FanDuel - WFBC

March 26, 2007

Say it is so, Joe!: ESPN to replace Joe Theismann with Ron Jaworski on Monday Night Football. Joy at change tempered by fact that ESPN actually did something right for a change. Waiting for other shoe to drop ("Check out Joe Theismann's nightly segment on Pardon the Interruption!").

posted by The_Black_Hand to football at 08:31 AM - 40 comments

In actuality, I really couldn't care less. I mean, I like Jaws and he'll probably add some life to MNF but if I was Theismann, this would be like a slap in the face. 20 years providing football commentary for ESPN and to get the boot after only 1 year as a MNF announcer? First Steve Lyons then Harold Raines. Well, at least he didn't get fired, they are offering him another position. Cue card holder for Tony Reali on Around the Horn, sweet deal.

posted by BornIcon at 09:08 AM on March 26

Jaworski is the best football guy they have on ESPN. This is a great move. Whatever Theismann knows about football, he is careful to never make it obvious while doing MNF. Chico, why didn't you tell us you were running ESPN now?

posted by bperk at 09:24 AM on March 26

Honestly, the slap in the face is ESPN making us listen to Theismann for 20 years. He's has no insights, and he's not fun to make up for it. He's just whiny and cranky--good riddence. Jaws has a sense of fun and he knows how to communicate his football beyond cliches.

posted by stevis at 09:49 AM on March 26

I have to admit, I was going to give up on the whole "sacrificing chickens to Espen the Sports God" thing for good, but maybe someone up there really is listening to my prayers. I have more problems every year with how the NFL does its business (the steroid scandal that's all over baseball is going to hit a totally unprepared NFL any time now, and their complete and inexplicable abandonment of injured retirees really pisses me off), but given how things are, having Jaws and Tony gleefully yakking away behind Tirico means only one thing: score one for the nerds.

posted by chicobangs at 09:55 AM on March 26

Dateline, Memphis, Tennessee: An unofficial report issued today by persons yet unknown states that Elvis Presley, the 400 lb., drug-addict, hillbilly singer of some success is in fact still dead and expected to remain so for some time to come... In an unrelated story, the sideline cable channel ESPN has been accused of extreme self-promotion and from time to time, rather unusual personnel decisions.

posted by jaygolf at 10:21 AM on March 26

I enjoyed the Patrick/Theisman/Maguire team on ESPN Sunday Night Football games. I know I'm probably in the minority when I say that, but they had a low-key, low-bombast style I liked much better than the way Monday night games are treated like the greatest show on Earth.

posted by rcade at 10:31 AM on March 26

jaygolf, any updates on the condition of Generalissimo Francisco Franco? Tirico hasn't won me over in the last year, and the Worldwide Leader's new commitment to Arena Football sounds to me like the beginning of a new provincialism (ESPN's AFL arm will turn a profit, but it's clear they're only in that end of the pool because they needed something action-based to fill airtime between college stuff, and half the on-air people have financial stakes in one team or another), and... you know what? I'm totally talking myself out of wanting to watch MNF, even with Jaws.

posted by chicobangs at 10:56 AM on March 26

I am overly biased against Theisman since his draft day comments in 1990 about the Lions making the ultimate mistake if the did not take Andre Ware. Since that day he could have predicted every Superbowl winner and the final score of the game in the preseason and I would have thought his knowledge suspect.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 11:01 AM on March 26

I enjoyed the Patrick/Theisman/Maguire team on ESPN Sunday Night Football games. I liked them, too. Patrick is the best, and I'd gotten used to Theisman over the years. I'll always be a supporter of a western New York native like Jaws, but I can't help wonder if this move is only pandering to the desires of Kornheiser.

posted by dyams at 11:12 AM on March 26

I feel that Jaws is good but a little overly excitable at times. Has anybody else heard the man call an Arena Football game? He sounds like Gus Johnson during the finally three minutes of a close basketball game at all times.

posted by timdawg at 11:15 AM on March 26

jaygolf, any updates on the condition of Generalissimo Francisco Franco Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

posted by tommytrump at 11:21 AM on March 26

rcade, I'm with you and dyams as well. I'm a huge Jaws fan, but his value comes from breaking down tape and explaining things to me. I doubt anyone's ability to do that on-the-fly while seamlessly integrating into a three-man weave, especially when there's a producer in your ear telling you you've got 19 seconds to explain the Cover 2 Shell.

