Joe Theismann to join NFL Network booth

I felt like one of the few people that really enjoyed Matt Millen on NFL Network’s Thursday Night broadcast, and defended the Millen-Bob Papa booth any time I could.  They had good chemistry and you could learn something about football if you stopped making Millen jokes for a minute.

The booth will be a lot tougher to defend this year.  Or learn something from.

Richard Deitsch of SI.com first reported Monday that the NFL Network was adding Joe Theismann to form a three-man broadcast booth.  The Network has since confirmed the news.

“Joe is one of the premier analysts in the business,” said Eric Weinberger, executive producer
NFL Network said in the announcement of Theismann’s hire.

This is one of those decisions that makes you question everything about sports television executives.  They decided to add a lot more money to their budget in order to drive a significant portion of their audience crazy. 

The reason?  We suppose they think a “name” will attract viewers, impress advertisers, or make NFL Network somehow look more legitimate.

Theismann dominates the airtime whenever he gets the chance.  Unlike Millen, he rarely tells the viewer something we don’t already know. The focus is often on Theismann, not the game.  Even worse, he sometimes seemed unprepared during Washington’s preseason telecasts this year.

Time that Theismann blows hot air will just take away from Papa and Millen, who are both pros.  NFL Network had many far better options in their own stable of analysts if they wanted to add a third member.

NFLN hasn’t stuck with a consistent lineup for their Thursday Night broadcast for various reasons and we suspect this three-man booth won’t last long either.  Fans will revolt, and eventually the Network will listen.

We just hope they don’t wait two years, like they did with Bryant Gumbel.

89 responses to “Joe Theismann to join NFL Network booth

  1. Gotta agree, Gregg. Theismann is horrible on television and I don’t know of a single person who doesn’t agree.
    Millen is actually good on TV.
    Papa is ok.
    They could have done A LOT better than Joey Sunshine, though.

  2. Find some hot chick that actually knows something about football. The guys there are getting for these jobs have their moments but are horrible most of the time…and that is not limited to NFLN coverage

  3. Theesman (intentional misspelling) has always been a joke. Agreed he is often unprepared and his stories are irrelevant to the game and self-serving.
    Most troubling are his seemingly racial comments. He often refers to white players as hard-working, playing with passion and leadership. They are “students of the game”. Dark-skinned players are referred to as instinctual, natural athletes, etc… Very troubling.

  4. You are dead on Rosenthal.
    And I hope PFT keeps a weekly talley on the number of reference Theismann makes back to his playing days, just to hammer home how big a mistake this is…

  5. NFLN needs more Mike Mayock. He does everything better than everyone else there. I heard him do is pre season Viking game and not surprisingly he’s even good at that.

  6. Stupid stupid stupid
    the people that watch the NFL network are the very people that find Theismann the VERY TEDIOUS BORE he is.
    guess I’ll be listening to a lot more Westwood 1 while watching the nfl network.

  7. First thing I’ve ever agreed with Rosenthal about, and it appears as if everything is spelled correctly. I think hell is freezing over!

  8. I can’t beleive that anyone would like Bob Papa. I can’t remember one thing he ever said that’s says a lot about Bob Papa value.
    I think Bob Papa should run for office, he already can talk without saying anything.

  9. Maybe this is their strategy to make Millen more credible – by comparison to Theismann, he’s a freaking genius.

  10. Theismann is the second worst analyst of all time right behind Dierdorf. A tleast when he says something that pisses me of I can just scream at the TV that LT says hi Theismann. What a buffoon.

  11. “fell like one of the few people…” you WERE one of the few people (not including papa). are you kidding me?? millen?? you have got to be joking. i’d take joe theismann x 10 over matt millen and i am in redskin heaven. i can pull my theismann jersey out of retirement and enjoy some thoughtful, EXPERIENCED analysis for change. hard to come by on the NFL network where people can barely sit up straight at the desk (are you listening, michael irvin?)
    joe theismann – great addition, imho.

  12. Oh my god. It’s like needles in my eyes. Theismann is one of the worst in the business.
    Please, please NFLN, reconsider your decision.

  13. Best analyst for any sport any channel is hands down and by a long ways “Gus Johnson”.
    Second is Brent musberger sp on that last name

  14. Christ. When Theismann got floated for the Notre Dame broadcast gig, I almost became a USC fan. Nice job NFL Network.

  15. Just friggin wonderful. Now I have the option to hear Joe (look at me please) Theismann talk about all the times that he had dinner with the starting quarterback and the great conversation that he had with them. I guess now the sound gets turned off during NFLN broadcasts. Thanks NFLN.

