EDITOR'S NOTE: Former Citrus College football player (1996, 1997) Matt Rogers has enjoyed the limelight, from American Idol to Family Feud to hosting various shows. But the former lineman, who won the Rose Bowl with the University of Washington in 2001, is finding his love of the Tennessee Titans will take a new form beginning this fall. Read more about Matt Rogers in this Citrus College Owls alumni update.
By Jim Wyatt
Senior Writer/Editor, Tennessee Titans
NASHVILLE – Matt Rogers is a big man, with a booming voice.
During Titans games, if you've sat anywhere close to Section 239, Row J at Nissan Stadium, you've probably seen him, or heard him. If not, maybe you've heard his wife, Teri.
"I am not joking when I say this: She is probably a more opinionated, louder fan, than I am," the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Rogers said with a smile. "I have to sometimes tell her: Be quiet, you're embarrassing me."
Well, Rogers won't be able to keep his wife calm on Sundays moving forward.
That's because he'll be working games from the PA booth – Rogers has been named the team's new public address announcer. Rogers will call all Titans games beginning with the 2021 NFL season.
A former offensive lineman at the University of Washington, Rogers was one of roughly 200 candidates who applied for the position. He made the list of six finalists before being selected as the winner after a fan vote online and input from Titans leadership.
"I am so pumped," Rogers said. "I couldn't be happier. I am excited to represent the team, represent the state. And I promise you: I am going to bring it."
David Schindler, Senior Director/Executive Producer of Event Presentation & Production for the Titans, called Rogers a perfect fit.
Rogers, who lives in Spring Hill, is a Titans season ticket member. He's been a fan of the franchise since he was seven years old, when his first Pop Warner team was named the "Oilers." And he cheered for Warren Moon, the former Oiler quarterback who also played for the Huskies. Rogers was college teammates with former Titans lineman Benji Olson, who protected the guy Rogers adored – the late Steve McNair. When the Titans made it to the Super Bowl at the end of the 1999 season, Rogers knew he'd be a fan forever.
Now his job will be to inspire fans on Sundays.
"We had a lot of great candidates," Schindler said. "I think at the end, I feel like Matt was the total package. He has incredible energy, he is a professional, he has done broadcasts on TV, podcasts, and he's a huge fan. When you combine all those things, the energy, the fandom, the professionalism, his unique, gravelly voice, I just think that he was the total package.
"And I think his audition proved that he understands the game. He is a former player, and I think he understands what is needed to fill the position."
Rogers, 42, has earned recognition with his voice, and personality.
As a sports broadcaster for Turner Sports, he covered the nation's top college football teams. From there he hosted "Really Big Things" on Discovery Channel and he continues work with the network to this day. He also served as the host for Lifetime's "Coming Home," which honored service men and women coming home from deployment and surprising their families. Many of those reunions took place at nearby Fort Campbell.
Rogers, who won the 2001 Rose Bowl while at Washington, was a finalist on Season 3 of American Idol. Judge Simon Cowell bluntly told him on stage he made a bad decision when he sang 'Amazed' by Lonestar after nailing his earlier performances. It resulted in Rogers going home.
"Matt, you absolutely blew it with the choice of song. Totally blew it," Cowell told Rogers on national television. "Chance of a lifetime, and you blew it."
Rogers, who moved to Tennessee in 2015, laughs about it now. He's had other big TV moments, from appearing on the Price is Right with Bob Barker, to winning on Family Feud. He hosted "The Goes the Neighborhood" on CBS. Rogers is currently the host of a new reality show titled "Summer Camp" that airs on USA Network on Thursday nights.