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SouthBound: ESPN's Paul Finebaum Gets Us Ready For A New College Football Season

finebaum_photo.jpg
Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images

In Southeastern Conference football history, the true legends go by just one name. Bear. Herschel. Bo. And now there’s another, although you have to stretch it out: Pawwwwwwwwl.

Paul Finebaum – a thin, bookish former sportswriter – has somehow become one of the avatars for Southern football, through his longtime radio show and now through his TV work on ESPN. A legion of regulars call into the radio show to argue about SEC football – mostly Auburn and Alabama football – and some of them have become celebrities themselves.

Finebaum inspires both love and hate – sometimes in equal degree – by finding the raw nerves of college sports and repeatedly, gleefully, poking them. With the college football season starting in just a few days, we thought it would be a good time to check in with football’s most unlikely star.

Let's keep the conversation going. Who do you want to hear from next on the SouthBound podcast?

Submit your idea in the box below. You can also send a tweet to @tommytomlinson or @wfae, and email me at ttomlinson@wfae.org.

Show notes:

Other music in this episode:

  • David Last, "Sporty Ankles (Ditch Remix)"
  • Fields of Ohio, "South Campus Blocks"

New episodes of SouthBound come out every other Wednesday. Subscribe:

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SouthBound is a production of WFAE. Our host is Tommy Tomlinson. Our producer is Nick de la Canal. Our audience engagement manager is Joni Deutsch, and our main theme comes from Josh Turner.

Tommy Tomlinson has hosted the podcast SouthBound for WFAE since 2017. He also does a commentary that airs every Monday. He's the author of "The Elephant in the Room," a memoir about life as an overweight man in a growing America. He spent 23 years as a reporter and local columnist for the Charlotte Observer, where he was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in commentary. He has also written for publications including Esquire, ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Garden & Gun. He’s a graduate of the University of Georgia and was a 2008-09 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Tommy and his wife, Alix Felsing, live in Charlotte.