PHILADELPHIA -- Scott Graham spent nearly a decade calling Phillies games on radio and television. Before that he spent several season hosting a pre- and postgame show. So a couple of developments were totally predictable.
The first was that he would become close to Hall of Fame announcer Harry Kalas. The second was that he would occasionally be asked about the possibility that he'd succeed Harry the K behind the Phillies microphone someday.
"It's funny, I talked to a lot of people when that subject came up. I always said, 'I don't know if I want to be the guy coming in behind Harry. Because you can never replace him. I always joked that I'd rather be the guy who replaced the guy who replaced the legend," he said recently.
The point became moot at the end of the 2006 season when the Phillies decided not to renew his contract. And when Kalas passed away before a game at Nationals Park in Washington on April 13, Tom McCarthy became the television voice of the defending word champions.
And that was that.
Or was it?
Graham had moved on by then. He was hosting "Baseball This Morning" for Sirius/XM satellite radio. He was also doing some work on the side for NFL Films. Then he was asked to be the voice of the company's flagship show, "Inside the NFL."
Replacing Kalas, who had held that spot for the first 32 years of the show's existence.
Yeah, life often throws a more baffling changeup than Cole Hamels.
"It was amazing. I'm honored, humbled and a little bit emotional, too," Graham said. "Harry was a very good friend. It's a nice transition. Let's put baseball and football play-by-play aside. He was among the very best there ever was with the voice and the emotion and finding exactly the right tone for what was written."
This season's premiere with James Brown, Cris Collinsworth, Phil Simms and Warren Sapp will air Wednesday on Showtime at 9 p.m.
And when it does, Graham will be following in the footsteps of one of the best.
"It's very daunting to follow, No. 1 Harry and No. 2, Harry's voice," he said. "(NFL Films president Steve Sabol) and Harry taught me everything I need to know about being a narrator. Frankly, at the beginning, I wasn't very good."
For now, Graham hopes viewers will just give him a chance to grow into the role.
"Because a situation like that is no-win. It's impossible to follow a legend. But it's like the old show business saying, the show must go on. Somebody has to do it," he explained. "The thing about 'Inside the NFL' and NFL Films is that that stuff never dies. You can still hear stuff that Harry voiced in the '70s and it's still great.
"The film is just so good, the music is just so good, the writing is just so good. I'm just a part of that."