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NFL Network hires play-by-play man Papa to team with Collinsworth

NEW YORK -- Bob Papa, the radio play-by-play voice of the New York Giants for the past 13 seasons, will replace Bryant Gumbel as the announcer for the NFL Network's eight Thursday night games.

Papa will team with Cris Collinsworth to do the games, which had been handled by Gumbel for the first two seasons of live games on the NFL's television outlet. Gumbel, primarily a studio anchor over his long and diverse career, stepped down after last season after mostly unfavorable critical reviews.

Papa, who will continue his duties with the Giants, will make his debut with Collinsworth on Nov. 6, when Cleveland hosts Denver in the first game of the third season of NFL Network games.

"Being the new play-by-play voice on prime-time national NFL games after announcing one of the most exciting games in NFL history, Super Bowl 42, it doesn't get much better than that," said Papa, who also did play-by-play on NFL Europe/Europa for the NFL Network.

Papa and Collinsworth are familiar with each other, having worked together at HBO. They are also part of the NBC crew that will be covering the Beijing Olympics in August.

"All you have to do is spend five minutes with the guy and you understand that he's all in for the game of football and the National Football League," Collinsworth said. "He studies it. He lives it. He breathes it. It's something that I feel like I like to do, as well."

Papa also hosts "NFL Opening Drive" on Sirius NFL Radio. He is a graduate of Fordham University and has done numerous other sports shows, mostly in the New York area.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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