ESPN moves on to “alternative plans” to remake MNF booth

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ESPN had hoped to hire Tony Romo as the new Monday Night Football analyst. With Romo staying put at CBS, ESPN must move on to Plan B.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that ESPN has “alternative plans” for the Monday night booth. Per Marchand, the first call “likely” will be made to Peyton Manning, whose relationship with ESPN expanded in 2019 to include Peyton’s Places on ESPN+.

If Peyton once again declines (and maybe $17 million per year will get his attention), ESPN will have to move to Plan C. Regardless, it still feels like a major change is coming to Monday nights, especially since the broadcast will be changing producers.

Last year, Joe Tessitore handled play-by-play and Booger McFarland served as the analyst. In 2018, McFarland roamed the sideline in a down-in-front rolling chair, with Tessitore and Jason Witten in the booth.

74 responses to “ESPN moves on to “alternative plans” to remake MNF booth

  1. Don’t care if the final team is Man-Man, Man-Woman, Woman-Woman, 3 people, etc. For a company with as much money and influence as Disney how difficult can it really be to find a half way decent Color Commentator and Play by Play Commentator? I mean really, MNF has been going downhill fast since Tirico left for NBC and Gruden went back to coaching.

  2. No matter who is running MNF telecast, they keep repeating the same mistake of trying to make it about the announcers instead of the game. Never met an NFL fan who said they tune in because of the announcers.

  3. I set my home theater to “stadium” and don’t have to listen to any announcers. What a godsend not having to listen to people babbling nonsensically for three hours. At least Romo has a few actually inciteful things to say from time to time. Does anyone actually want to listen to Peyton Manning for three hours every Sunday? Not me.

  4. correct but if you go back to the origins of Monday Night Football it was the color folks who made the game a watch idea Lawyer turned boxing/baseball guy as I remember.

  5. Please give us a new team. Tessitore gets too excited over the simplest of plays. Booger knows his stuff but he won’t give us 5 seconds of quiet time. If I don’t mute at least half of the game I feel like I was beaten with a bag of oranges when it’s over.

  6. Some good comments…like not making the broadcast about the commentators. I’m so sick of those guys running off at the mouth constantly. The network has so many good college football commentators. How can they not find a good pair of announcers for MNF? It’s pathetic really.

  7. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter who they get a bunch of people are going to bitch. Maybe they should make it like a reality show and the viewers can decide. Just a thought.

  8. I get the sentiment and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however .. as an NFL QB, Romo makes an amazing analyst. Didn’t care for him as Cowboys leader, so I’m no Cowboys fanboy, but he’s the best commentator I’ve seen in a LONG time. And I’m not alone in thinking that. Peyton could probably be even better, but he seems to be happy doing what he’s doing. True, you don’t watch the games for the announcers, but bad ones stand out like a sore thumb!

  9. Report-Tom Brady to do MNF
    —————————-
    He’d make Jason Witten look like John Madden.

    How bad has the MNF broadcast been the last two seasons? Yammering vacuous Booger has been the best, followed by loud unctuous Joe Tessitore. And that pairing was Madden/Summerall compared to the Witten season.

  10. What bird-brain came up with the idea that America wants to listen to Peyton Manning talk about grits and audibles 3 hours every week? You couldnt PAY me to listen to that dunce flap his gums during a game. Hitting MUTE if they hire him.

  11. Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell and Don Meredith.
    Pat Summerall and John Madden.
    Both HOF broadcast teams. And they worked for a lot less than these current guys.
    The key is to find talent that works together naturally, not forced.
    Both Peyton and Tony can carry the show, just find a great play by play to accompany them.

  12. Booger in the roaming stand kills me….just blocking view for fans without any reason. Last year He did better in the booth than I thought he would. I would consider him again but probably as plan D. If Peyton isn’t interested, perhaps extend Booger this year with the idea that Greg Olsen will be available next season.

  13. Bring back Dennis Miller, LOL.
    Anyone but that fool McFarland.

    Please, please, please, the announcers don’t have to have their gums flapping at all times!
    Just shut up already!

  14. The Booger Mobile was such a stupid idea. What is it with these former players thinking they have to be at field level to call the game? Nevermind they were blocking the view of people who paid good money for the seats they were in. Then the kicker to the whole thing, they put a tv screen up so the paying fans in those seasts could watch the game on tv at the only time the seats were paying off to see the action on the field.

    Ok, got that out of my system…. Booger is awful. The MNF booth has just been terrible for far too long. If ESPN can’t fix it, give it back to one of the “terrestrial” networks.

  15. The solution is a simple one to me get Joe Rigan. The UFC already has a relationship with ESPN so it’s a no brainer.

  16. MNF is an event, and you don’t need a big name to draw an audience. You just can’t have someone who forces millions of viewers to turn off their TVs, like the current guy. Peyton Manning is way too big to be a TV announcer. He could be commissioner or president of the United States. I’m sure he’s looking at much bigger adventures. He’s just doing that little TV deal to build up his brand, similar to what Trump did with his TV show. Hey, it works. If Peyton threw his hat in the ring right now I bet he’d be our next president. He’s a big name, and we like big names. I mean, Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor of California. Peyton could easily win governor of Louisiana or Tennessee. Why settle for a governorship?

  17. The announcers will be very important before long, as no one will go to the stadiums with the Coronavirus running rampant.

  18. “dx2nc says:
    Please give us a new team. Booger knows his stuff”

    I could not disagree more – at least in his commentary.

    “They need to be patient” 3 seconds later: “They need chunk plays..”

    Huh?

  19. I heard at the time that Dennis Miller’s job wasn’t to comment on football, but to say two things in the course of the game that would make the audience laugh. I think he did that.

