A little boy’s distant dream will become a heartwarming reality on Sunday evening when George Mason University alum Jorge Andres calls Super Bowl LVI for the American Spanish language network Telemundo with as many as 35 million people tuning in nationwide.
The contest between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, will mark the first time the NFL’s championship game has been televised coast-to-coast on a Spanish language broadcast network. The game will also be simulcast around the globe on NBC Sports.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. EST.
“It’s a milestone for me, for sure,” said Andres, 37, a former ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor who graduated from Mason in 2007 with a BA in communication. “But this isn’t just about me, but as much as it is for so many people who believed in me. I got the opportunity, and I ran with it. Fast forward 15 years and I’m about to call the biggest football game on the planet to a country that is growing leaps and bounds in its Spanish demographics.”
Mason’s Rodger Smith was hardly surprised with his former student’s meteoric rise up the sports journalism ranks. Smith, a professor in the Department of Communication within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and a faculty advisor to WGMU radio, remembered Andres as an extremely dedicated student who always sought to produce his best work. Andres spoke virtually to one of Smith’s classes last spring.
“He’s taken advantage of his opportunities, gotten experience and parlayed that into the ultimate responsibility of calling Super Bowl LVI,” Smith said. “He’s a one-in-a-million. It’s awesome what he’s doing.”
The honor of calling the Super Bowl is by far the most significant yet of Andres’ career, but hardly the only one. Andres’ path to the Super Bowl began at Mason, where he worked at WGMU and wrote for Mason’s student newspaper, known then as the Broadside. The Peruvian native also played tight end for two years on the Mason club football team.
Andres was still a student at Mason when began his on-air career with a small Spanish language station in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He later formed part of the first Spanish language play-by-play team in Washington Redskins history for ESPN Deportes Radio before later leaving for Telemundo Washington. Andres made the jump to the national scene in 2011 by joining ESPN, where he anchored SportsCenter, NBA Tonight and Baseball Tonight.
By August 2020, he had joined NBC Universal’s national network as an NFL studio analyst to host the network’s coverage of Sunday Night Football en Español on NBC’s sister network NBC Universo.
“I never imagined how quickly the Spanish base would grow,” Andres said.
His favorable fortunes have extended to his personal life as well. Andres and his wife already have one infant daughter and will soon be welcoming a second little girl to their family.
It’s all been some pretty heady stuff for a guy who was just five years old when his family immigrated from their native Peru to Springfield, Virginia, with little to no knowledge about American football.
“I hope young people today can relate to me and also pursue any opportunity on their plate,” Andres said. “I’m proof that with hard work, passion and humility, anything is possible.”