FanDuel - WFBC

May 18, 2009

Tony Kornheiser Out at Monday Night Football: Former Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden will be replacing Tony Kornheiser on broadcasts of Monday Night Football this season on ESPN, the network announced today in a press release. Although the network states that Kornheiser "decided to step down," and Kornheiser says a fear of flying contributed to the move, there have been rumblings for a while that the network was looking to put him on waivers, reports the New York Daily News.

posted by rcade to football at 11:35 AM - 28 comments

I hope Kornheiser goes back to radio. He's great on the radio.

I'm skeptical that Gruden will be great, but he has to better than Tony who really added nothing.

posted by bperk at 11:42 AM on May 18

Kornheiser was cringe-inducingly awful on MNF. He talked like he was working his way through a series of notecards he had prepared in advance, and he never figured out how to integrate his comments into the flow of conversation or the events on the field. It was like having Rainman in the booth. He also relied on a sense of humor telegraphed in from the vaudeville era. I never understood how someone who has spent his life covering sports could be so awkward discussing the game unfolding in front of him.

I know I'm in the minority, but I would have liked to see Mike Patrick, Paul Maguire and Joe Theismann doing these games. They called the Sunday night games on ESPN in a way that put themselves secondary to the game. I enjoyed that better than the way they treat MNF and NBC's Sunday games like a spectacle of monumental proportions.

posted by rcade at 12:06 PM on May 18

I thought Dr. Z summed up the Patrick / Maguire / Theismann crew (back when they did the ESPN Sunday night games) the best: "When I die and go to Hell, Hell will be a Brett Favre game called by the ESPN Sunday Night crew for all eternity."

As for Kornheiser, I agree that he didn't add anything useful to the broadcast. I'm curious to see if Chucky will do better. I doubt he'll be a long-term solution even if he is good, though.

posted by TheQatarian at 12:19 PM on May 18

I hope Kornheiser goes back to radio. He's great on the radio.

Couldn't agree more. The radio show is definitely his most entertaining.

posted by bender at 12:38 PM on May 18

You wouldn't think that it would be this hard to find a good announcing team. I listen to well done games on the radio all the time. The play-by-play is the hardest, but it seems like the real struggle is to find someone to do analysis that provides valuable information.

posted by bperk at 12:41 PM on May 18

This is good news. I like Kornheiser in general, but he seemed like an out of place oddball on MNF. It seemed like they were creating opportunities for him to monologue versus just letting everything flow. Plus he didn't appear to know more about football than the average fan, so Gruden should be an improvement in that department at least.

For extra entertainment value, I hope Gruden loses his temper on the air.

posted by curlyelk at 12:47 PM on May 18

I saw Gruden during the draft, I think on NFL Network. They've got him drugged to keep him calm. I don't think we'll be treated to Enraged Chucky Face this fall.

posted by rcade at 12:54 PM on May 18

rcade wrote:

"I know I'm in the minority, but I would have liked to see Mike Patrick, Paul Maguire and Joe Theismann doing these games. They called the Sunday night games on ESPN in a way that put themselves secondary to the game. I enjoyed that better than the way they treat MNF and NBC's Sunday games like a spectacle of monumental proportions."

I agree 100% rcade, I wish they would stop trying to turn football into "Reality TV!" If the game itself is not enough draw for the big networks, then I'll gladly watch on an obscure cable channel. I may have to turn the volume off and turn on the radio.

posted by bo_fan at 12:58 PM on May 18

my problem with Korheiser in the booth was that he wasn't really a fan. I don't know how many times on PTI he "jokes" about not watching a football game because it's past his bedtime. I initially thought they were jokes, but turns out he really doesn't watch those late games, no matter how marquee the matchup.

Say what you want about Dennis Miller as a commentator, but at least he was a true "fan" of the game. We can be assured of the same from Gruden as well :-)

I know I'm in the minority, but I would have liked to see Mike Patrick, Paul Maguire and Joe Theismann doing these games.

I'm in that same minority. They were my 2nd favorite crew, behind Buck/Aikman.

posted by bdaddy at 12:58 PM on May 18

They were my 2nd favorite crew, behind Buck/Aikman.

They are my favorite team as well, unless they are doing a Cowboys game.

posted by bperk at 01:14 PM on May 18

Do you think Aikman is a Cowboys homer? I've thought the opposite -- he never pulls his punches when it comes to the hometown team.

posted by rcade at 01:28 PM on May 18

All I can say is YAHOOOOO!!!!! Kornholio is gone. He is gone... now if we could only get him off sportscenter. He should be somewhere like the old Siskel and Ebert. I realize that they are not still with us (one of them) but as far as Kornheiser goes... I agree that he is not really a fan of football.

