Kornheiser Out, Gruden in, Thank God
Man, I can’t imagine this having gone any better. I wasn’t at all happy with Tony Kornheiser in the Monday Night Football booth and now he’s being replaced by Jon Gruden, a guy I like. You know, I never really understood the Kornheiser hiring from the start. The guy is really good and enjoyable with Michael Wilbon on PTI. His delivery is smooth, their banter is pretty well-researched and well-supported, and the overall pace of the show is perfect. But just because he’s good on PTI doesn’t mean he has any place in a football booth. At a time where I’m just trying to watch and enjoy a good game and maybe get a few nuggets of analysis while I’m doing it, I had Kornheiser bringing in the journalism angle. My biggest complaint about him is that he was always trying to use everything to tell a story. Rather than letting us enjoy a game that by virtue of fantasy football, office pools, or spreads, nearly everyone watching already has a vested interest, Kornheiser turned each contest into column on TV. It was like he was trying to manufacture interest for games that were already interesting by themselves. That just didn’t work for me.
Needless to say I’m pretty pleased that Tony will no longer be annoying me on Monday nights. So now we have Chucky stepping into the biggest booth around. As I said during the NFL Draft, I liked hearing his commentary. The guy is concise, gets to the point, and has already said he doesn’t want to step on anyone’s shoes. That’s how I like it — the less is more approach. A couple of really interesting footnotes here. The hiring of Chucky shows us that the jockocracy of sportscasting is still very much alive and well. Secondly, ESPN obviously didn’t care that Gruden has ripped them thoroughly in the past (of course he did — he was protecting his player). Lastly, I have no doubt that Tony’s fear of flying is only a convenient excuse for relinquishing the job — Pro Football Talk points out that it didn’t seem to bother him last year. Hurray for Monday nights in the fall this year!