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#pounditWednesday, January 26, 2022

Articles tagged: Monday Night Football

Report: ESPN considering Al Michaels pursuit for ‘Monday Night Football’

Al Michaels in a suit and tie

Al Michaels will be on the market as an announcing free agent after this season, and ESPN could come nocking.

Michaels’ contract with NBC reportedly ends at some point after the Super Bowl. There have been rumors linking him to Amazon, which will have the “Thursday Night Football” package next season.

Another option could come from ESPN, which has “Monday Night Football,” as well as some postseason games. ESPN has used the three-announcer crew of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese the last two seasons. Griese’s contract is up, according to the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand. Marchand says ESPN is weighing whether they will pursue Michaels.

If ESPN were to pursue Michaels for “Monday Night Football,” they would need an analyst to pair him with. There has been some talk of Michaels potentially working with Troy Aikman, but that would come with some complications.

Ultimately, this is a situation to watch during the offseason, as the 77-year-old broadcaster is likely to land somewhere, whether it’s ESPN or Amazon.

Photo: Aug 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Network television commentator Al Michaels before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Could Al Michaels return to ‘Monday Night Football’?

Al Michaels in a suit and tie

Beginning in 1986, Al Michaels spent 20 seasons serving as the lead play-by-play announcer for ABC’s “Monday Night Football.” In 2006, Michaels moved from ABC to NBC, while Monday Night Football moved from ABC to ESPN.

Currently, Michaels works “Sunday Night Football” for NBC but that will change next season. The network plans to replace Michaels with Mike Tirico as the full-time SNF play-by-play announcer. Michaels is expected to take over on Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” broadcast.

But there is an off-chance scenario in which Michaels moves on from NBC and their Amazon deal.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post notes that Michaels’ current contract expires following Super Bowl LVI in February. What are his plans after that? They’re uncertain, and could include a shift to ESPN and a return to Monday Night Football.

Marchand says Michaels has no plans to retire. Marchand also says “the only other possibility that could emerge is if ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’ were to change its main booth again.”

In other words, Marchand suggests that Michaels might be interested in returning to MNF if ESPN is interested.

As things sit, Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick handle the call on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli, also host the alternate viewing “ManningCast” on select Monday nights.

In order for Michaels to sneak back in, ESPN would have to scrap their announce team yet again. And while it’s not outside the realm of possibility, it remains unlikely.

It would be nostalgic for many to have Michaels return to Monday Night Football, but an overwhelming number of pieces would have to fall into place for that to occur.

Image: Aug 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Network television commentator Al Michaels before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

Peyton and Eli Manning to host ‘Monday Night Football’ megacast for ESPN

Peyton Manning

ESPN has sought to get Peyton Manning as its “Monday Night Football” analyst for years. They’ve succeeded — albeit in a new, non-traditional way.

ESPN announced Monday that Peyton and Eli Manning will headline what the network calls a Monday Night Football “MegaCast” production. The brothers have agreed to do ten games a year for each of the next three seasons, which will air on ESPN2 alongside the traditional “Monday Night Football” broadcast on ESPN.

The network says the telecasts will originate from a remote location with both Manning brothers. They will be joined by a yet-to-be-determined host, as well as guest appearances from celebrities and both current and former athletes. The broadcast promises to be “a mix of in-the-moment analysis, big picture NFL dialogue, knee-jerk reaction, historical perspective, and more.”

Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions will co-produce the broadcasts with ESPN.

ESPN has served as the home of Peyton’s series “Peyton Places” and has sought to get him on game broadcasts for some time, with huge offers said to be on the table. Manning never took those, but he’s clearly comfortable doing this less traditional broadcast with his younger brother. Even though they won’t be occupying more traditional analyst roles, both Manning brothers should have some interesting insights to offer for whatever games they ultimately cover in this format.

Broncos’ amazing ‘Monday Night Football’ streak will reportedly end in 2021

Broncos logo

The 2021 NFL schedule will reportedly end one of the more impressive television streaks in football.

The Denver Broncos have appeared on “Monday Night Football” at least once every season since 1991. That 29-year streak will end in 2021, according to Mike Klis of 9 News.

The streak is definitely over, too. Monday night games do not have the option to be flexed under the current contracts.

It’s not a huge shock that the Broncos aren’t featured on this stage. They have not had a winning season since 2016, and they didn’t add any big pieces during the offseason that would make them more attractive to a national audience. Things may have been different had Denver been able to make a move like this earlier in the offseason.

There are plenty of teams that go years without being featured on “MNF.” It’s not really going to be a streak the Broncos make that much of, but it’s still pretty impressive that it lasted this long.

Charles Barkley was offered ‘Monday Night Football’ job?

Charles Barkley

ESPN has been desperate for years to find a strong personality that could elevate its “Monday Night Football” broadcast, but the network has been turned down by a number of former NFL stars since Jon Gruden returned to coaching. According to Charles Barkley, at least one NBA legend was also part of the discussion at one point.

Barkley made a shocking revelation during his recent appearance on “The Jim Brockmire Podcast” with Hank Azaria. While discussing why he stays off Twitter and ignores social media, Barkley said he prides himself on only joining a discussion when he knows what he is talking about. He then mentioned in passing that he was offered a job with “Monday Night Football.”

“I only comment on basketball,” Barkley said. “Like, they offered me the Monday Night Football (job) and I was like, ‘I like football, but I ain’t going to be one of these jacka–es and get on TV and act like he know about football.”

Barkley didn’t say what specific role ESPN offered him, but he did not sound like he was joking.