I couldn't begin to tell you how many times I would be listening to him telling what he was going to be watching on tv that night and he would go off into some story of "Idol" and how so-and-so was being pushed out the door, or how Simon was especially nasty to one of the candidates... That's not sports. I would rather watch Womens badmitten than American Idol. And he is a goon. He reminds me of the guy that was in Drama in school and somehow got into sports as he couldn't do anything else with his degree....

posted by Mickster at 01:57 PM on May 18

Yes, I think Aikman is a homer. It's all Cowboys all the time when they are playing. You never hear a word about the other team at all.

posted by bperk at 01:58 PM on May 18

I don't really see Aikman as being a homer during broadcasts in the sense that he does not necessarily sugarcoat everything and only talk about how great the Cowboys are. But I agree, it is Cowboys all the time, whether talking about their good points or their latest drama. Whatever other team is playing becomes secondary. However, unfortunately, that also seems the case for virtually every other announcing crew and not just the ones with former Cowboy players.

posted by graymatters at 02:14 PM on May 18

That sounds like how Red Sox/Rays got treated last playoffs. "Red Sox Lose ALCS, Will Not Repeat as Champions, Winning Team Unknown."

posted by rcade at 02:30 PM on May 18

Now I can watch with the volume on again.

posted by forrestv at 03:02 PM on May 18

I enjoy Kornheiser overall, but I have to agree with the above people saying he just didn't fit in on the MNF crew. He just never seemed to find his comfort zone. I really do enjoy PTI though, and his radio show was great, so I hope he keeps doing both of those.

posted by boredom_08 at 03:35 PM on May 18

Funny thing about Aikman... I am a Cowboys fan (demographics started it) and I have rooted for them through thick and thin. I would find anything Troy says as almost anti-Cowboys. I don't know if he had a bad exit that went under the radar or what, but every game I've watched him broadcast, he has thrown players, coaches, and especially the QB at the time under the bus.

posted by Mickster at 04:22 PM on May 18

and Kornheiser says a fear of flying contributed to the move

Sure Tony. Whatever helps you sleep.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:13 PM on May 18

so you think Aikman is a Cowboys homer? I've thought the opposite -- he never pulls his punches when it comes to the hometown team.

My brother's a Cowboy's fan and he hates Aikman now because he thinks he's too critical of them all the time :-) --edit: oops Mickster, just noticed you said the same thing.

I agree with you in that I think he's not a homer because he IS critical of them, just like he is other teams. I'm sure he does tend to talk more about them just because he has more history with them.

That's one thing I'll give credit to Madden with...he HATED the Steelers...but you could never tell when he was doing a Steelers game because he did his best to be impartial.

posted by bdaddy at 06:27 PM on May 18

Aikman also lives in Dallas, so he's hearing a huge amount of Cowboys news and talk all the time. I've never lived in a place where the media was more obsessed with a sports team than Dallas was with the Pokes.

posted by rcade at 06:36 PM on May 18

I've never lived in a place where the media was more obsessed with a sports team than Dallas was with the Pokes.

Toronto, all Maple Leafs, all the time.

I've never lived in Dallas, but I would find it hard to believe any city's media could be more obsessed with one sporting orgainization.

posted by tommytrump at 06:48 PM on May 18

Bring back Dennis! Bring back Dennis!

It's never going to happen, is it?

*runs off crying*

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:28 PM on May 18

I don't care about the other two but do not let Theismann near a TV booth ever again, please.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:02 PM on May 18

Toronto, all Maple Leafs, all the time.

That must suck for the last several years.

posted by bender at 01:50 PM on May 19

Toronto, all Maple Leafs, all the time.

That must suck for the last several years.

"Several" should probably read "Seventy" ....

All of Canada is unfortunately subject to a nightly dosage of the Make Believes.

MNF?

I vote for Heidi from the Red Sox Broad cast - has the same delivery as Aikman but looks a whole lot better in a sweater.

posted by cixelsyd at 05:46 PM on May 19

"Several" should probably read "Seventy" ....

Forty-two since a Cup, and eight straight sucking seasons.*

*Non-suckitude requires at least a conference final appearance.

For MNF, Jody Vance would be my nominee.

posted by tommytrump at 06:19 PM on May 19

I don't watch MNF because the announcers are terrible.

Dennis Miller was the absolute nadir of sports announcing (with Mets radio announcer Howie Rose a close second, speaking of "homers").

posted by The_Special_Juan at 05:36 PM on May 20

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