15 February 2012

Ron Jaworski out of ESPN Monday Night Football booth

The big announcing news today is that ESPN has taken Ron Jaworski out of the Monday Night Football booth, as broken by the great John Ourand of Sports Business Daily. Very surprising news out of the Bristol consortium. ESPN will now stick with a two-man booth, their first while covering Monday Night Football and first on their lead NFL announcing crew since they made the insufferable crew of Mike Patrick and Joe Theismann even worse by adding Paul Maguire to the mix, with Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden remaining. Jaworski will now move to an already packed studio set for Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. Here's my take.

"Jaws" has his share of fans and detractors but I have always been a fan of his work. I feel his immense preparation by sleeping, essentially, in the film room at NFL Films, makes his knowledge of the sport very clear and thus his analysis pretty good, especially on NFL Matchup which is a great show if you actually wake up early Sunday morning to watch it and I wish I did.. And when you swear in the booth so nonchalantly, major bonus points in my book. I do think he may be a better fit in the studio where his skills analyzing film may show off better.

And I have never really been much of a fan of three-man booths, although Gifford-Cosell-Meredith was so legendary, but this crew worked for the most part. Tirico is a solid play-by-play guy in my opinion, although I think he is much better at golf and better at hoops, but this crew utilized his skills at a studio host in working as a traffic cop with the two guys with him in the booth. Jaworski and Gruden balanced each other out with Jaws bringing the serious analysis and Gruden bringing some entertainment and flavor.

But now the onus is squarely on Gruden to take a major step forward with his analysis and while ESPN ha essentially anointed him their "John Madden" I do not see it. But we will see come September.

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