with the Broncos, doing some features and similar coverage on camera. Then came something he didn’t expect.
“When they won the AFC championship last week, I got a call on Monday asking what I was doing (the) next week, and they wanted to go and do something they’ve never done before,” he said.
That was the live web show, which McGahey has been working on with nine other colleagues during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. The shows, which have been posted daily since Monday, Jan. 27, range from interviews with players to features around the city.
One of McGahey’s features was a focus on Broncos safety Mike Adams, who grew up in “a tiny, tiny house in a pretty rough street in Patterson, New Jersey,” McGahey said. He also visited Adams’ former high school, interviewing teachers and his high school football coach.
“It was amazing to see the influence of many on one and one on many,” McGahey said of the experience.
Broadcasting that type of story is exactly what the Broncos TV web live show is about, he said.
“That’s what was behind this whole trip to New York, from the Bronco’s standpoint, is just that much more access from the team to fans, and it’s never been done before.”
Exploring New York
In addition to features about players, McGahey has been able to experience New York City and the effect of Super Bowl fever. One of his segments involved visiting world-famous Carlo’s Bakery, owned by Buddy Valastro of “Cake Boss” fame — a popular show that features the production of elaborate cakes. There, McGahey witnessed Super Bowl mania as manifested in delicious desserts, of both the Broncos and Seahawks variety.
McGahey has also enjoyed visiting famous landmarks in the city.
“I think the coolest part was doing a stand-up in front of the camera on top of the Empire State Building,” he said. “(It’s) pretty iconic, pretty neat.”
As far as the city choosing sides, McGahey felt that popular opinion seemed to sway in favor of the Broncos, mostly due to one man in particular.
“Random New Yorkers come up and say, ‘Hey, go Broncos.’ They say, ‘Hey, Eli Manning plays for the (New York) Giants, Peyton Manning plays for the Broncos, go Broncos.’
“I’ve seen a lot more Bronco love than Seahawk love, and I think you’ll see a lot of that at the game, too. A lot of people like Peyton, they want Peyton to win and Peyton plays for the Broncos.”
All of the Broncos TV features, including McGahey’s, from the week leading up to the Super Bowl can be found on the Broncos’ online site: www.denverbroncos.com, under the Multimedia tab.
While McGahey’s been enjoying his time in New York and New Jersey, he’s looking forward to the game just like everybody else. Although he claims to have no skill when it comes to picking scores, he did say this: “I do see, undoubtedly, a Denver Broncos victory.”