The SEC Network celebrated its seventh anniversary on Saturday, and in typical Marty & McGee fashion, the Saturday morning hosts of the show on ESPN Radio and the SEC Network donned birthday hats over their other hats.

To help celebrate the big day, ESPN’s Laura Rutledge joined Marty Smith and Ryan McGee to reminisce about the network coming on air. Rutledge recalled that at the time, she was working at CNN International during the week, and covering games on the SEC Network on the weekends.

“Because I was so convinced I wasn’t going to make it at SEC Network and ESPN,” Rutledge said. “I thought, ‘I need to have a backup plan, so I’ll do this during the week.’ I was talking about the Bundesliga and cricket Monday through Friday, and I would go to my game on Saturday, it was such a juxtaposition of worlds.”

Earlier in the conversation, Rutledge said, “This day always just makes me smile when I think about just … getting to even sit here and talk to you guys about this.”

Rutledge said she was hired about 2 weeks before the launch.

McGee recalled that on launch day, he interviewed then-Tennessee coach Butch Jones, while Rutledge was in Lexington interviewing Mark Stoops.

“A really special time to remember for all of us and really to reflect and see how far we’ve come,” she said. “Also to know the SEC Network is still the fabric of every single part of our careers, which is really, really special.”