18 February 2014

The NFL Today adds Tony Gonzalez, dumps Dan Marino & Shannon Sharpe

(USA Today Sports)
With ratings sagging behind that of Fox NFL Sunday, changes had been rumored for The NFL Today and it turns out that CBS has indeed pulled the trigger. One of their top targets, former Chiefs and Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, who retired at the end of the season, will be added to the crew while Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe will be departing. Gonzalez will join James Brown, Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason and insider Jason La Canfora in Studio 43 at the CBS Broadcast Center. Here's my take on the moves.

It makes sense that CBS wanted to mix up their studio crew, their crew had gotten stale and the show was simply not as fun or as interesting as the folks over on Fox. And in my opinion, they dumped the two weakest links of the show in Marino and Sharpe.

I do not know how Marino lasted 12 years on The NFL Today, because I do not know if he ever said something insightful or worthwhile during his time at CBS. Sure, he was actually alive in studio unlike Joe Montana during his awful one-year stint at NBC in 1995, but he seemed to be there solely because of his name, and tried to build his studio career off that. Quite frankly, it didn't work.

Now Sharpe would occasionally get fired up and give you some quality television, with one of the best examples being on the Richie Incognito situation, and he did mix it up with his fashion choices, but his insightful moments were far and few between. His diction issues were one thing but even if he were the most eloquent speaker ever, he still would have been a mediocre analyst.

All in all, it's a solid crew flanking Brown, who is still a very good host. I have always liked Esiason, who gets some flack from people because he actually has opinions and is not afraid to say them, and Cowher is decent although if he got more fired up he would be solid.

It is always a risk when you hire a guy right out of retirement, but Gonzalez has always seemed like a natural to go into broadcasting as he has always been a good interview, was always comfortable with the media, and is quite charismatic. I can't say for certainty that he will be a star right out of the gate, or if at all, but I think he will be a good fit for CBS.

No comments:

Post a Comment