Monday, May 18, 2009
What in the world just happened? Tony Kornheiser has been replaced in the Monday Night Football booth by former NFL Coach John Gruden. Seriously. I'm not kidding. The cause appears to be the schedule, and the fact that Tony is afraid of flying, but either way the PTIer has decided to call it quits....
Former Super Bowl-winning head coach Jon Gruden is joining ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The dynamic, outspoken and often fiery Gruden will join commentators Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski in the booth when sports television’s signature series kicks off its 40th season this fall. Gruden will also contribute analysis throughout the year on ESPN Radio and other platforms, in addition to being a part of ESPN’s 2010 Pro Bowl telecast and Super Bowl and NFL Draft coverage.Man, now that is a complete and utter shocker right there. I obviously think that Kornheiser wasn't the right person for the job, but like he said, each year he got better. Some moments were still unbearable last season, but the three were finally starting to get it right. As far as Gruden goes, I enjoyed him on the NFL Network, and it's definitely a good hire, but I question his dedication. It's no secret that he wants to go back to coaching, and this could quickly become a one or two year fill-in.
Gruden replaces Tony Kornheiser, who has decided to step down after three years in the Monday Night Football booth.
“I would like to thank Tony Kornheiser for his many contributions to Monday Night Football the past three years,” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. “He has been a big reason for the show’s success on ESPN. Pardon the Interruption is one of ESPN’s most important franchises and fans will continue to see Tony on the show and involved in other future ESPN projects for many years to come.”
Kornheiser added: “I am totally grateful for the MNF opportunity that I truly enjoyed the last three seasons. I feel we got better each year. My fear of planes is legendary and sadly true. When I looked at the upcoming schedule it was the perfect storm that would've frequently moved me from the bus to the air. I kept looking at the schedule the past month and wanted to find a way to quietly extricate myself. If I could handpick a replacement of a football guy, I would cast a net and drag in Jon Gruden. He is the two things you most want -- smart and funny -- and has the two things I don't -- good hair and a tan. I love PTI and am looking forward to continuing to yammer and yodel with Wilbon until the end of time.”
Why they wouldn't go with someone proven like Matt Millen is beyond me, but good luck to them. Maybe this is finally the combination they've been looking for.
(Via ESPN PR)