Actor and comedian Cedric the Entertainer, along with Jesse Palmer — the former Florida Gators quarterback turned football analyst — and NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson are some of the celebrities tapped as coaches for a flag football game at the Championship Beach Bash at Clearwater's Pier 60 on Sunday.
It's all part of the lead-up to Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship game in Tampa between Clemson and Alabama.
Spectators are free to watch at Clearwater Beach on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a Kids Zone with games, inflatables and live music, as well as performances from the Alabama and Clemson cheerleading squads and marching bands.
But the most anticipated part of the day is a celebrity flag football game featuring former athletes, ESPN personalities and entertainers.
Palmer will be back to calling plays, only this time on the sand of Clearwater Beach. Also calling plays will be ESPN host Sara Walsh, a graduate of New Port Richey's Gulf High School, where she was a soccer star.
Others confirmed to participate include:
• John Anderson, John Buccigross and Matt Barrie, ESPN SportsCenter hosts
• Anthony Becht, 12-year NFL veteran and former Bucs tight end, current co-host of Bucs radio show
• Jay Crawford, former WFTS-Ch. 28 sports anchor and current host of ESPN First Take
• Bruce Feldman, New York Times bestselling author and Fox Sports reporter
• Toby Hall, former Rays catcher
• Brett McMurphy, ESPN College Football Insider and former Tampa Tribune sportswriter
• Ryan Nece, former UCLA and Bucs linebacker
• Kevin Negandhi, ESPN SportsCenter anchor and host of Baseball Tonight, College Football Live and Outside the Lines
• Takeo Spikes, former All-Pro NFL linebacker and two-time Pro Bowl selection, current football analyst for NBC Sports Network
The Championship Beach Bash kicks off at 11 a.m. when Greg Wolf, the in-game host for the Lightning and USF football and basketball, will take the microphone and welcome fans. Clemson and Alabama cheerleading squads and marching bands will rally visiting fans' school spirit with special performances. Clemson will take center stage at noon, followed by Alabama at 12:30 p.m. Local rockers Stormbringer will provide live music throughout the afternoon.
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.