posted by yerfatma at 11:21 AM on March 26

Honestly, the slap in the face is ESPN making us listen to Theismann for 20 years Your seriously missing the point. Maybe you were underwhelmed by what Theismann had to offer to the football world but apparently he was doing something correct to be employed by ESPN for the past 20 years or so. Like I said before, I could care less but it's all about the loyalty factor. If he was doing such a horrible job, maybe they shouldn't of had him employed there for such a long time. I love the NFL but if anyone wants to talk about who seems to have more fun while talking about football and actually make it sound good, then it has to be Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic from the Mike & Mike in the morning show on ESPN2/ESPN Radio (6am-10am), they just started doing Arena football commentary but they do sound like a winner.

posted by BornIcon at 11:23 AM on March 26

I find listening to Theisman very similar to shoving hot irons in my eyes while slowly lowering myself into a vat of acid. This move is so long overdue. It wasn't so bad when he was doing th Sunday night stuff because it was Sunday night stuff. But if they want MNF to be a player they needed to get rid of him. Theisman is not only an idiot and king of stating the obvious, but he also just blurts out stuff that's just not right. Jaws is far and away the best at breaking down plays and explaining the game. I expect they'll have him tone it down for NFL games. He's a part-owner of the Arena League team in Philadelphia so I would guess, when he does those games, he's hamming it up on purpose.

posted by SummersEve at 11:27 AM on March 26

Theismann never says anything insightful. 4th and 16 - "They are going to have to punt here." Even if Jaws is unable to do the in-depth analysis that he does on Match up, he should at least be able to add some actual not-completely-obvious commentary. Chico, please sacrifice some chickens, so that they will stop bringing into the booth everyone who has a show on ABC or some Disney movie.

posted by bperk at 11:28 AM on March 26

We either hate or we love him to me I hate him he's the cockiest announcer on tv and always lets you know he played football My big memory of him is him breaking his leg on Monday Night Football from a big hit from Lawrence Taylor while his girlfrien Cathy Lee Crosby watched him at the time I'll admit Iwas rooting for him at the time to make a comeback which never happened even though he tried but I have never rooted for him again I would say good riddance but supposedly he's gonna still be working for them in a different capacity god he's one of the reasons I don't watch pre game shows to begin with

posted by luther70 at 11:32 AM on March 26

luther70- Try any one of these once in a while: , . ! ? They'll called punctuations marks so you can let people know if you finished a sentence (.) or if your just taking a breather (,) Either way, use 'em sometimes.

posted by BornIcon at 11:52 AM on March 26

BornIcon wrote: If he was doing such a horrible job, maybe they shouldn't of had him employed there for such a long time. That was pretty much the point of my "slap in the face" comment. He wasn't necessarily doing anything right to stay employed; he may just have had pictures of the correct people. Who knows? There's no "If" about it, he was doing a horrible, joyless job the whole time.

posted by stevis at 11:52 AM on March 26

stevis wrote: There's no "If" about it, he was doing a horrible, joyless job the whole time Says you but the higher ups (the people that actually pay him) within ESPN might of thought differently. They apparently thought that he was doing an ok of a job to have him on their payroll for well over two decades. Let's put it like this, if you've been working at Sal's deli for 20 years slicing meat, not everyone likes the way that you slice their meat but, it'll do. After 20-odd years of this, one day Sal walks up to you and says, "I don't think I need you slicing meat anymore, how about mopping the floors for now on?" (with an Italian accent of course) That right there, is a slap to the face. You may not have liked Theismann but there were some that found him to be tolerable (it'll do). He wasn't doing a horrible job, just not the slapstick, cliche'-infested sports talk we're all getting used to these days....I guess. But that's just my opinion.

posted by BornIcon at 12:55 PM on March 26

The only announcer I find more sickening than Theisman is Boomer "I'm never wrong" Esiason. I was shocked when ESPN named Joe to the booth for MNF. He was a big step down from Madden and Michaels.

