Tony Kornheiser has decided to step down from the Monday Night Football broadcasting team. Jon Gruden (former Bucs head coach) will fill the open spot.
“I am totally grateful for the MNF opportunity that I truly enjoyed the last three seasons,” Kornheiser said in a release issued by ESPN. “I feel we got better each year. My fear of planes is legendary and sadly true. When I looked at the upcoming schedule it was the perfect storm that would’ve frequently moved me from the bus to the air. I kept looking at the schedule the past month and wanted to find a way to quietly extricate myself. If I could handpick a replacement of a football guy, I would cast a net and drag in Jon Gruden. He is the two things you most want — smart and funny, and has the two things I don’t...good hair and a tan. I love PTI and am looking forward to continuing to yammer and yodel with Wilbon until the end of time.”
This whole thing is pretty interesting to me, because I'm not so sure the traveling really had anything to do with this move. Kornheiser has a lot of personality, but then again, so does Dennis Miller. That doesn't mean we want to listen to them while watching a big MNF game.
Don't get me wrong, I love Tony on PTI...he just annoyed the crap out of me on MNF with his constant blabbering about nothing at all. Sure, there will be a few more cross-country flights on this year's MNF schedule than in years past, but c'mon! Do you expect me to believe that this was all truly Tony's decision?
I do like the Gruden hire. He's got passion, knowledge, and a temper. I'm rooting for a few red-faced freak outs on Gruden's account very soon. Ever see the video of Bill O'Reily going nuts in the newsroom...or how about even Dan Marino losing his cool just because of simply getting tongue-tied??? Gruden has the potential to blow those two jokers right out of the water. He'll probably just do it for a year anyway. I hope he makes the most of it!
Oooooo, I also love this hire because of Gruden's past with ESPN. Do you remember in 2007 when Bucs QB Bruce Gradkowski was being mentioned in the Toledo points-shaving scandal? Here's what Jon Gruden had to say then, "I don't watch ESPN. I don't believe half the [bleeping] people on the channel, personally. No disrespect, but if Bruce Gradkowski is throwing games in Toledo, how in the hell does he lead the NCAA in passing percentages? That is a crock. You know, these reports make me sick. Really. I don't believe there is any truth to it, and I'll go to my grave believing that. I hope ESPN 3 or 4 has real sources behind this story, because it has nothing to do with the kid. He's a great kid. He wants to be great. This is very uncharacteristic, in my opinion, of 'professional' journalism."
Nice! This also makes it possible that Gruden has never even seen Monday Night Football. I can't wait for that first game. Buffalo @ New England, September 14th.