In speaking with Brandon Gaudin for the story about him leaving Georgia Tech for the Big Ten Network, Westwood One and EA Sports, I ended up with some information that couldn't quite fit into the story, but was still interesting.
Saying his goodbyes
Among the people whom Gaudin wanted to personally break the news about his impending departure to was coach Paul Johnson. Gaudin has been the host for Johnson’s weekly radio show, and the chemistry between the two developed well over the course of their three seasons together. Where Johnson’s show with former Tech voice Wes Durham was more of a conversation between buddies, Gaudin often played the willing straight man for Johnson, who liked to call him “Opie.” Johnson enjoyed poking fun at Gaudin – mostly about his failings at romance.
“He told me he appreciated my time here, and he was happy for me, and thought it was a great opportunity,” Gaudin said. “I thanked him for being so welcoming to me from day one and just how he handled the radio show and everything. We had a real moment with all the jokes aside, and I was appreciative of that.”
On Mike Bobinski
Gaudin said that going into the office of athletic director Mike Bobinski to inform him of his plans to leave Tech this past Monday was the hardest part of his resignation. Bobinski hired Gaudin and the two grew close.
“What I want to say is, Mike Bobinski has been as good to me since I got here as I could have hoped,” Gaudin said.
Gaudin is aware of the complaints that some fans have that Bobinski is not more visible and went to bat for his now former boss.
Gaudin said that Bobinski “doesn’t want the limelight. He wants to roll up his sleeves and get the work done behind the scenes, and I appreciate that he’s not worried about his face being on a Youtube video or on the big screen at the football game. I’ve grown in appreciation for that.”
About his new job
As mentioned in the story, Gaudin has been going down to the EA Sports studio in Orlando, Fla., to record play-by-play content to go with the game. To add realism to the calls, he said, he and analyst Charles Davis need to describe just about any situation possible. Much of it is ad-libbed. For instance, they were given a page of calls to describe safeties.
“You’ll go through any safety situation they can think of,” he said. “You start with high-energy safeties, a safety to win the Super Bowl. You’re just envisioning in your mind, what’s going on on the field. ‘Charles, can you believe this? For all the ways to win the Super Bowl, a safety.’ You work your way down to, alright, it’s 35-0 and the first points. ‘Boy, Charles, I guess this is something for them to take home …’ You kind of work your way through all the different scenarios.”
It's funny; I'm aware of how popular the Madden NFL brand has been over the years, but you seem to hear about it less. However, I've been talking to incoming Tech freshmen prior to their enrollment, and one thing I've heard repeatedly is how much they like playing video games, including Madden. I imagine it'll be something of a worlds-colliding moment when Tech players start playing Madden '17 later this year and hear Gaudin's voice.
I’ll miss him, and I got that impression from others who are in and around the athletic department. He’s good at what he does, was always willing to help me out and has a self-deprecating manner that’s easy to like. While his tenure was abbreviated, he did the job justice and handled the task of following Wes Durham smartly. He was humble, paid Durham his due and did his job well. Whoever follows Gaudin will have his own set of shoes to fill.