Butler to Work Alongside Show’s Renowned Host Sal Paolantonio and Analyst Greg Cosell
39th Season of NFL Matchup Premieres on Saturday, Sept. 10, on ESPN2
ESPN has signed nine-year NFL veteran Darius Butler to appear on the iconic NFL Matchup show, joining long-time host Sal Paolantonio and analyst Greg Cosell. The trio will make their debut together when the new season of NFL Matchup premieres on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 8:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
The emblematic show, which has existed for nearly 40 years, all on ESPN, will premiere every Saturday on ESPN2 and then be available on ESPN+ shortly after it airs. On Sundays, NFL Matchup will air on ESPN (typically at 4 a.m. & 6:30 a.m.) leading off the network’s Sunday programming during the NFL season. This year will be the 30th season in which NFL Matchup will appear on ESPN’s airwaves on Saturdays during the NFL season; from 1984-93 the show was dubbed, Sunday NFL Matchup and aired on Sundays. New this year, additional NFL Matchup content will be available on ESPN’s YouTube channel each week in conjunction with content on the show’s Twitter and Instagram channels.
“Darius Butler is not just a student of the game, he is a professor,” said NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio. “His film study is off the charts. As a defensive back in the NFL for nine-years, Darius knows the two most important things in the modern NFL are coverages and the passing game. Our Matchup audience is going to love him.”
X’s and O’s of NFL Matchup
Through the use of team-provided game footage, NFL Matchup breaks down the X’s and O’s of the game, educating fans with an in-depth look at the strategy and tactics of NFL teams. Each show provides breakdowns and previews of Sundays most critical games using the footage the players themselves watched to get ready for the game.
The renowned show, produced by NFL Films, first aired in 1984. In its history, high-profile names have added to the shows legacy – Steve Sabol, Chris Berman, Ron Jaworski and Phil Simms, to name a few. Greg Cosell, the original co-creator and producer of NFL Matchup expanded his role in 2017 to include being an on-air analyst. Host, Sal Paolantonio, who joined the series in 2004, will be entering his 19th year as the host of NFL Matchup. Paolantonio is the longest running host of the series.
Get to Know Darius Butler
Drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft, Butler played with the Pats and the Carolina Panthers before joining the Indianapolis Colts where he played for six seasons. Butler finished his career having played in 124 career games, recording 15 interceptions, four touchdowns and 334 total tackles.
In 2017, the Colts nominated Butler for the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his excellence on and off the field. In 2009, upon entering the NFL, Butler and his family founded The Darius Butler Foundation.
Since retiring from the NFL, Butler has become a popular sports personality; He is the co-host of the Man to Man Podcast alongside former NFL player Antoine Bethea where they cover Football, F1 and all things sports, he has appeared on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, Fox Sports’ The Herd with Colin Cowherd and is a regular host on the Pat MacAfee Show.
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