ESPN has announced that Ron Jaworski is out of the Monday Night Football booth, leaving This Guy named Gruden and Mike Tirico. Jaworski has signed a 5-year deal and will be working on various pre and post-game platforms in an “expanded multi-platform NFL analyst role.”
Jaworski was a popular choice among analytical types, always providing good work on NFL Matchup before moving into Monday Night Football, and when he moved into the booth it was considered a triumph for analysis over comedians and buzz factor. He didn’t always fit with Gruden. In fact, I would say that the telecasts were worse with the two of them together trying to outdo each other with praise of players, and I thought what got Jaworski to that position was diminished. I certainly don’t bemoan a move to a 2-man booth, in this age of having 20 analysts for everything. That said, I like Jaworski and found him more informative than Gruden. In this page-view/ratings narrative world, though, actual sports analysis is optional.
Officially, ESPN is trying to spin it as a positive move (and if Jaws is used properly, it could be, especially if he gets back to his NFL Matchup roots). Teammate talking points are flying. From the ESPN Front Row piece, Tirico is “thrilled he will remain a teammate” while Gruden is “glad we’re still on the same team.” Next year, though, they won’t be playing next to each other.
[photo via US Presswire]