Tom Jackson won’t be back at ESPN

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The report from Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News that Tom Jackson will leave ESPN provided some wiggle room for the veteran analyst to return to Sunday NFL Countdown for what would be his 30th season. Multiple industry sources tell PFT that the decision has been made: Jackson won’t be coming back.

As one source explained it, ESPN’s decision to bring back Trent Dilfer after his contract had expired and it appeared he would leaving arose in part from Jackson’s decision to leave.

Jackson had long been regarded as being tied at the hip with on-air partner Chris Berman. With Berman reportedly entering his last year at ESPN, it’s somewhat odd that Jackson wouldn’t want to do a victory lap with Berman.

Unless, of course, that victory lap will be all about Berman and/or consist of Berman complaining about the fact that ESPN management has apparently nudged him out.

163 responses to “Tom Jackson won’t be back at ESPN

  1. Will be weird not to see Tom Jackson on there anymore. I’m excited to see Charles Woodson on the show but can’t say I’m thrilled with any of the others. I do think Berman will most likely make it all about himself this year.

  2. I’ll be the first to admit not being a fan of Berman or Jackson, but being a man in my 30s and with little other options on football highlight commentary 25 years ago, I definitely grew up listening to them. With this (thankfully) being Berman’s last year, hopefully the story reads correct and it was Jackson opting not to return and not ESPN forcing him out.

  3. Good riddance. Never cared for Tom Jackson. Horse mouth 2.0. Must be something to do with Denver.

  4. I hate to see Jackson go. I am a fan. Berman has worn out his welcome (in my eyes) in the last couple of years. Hey if, Tom is happy, then I am happy for him!

  5. The departure is long overdue. It’s at least 10 years too late. Thanks to Saturday night hangovers and cord cutting, I won’t have to watch him.

  6. Great! As a Patriot fan his hatred for the Pats and especially Belichick was palpable. I only wish I could write here what Belichick said to him after his infamous “The Patriots hate their coach” idiocy.

  7. As stale as ESPN has gotten over the years, one thing is for sure and that is Tom Jackson is a class act who has been an outstanding analyst who provides excellent insight and accurate assessments regarding all things football. He will be missed…

  8. Jackson got on his high horse and kick started that whole thing with Limbaugh. I’m glad his angry, bitter act is out the door.

  9. “Thank God that we will at least have Trent Dilfer back in the broadcast booth this fall.”

    — No one, ever

  10. Nothing last forever, but it lasted 30 years. Congratulations Tom Jackson on a great career in television, following a HOF career on the field. Enjoy the rest of your life. Good health.

  11. Good riddance…his biases were awful…the only team in the AFC West that he spoke about in a good light was Denver…I remember when the Raiders beat Denver on a Monday or Sunday night football game in Denver years ago and he was so mad that Berman did the highlights himself…I always thought ESPN should have suspended him for his bias as a sportscaster…very unprofessional!!!

  12. Always a class act. Knowledgeable, professional. 30 years AFTER a stellar NFL career. Amazing, really.

    But it’s the “It’s all over now, Fat-Man”, and repeatedly, at Oakland Head Coach John Madden, final moments of the 1977 AFC Championship, Mile High stadium.

  13. The minute BSPN pushes them out is the minute that they’ve lost me permanently as a viewer.

  14. Think what you will about Tom Jackson, what bothers me is to see a loyal employee with 29 years of service kicked to the curb like a piece of trash.

  15. What is the goal of ESPN? Has FOX got them that scared? There are still way too many clowns on air, and way too much overtly leftist programming and opinions. Sad really, if it wasn’t for Sports center, they wouldn’t have a brand. I stopped watching long ago.

  16. 3, 2, 1 here come the fan boys who hate every sports media network or publication, every sports announcer, ever color analyst……………………. Hating is cool! It makes fan boy army look dangerous and rebellious…………….NOT!

    Honestly, if you hate so bad, why watch the product. Kind of hypocritical, yes?

  17. Politics…politics. The corporate world is so wonderful. Used to watch ESPN back in the day but eventually moved onto the NFL channel. Much better presenters and content formatting. I like Tom and Boomer but the rest of the crew I never cared for too much. Carter and Johnson are pretty much useless imo. And while I respect coach Ditka, he doesn’t add much either anymore. Dilfer has some good insights and Young adds some nuggets of wisdom on occasion. I detest Lewis. He’s a non-convicted murderer and hypocrite. If it weren’t for a great attorney, he’d be doing 25 to life in Georgia. Anyway, best to Tom in his future endeavors.

