Did ESPN Promise Monday Night To Millen?

In the wake of the surprising news that Tony Kornheiser is out and Jon Gruden is in as a member of the ESPN Monday night booth, we’ve picked up some more information regarding the manner in which this whole thing went down.
We’re told that, when former Lions CEO Matt Millen accepted a position with ESPN, he did so with the understanding that if/when a spot opens in the Monday night booth he would be given the assignment.
Per a source with knowledge of Millen’s broadcasting career, we’re told that Millen is not happy about the fact that he didn’t get Kornheiser’s chair.
Our guess is that Millen doesn’t appreciate the irony at play here; he reportedly (by us) reneged on a verbal deal to join NBC in order to take the job with ESPN.  And now he’s upset because he believes ESPN reneged on a verbal deal with him.
And there’s more.  We’re told that Millen was also talking to NFL Network about replacing Cris Collinsworth as the Thursday Night Football game analyst.  Now that Millen has been stiffed for a spot on MNF, we’re told that he has tried to resurrect discussions with NFLN.  It’s expected, however, that the league-owned network will pass.
In fairness to ESPN and Millen, the folks in Bristol deny that there is any problem with one of their newest employees.  Said ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer by e-mail, “No promises were made and Matt hasn’t voiced any concern to us.  We are excited to welcome Matt to ESPN where he will play a major role on both NFL and college football.”

26 responses to “Did ESPN Promise Monday Night To Millen?

  1. Why is any network trying to pick up Millen? Seriously most NFL fans don’t respect his opinion after driving the Lions organization further into the group.

  2. Pigs flying have more credibility than you citing your own unnamed sources.
    Might be time for one of us to move on. The good news is at least I’m over 6 feet tall.

  3. Wah. I feel really bad for Millen. Maybe he can go swim in his money bin full of the cash he stole from Detroit.

  4. Has the damn world gone mad ?
    Who (in the hell) would value ANYthing this multi-year loser would have to say ?
    My God…
    …he must have naked pictures of everyone !!!

  5. Who is Matt Millen to be perturbed? He should be happy to have any job even remotely connected to football.

  6. “Has the damn world gone mad ?
    Who (in the hell) would value ANYthing this multi-year loser would have to say ?”
    Just because he sucked at the business of football doesn’t mean he doesn’t have anything useful to say about the game on the field.
    He’d hardly be the first. How about in basketball, where it seems now to be a time-honored tradition for hall-of-fame players to become incompetent executives. Does that mean that you’d include in the “loser” camp the following:
    Kevin McHale, Isiah Thomas….Michael Jordan?
    Those guys are all pretty much multi-year losers at running a team. Give Millen a chance; he’s not the first former player to suck at being a GM, and he probably won’t be the last.

  7. In a year or two Gruden will be back in the NFL. Matt Millen can then have his precious Monday Night Football gig because he will never be involved with the operation of a football team again — high school, college, even Florio Jr.’s pee-wee team.

  8. I’d rather listen to Gruden.
    People had gone on and on about how good Millen was, then I saw some historic Niners game he was doing and I wasn’t impressed. I’ll be glad to see him leave football for good at this rate.

  9. Let Matt Millen get some experience announcing Lion games. See how that goes first.

  10. Millen would be good on Monday Night Football. Sure he sucked as a president/ceo but he was a good linebacker. Personally I would rather have commentary from someone who played the game, won 4 superbowls, and went to the pro bowl. We can agree that commentary is better from somebody who actually played the game, not someone who barely pays attention (kornheiser).

  11. kevin mchale drafted kevin garnett..and michael jordan is michael jordan..millen is not a hall of famer and he ran detroit in the ground..the viewers have no respect for his opinion

  12. Please let it happen.
    Millen would be a perfect fit for NFLN.
    They both suck.

  13. Millen was a decent announcer back in the day. Too bad he was able to parlay that into a GM job, which he parlayed into an announcing job……..

  14. They really need to start broadcasting games with a “no commentary” option. I’d love to be able to just hear the sounds from the field instead of two or three blathering idiots. Especially when the Cowboys or Giants play.

  15. A lot of the teams will be doing this. Many cities have had this with their MLB teams already. Now NFL can join in.

  16. Why would anyone respect the game day analysis of a guy who ‘analyzed’ the Lions into drafting 4 WR’s in round one, in a row?
    A guy who engineered the worst season in NFL history?
    A guy who hired and kept on staff the ‘Naked Coach’?
    A guy who hired his friend, gave him no players that fit his scheme, then fired him mid-season?
    A guy who hired a lifelong D line coach as HC and let him hire his son?
    Oh, yeah. Tell me again how good Millen is at giving any opinion about the game of football.
    I wouldn’t trust him to tell me if my a$$ was on fire.

  17. And yet….the fans just keep paying out the nose to watch the NFL. Sheep.

  18. “kevin mchale drafted kevin garnett..and michael jordan is michael jordan..millen is not a hall of famer and he ran detroit in the ground..the viewers have no respect for his opinion”
    So he’s a terrible GM. It’s been established. What I don’t get is why anyone thinks that has any relationship at all to being a good announcer.
    Seriously – Charles Barkley, for instance, is a great commentator. Think he’d make a good GM? I don’t. Ron Jaworski is a good announcer. Good GM? Probably not.
    Just give the guy a chance. He was a very good player, and he’s been good on TV when given an opportunity.

  19. Perhaps the plan is to let Gruden have this job now in anticipation of his move back to coaching in a couple of years. In the meantime, ESPN avoids the backlash that would be associated with trying to sell the former GM of the first 0-16 team in NFL history as a credible authority in the booth.
    However, in 2011 or even later if there’s a work stoppage, Millen’s much easier to swallow for the general fan. Then, there’s even the possibility that Gruden wwould decide to duplicate Madden or to a lesser extent Dick Vermiel, keeping the job. You have to remember that he’s only 45, has been to championship games and won a Super Bowl, something Vermiel couldn’t boast before returning so I doubt that the coaching door would close on him if he decided to comeback down the line.
    Millen is under contract and is stuck on the Countdown shows waiting his turn, which may never come, but he’s a good backup plan. If Gruden does leave and he’s offered the job, what will he do? turn it down? he’s already burned the NBC bridge for the time being, and the Fox/CBS top tier jobs are filled for the forseeable future. It’s a win, win for ESPN, and i don’t compliment that network very often.

  20. The position on MNF was not open, it was already taken by a better qualified person after you applied, dear MIllen. And i know everyone will consider this hindsight, but it’s not. I always thought Millen was a glib but bullshit commentator. When he was first hired by the Lions i threw up my hands. He was always wrong on the networks,he was wrong about every 3rd and ten, and he was always wrong for the Lions. That is his monument. Wrongville.

  21. Can everyone stop beating this to death? Gruden is on MNF and at this point nothing will change that. The only thing that matters is that Kornheiser is gone

  22. Honestly. Even before the Detroit fiasco, Millen was my least favorite NFL analyst. He was an air-headed blow hard. I remember the day Detroit hired him and at the time I just shook my head and thought the world is now inside out.

  23. Gruden will stay 2 years top. Millen will be slotted for job. I don’t see why it’s a big deal for Matt. Gruden might only stay for one year if the right NFL offer comes along.

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