Written by: Kevin Kardasz (@kevinn_up on Twitter)
Season v2.0 has been filled with exciting moments, thrilling football, and various heroics throughout the 9 week season. However, the action just wouldn’t be possible without the commentary of those in the FCF broadcast booth.
Greg Mescall, Olivia (Liv) Moody, Jeff Cannata, Josh Macuga, Daniel Gonzales (DGon), Devin Gardner, and Ryan Shazier. These 7 names, accompanied by various star guests, have led the charge on the broadcasts week in and week out. Whether it was Mitch Kidd completing a game winning TD pass, Jakobie Baker rushing for large contact filled runs, or Nick “Slick” Williams sacking the QB, the broadcast booth was electric calling every single play.
The man behind the play-by-play action, Greg Mescall, boasts a professional resume that few can match. Starting as Video Intern with the NFL’s New York Giants, Greg jump started a lively career touching nearly everything sports media has to offer. He’s called various sports on ESPN, and has a passion for water polo, which eventually landed him in nearly every USA Water Polo broadcast. A longtime basketball broadcaster, he’s called games for the Manhattan College Jaspers, Athletes Unlimited and MAAC Tournament action over the last few years. He’s been a reporter at the 2016 and 2018 Olympic games, and later did play-by-play for various Olympic sports after. Pac-12, Fox Sports, NBCSN, Bally Sports, etc. You name it, he’s called it, and eventually he landed where we all know him best, the FCF.
He’s on every game, every call, every play, Greg embodies what the FCF is, it’s electric. You can draw back to the Patrick Smith catch that evoked a reaction so loud the mics in the booth cut out to FEEL what he brings to every single game.
He’s been on every game since season v1.0 began, he’s seen every play, yet? When we talked to Greg early in the season he had yet to pick a favorite. “I’ve seen a lot of plays I like, but I don’t think I’ve seen THE PLAY that’s my favorite.” There’s a lot of football left to play he later explained, and a lot of exciting plays to come, but his favorite plays to call? “Anything that results in a score. Touchdown pass, rush, fumble into a score, if it puts points on the board it’s up there. Offense is where the fans play such a huge role, it’s fun to highlight their calls.”
He later explained he has no particular team he roots for as a fan, “The FCF sheds so much light on players, you end up rooting for individuals instead of teams”. The stories that are told throughout the season, of guys grinding through the ranks and getting their opportunities on the professional stage, that’s the team to root for.
Olivia (Liv) Moody
Liv takes a vastly different approach than the other members do, rather than being up in the booth, she takes in the action from the field itself. You’ve probably seen her talking to every FCF star that touches the field, she recaps the biggest performances night in and night out. If you haven’t been able to catch the games, you’ve seen her on your FCF app. Liv’s shirt curse became a public phenomenon, every team logo she’d wear on game day would lose. It became such a big thing that teams voted on whose logo she’d wear for the playoffs, and then the curse broke.
Liv worked her way up TCU’s ranks and in her senior year became the Head Sports Host and Reporter, her love for sports fueled an even bigger love for storytelling. Because at her core, that’s what Liv loves, whether by blog or broadcast she strives to create and tell the stories of those around her and herself.
Liv, a finalist for a lead role in Terminator 4: The Last Salvation, a homebody despite being a buzzing personality on the field, and someone who can only drink milk with ice cubes in it. (wow.) Liv is one of the premiere faces of the broadcast team, she’s the first to get to every winner coming off the field, the first to get the experiences from those who just played, she’s the pioneer on the field.
Her favorite moments from the players she’s spoken to? Family involvement. “When Jakobie Baker’s mom told him she needed a touchdown and not even two minutes later he scored, it was just a really cool moment.” It’s not just FCF stars that she’s had the opportunity to speak to though, she was on the field for the celebrity game as well and was a part of the clash of NFL talent that showed up. “Talking to Tyreek Hill was also cool, because he was very casual about him not doing a lot..and then he did a lot.”
Jeff has been around the FCF since before the season began, and was quickly an influence the fans attached to. Throughout the offseason, Patrick Dees, Josh Macuga, Ray Austin, and Jeff Cannata got together weekly on the fan controlled show. In the lulls they provided content while the league worked its way through nearly a year long off season. It wasn’t always about the football, but they made it work, and Jeff was there every step of the way. He regularly sits beside Devin Gardener and Greg Mescall in the booth and paints the picture for those listening along.
Jeff’s been around in entertainment since he was 14, he’s not just a voice but an actor as well. He’s shown up in various video related programs and commercials and holds recurring roles in various pieces of media. Though many may remember him most notably from his co-creation of “The Totally Rad Show” which held the view of thousands of fans.
“I’ve been at the intersection of technology and media for a long long time.” Sound like something we all know and watch? He’s a perfect fit for FCF, this is what Jeff does. “We did one of the first internet shows, before youtube even existed.”
The “hallmark”of his career coincides with the FCF booth about as perfect as it possibly could. He recognized the shift in media consumption from sitting back and letting it wash over, to the pieces of media that make you lean forward, the type of media the FCF produces, which he then helps provide. He’s been involved with esports and video games, and the exciting combination of football and games drew him in and got him excited. Jeff brings this passion every week and it’s audible, his contributions in the booth are absolutely invaluable.
