Who else will say they won’t be in the Monday Night Football booth?

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I’d like to publicly announce that I will not be joining the Monday Night Football booth.

Get ready for more of what Steve Young did on Thursday, bowing out on a job he was never going to get. It’s a great strategy for the various ESPN employees who know they won’t ever be offered the job; before it’s offered to someone else, say you don’t want it.

Young cited an inability to be away from home four days per week for five months, creating the impression that he can’t and/or won’t be away from his family for that long. The truth may be that he can’t or won’t take that much time and attention away from his private equity gig.

Remember last year’s ruckus over whether Young even likes football? Young had to do some serious toothpaste-reinserting after quotes emerged suggesting that he retains his role as a TV analyst simply to enhance his other job.

“My wife hates football, and my kids don’t really care,” Young told Bloomberg Businessweek in early 2017. “I see myself as a deal guy first. I’ve put football behind me. Roger Staubach once told me  — and I’ll never forget it: ‘When you retire, run. Never look back.’”

The author of the article wrote that Young “may have quit ESPN years ago if not for his private equity partners, who like him to keep a high profile,” that Young “spends no more than an hour or two at the stadium” preparing for what he’ll say on the air, and that “[o]nce the game starts, he barely watches the action.”

Indeed, it’s one thing for a guy who is mailing it in to seamlessly bloviate in passing glances during a 17-person pregame show; it’s quite another to put in the time and effort necessary to properly call a football game, ready to analyze the aftermath of each and every snap in a concise but informative and entertaining way.

So it was never going to be Young. But it won’t hurt his private equity business for people to think that Young would have had it, if he’d only wanted it.

Yes, potential clients of HGGC, Young is so committed to this cause that he actually chose to stay here over a chance to become the next Jon Gruden. So how can you go wrong by choosing to do business with us?

30 responses to “Who else will say they won’t be in the Monday Night Football booth?

  1. Maybe ESPIN will hire that Sham Wow guy that wrote that article about the Patriots discourse inside One Patriots Place. He’s quite a story teller.

  2. Good points. Also wonder sometimes how much other ex-player commentator’s “love of the game” is actually outweighed by their chance to earn a salary (maintain their upper-class lifestyle) being a talking head because they don’t want to get a different job – assuming they need one. Young seems to be capitalizing on his NFL career fame too, but just in a slightly different (and probably way more lucrative) way.

  3. If it weren’t for the issue of chemistry in the booth, I would love to see something creative like a steady play-by-play person and two color commentators who change with every game and do local coverage of the teams. Would probably be too clunky in reality…

  4. Since ESPN took over Monday Night Football it has steadily regressed every year. For a billion dollar industry they sure look like a bunch of amateurs. I feel like I’m watching the Volleyball X Games sometimes, but Gruden at least made it interesting. I doubt his departure will do anything to spark the network and expect Gruden’s replacement to be very underwhelming. Be prepared for a Dennis Miller/Tony Kornheiser type hire.

  5. Seriously, Berman might be a nice bridge for ESPN until their current contract ends. Then they need to let it go.He’d be better than McDonough.

    Though football is not her first sport, they could bring back Lindsay Czarniak (whom they never should have let walk – what they did to her in taking her out of SportsCenter when she was having a child is terrible). would also be an interesting option. Smart, good journalist, with credibility.

    Or, have two different crews and alternative between them. Cuts down travel.

  6. Very simple. On ESPN, sync up the home team’s radio feed with the game. On ESPN2, sync up the visiting team’s radio feed with the game. Then on ESPN News have some schlub doing play by play with rotating color announcers.

  7. Of all NFL broadcasts, MNF is the worst right now. They need to get back to traditional, insightful commentary and away from bloviators.

  8. I think Carson Palmer wouldn’t suck. Press conference Carson Palmer is boring as hell, but real life carson palmer is actually pretty snarky and funny. He might be ESPN’s attempt at matching what people seem to like about Romo.

  9. I find Steve Young to be interesting and insightful. So he doesn’t live/breathe football 24/7, so what?

  10. This is a great article by Mike Florio. Steve Young is the worst guy on TV. He talks and talks but he never says anything. You can tell he doesn’t prepare. He brings nothing to the table. I feel bad for him because it does seem like he’d rather be somewhere else. There are literally thousands of people ESPN would offer the job to before Young. Thank you Mike.

  11. It was a mistake moving MNF away from ABC. Since it’s been on ESPN it’s been slowly losing its luster. It went from being the PREMIER game each week to being lackluster. I think a lot of that is owed to ESPN’s broadcast and also the fact that you cannot flex games like you can on Sunday Night Football.

  12. Steve Young said the same thing a week ago on KNBR. He does an interview at least once a week on there and it is always a great interview. He always comes across very knowledgeable and “in the know” on things on and off the field. They asked him flat out and he said he wasn’t interested because of the time commitment. Claiming that he is getting ahead of this to save face is BS. I think he would do great as an announcer if he wanted to do it.

  13. I want someone who is an excellent communicator, loves football, can explain football, and has charisma. A great announcer also doesn’t have to be a hall of famer or ex star. For example, Babe Laufenberg was a forgettable player but he is a lot of fun to listen to on Dallas pre-season games.

    I know this will never happen but Hank Bauer is a hoot to listen to and would be fun on Monday Night. He has all of the above and a sense of humor.

  14. Ross Tucker should be a top candidate for the MNF job. He is amazing on the radio; knows the X&Os and is fun. I didn’t love Gruden but he did make it seem like fun. Hopefully ESPN’s search isn’t only an internal one.

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