posted by FonGu at 01:29 PM on March 26

I was shocked when ESPN named Joe to the booth for MNF. He was a big step down from Madden and Michaels You got that right. Those two were IT when your talking about MNF. They just had that IT factor that'll never be replaced. Almost like Howard Cosell and his time as a MNF announcer. My favorite quote from Cosell has to be, "Mommy, why does daddy cuss the TV and call it Howard?" Great stuff-

posted by BornIcon at 01:34 PM on March 26

I find listening to Theisman very similar to shoving hot irons in my eyes while slowly lowering myself into a vat of acid. I think Eve was being kind and generous. After the first Thighsman MNF broadcast, I spent the rest of the season frantically trying to program my tv to block out his voice and replace his face onscreen with a drunk Joe Namath.

posted by irunfromclones at 01:34 PM on March 26

Where will we get to see the replays of Joe's breaking his leg now?

posted by Knuckles at 02:08 PM on March 26

Same as before, Knuckles.

posted by chicobangs at 02:24 PM on March 26

Says you but the higher ups (the people that actually pay him) within ESPN might of thought differently. They apparently thought that he was doing an ok of a job to have him on their payroll for well over two decades. You do realize that's not logic, right? Of course, there's no real way to debate such a point, so maybe I'm the asshole in the room.

posted by yerfatma at 02:59 PM on March 26

Am I the only one that will miss Theisman? God, he is such a windbag - I feel much more confident in my own abilities every Tuesday at about 12:45 AM, after hearing him for a while. I mean - if that guy gets to have that kind of success... Ron Jaworski is clearly better, though. Personally, I love how this stuff is big news despite the fact that there will be no attrition or increase in viewers at all. These things tend to just inspire one group of people to send angry emails about how great Joe is; and another group of people to send thank you emails 'cause Joe made their ears bleed; and the only person that benefits is the intern who is hired to sort through all the extra emails this generates, gets a summer at ESPN, gets to hear all the best Olberman stories, and might actually run into Erin Andrews. Rahr.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:27 PM on March 26

Just because Theisman worked for them for 20 years does not mean he is ready or able to do the top job, MNF. Some people work 20 years in the mail room or just being a desk jockey, this does not mean they are ready for the CEO job. He may have been good at the other jobs he did for ESPN, but that does not mean he was ready or had the skills to do MNF. I think Tony Kornheiser is good in his MNF role, but he is awsome on PTI. As for the injuried retired players someone mentioned before. It is possible to live the rest of your life off the pay these guys get in 1 or 2 seasons and never have to work again, that is, if the money is wisely invested. 5 hummers and all the diamonds and houses and partying, is not forced on them. If they chose to be foolish with the millions they are given to play a game, it is no one elses fault. They need to take resposibility and invest their money wisely. No one needs a 10 million dollar home. If they blow their money, why is it anyone elses fault?

posted by vipers-pit at 04:05 PM on March 26

I never hated Theisman -- but I never really liked him as an announcer either. His commentary was sincere and he believed what he was saying, but he was often incorrect. And the older he got, to me it seemed he took the game and his job too serious, like the way some religious people can't laugh at their religion. I won't miss him on Monday nights...but to be honest, I would have liked it if Kornheiser was canned too. I loved his radio show when it was syndicated and I like PTI, but I hate his football analysis. Or lack of it. It's like watching football with a sycophant who apologizes for not knowing the game...and would rather be a doofus than actually study the game. I guess that's what he's being paid to do, but it's annoying. Adding Jaws will lend credibility to the broadcast, but it'll also make the two extremes more apparent. And while he seems like a nice guy, Tirico doesn't appear to be the kind of person to bridge the gap.

posted by forrestv at 05:09 PM on March 26

Jaws is a step in the right direction. I can not believe that they have asked Kornheiser back for a second season. He is worthless. He doesn't know jack about football and is more interested in Tom Cruise or whoever is at a game. I guess they didn't learn anything from the "Dennis Miller Project". Big question- now that Theismann isn't back, whose ass does Kornheiser kiss first, Tirico or Jaws? They also need to get rid of the "special guest" of the night. The only one who had anything worthwhile to say was when Rhonde Barber was a guest at a Giants game. I don't watch football to hear about Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jay Z, etc... If I was interested in them I would watch Entertainment Tonight or one of those other pathetic celebrity watching shows.