  18. Aside from his obvious pro-Denver Donkey bias and admitted biases against certain teams (especially my Raiders) I boycotted watching all ESPN broadcasts where Jackson was involved.

    Now that this loudmouthed tool is gone and Charles Woodson has joined ESPN, I may actually start watching that network a bit for the first time in several years.

  19. he never overcame claiming the patriots quit on bill belichick “they hate their coach’’ – this was after a week 1 loss (31-0 to the Bills) in 2003.

    in reference to Bill Belichick, who had waived respected safety Lawyer Milloy before that season’s opener against the Bills. prompting Jackson to opine that the team had strong negative feelings toward its coach. He later admitted that no Patriot had told him such a thing.

    The Patriots, infuriated by Jackson’s comment, proceeded to go 17-1 the rest of the way en route to a Super Bowl victory.

  20. They are finally getting rid of all the biased clowns. Notice almost all the people getting canned were all people that bad mouthed the Patriots? ESPN doesn’t want to be lumped into a defamation suit.

  21. I mean who really cares. he sucked at his job, was a Bronco apologist Did Rush Limbaugh have anything to do with this…Thanks Rush if you did..

  22. Jackson is/was one of the last honest analysts on any sports program…this is like marking the end of an era where you could get a realistic opinion of a player or team while we transition into one where opinions are driven by what the network thinks their viewers want to hear, what will be dramatic enough to drive viewership or what effect it will have on fantasy.

  23. Typical big business downsizing strategy; get rid of all senior staff, then bring in a flock of beginners … then hope it works.

    They are way overextended with contracts on tv rights for lots of various events. Next move will be to sell off some of those contracts … OR … pick up some new investors.

    Whatever they do at this point, it probably won’t be good news for the viewers.

    I wonder what all this means for the last few senior folks, like Mike & Mike?

  24. I no longer watch ESPN. I don’t miss it. (okay….if they are my only option for certain games….I watch….but I take a shower as soon as the game is over)

  25. Dear ESPN: That’s what you get when you become the stooge of the NFL, leak wildly wrong information, and never correct or apologize for it. Serves you right everyone stopped watching.

  26. I didn’t like Tom Jackson as a player and even less as an “analyst”, but it’s hard to believe they would jettison TJ before ripping the mic off that tired, old, loudmouth Berman. His act was stale 15 years ago.

  27. “I… I want to say this very clearly – I hate Tom Jackson… It was done premeditated. I played a bit of a psychological game with Jackson. It’s something that I need to explain. I thought that more important to Jackson than hearing another “C’mon Man”, was that it was important that he have in his mind that he was a terrible commentator.”

    Good night and good riddance.

  28. i’ll miss Tom Jackson, will not miss Berman’s 30 year old schtick, that wasn’t funny 30 years ago.

  29. If I haden’t been watching Boomer and Tom for all of these years I don’t think I’d ever tune in to ESPN. I think I’ll start watching the NFL Network or ESPN’s Fantasy Football show with Matthew Berry now.

  30. Thank God they’re both out. How about real evaluations from people other than blow hards?

  31. Jackson lost it in 2003 when he said the patriots players “hate their coach” then the pats went on to win 2 in a row. Good riddance.

  32. It’s interesting how the departures of ‘talent’ began as the Mother Ship began its descent into being fanatically politically correct. It started with naming the former ‘Mr Kardashian’ it’s Hero at ESPYS. Next was Ditka compliments Trump – he disappears. CC makes ‘fall guy’ comment . He’s gone. My impression is TJ is probably on the rather conservative side – guess what ? Poof! He’s toast. Is this a sports network or MSNBC run amok??


    Here is Tom Jackson making his pick:

    Patriots Vs. South Boston School for the Blind
    TJ: Well Boom, I’m taking Southie

    Patriots Vs. US Women’s Nat Soccer team
    TJ: Boom, I have to go with the US National team

    Patriots Vs. 4 fat dudes we found tail gating pre game
    TJ: I’m gonna take those 4 fat dudes Boom

  34. In reading these post, it is clear the new generations, X-kids, milinumum -kids or what ever will lose out on the information or insider input from the way the game was played in the past.

    Now I know old timers have to move on ( I am one of them) and that they reach a time where they are not making the connection to the younger generations.

    I liked boomer, but he is getting on and his routine is getting tiresome.

    Jackson was bias and often against my team more than another.

