There will be a new voice of the Los Angeles Chargers when the team takes the field in 2017 as Matt "Money" Smith will handle play-by-play duties for KFI AM-640's game broadcasts.
A fixture in LA, Smith's newest gig is the latest to an already impressive resume as co-host of the nationally syndicated Petros & Money Show on AM 570 and fantasy football analyst for NFL Network.
Still, he considers calling play-by-play for the Bolts a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"To say I'm excited is an understatement," he said. "I've had the chance to call a few games a season the past few years, and they've always felt like our local team. The fact that I am not only going to be a play-by-play announcer for the Chargers, but also during the first year in which they are moving to Los Angeles is extremely exciting. Some of my earliest NFL memories were with the Chargers. I remember watching Dan Fouts, Charlies Joiner and Kellen Winslow. I went through some of those excruciating losses to the Steelers and Raiders, but also just beating up on the Dolphins in the playoffs. The chance to share those stories during the broadcast helps people know that this is a storied franchise. When it comes to the offensive side of football, you are talking about one of the premiere franchises in NFL history. I couldn't be more excited."
Prior to joining the Chargers, Smith served as a play-by-play announcer for Compass Media Network's coverage of NFL games, NCAA football and NCAA basketball. He's also called games on television for the Pac-12 Network and the NFL on Fox.
Over the years, Smith has had the honor of working alongside some of the brightest minds in the game. He considers his new partner, Nick Hardwick, to be cut from the same cloth. Thus, Smith has a particular approach when it comes to calling Chargers games that fans can expect on the airwaves.
"I think football is an analyst's sport," he explained. "The way I approach calling a game is that I want to do right by the other person I'm calling a game with. I've had the great pleasure to work with some really, really good color analysts while doing this. So for me, it's all about Nick. Nick is the guy who was out there and he can help explain things. It's such a complicated sport, so I try to make things as simple as possible for people. I want to set up the play and give them a good visual, but then I want to get out so Nick can explain* what* happened and why it happened. I want to give him as much of an opportunity to do that."
However, Smith knows calling a game is more than what goes on between the lines. In addition to painting a picture, he aims to captivate the audience by immersing them in the moment.
"I understand it is essentially a three-hour show. I want it to be entertaining. I'm always looking for different nuggets, and there are so many stories that have come out of these players' (pasts) that I want to share. I'm a big fan of NFL stadiums and NFL history, and I look forward to sharing those things as we make our way through a broadcast. Still, I never want to be high energy at the cost of a quality broadcast. But at the same time, I want the listeners to know I'm having a good time! That I'm excited to be here and that there is no place I would rather be than in this moment, right here doing this Chargers game."