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Kostya Kennedy
December 04, 2000
The XFL's play-by-play man has baseball and Toughman on his r�sum�
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December 04, 2000

Going To The Matt

The XFL's play-by-play man has baseball and Toughman on his r�sum�

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Matt Vasgersian, 33, has an eclectic background, a sharp tongue and a strong sense of why NBC selected him as its play-by-play guy for the not-for-pantywaists XFL Saturday prime-time telecasts that begin on Feb. 3. Says Vasgersian, "I'm not one of those scotch-swilling, maroon-dinner-jacket-wearing sports guys with plastic hair who talks in clich�s."

Vasgersian's irreverent style is ideal for the XFL. League boss Vince McMahon wants to ratchet up and glorify the game's violence, a theme familiar to Vasgersian, who hosts FX's Toughman World Championship series, in which ordinary guys beat each other up. Vasgersian's love, however, is baseball, and he'll continue calling Brewers games as he has done since 1997. His television career began in the '70s, when, as a youngster in the Oakland area, he did commercials and appeared in an episode of The Streets of San Francisco (as the son of a white-collar crook). Later, as a communications major at USC, he was an eligible bachelor on The Dating Game. "I was so busy hamming it up for the crowd," he says, "that I wound up picking the psycho girl with the personality disorder."

Vasgersian has called few football games but sees this as an advantage. "I'm just a fan," he says. "Sometimes you hear broadcasters who think they know everything and use these big words that make you yell, 'Hey, d—-head, shut the hell up!' Well, I'm not one of them. Some guys think they're above doing the XFL. I don't."