Mayock miffed he’s not up for Thursday or Monday night football gigs

As Monday Night Football continues to search for a new analyst and with FOX settling for its No. 1 Sunday team after swinging and missing in an effort to lure Peyton Manning to the booth, plenty of people have been angling for one or both jobs. Most (with an exception or two) keep their aspirations discreet, adhering to the general belief that it’s never good to publicly announce one’s aspirations for fear of not achieving them and being labeled a failure.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock recently opted for candor when asked about the fact that he didn’t receive consideration for either job by SportsRadio 610 in Houston.

I am highly frustrated and agitated,” Mayock said regarding the fact that he hasn’t been considered for either job, via “And when you don’t have a big name coming out — you know, I played two years and I wasn’t any good and I couldn’t stay healthy — if you don’t have a Hall of Fame jacket, it’s hard to get a high-level job calling games in our industry. Now, I’ve done Notre Dame games nationally on Saturdays. I’ve done Thursday Night Football for the NFL Network. I kind — I feel like I’ve been there and I’ve shown what I can do and that I care about it. And, by the way, that’s my favorite thing. I mean, people associate me with the draft, but my favorite thing is to do games. And it bothers me that network executives think that the only — I mean, let’s put it this way, FOX has Thursday Night Football, and they feel like the only person that can do that game is Peyton Manning, and if he can’t then Troy Aikman’s got to do two a week. I don’t understand that thought process. I mean, Troy’s great, but there’s a stable of other guys who can do it just really well. So, yeah, I’m frustrated.”

Mayock is right; plenty of people could do a great job calling high-profile games. But when all things are largely equal from a substance standpoint, style drives the decision. The league and the networks want names, faces, and voices that cry out, “This is a big deal!” That’s why FOX went after Peyton, and that’s why Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will pull double duty — and why CBS and NBC previously had play-by-play announcers and/or analysts working two games per week.

As Mayock points out, he had climbed to the top of the ladder, with the significant platform that comes from NBC’s Notre Dame games to NFLN’s Thursday Night Football before the league sold the package to broadcast networks for simulcast. Mayock was indeed riding high, with plenty of praise and the accolades that go along with it.

So what happened? Here’s a possible reason for why it wasn’t sustainable. Mayock had a habit, frankly, of injecting too much jargon into his commentary. That may impress hard-core football friends and observers, but it also can alienate casual fans.

The very best analysts find a sweet spot that caters to as many portions of the audience as possible, using high-level football knowledge to figure out what’s important as it’s all happening, and then using high-level broadcasting skills to explain it in a way that doesn’t make drive-by fans think they’re not smart enough to follow the action but that doesn’t make football experts believe the presentation has been dumbed down.

That’s why John Madden continues to be the standard by which all of the best analysts will be measured. He blended knowledge, passion, and a relatable, visceral charm into what became a weekly three-hour education in football, with lessons that still linger for many.

Here’s one thing I learned from Madden that I’ll never forget, and which remains true nearly a decade after his retirement: Play-callers almost always run the ball after an incomplete pass on first and 10. It’s a simple glimpse into the seemingly complex world of NFL strategy, allowing idiots like me to feel like they’re in the know while confirming for experts one of the basic human truths of calling plays.

That’s the kind of lasting impact that a great analyst can have on a football fan. And that’s the kind of simple wisdom that results in a multi-decade career as a big-game analyst. While plenty of people have the ability to explain what just happened at any given moment in any given game, it’s that kind of inherent brilliance that only a few analysts regularly demonstrate.

61 responses to “Mayock miffed he’s not up for Thursday or Monday night football gigs

  1. Mayock calls the Eagles preseason games.

    I like him 10 times better than any game Collinsworth ever calls. Mayock is always well educated about the players, their background, playcalls, etc. He was calling the 4th preseason game, and knew the background of guys that barely had names stitched onto their jerseys.

    Im surprised he didn’t get a move up.

  2. Here’s one thing I learned from Madden that I’ll never forget, and which remains true nearly a decade after his retirement:
    When a persons calf muscle goes straight down to the foot without tapering they are called cankles. Jeff Zgonina had cankles.

  3. It’s because youre salty old crab, Mayock. He’s the same grumpy old man who threw a hissy fit about NFLN doing a humorous segment to break up the BOREDOM during Day 3 of the draft last year. Like NEWSFLASH Mike…no one cares about long snapper Joe Blow from DeVry University getting drafted. People can’t stand Mayock. The dude takes himself WAY too seriously.

  4. You are absolutely correct – he’s not good at it. He seems compelled to fill the air with constant uninteresting observations that don’t add anything valuable along these lines: “this kid runs a 4.63, he comes in at 238 1/2 pounds and he’s got quick-twitch capabilities.” That’s fine for analyzing draft prospects, but not during a game.