  16. This is a very discouraging piece of news. NFL Network had a pretty good thing going overall, reasonable booth personalities, informative analysis, good sidebar bits, etc, and The Red Zone is far and away a Home Run for the Network.
    Why did they have to go and impose this has- been bowhard on us. They just ruined the telecast.
    You’re right, the fans WILL revolt cause this jerkoff is revolting.

  17. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse than having the bad gumble brother up there, they throw in the biggest whiner in all of sports commentary.
    Crossing my fingers that LT breaks his leg again while he walks to the booth for the first night.

  18. You are kidding right? Matt Millen? You defend Matt Millen after what he did in Detroit? That guy is about as useless as a third tit!
    What little credibility you had is now shot to shit!

  19. Millen’s a lot better in the booth than he was as GM of the Lions. The one who really impressed me last year (different network) was Gruden. Who knew he’d be such a cool broadcaster?

  20. I agree Theismann sucks. You must really be stupid if you learned something from Millen the guys is a jackass.

  21. Gregg I use to like you but to imply that Millen knows anything about football, has made me lose all respect for you. Millen ran my beloved Lions into the ground and has shown the whole NFL that he knows nothing of NFL talent and the game of football besides the fact he used to play it. The only way I will ever forgive that dumb POS for what he did to the Lions is if he lets Suh tackle him like a sports science dummy.

  22. yay – can’t wait for that – way to get rid of business…somebody needs to find a way to make money off the mute button…

  23. Ugh he is the worst in the business. Its painful too have to listen too him for 3 + hours! Hopefully this will only last 1-2 seasons?

  24. Damn.
    There was a time recently where I preferred NFLN almost exclusively, but they’re getting some real questionable talent lately – not Emmit Smith bad, but degrading.
    There really is no reason to hire anybody that isn’t brilliant in terms of football. With such a high unemployment rate, the number of quality candidates (NOT recycled thru the good ol’ boy network) should be extremely high.

  25. robynsc says:
    September 6, 2010 1:39 PM
    “fell like one of the few people…” you WERE one of the few people (not including papa). are you kidding me?? millen?? you have got to be joking. i’d take joe theismann x 10 over matt millen and i am in redskin heaven. i can pull my theismann jersey out of retirement and enjoy some thoughtful, EXPERIENCED analysis for change. hard to come by on the NFL network where people can barely sit up straight at the desk (are you listening, michael irvin?)
    joe theismann – great addition, imho.
    ___________________________________
    Rob it looks like you, Joe, and the NFL don’t get there are 31 other teams in the NFL.

  26. Theismann is Dan Snyder’s dream analyst. He is the biggest redskins homer and always paints a positive spin on anything negative about the team. He picked them to win the superbowl last year and for Jason Campbell to be an all-pro QB and MVP candidate. Who did he pick to win the superbowl this year? The Skins of course.

  27. WTF?!! I thought the NFL would try to distance itself from gamblers. Doesn’t Joey T have a 1-900 # giving out betting advice on NFL games?! It’s bad enough watching the muppet heads on network TV talk sh*t about football and make their picks vs the “spread”. Now we’re going to have a former high profile player with an admitted gambling problem work for the league owned network. Wasn’t the NFL network supposed to be for football “purists” like myself who wanted to learn more inside stuff as to how the game is really played? Isn’t that how the NFL network was presenting itself? Now Theisman was a great player in his time and it was a pleasure watching him drop back from center and set up and throw the ball with his quick footwork and all (before his injury). But now it seems like people will only remember him as a “pick em” guy on sunday morning as his contribution to the game of football.

  28. Theismann is horrible. The only analyst who would have been a worse choice, is his former partner Paul McGuire.

  29. I really hope the NFL Network read these posts and reconsider. If not, oh well, we’ll have to watch the games with the television on mute!

  30. Millen is a great analyst and a terrible talent evaluator. Once you realize that, you can enjoy what this guy brings to the broadcast. That being said, adding the bitterman to the booth is a terrible idea. At one point in time, 10-15yrs ago, he may have been one of the best in the business due to a lack of competition. Now a days, you have some intelligent, well spoken, ex-players who can do a great job adding value.. This is a bad idea on a Cornheiser level.

  31. @afiresnake …
    Thanks for the pick-me-up. Annoying as he is, Theisman is still better than Kornheiser. Only three hours of listening to Fran Drescher’s voice could be worse than Kornheiser. Not even Dennis Miller could get me to turn off the game or mute the sound like Tony.
    If they wanted to hire someone from the old Sunday night crew, why not Paul Maguire? He was far more knowledgeable than Theisman and only talked when he had something relevant to say.

  32. That just did it for me. He is the just about the worst “analyst” there is (a shade below Kornheiser.” I will be watching games with the sound off and listening to the NFL radio broadcast.
    He absolutely SUCKS!