posted by urall cloolis at 06:23 PM on March 26

good.....now fire the rest of them!

posted by phenyx2 at 06:24 PM on March 26

I'm no doubt cloolis,but it is March Madness,I'm listening to the Rangers play Seattle and the NBA and NHL playoffs are soon. I'm so not thinking football.

posted by sickleguy at 08:26 PM on March 26

Its too bad The days of Cosell & Meredith are gone, these days I would rather have boring, than hype. If I can't have "The Other Boomer", Jaws will do. The man is a walking game film. "Turn out the lights, the party's over.............."

posted by bo_fan at 08:32 PM on March 26

I'm not going to say it was a bad thing but they should have started by replacing Tony Kornheiser first.

posted by ok5561 at 08:33 PM on March 26

bperk wrote: Theismann never says anything insightful. 4th and 16 - "They are going to have to punt here." Even if Jaws is unable to do the in-depth analysis that he does on Match up, he should at least be able to add some actual not-completely-obvious commentary. For the knowledgable fan, I agree with your assessment. However, I think there is a steady stream of new fans who aren't as famililar with the game. For the new fans, I think stating the obvious helps promote the game even though it might appear to be redundant to the serious fan. I will not miss Theisman at all. I have found his style to be very similar to Joe Morgan. They both come across to me as ego maniacs who want to always remind us how great they were. Hopefully, the announcement of Morgan's replacement is coming soon. But then again, it doesn't really matter to me because I am a complete ex-ESPN viewer now. Too much fluff and not enough substance. SportsCenter went from being a must see first thing in the mornging show to nothing but an infotainment show. Not for me.

posted by danjel at 07:32 AM on March 27

I suspect the new fans are where Kornheiser comes in. If you're watching the game but only partly into it, he'll distract you with some schtick about what a hot mama Ruth Bader Ginsberg is, or taunting Tirico about his yachts the same way he did to Theismann. Or whatever. Pooh-pooh that all you want, but Kornheiser's never unaware that he's in the diversion business. It's sports, fergodsake, he says, with every cackle and wheeze. Lighten up, willya? Which was why Theismann (and many other fans who take this stuff seriously) wanted to punch him in the throat.

posted by chicobangs at 09:17 AM on March 27

It is possible to live the rest of your life off the pay these guys get in 1 or 2 seasons and never have to work again, that is, if the money is wisely invested. One: That's incorrect. The minumum salary in the NFL is $225K per year. The second year is $300K. If you think you could invest every single dime of that (which you couldn't, because you'd have to live somewhere and pay other bills during those two years) and live off of it for the remainder of your life, you're either naive or ignoring the facts. Or you live in Armpit, Mississippi. Two: Most of the concern is not for current players, but for those who sacrificed their bodies for many years in the 50s, 60, and 70s and are getting squat for it now. I suggest you have a peek at this story for more information.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:50 AM on March 27

Thank you, wfrazerjr for expressing with the numbers to prove what everyone SHOULD know by now if they REALLY follow sports at all.

posted by yzelda4045 at 10:39 AM on March 27

My favorite Theismann moment was when he had his leg broken by L.T., he looks over from his stretcher to the Giants defense picks out L.T. and shouts, "I'll be back!". L.T. shouts back,"Not tonight". Jaws is definately an upgrade. Now they need to get rid of Kornholer. As long as they don't replace him with Wilbon. PTI should be MPH for My personal Hell. I hate both them brother truckers. They should put Madden and Summerall in the booth with the corpse of Cosell. Put some headphones on him, let Madden do his Cosell impressions. Weekend at Bernies thing. That's MNF. I'm ready.

posted by sumokenobi at 05:10 PM on March 27

So it would be more like, 'Weekend at Howards'? Good one. Did anyone else hear that now Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president for studio and remote production has offered Theismann a 'job doing college football for the ESPN/ABC networks'? Theismann's outlook on that: "It would be like training to be a doctor or a lawyer and having them say, 'we would like you to change to another profession.'" He also added: "I need some time to think about it."

posted by BornIcon at 09:23 AM on March 28

Where does Theisman go now?

posted by papoon at 04:12 PM on April 01

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