AFL, CBS Sports Network Announce On-Air Talent Lineup for 2013 Season

By on March 13, 2013

(courtesy of the AFL and The Tampa Bay Storm)

James Bates, Ari Wolfe, Anthony Herron and Sherdrick Bonner will combine for AFL’s debut season on CBS Sports Network

 – The NET10 Wireless Arena Football League and CBS Sports Network have announced the on-air talent lineup for the 2013 regular season, featuring veteran announcers Ari Wolfe and James Bates handling play-by-play duties, along with analysts Anthony Herron and Sherdrick Bonner.


“NET10 Wireless Arena Football Saturday” will debut on the CBS Sports Network on Saturday, March 23 with an ArenaBowl XXV rematch as the Philadelphia Soul head to the “Snake Pit” to take on the defending champion Arizona Rattlers. The game will showcase Wolfe as the play-by-play announcer, Herron as analyst and Bonner, a 2012 AFL Hall of Fame selection and former Arizona Rattler, as the sideline analyst.


Bates will join the lineup in Week 2 as the play-by-play announcer. He and Wolfe will rotate calling the game of the week throughout the season. In addition, Herron and Bonner will split analyst duties, while Wolfe, Herron and Bonner will all serve as sideline analysts at various games.


Bates joined CBS Sports Network in 2011 as a play-by-play announcer, calling college football and basketball. Prior to joining the Network, Bates spent five seasons in the lead play-by-play role for The MTN. He has also shot, hosted and produced “The James Bates Show”, which aired nationally for two years. Bates hails from a football family – his father, Jim, spent more than 10 years as a defensive coordinator in the NFL after winning ArenaBowl II as an assistant coach with the Detroit Drive. His brother, Jeremy, was an offensive coordinator in the NFL, as well as at USC.


Wolfe has worked in some capacity at every ArenaBowl since 2002 and was the NFL Network play-by-play announcer at ArenaBowl XXV. He serves as both a news anchor for NFL Network Nowupdates and a reporter during weekly coverage of the National Football League. Wolfe called Albany/Indiana Firebirds games from 1998-2003 and also served as a play-by-play announcer for the Philadelphia Soul from 2004-2008 along with being the NFL preseason voice of the Minnesota Vikings from 2007-2011. During the 2008 season, Wolfe had his own column on entitled “Wolfe’s Den.”


Herron starred at the University of Iowa as a defensive lineman and played for five years in the NFL before playing and coaching over the course of five seasons in the AFL. He was the Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator of the Tennessee Valley Vipers of af2 when they won the ArenaCup championship in 2008. Shortly after this time, Herron began more extensive work as a broadcaster. He became one of the lead game and studio analysts for the Big Ten Network and then joined NFL Network in 2010 as a football analyst for “Arena Football Friday.” Herron has been on every ArenaBowl broadcast since that season and also serves as a college football analyst for NBC Sports.

Last season, Bonner was named the Greatest Quarterback in AFL History by the Silver Anniversary Committee and also appeared on a number of “NET10 Arena Football Friday” broadcasts on NFL Network. In addition, he served as the sideline analyst for the ArenaBowl XXV broadcast and works extensively as a college football analyst for Root Sports. In his 15 seasons in the AFL, Bonner was a four-time All-Arena selection and was named MVP of ArenaBowl VII. Bonner is also a 2012 AFL Hall of Fame selection.


“NET10 Wireless Arena Football Saturday” on CBS Sports Network will broadcast 19 regular-season games on Saturday nights in primetime. All AFL games on CBS Sports Network will be telecast in High Definition and feature special in-game audio techniques that capture the high-scoring action and fast paced intensity that are the hallmarks of the AFL.


About the AFL

Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased their fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. CBS Sports Network will broadcast an AFL National Game of the Week on Saturday nights for the entire regular season and postseason through the semifinal round. The ArenaBowl XXVI Championship Game will air on the CBS Television Network on August 17, 2013.



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