    But that aside I liked his inside information on the way the game was played in the past and the views on older players he knew and played against when he would make comparisons to todays players. that will be lost now. I will miss that from him.

    As for ESPN…I stopped my subscription years ago and I think today they represent politics more than sports and that they are ruining many aspects of sport today…I will remain open minded to how this new team shapes up

  35. Believe me – his colleagues and bosses hate Tom Jackson

    Remember when he picked the Patriots to beat the Jets in 2011 in a meaningless game? Then when the Jets amazingly won this dufus said he picked the Pats to motivate the Jets?

    So much for impartial reporting

    ESPN would probably be the BEST place for this guy

    Neither of them have any credibility in sports journalism

  36. “Great! As a Patriot fan his hatred for the Pats and especially Belichick was palpable. I only wish I could write here what Belichick said to him after his infamous “The Patriots hate their coach” idiocy.”

    For your mental health…move on and grow up.

  37. Out with the old,in with the young.TJ will get a job with one of the other networks who dont discriminate old age.

  38. Enjoyed TJ; Berman’s been on my nerves for a decade or more now.

    Losing Tirico is, to me, a win by subtraction … but cutting Gruden loose would mean I can stop turning down the volume on MNF to listen to the radio broadcast.

  39. ESPN is the worst, which is why Tom Jackson and Chris Berman were there so long. They have no clue what viewers want to see and hear.

  40. “thundersnacker says:
    Jul 25, 2016 10:12 PM
    Good. Now get rid of the other “no facts necessary” guys and maybe the northeast might start watching again.”


    Who cares if you watch?

  41. 3, 2, 1 here come the fan boys who hate every sports media network or publication, every sports announcer, ever color analyst……………………. Hating is cool! It makes fan boy army look dangerous and rebellious…………….NOT!

    Honestly, if you hate so bad, why watch the product. Kind of hypocritical, yes? Truth be known, fan boy army hates everything because they hate themselves.

  42. Tom Jackson had what 99% of the commentators today don’t have — class. He was always classy and kept his focus on the real story — the games — and not himself.
    It’s too bad that all the sports networks are now filled with guys and gals who think of themselves as comedians and try to make themselves the story for one purpose — to promote themselves.
    Unfortunately, Chris Berman started it all. He began by imitating the King Of Self Promotion — Howard Cosell — and his act was fine for a while. But he became a cheap parody of himself as time went on and I honestly don’t know how Jackson could stand working with him as long as he did.
    Young NFL fans are now accustomed to all the hollering and stupid jokes that these guys and gals do on every show, and since they grew up watching and listening to it, they think it’s how it should be.
    I long for true professionals such as Curt Gowdy, Jim McKay, Pat Summerall, Jack Whitaker, and Ray Scott — all of whom knew what it meant to act like a professional and let the games be the story.
    I will miss Tom Jackson because unlike these modern clones, he was a class act who could make his points without screaming and with an excellent command of the English language.
    ESPN has been going downhill for years and this is just another case of it being worse today than yesterday. I started watching ESPN when its biggest feature was televising rodeos. It was only on part of the day then, too. I find myself watching it less and less now. The trouble is, all the other sports networks are no different than ESPN.
    If Trent Dilfer is smart — he’ll look to Tom Jackson as a role model and remind himself every day to keep the games the top story. Unfortunately, as long as the networks keep hiring nitwits like Michael Irvin, Keyshawn Johnson, and Deion Sanders, Dilfer will have to join in the fracas to keep from being shouted down.

  43. I appreciated Tom Jackson’s professional non-clownish approach. You could also tell that Jackson loved football. Now, ESPN will go full clown. You should never go full clown.

  44. All you internet heroes whine and complain about every single commentator or analyst and that you NEVER watch ESPN anymore. Give me a break!! Sure some of the commentators get under our skin but thats what they are there to do…get a reaction and get you to watch. Obviously you are watching or you wouldn’t be whining so much.

    We all have our favorites or the ones we can’t stand, but the bottom line is, for the most part, they all have MUCH more knowledge and information about the games and leagues than we will ever know. So get over yourselves and watch if you’re entertained and don’t if you’re not. But don’t watch and then complain like a bunch of 2 year olds.

  45. “They hate their coach…”

    That comment tells you all you need to know about Jackson. A silly, knee-jerk reaction, that turned out to be wrong. Belichick was correct when he released Lawyer Milloy. They won the SB that year.

    If you hear it from B$PN it’s probably a lie, misinformation, a smokescreen, or a plant.


