ATLANTA — Dressed sharply in a dark red suit with matching tie and floral black dress shirt, Cameron Lynch made the rounds at the Super Bowl Media Center throughout Thursday. He was scheduled to be back at it today, too.
The busy slate is by design, and the former Brookwood football star didn’t get here by accident.
Lynch, a linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has worked toward a post-football career in the media since his college days at Syracuse. He was an interview guest for media outlet after media outlet Thursday at the Georgia World Congress Center, using his engaging personality to discuss NFL topics with the hosts.
The 25-year-old was among hundreds of NFL players who applied for the Broadcast Bowl, an opportunity to commentate on Radio Show during the week leading up to Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He was one of four selected for the experience, joining Eric Decker, Mike Adams and Wesley Woodyard.
“It’s been sick,” Lynch said. “Walking in here is like walking into the stadium. This is a media stadium. This is our stadium as media people. I take it seriously. That’s why I came with the suit. I just can’t wait until tomorrow to get another practice run. It’s all reps for me and getting ready for this Sunday.”
Sunday brings another unique experience.
Of the finalists, Lynch was picked to provide color commentary for the game broadcast by talkSPORT, a United Kingdom-based operation that calls itself “the world’s biggest radio station.” He said he’s excited to join play-by-play man Oliver Wilson and describe the action for fans overseas.
“They’re the only radio in that market,” Lynch said. “They go there for the sports. We do the radio there, so we’re painting the picture of the Super Bowl for those people out there. I know we have to slow down for (the listeners). It’s different. It’s a barrier. I think the better I can relate to the people out there, the better our broadcast will be. … I’ve been picking a few (English terms) up. I have to figure out what people like and be myself at the same time.”
The game broadcast is a reward for the work Lynch has put in since college, when he became interested in the media world. He was an engineering major for two years before switching to economics, but was well known at Syracuse for “Cam’s Cam,” a weekly video broadcast he hosted with special guests.
“I just interviewed my teammates,” Lynch said. “I got all my teammates on air talking about their skills. One guy played piano. One guy sang really well. One guy liked to cook. We did different things like that and I just enjoyed it. That was my first real production. Every game week we did it. It was pretty awesome.”
Lynch has played 58 NFL games over the last four seasons, first breaking through in 2015 with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted rookie free agent, though he takes plenty of time for his goals in media. He makes offseason radio appearances, most recently weekly for 102.5 The Bone in Tampa, and is a regular guest for phone interviews with Matt Park, the voice of Syracuse athletics.
He recently joined the large group of NFL media hopefuls for Broadcast Boot Camp, presented by NFL Player Engagement, at Bowling Green University. It was the first step in reaching the Super Bowl.
“We did a three-day intensive (event) with suits,” said Lynch, whose offseason has included a trip to Houston to visit his sister and a trip to Hawaii with his mother. “We’re on air doing radio, doing podcasts. Just practicing this. So I’ve done this (Radio Row experience) before. But not at the Super Bowl. But I’ve been here practice-wise. It’s familiar to me. So we applied for this Super Bowl opportunity and we got it.”
Not long after the Super Bowl finishes, Lynch heads to more media training through the NFL Players Association. He will spend Feb. 13-March 8 with Fox Sports, learning more about the business both in front of and behind the cameras.
“Hopefully, I’ll run into Shannon Sharpe and Skip (Bayless),” he said.
He met many others in the industry this week at the Super Bowl Media Center, both former players and career broadcasters. Before a brief lunch break, he shared a hug and chatted with CBS’ James Brown.
The pinnacle of this week comes Sunday, though, when he broadcasts the Super Bowl.
“Tom Brady playing, the Rams playing, Sean McVay, Bill Belichick, it couldn’t have happened any better,” he said. “My mom’s going to come to the game, my grandma. Just coming through Brookwood, she made it all happen, taking me to practices, giving me food, school, having me focused. This week I’m going to dedicate this to her because she held it down. I have Whitney Holtzman, my chief marketing director, here with me. The women in my life have played a big role. This is pretty awesome.”