  33. cheatriots says:
    September 6, 2010 1:39 PM
    Theismann is the second worst analyst of all time right behind Dierdorf. A tleast when he says something that pisses me of I can just scream at the TV that LT says hi Theismann. What a buffoon.
    ———-
    I think you forgot about Simms and Gruden. I would take Dierdorf over both of those clowns.

  34. While not exactly a Matt Millen fan (he’s the last person in the world I’d listen to about managing a football team after the shipwreck he made of the already hapless Lions), I simply don’t listen to ANYTHING Joe “It’s All About ME” Theismann has to say. It doesn’t matter what game he’s covering- sooner than later he turns the broadcast into coverage of his favorite subject- HIMSELF! NFL TV must be smoking crack…. with all the unemployed pro football players and coaches available to sit in a booth and call a game, this is the best they can come up with? PLEEEEEEEEASE!!!

  35. Does no one at the NFLN listen or have a clue?
    Its probably like the coaching fraternity, his friends are getting him a gig.
    Can you guys with all your inside contacts and anonimous sources please tell them that NFL fans think thier broadcast troupe stinks.
    There has to be better alternates available.
    Obviously the sound will be turned off on thursday nights.

  36. Man, just when you thought things were at their darkest……
    There is no more arrogant, insufferable jackass on TV than Joey T. Just ask his ex-wives.

  37. Joe Theismann is great. I used to tune into the espn games even if my team was not playing just to hear him and Maguire. Bring back Maguire to, what a booth they had!

  38. This guy is almost as fake as Jaws.
    He was banging on Brady Quinn years ago for being “disheveled” during the draft after he plummeted.
    He is an asswipe.
    Even changed the pronunciation of his name to try to win a damn trophy.
    Not to mention he sucks in the booth.
    How much will you pay me to state the obvious?

  39. I agree that Millen is good in the booth. Made a funny comment about “being loved in the state of Michigan” during the Uconn v. UM game.

  40. I don’t enjoy any of those three.
    Papa is boring.
    Mullen lost the chance to earn credibility.
    Theismann is a douche.
    Three losers in a booth. And I mean that… These three are big enough chimps that their past accolades mean nothing anymore and douchedom is the only causation to that!

  41. First of all, Finfan68,
    We don’t need any “hot chick” who pretends to know football in the booth. There are too many damned women now. The only place for a woman on a football field is cheerleading.
    And secondly, TheDPR,
    Just for the sake of argument, I DON’T agree with you. Theismann is vane, no doubt about it. But he can be a decent analyst if he prepares. I’m not crazy about him, but I think he can be ok.

  42. Listening to Theismann is like fingernails across a blackboard. Oh well, I guess I can still watch the games with the sound off. Maybe, the closed captioning feature will be available.

  43. GEEBUS…THEESMANN?? UGH. Agree that Millen is good and so is Mayock. THEES is the best they could do???? THEES??? SERIOUSLY????? (goes to poke out eardrums with spork)
    I guess it beats Jamie Dukes, but that’s about it.

  44. Please people………..Leave JOE THE THROW..alone………..if it wasnt for him my great Toronto Argonauts would never have lost the Grey Cup in 1972 when he blew the handoff to running back Leon Mcquay

  45. I DETEST Joe Theisman. Dude is the most ARROGANT, unenlighten JOKE in broadcasting. He is NOT intelligent and will ALWAYS lean the conversation toward himself or his un reasoned opinions.

  46. “Papa and Millen are both pros”
    clearly you havent listened to his Sirius Radio morning show when he allows Peter King to SING (and iuse the term loosely) on air for minutes at the time.
    oooppss
    i took shots at 2 of your buddies in the same paragraph Mike. i guess this one is heading for the cutting room floor
    please note i left all the Millen jokes in the bag for a later date

  47. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  48. Theismann rocks!! Hope its the version that did the Thursday night games and not the toned down vresion on MNF!!! Bob Papa is horrible!!!! I like Millen but after being a horrible GM, its hard for me to take anything he says seriously

  49. Gotta say you hit the nail on the head with this one, Gregg. Theismann is an arrogant windbag. You’d think the network owned by the NFL would want to have the BEST (not the most recognizable) broadcasters for their games. I like Papa, and Millen is pretty bad (albeit better than Gumbel), but the addition of Theismann makes me hope the sound goes out for the booth again this year.

