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Friday, October 24, 2014

Why Does NBC Have Matt Millen in Their Broadcast Studio as an Expert Analyst?

I understand the way things work in sports broadcasting — the analyst jobs usually go to popular athletes who have retired or coaches who have recently been fired. I don’t have too many problems with this practice. For instance, ESPN brought recently fired Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer into their college football studio for analysis, and NBA TV has added recently fired Raptors coach Sam Mitchell to their studio. I’ll listen to what Fulmer has to say since the guy built a strong program and was a national champion coach. Mitchell last year led the Raptors to the playoffs and is a former Coach of the Year, so his analysis of the game carries weight. What I don’t understand is how NBC can invite Matt Millen into their studio as an analyst given his history as a team exec. The guy ran the Lions from ’01 until this season when he was finally sacked after a few games. The team’s record was 34-81 under his watch. Millen presided over one of the most embarrassing stretches for a team in the history of professional sports. What expert opinion could the guy possibly have to lend?

Yes, I understand that Millen was a Super Bowl winner as a player and that he began a career in broadcasting following retirement. Yes, I understand he may have had success in each of those areas in life. However, what’s freshest in my mind and that of pretty much any football fan is his failures with the Lions. Failures of gargantuan proportion. How could any sensible broadcasting outlet bring him in as an expert analyst and expect the audience to take anything he says seriously? The guy admitted in an interview with Dan Patrick that he was not qualified for the job when the Lions hired him and that he would have even fired himself. So when he says things like he “the Lions have a foundation in place” how can you help but not laugh? A foundation for what, more losing? To me, NBC Sports loses all credibility bringing him on for an analyst role. After the job he just did with the Lions, I have legitimate reasons to question anything and everything he says.



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