And Bam. Tony Kornheiser is out from Monday Night Football. To me, it seemed sudden. There was little anticipation for a Monday Night Football broadcast shake up. Yet when it happened, more people likely yawned or cheered than they did sitting up and shouting "great scott!". Kornheiser on the radio is good. I've always enjoyed him. Pardon the Interruption is mildly entertaining.
Monday Night Football? He never did it for me. However, neither has Mike Tirico. I've always felt that he tries way too hard to bring up every off-the-field "incident" into a football game, sometimes at blazing speeds just to make sure he covered the topics that presents no benefit to the game itself. In fact, this was always my most endearing quality of John Madden who didn't give one damn except for the game being presented in front of him. Then again. I'm a simple man. I'm an informed man. I read the stories as they happen, sometimes write about them later that day. I do have an interest in them. That's what Tuesday through Saturday is for. I enjoy the games. I enjoy the art of the sport, the chess-match, the intricacies of why something happened, or why it failed. Nothing about what Player A did on Saturday night, contract holdouts, coaches on the hot seat does it for me while Tirico speeds through a list of issues one player is dealing with, off the field, while in the huddle. Give it a rest. Let's talk X's and O's.
But why did Tony leave Monday Night Football? Neil Best writes, "John Skipper, ESPN's top executive for content, said after the up front that before leaving 'Monday Night Football,' Tony Kornheiser asked the network about the possibility of working a limited schedule in 2009 to lessen his travel burden." The network said "we can't do that."
"Look, I was very happy with what Tony did. We wanted to try something different. I don't think we've been secretive about the fact we like the old spirit of Howard Cosell and getting somebody on there who can bring a sportswriter's perspective, a little humor. We wanted him to play off Jaworski and Tirico."
I've always felt that that's the problem. Trying new things. Bringing new perspectives is fine. But when you have John Madden and Al Michaels, you had an old school feel that people never tire of. Troy Aikman is a fine analyst. That's his quality, talking football. Not bad. My only point is this. Talking about topics off the field, even if it's about the player's conduct issues, is an immediate turnoff. I want replays of the last play. I want to see the penalties, the blocking that broke the nine yard run. I want to see the pass rushers get stone-walled and I want to see the cool-headed quarterback chart the field while all-star defensive ends and linebackers breath fire like Smaug the Golden dragon. I want to see linebackers flowing on rushing plays, safeties roaming in centerfield and cornerbacks pushing receivers to the outside. I want to see replays on how certain zones work in pass coverage, rushing lanes up the middle. I want to see more of the game. That's it. The game. Nothing else. The game.
What's your opinion? Would you like announcers to talk more about the game while it's being played and leave off-the-field topics for other shows that are more appropriate (even during blowouts)? Or do you agree that announcers should point out issues regarding the players that happen beyond the game?