  50. Joe will fit in nicely with the hoopla and overmodulated sound effects that have been foisted on the unfortunate fans who actually attend the home games – – except that now, with Joe in the booth, it will be extended to the TV audience.
    Cannon fire, gargantuan sparklers, huge team flags carried about before the game and when the home team scores, idiotic presentations of the home and visiting teams before the game, half-time juvenile antics, scoreboards that continuously flash advertisements, numbing breaks in the game’s flow to satisfy TV advertisements, deafening speaker systems that assail your senses, PSLs, club seating, corporate booths with their own TVs so the occupants can watch the game away from the unwashed – – – Joe will fit right in!! We will be relegated to watch a professional sport that has been reduced to its lowest common denominator, and then be forced to listen to a commentator who will fit right into that latter-day rendition of the ancient Roman “Bread and Circuses.”.

  51. Rosenthal,
    The only thing worse than Joey Sunshine in the broadcast booth is how much PFT backed off making fun of him while he was with NBC.
    You losers sold your souls. No balls to go against the network. I could imagine the conversation went something like this.
    Oh, Florio, you are so great, we need you and your blog to become relevant in the world of professional football. We’ve already had to reach to get Keith Over-the-hillman. So here is a ton of money, please take it and oh, btw. Here are a few suggetions for the site.
    1.) Lay off of Mr. Theisman, you are part of the NBC family now, think of him as an older brother.
    2.) Please start producing crappy PFTV segments instead of this faddy “blogging”, we feel that will resonate with our viewers.
    3.) Please bend over and take this gift from Mr. Theisman where the sun don’t shine.
    As much as I hate #7 and his fake tan, you have no right to bust on him anymore, cuz over the last 8 or so months you’ve been MUM..
    I used to think you guys were the Howard Stern of Football Blogging.. maybe now I think you are more like Ryan Seacrest.
    Losers

  52. Terrible, terrible choice.. What are they thinking? I won’t listen…maybe not even watch. horrible horrible, terrible…

  53. “Joe is one of the premier analysts in the business,”
    …but for some reason, he was available.

  54. “Skid row Joe” is pro football’s perfect inverse barometer. He’s ALWAYS wrong. So set your clocks accordingly.

  55. I have a feeling Joey T. will talk about all the great N.D. QB’S in the NFL and how great he would be if he still played. He should be talking about how the Raiders kicked his ass in the Super Bowl!

  56. What is truly sad is that my earlier comment didn’t get approved. I guess lil ol Gregg took issue when I said that he was stupid for trying to defend Millen to begin with…..

  57. @Gray Eagle …
    EXCELLENT point!!! I can’t believe teams competing in the championship have to spend the first 20 minutes of the second half inhaling smoke from a halftime show staged to satisfy a worldwide audience that wouldn’t know a first down from a corner blitz.
    @CKL …
    Ooo with you on Jamie Dukes. How on earth did he get that job????
    Ivanrue says:
    First of all, Finfan68, We don’t need any “hot chick” who pretends to know football in the booth. There are too many damned women now. The only place for a woman on a football field is cheerleading.
    ———————————————–
    Totally agree. I respect Suzy Kolber, Pam Oliver, and Andrea Kramer. As for most of the others … if they just want to give the boys eye-candy, please hand them pom-poms instead of a mic.

  58. I came to jump on the i hate joey t bandwagon. He makes me cringe when he talks and his homerism when doing redskins games is sickening.
    Also, as far as matt millen goes, why would i want to hear what a guy that did everything wrong and ran a franchise into the ground say about football. I just cant take him serious.

  59. Joe Theisman is just plaun bad. This guarantees I will not be tuning in. I am sure the NFL won’t miss me and can care less.

  60. Joey stinks, but not even a tenth as bad as Millen.
    How you could idolize a complete douchebag who knows less about football than my grandmother is sickening. It speaks volumes that Florio (who often speaks volumes which sound like he knows nothing about football) loves a clown like Millen. This is a guy who could have drafted better if he drew names from a bingo wheel. To hear any kind of analysis from a guy like that is a joke, an absolute joke. I hope he disappears from my sight forever, however there is always just enough idiots like Florio who actually buy into his garbage to keep him employed. It’s a real damning of society as a whole.

  61. Maybe Papa can shut him up by showing up in a Giants #56 Jersey
    That will get JT peeing in his pants as he limps into the booth

  62. Theismann is awful, this is dragging down the whole booth. Still not as bad as ESPN or Keef Olberdouch on NBC.

  63. Theisman is quite simply the worst NFL analyst in history. No one is more arrogant and incompetent.
    Whoever hired him should be fired immediately. Everyone needs to contact NFL network to complain and demand a reversal of this decision.

  64. Swive said: September 6, 2010 1:39 PM
    “Maybe this is their strategy to make Millen more credible – by comparison to Theismann, he’s a freaking genius.”
    No, swive, a genius is a guy like Norman Einstein…
    Theismann is the worst… announcer… ever. He sucks. He absolutely does not belong in the broadcast booth.
    I would rather have anyone – literally anyone – else.

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