Daniel Gonzales (DGon)
DGon. You’ve heard the name, and if you’re a gamer you’ve heard his voice far before the FCF. He’s been an integral part of the esports community for years, and called on the biggest stages for them. He hosted on the largest twitch channel in history (RiotGames) and managed an entire League of Legends team while also producing content for them. He went on to host tens of major esports tournaments and events and built rapport as a reliable and entertaining personality.
Just a gamer? No. “I still play flag football.” Why is this important? It only helped him one hand a ball thrown from Marshawn Lynch. Yet, his favorite parts of the experience came from those he worked around and with. He called Greg Mescall the best pro in person that one could learn from, heralded Ryan Shazier for being “just a dude” behind the football lore, and felt comfortable in his spot. “There will be moments that this broadcast feels like you’re watching from the couch with me and Shazier…that’s where we found the tone we strove for.”
There were genuine moments in which you felt like you were just one of the broadcast members’ friends sitting on the couch with them, listening to them rave about the game. It’s what DGon helped paint the best with his broadcast skills, an environment where you felt you were truly there. His energy supported those around him, and his experience carried a vocal flow that rang the loudest on the big plays, unmatched excitement consistently came from his chair.
Josh sits at the forefront of every crazy idea that the league has seen, and it starts at the beginning of every game. “I seem to have a rivalry with every player and coach in rock paper scissors.” He walks the halls and gets challenged by most who see him in a game he oversees every week, rock paper scissors. He’s loud, his voice booms over the stadium and the broadcast as he calls out the FCF’s substitution for the usual football coin toss.
He bills himself as the host who can make your show AWESOME, and he couldn’t be closer to the truth, Josh brings an energy to the fans and people around him that few can match. His creation of “The Josh Macuga Show” which has run since 2012, led him to the Fan Controlled show with fellow broadcaster Jeff Cannata. The fans instantly latched onto his personality, so far to the point where his announcement live that he was officially a part of the FCF content crew was a whole event.
“What’s been the best part of the experience in coming together as a team, and gelling together as a broadcast group?” – Kevin (Me!)
“I’ll be the first to answer, Liv’s the worst.” – Josh
“I KNEW IT, I KNEW HE WAS GOING TO SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT” – Liv
Above all else, Josh is a comedic personality that knows where to go with nearly every joke. His presence besides Hall of Fame WR Terrell Owens on Fubo’s “TO Zone” brought a playful energy in the same way his cooperation with players coming out of the tunnel on draft nights in full football pads did. He’s someone you instantly connect with through your screen, in the best possible way.
Psst…language warning…enjoy Josh’s epic appearance in this music video:
Devin Gardner takes an even wilder approach to the FCF than the others, he’s been a player before, at the collegiate and professional levels. Former University of Michigan WR turned QB, Devin learned to create as a dual threat presence behind center. His electric use of his legs and arm talent created a potent play style that got him noticed by many during his 5 year stay at the university. These efforts got him 2 undrafted free agent contracts in the NFL, a trip overseas to Japan on the Nojima Sagamihara Rise, and a run in the CFL as well.
After his time as a player was done, Gardner took to sports media and broadcasting and instantly made an impact. Over the last few years he found himself as a host in Detroit’s Bally Sports, became a broadcaster for Fox Sports, and eventually made it to the FCF.
Devin formed a dynamic trio with his usual FCF partners of Greg and Jeff, becoming the football brain that powered the insights seen on the field. The play calls would overlay on the screen as Devin would pinpoint what was to follow with ridiculous accuracy. His feel for the game pushed forward the viewers’ understanding of each play that happened while he sat up in the booth, and his unique perspective gave life to each set of X’s and O’s that showed up on FCF apps worldwide.
Ryan Shazier is a name that rings loud in football lore, he stands as a previously dominant football figure, and one of the most inspirational stories as a human being outside of football. Coming from Ohio State, Shazier posted stats impressive enough to net him becoming the 15th overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. He went to the Pittsburgh Steelers where he would have a short yet illustrious career. He became a 2 time Pro Bowler as a Linebacker, before a bad hit would partially paralyze him after damaging his spinal cord.
Shazier would go through years of therapy and treatment where he eventually regained control of his legs as he was placed on the retirement list by the Steelers. He would later go on to start the Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation to help those with Spinal injuries.
His post playing career eventually landed him in the FCF booth next to Greg Mescall and DGon, where he supplies football knowledge from the defensive side of the ball. His ability to pick up and see the game from the other side of the field has fueled interactions where he picks up on exactly what will happen on each play. His charisma meshes with his usual running mate DGon as they create an environment that feels like a group of friends talking about the game. Behind the lore, the greatness, and the playing time, Shazier is a guy with a personality many connect with through their screens and a wealth of football knowledge few can match.
The final game of the FCF season on June 11th, 2021 will be the last time you can experience this great team’s content live this season. Tune in for one more ride with the best in the business as they bring the action to you for the 2nd People’s Championship.