We wouldn’t be surprised if ESPN gauged Barkley’s interest in joining the “Monday Night Football” team. The product has suffered a great deal since Gruden left, and ESPN has been unable to land its top target despite multiple efforts.

If nothing else, Barkley would certainly attract viewers. You can hear his full comments from “The Jim Brockmire Podcast” below, but beware that the clip contains inappropriate language:

H/T Pro Football Talk

Aaron Rodgers not a big fan of ‘Monday Night Football’ commentary

Aaron Rodgers

ESPN has not exactly drawn rave reviews for its “Monday Night Football” broadcast since Jon Gruden returned to coaching, and apparently fans aren’t the only ones who have been disappointed with the commentary.

During his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Aaron Rodgers was asked for his thoughts on Monday night’s game between the Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans Saints. He took the opportunity to mention how he watched the game with the sound off, which he says he has done with most games carried by ESPN over the last few years.

“I didn’t see a whole lot of that. It was on for a little bit with the sound off, which is how I’ve watched a lot of games on ESPN over the last few years,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers was then asked if he has issues with everybody at ESPN or just certain people, and he mentioned how Kenny Mayne is “one of my all-time favorites.” He added that he enjoys watching football but prefers to listen to music during the games rather than taking in the commentary.

ESPN has tried desperately to improve its “Monday Night Football” crew since Gruden left, but they were turned down by several huge names. This year’s trio of Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick is certainly an improvement over Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland, but it still leaves plenty to be desired.

Of course, Rodgers has been open in recent years about how much he dislikes the media. It’s no surprise he listens to games with the sound off.

ESPN officially unveils new ‘Monday Night Football’ crew, plans for Week 1

ESPN officially has an all-new crew for “Monday Night Football.”

On Monday, ESPN confirmed previous reports that Steve Levy will be the new play-by-play announcer for “Monday Night Football” with Brian Griese and Louis Riddick serving as analysts. Lisa Salters will return for her ninth season as sideline reporter, while officiating analyst John Parry will be back for his second season.

ESPN’s new trio will call the second game of the Week 1 Monday night double-header, which features the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos. The first game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants will be the NFL broadcast debut for ESPN’s top college duo of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit.

We could see more of Fowler and Herbstreit calling NFL games for ESPN this year, as they might work some Saturday NFL broadcasts depending upon what happens with the college football season.

ESPN shifted its attention to internal candidates for “Monday Night Football” after a slew of former NFL quarterbacks turned down the network’s massive offers. They’re hoping Levy, Riddick and Griese will bring more success than Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland did before them.

Report: ESPN tried to recruit Sean McVay for ‘Monday Night Football’

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay has already led his team to a Super Bowl and essentially has his entire coaching career in front of him, but that did not stop ESPN from exploring whether or not the 34-year-old has interest in wearing a different type of headset.

ESPN spoke with McVay this offseason about joining the “Monday Night Football” crew as an analyst, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports. While McVay entertained the conversation, he is under contract with the Rams and has no interest in leaving his job.

Should McVay decide he wants to take some time off from coaching, ESPN made it clear there would be interest in hiring him in a broadcast role.

While you can’t blame ESPN for trying, the fact that they reached out to a 34-year-old head coach whose job is completely secure gives you an idea of how desperate the network is. They’ve decided to hire strictly from within to replace Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland, but that was not their first, second, or even third choice.

A slew of former and current NFL quarterbacks turned down massive offers from ESPN. The network also considered moving its top college broadcast duo to NFL games. McVay was simply another option ESPN decided to explore out of desperation, albeit a very unrealistic one.

New ‘Monday Night Football’ crew reportedly revealed

ESPN is reportedly going back to a three-man crew for “Monday Night Football” this season, and the trio is expected to be led by Steve Levy.

James Andrew Miller reported on Friday that ESPN has decided on Levy as its play-by-play man with Louis Riddick and Brian Griese to serve as color commentators.

As Miller noted, ESPN will reportedly have its top college football duo of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbsreit call the second “Monday Night Football” game in Week 1. The network holds two games for the opening week of the season. Things could also still change if the college football season is postponed or canceled.

Levy currently calls college football for ESPN, and it’s possible he and former “Monday Night Football” play-by-play man Joe Tessitore could swap places. Tessitore previously called college games for the network before being moved to NFL broadcasts.

ESPN has been focused solely on internal candidates since a slew of former NFL quarterbacks turned down their massive offers. There has been talk that Herbstreit could call both college and “Monday Night Football” games, but that seems unlikely. In the rare event that the college season is canceled or moved to the spring, Herbstreit and Fowler may serve as fill-ins for “Monday Night Football” just for this season.

Report: ESPN still considering Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler for ‘Monday Night Football’

Kirk Herbstreit

There have been rumors that ESPN could consider shifting its top college football broadcast duo to “Monday Night Football” for the 2020 season, and that is apparently something the network has yet to rule out entirely.

According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, ESPN has yet to settle on replacements for “Monday Night Football” due to uncertainty about the college football season. If the college season is delayed significantly or canceled, ESPN could move its top college duo of Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler to “Monday Night Football.” However, if the NCAA season begins on time, Herbsreit and Fowler will likely remain in their current roles.

ESPN has officially moved on from Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland, and they are focusing on internal candidates after a slew of former NFL quarterbacks turned down the network’s massive offers. Assuming Herbstreit and Fowler don’t take over on “Monday Night Football,” the top candidates include Louis Riddick and Steve Levy.

We know of at least one former player who is extremely popular among fans that wants the job, but it does not seem likely that he will get it.