  46. I won’t miss him in the least….
    Love how he always got that constipated look whenever he had to say something positive about the Patriots….
    Good riddance!!!

  47. 3, 2, 1 here come the fan boys who hate every sports media network or publication, every sports announcer, ever color analyst……………………. Hating is cool! It makes fan boy army look dangerous and rebellious…………….NOT!

    Honestly, if you hate so bad, why watch the product. Kind of hypocritical, yes? Truth be known, fan boy army hates everything because they hate themselves. Just sayin’

  48. Jackson hasn’t been the same since he witnessed Chris Carter piss, moan, and whine his way into the Hall of Fame. Jackson had at least as good a case, and took the high road. And isn’t in the HOF.

  49. So glad Berman is finally leaving. His schtick went out of style years ago. Thanks for the memories and all, but it’s way overdue

    Truthfully, on game day I watch my home team on network and flip back and forth to the Red Zone, less nonsense, more football. ESPN has turned into to a clown show and I seldom watch it anymore

  50. With Berman reportedly entering his last year at ESPN? Oh god please be the truth!

    I have always liked Jackson but in the last few years he has started to act like the grumpy old man on the show so maybe it was just time. I did like him back when ESPN NFL highlights were simpler.

    As for ESPN? I honestly haven’t watch any ESPN coverage of the NFL in years. They are just unbearable to watch anymore. And it is only my opinion but I think ESPN is starting to care less and less about the NFL and MLB. Now they want to be TMZ of the sports world and plug the NBA CONSTANTLY.

  51. Long overdue. I grew up watching these guys, but every time they’ve been on the past better part of a decade, I’ve turned the channel. And for goodness sakes, get Chris Carter, Deion Sander, Michael Irvin, and Dilfer off the air.

  52. Happy to see Berman go…it’s just time for that to happen.

    Will miss TJ, a class act.

    Dilfer is the WORST! Can someone teach him to not shout at the camera???

  53. indywilson40 says:
    Jul 26, 2016 7:48 AM

    i’ll miss Tom Jackson, will not miss Berman’s 30 year old schtick, that wasn’t funny 30 years ago.
    It was never Berman’s shtick. He shamelessly stole it from the late, great Howard Cosell. Even imitated Cosell’s voice. Anyone old enough knew that right from the start. As far as TJ? He was good in his time. He no longer is relevant to todays game and TV audience. ESPN in general is a far cry from it’s glory days and their ratings show it. TJ earns respect for a long career and his HOF football career. But everyone has a shelf life. Berman’s well beyond his “best if used by” date.

  54. I’ve enjoyed him for 29years having watched the first show. Never made me sick like Michael Irwin does. Too back the iPhone punk generation dosent have patience for intelligent talk.

  55. Brent, Irv, Phyllis, (or Jayne), and even Jimmy (until his unfortunate comment), were the best. The rest have all been pretenders.

  56. he’s the bleacher expert who said Belichick’s team would not play for him after an opening loss to Bills in 2003. when he tried to interview BB as he walked off the field with another Lombardi at the end of the year, BB looked him in the eye and told him F. U. It was a beautiful moment but ESPN tolerated 13 more years of incoherent enunciation and uninformed commentary.

  57. TJ was just another bronco punk. It was ok for them to cheat the cap twice, put silicone on jerseys, ped violators all over the team for years but a little less psi and the world will end. Good riddance.

  58. b45290 says:
    Jul 25, 2016 11:11 PM
    Probably another cost cutting move by ESPN. That’s what happens when you overpay the NFL and MLB.

    Or most importantly, the SEC.

    And I’m here for it dragging them down, since they tried to take down Florida State a couple of years ago.

  59. Sometimes its really not about the people. It’s just about father time making the potato chips stale. IMO that’s what happened here with all of them.

  60. Haven’t watched ESPN except for MNF since the inception of the NFL network.


    Michael Irvin, Dion, and Heath Evans are the worst I’ve seen on any network.

  61. Really are you kidding me.TJ is one of the best talking heads that is usually on point with in analyzing the game and its story lines “Come On Man”

  62. TJ and Berman were great together on NFL PRIMETIME (early 90’s thru early 2000’s).. Now the show has too many people and they barely even show highlights! (ESPN is terrible)

    Good luck TJ!

  63. Jackson always seemed angry.Quick to praise the Broncos all the time.No big loss.Hope Steve Young and Michael Strahan are NEXT!

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