With Peter King on vacation through the middle of next month, a slew of guests will be handling the duties for King’s weekly column, Football Morning in America. The process gets started this week with a thorough, comprehensive, and entertaining look behind the scenes of Sunday Night Football from umpteen-time Emmy winner Fred Gaudelli, the show’s Executive Producer.
The 7,795-word item contains plenty of intriguing nuggets and tidbits, and here’s one that stands out: Gaudelli’s first year producing Monday Night Football coincided with Dennis Miller’s last of two years on the broadcast. And Gaudelli had a couple of ideas for Miller that, if heeded, may have extended his stay.
Gaudelli suggested a halftime element with Miller conducting a Weekend Update-style review of Sunday NFL games, and maybe perhaps Saturday college football.
“It would have given halftime a must-see element, not to mention win the critics’ praise for Dennis,” Gaudelli writes. “When we met before the season I tried to convince him to do it, but he told me: ‘Maybe next year.'”
And of course there wasn’t one.
Gaudelli also explained that he would have had Miller skip production meetings on Sunday, watching football instead.
“As Dennis got to meet the players and coaches he found out that 98 percent were great guys who were expending everything they had to try and win a game,” Gaudelli writes. “The effects of that were twofold. His comedic sabre became dulled, as he was reticent to joke about someone he had just met and come to like. And it made him want to talk X’s and O’s, which the audience wasn’t ever going to buy.”
The audience ultimately didn’t buy Miller. Gaudelli’s advice, if Miller had accepted it, possibly would have caused the audience to rent Miller a bit longer.