  5. Mayock is the best. Not sure why people are hating on him (Although, this is the internet so…that’s about all there is).

    Mayock, in my opinion, would be the best choice. He knows the game. He knows the players. He loves the game. He loves the players. He’s always professional and is always on the ball.

  6. Everywhere you turn leaders are scared to groom new talent.
    Everybody wants to retread old tires.
    I’m not saying Aikman can’t or shouldn’t but at the same time these incessant lack of succession plans at every turn is what has gotten old.

    Music Industry
    Movie Industry
    Gaming Industry
    it’s rampant.

  7. I like Mayock a ton dubefore during and after the draft. About the draft. Only.

    During a game I don’t want to hear about a guys “twitchy hips” or “great feet”.

  8. Mayock needs to quit crying about it. The networks look for a certain person with certain credentials that they’re comfortable with in that position. He simply doesn’t qualify.

    Think of it like this: A hospital needs a surgeon. Do they hire the candidate that is board certified, performed 1000’s of surgeries, and even won excellence awards in their expertise? Or, should the hospital hire the guy that has read a lot about surgeries, blogged about it, practiced a few times on bull frogs and cats, and shares strong opinions on surgical practices?

    On a sports level, this is no different. That’s why CBS bent over backwards for Romo, and why Mayock is merely a draft version of Colin Cowherd.

  9. Aikman is an absolute turd. And I don’t know if I could’ve handled Manning’s thick “accent” for 3 hours. Surprising, Romo has been very, very good.

    But Mayock calling a few ND and TNF games has not “climbed to the top of the ladder”. I would put Eagle/Fouts, Myers/Johnston or Harlan/Gannon as better qualified. In the few games I’ve watched, Mayock was pretty stiff.

  10. Mayock is a hack. He is not even good at predicting drafts.
    I can’t call him a “hasbeen”, because he never has been.

  11. Mike say less on and off the air and you will move up eventually…you’re over prepared for the masses. Stop the poor me thing….

  12. Mayock is very good at what he does, but man is he boring as an analyst. He has no sense of humor!

    Great for the draft, but he needs to change if he wants those jobs.

  13. the broadcasters need to make the game interesting
    some recent signing Tony Romo for one leaves one hoping he will get much better with time but at present, leaves a lot to be desired

  14. cueghost says:
    April 12, 2018 at 11:03 am
    Lifelong Cowboys fan here…. I couldn’t care less if I ever hear Aikman call another game as long as I live.


    I like Aikman… However, Buck has worn think over time. He did a great Job in the Super Bowl in 2016 though.

    Somehow I think people get sick of nearly any analyst at some point.

  15. No one questions Mayock’s knowledge. He has broadcasting experience. But the one thing that annoyed me when he did NFLN games: Mayock would stray into too much of a player’s college football resume simply because he knew it. I still wonder why players are listed with their colleges in these intros – after your rookie season, who cares where you played college ball 3-5-10 years ago? What difference does that make now?

  16. If you polled PFT readers, I’d bet that Mayock would CRUSH Aikman, and it would be a landslide of epic proportions. Aikman is widely hated (as is his annoying little partner Mr Buck), while Mayock is a breath of fresh air.

    C’mon networks, get a clue. Give the fans somebody they want to see & hear, not your own internal favorite, because you guys are completely out of touch with. your viewers.

  17. Mayock is not good, sorry not sorry. He called some preseason Vikings games a while back and it seemed that he wasn’t even paying attention to the games (almost like Paul Allen (Zing!!)).

    One glaring call that I will always remember from one of those games…a holding call. The OL had handfuls of jersey and Mayock said “He can’t see why that was called” and then called it “a “Ticky-Tack” call.”

    He’s also the reason I don’t watch the NFL Networks coverage of the NFL draft. He’s boring and thinks he’s better than he is (which is something you can say about most, if not all, “experts”)

  18. Mayock has a point. He certainly has worked hard to get where he has.
    One can see that he does his homework and just isn’t
    handing out kudo’s as some national broadcasters like to.
    Perhaps the networks didn’t see him as a big name and therefore
    not a reason for fans to tune in. I,for one, would rather have
    someone like Mayock calling a game than just a name broadcaster
    who mails it in.

  19. Me personally, Mike comes across as a know it all, which is off-putting, he’s too wordy and states his opinion as if it’s a fact. No thanks…

  20. I loathe Mayock. He’s supposed to be such a great talent evaluator and draft guru, but like all the other mock drafters by a few picks in the actual teams do what they want and he’s almost entirely wrong. I long ago lost track of the number of college players he claimed were “can’t miss pros” who turned out to be total busts.

