Thursday’s announcement that ESPN has hired Jason Witten for Monday Night Football has prompted speculation that runner-up Kurt Warner possibly was complaining about the decision in a late Wednesday afternoon tweet. On Thursday, Warner addressed in interview with Bernie Miklasz of 101 ESPN in St. Louis whether the Wednesday tweet was related to Monday nights.
“Absolutely not,” Warner said. “I didn’t even know that was an issue. And that had absolutely nothing to do with Monday Night Football. Had nothing to do with anything that I was dealing with personally at that point in time. It had to do with some different things that I saw were out there, you know, different things that were going on . . . where we are in this society as a whole.
“And I reference back to times when I was playing, for sure. There were times when I really felt like I was the best person for the job and I always thought, ‘OK, when you get to the highest level, when you get to like the NFL level, the best person for the job’s just gonna get the job.’ It doesn’t matter where they’re drafted or how much money they make or what their pedigree is, and I realized very quickly that that’s not the case in the sport of football and at a high level. But that had nothing to do with the Monday Night Football thing.
“I mean, you know, first and foremost, how could you ever say that when a guy like Jason Witten has never called a game before? I mean, I don’t know what Jason Witten is going to be as a broadcaster but, you know, there would be no way for me to say, ‘Well, I’m definitely better than everybody that tried out for that position.’ I don’t even know who tried out for the position. So that had absolutely nothing to do with Monday Night Football or anything that I was directly involved with. It had to do with me just socially seeing some things that made me just step back and go, ‘How in the world are we here at this point in time where things like race and gender and pedigree and all that stuff dictate how we go about doing things, and things that we do for people, and the way that we treat people?’ I just don’t understand that mentality, and that’s where the tweet came from. But nothing to do with the personal situation.”
Miklasz didn’t ask the obvious follow-up question: What societal development specifically prompted you to post the tweet on Wednesday afternoon? He also asked no questions about how close Warner came to getting the job or when he found out he wasn’t getting it.
And that’s fine. It’s not a big issue. But common sense and basic logic suggests that Warner: (1) wanted the job; (2) believed he should get the job; and (3) learned before posting the tweet that he wouldn’t be getting the job. Thus, if it was something else that prompted a tweet that fairly can be interpreted as reflecting Warner’s disagreement with ESPN’s decision at a time when he had possibly just become aware of it, it would be nice to have more specifics as to what the catalyst for the tweet actually was.