Over the years, there have been a few television ventures surrounding the concept of sports trivia. With due respect to the other candidates like ESPN’s 2 Minute Drill and Dan Patrick’s Sports Jeopardy, the most beloved of them was ESPN’s Stump The Schwab based on the concept of outwitting long-time company researcher Howie Schwab while sports fans across the country looked on with admiration.
Schwab was always entertaining and clearly brilliant when it came to evaluating the sports world but, since 2013, he has been largely anonymous on the heels of an ESPN layoff. Now, though, Schwab has resurfaced in what appears to be a very prominent role, as FOX Sports announced on Tuesday that he will be serving as the company’s “bracketologist” for the 2017-2018 college basketball season.
Prior to his TV run at the worldwide leader, Schwab was simply the most prominent researcher in the company and he was beloved in that role. Now, he will get to use those considerable talents in breaking down seeding for FOX.
Schwab likely won’t unseat ESPN’s Joe Lunardi when it comes to pure visibility and even CBS’s Jerry Palm has carved out a nice niche in recent years. Still, there is a bit of cache in Schwab’s name and that is likely at least part of the calculus on the part of FOX in snatching him for this particular role.
In the grand scheme, hiring Howie Schwab as a bracketologist isn’t going to win some sort of ratings war for FOX but it will be fun to see him on television again and it never hurts to have another informed voice on the air. And who knows? Maybe he’ll be able to parlay his new gig into a trivia show sometime soon.