    You know what “highly frustrates” me? That I can’t get job like his where you can be wrong 95%+ of the time and be considered great at what you do. Nice work if you can find it but Mayock sucks.

  21. And let’s face it. Romo was great last year because he took the job seriously yet still had fun with it. And it was funny because a lot of it was self-deprecating, easy-going jokes.

    In contrast, Mayock took his job too seriously and didn’t seem comfortable at all. A lot of comments seemed forced, as in he did so much research that he needed to get it out on air whenever he could force it into coversation.

  22. upnorthvikesfan says:
    April 12, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Could the fact that he’s a loud mouth arrogant a** have anything to do with it??


    That hasn’t stopped Joe Buck.

  23. I don’t want to hear during the game “physically gifted” “country strong” “nifty feet”. That’s too much.
    He’s the best at draft no so great at games.

  24. I’d really like to see non-football people be the play-by-play announcers, and only the best football experts to do color commentary

  25. I like Mayock. The league started to go down hill when began to care more about the casual fan than it did about the die hard fan.

  26. Mayock is excellent but has one big drawback…he’s honest. Fans love that but broadcasters hate it.

  27. The networks know that “football” people are going to watch regardless of the broadcast team. They want to bring in the rest of the population with these big names who dont say much of anything.

  28. The networks are under the illusion that viewers care about big-names when it comes to the guys calling the games. We don’t. Lots of times I’m watching a game and hear good insights and don’t even know (or care) who is saying it. It really doesn’t matter to most football fans who calls the games as long as they call it competently.

  29. If bringing knowledge were the only prerequisite required he would have been hired years ago. Calling a game needs to be the condensed version of football knowledge combined with like-ability. Leaning more toward the like-ability. Ok a lot more toward the like-ability.

  30. No opinion on Mayock, but I’d give my mother-in-law a chance over Collinsworth or Buck. They are terrible. Just empty schtick with paper thin analysis.

  31. Mayock is one of my favorites. Straight to the point and doesn’t hype up every single player like gruden would. And isnt annoying like Romo trying to call out every play before the ball is snapped. It’s obvious these networks like to bring in guys that fans will like. That’s probably why there’s so many former cowboys players. Daryl Johnston is the only one who I think does a good job and isnt a homer as much as aikman.

  32. I had a hard time taking Mayock when he called games for the NFL Network a few years back. Mayock is arrogant and goes off subject when he wants to. Come draft time, he’s decent. Mayock is not somebody I could not take on a weekly basis. He think more of himself than I do!

  33. Mayock and any decent play-by-play guy/gal would be better than boring Aikman & annoying Buck. Of course, that ain’t saying much, other than Fox Sports executives are incompetent. He is a football “details” guy, but he does lack a charismatic/humorous personality. Fox has some good play-by-play guys in Burkhardt and Albert. They just need to find a football guy with a personality to pair with one of them. Joe Thomas and Jason Witten might be possibilities, but I can understand their reluctance to try a rookie in a new, premier broadcast spot. Going with Mayock might be the best way to go though, at least for a year or two.

  34. akira554 says:
    April 12, 2018 at 11:35 am
    Aikman is an absolute turd. And I don’t know if I could’ve handled Manning’s thick “accent” for 3 hours. Surprising, Romo has been very, very good.

    But Mayock calling a few ND and TNF games has not “climbed to the top of the ladder”. I would put Eagle/Fouts, Myers/Johnston or Harlan/Gannon as better qualified. In the few games I’ve watched, Mayock was pretty stiff.
    Fouts? Really? I think he is one of the worst announcers and I cringe whenever he does one of my team’s games. He has literally praised the play of a guy–sitting on the bench–for the other team. Most of us likely are not paying too much attention to the announcers until a controversial play happens and they opine on what happened/why/what the referee call would be. If you pay close attention, most of these guys know less about the rules than we do but Fouts is so clueless during the games I have endured that I have actually questioned his sobriety and/or mental acuity. Fouts was an outstanding QB but as a game announcer he is severely lacking.

  35. Since when does Troy Barkman have style? For someone who played the game, he knows precious little and shows even less during telecasts. And that voice! He should be no where near a microphone – ever.

  36. Learn to call the game instead of adding toooooo much stuff on your broadcasts.

  37. People from Minnesota Nice think he is great or should be shunned. I really enjoyed his commentary during Vikings preseason games, because he knew all these players no one has heard about before. You really can’t judge him by that though. I mean he is supposed to do that and give his opinions of the players. I mean a whole 3rd quarter of the game is spent with the GM Rick to pick his brain about those we drafted and signed as free agents. Reality is a different story. Of course, networks will always look for pretty people with enough knowledge or those who have names we all know.

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