  20. How about if the NFL quits giving MNF so many dog games each season? The schedule comes out and you’re just cringing when you see yet another Jags/Titans battle on MNF.

  21. Tessitore was extremely annoying. I found him worse than Booger. Booger just felt the need to comment about everything. Half the stuff, I swear he just made stuff up. Sometimes less is more. Bolger could get better, with some experience doing lesser college games. He just wasn’t ready yet. Listening to Tessitore is Like a having a toothache.

  22. The way ESPN spent their whole broadcast showcasing Drew Brees non stop late last season…..I could do without MNF all together.

  23. The announcers have a boss, the boss has a boss, and the boss’ boss has a boss.

    Do you really think that it is the announcers choosing to be talking about production elements that were slotted into the show on the Thursday prior, at a moment where the refs are making a critical game determining decision as to yay or nay on a potential intentional grounding infraction, meanwhile any legitimate fan also happened to notice that right before the production cut to the announcing crew the all pro qb appeared to be limping?

    Let me be a bit more succinct…..The Monday night football production powers are posers who have always been awful and arguably true football fan abussive. This has little to do with “the announcers”. Be grateful that Romo didn’t end up in that booth, he would become average in no time at all had he.

  24. Tirico is the best professional in the business. I very much doubt he chose NBC for financial reasons.

  25. If you watch the game through a streaming service they should give you a choice of either listening to the broadcast team or the stadium with a computer generated play-by-play.

  26. They have to keep Booger involved somehow. It’s like listening to early Madden games when things are just randomly said. If the shoe fits, put a bucket on your head.

  27. John Doe says:
    February 29, 2020 at 5:25 pm
    The announcers will be very important before long, as no one will go to the stadiums with the Coronavirus running rampant.

    Only out of ignorance. It’s no more deadly than the flu. God how people fall for media hype.

  28. I think most football fans would not mind if ESPN got out of the NFL broadcast business. ESPN Monday night football has never been a high caliber broadcast, and losing people like Boomer has only reduced the quality of the broadcast, the interest in the personalities and the demand from the fans. Furthermore ESPN has hurt their brand by being very political, in something that really should be apolitical. Let YoutubeTV, Facebook, Twitter or HuluLive, or some other entity offer Monday broadcasts, or better yet, see if they could entice NBC to broadcast both Sunday nights, as well as Monday nights.

  29. Folks usually won’t tune into a game because of a good announcer, but they will surely tune out because of a bad one.

  30. How sad. I remember MNF with Frank Gifford, Dandy Don Meredith and Howard Cosell was an innovation and entertaining to watch. After Gruden left, MNF pretty much fell off of a cliff. I can’t believe the league and ESPN can’t find good announcers and good games for MNF. Better yet, as somebody else said, put it back on ABC where it belongs.

  31. wryly1 says:
    February 29, 2020 at 2:27 pm
    No matter who is running MNF telecast, they keep repeating the same mistake of trying to make it about the announcers instead of the game. Never met an NFL fan who said they tune in because of the announcers.

    I’m pretty certain people DID tune in to watch with certain announcers talking. I know bc several people I know and myself do.

  32. One of the most underrated color commentators who deserves a shot on the national televised games is Charles Davis. Put him with a top notch play by play guy, and you will have one heck of a team.

  33. randalpnaditch says:
    February 29, 2020 at 7:23 pm
    John Doe says:
    February 29, 2020 at 5:25 pm
    The announcers will be very important before long, as no one will go to the stadiums with the Coronavirus running rampant.

    Only out of ignorance. It’s no more deadly than the flu. God how people fall for media hype.
    ——————————————————————————-
    Thank God the whole world isn’t crazy and you recognized it! Thanks…..

  34. Just let me do the broadcast from my man-cave. I don’t talk much…I scream and cuss at stupid plays and bad calls. I don’t over-hype anyone unless they’re on my fantasy team.

  35. Maybe Plan B should consist of allowing viewers to just watch the game? I used watch games with music playing and the TV on mute.

  36. If PM shows up on MNF I’ll be muting it and listening via an internet radio broadcast.

  37. fred0923 says:
    February 29, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    One of the most underrated color commentators who deserves a shot on the national televised games is Charles Davis. Put him with a top notch play by play guy, and you will have one heck of a team.
    ————————————————————————————-
    So true! Everytime he works a game on Saturday or on Sunday, I know we’re in good hands in terms of knowledge & professionalism. When someone talks about quality commentary, my first thought is always Charles Davis. If FOX weren’t so stubborn, they would replace Troy Aikman by him already.

  38. I think the problem for ESPN goes back to when NBC got back to televising NFL games. ESPN was given a choice to either take the Sunday package or keep Monday night and they knew that keeping the Monday games, they would not be able to show the Sunday highlights until after midnight. That hurt them as well as the Sunday package of flexing, which as a fan I think is a great idea. Someone said it in an earlier post, it’s not so much the announcers, it’s the terrible games that are on Monday nights because the announcers can only do so much. The NFL is tossing the idea of flexing Monday night games and I hope they can make that work.

  39. They should hire Beth Mowins to long term MNF contract because her voice is so pleasing to my ears.

  40. Wait for Brady to retire then pair up Tom and Peyton. Alleged good buddies, both football smart, highly successful and besides I miss the rivalry. Make it so ESPN. Now sit back and enjoy the show about to happen here in the comments!

  41. Just give us a team who allows a moment of silence to breath. Not long moments of silence but just take a long breath every now and then. Silence is golden.

  42. No Tony Kornheiser comments? Nobody wants him back? I am shocked. How about this BSPN put on better games. Too many horrible match ups, better games would take away some of the sting produced by your awful announcers.

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