Joe Tessitore will replace Sean McDonough as the voice of Monday Night Football, according to a report from the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand. ESPN yesterday announced McDonough, who had been behind the MNF microphone for only two years, would be returning to call college football.
Marchand also reports that Peyton Manning turned down an offer to join the booth as part of its major overhaul. In-house candidates Matt Hasselback, Randy Moss, Louis Riddick and Charles Woodson remain in the hunt, as do outsiders Joe Thomas and kurt warner.
While I understand the argument from those who see McDonough’s move as a demotion, I am optimistic that it will prove to be a sensible and positive thing for all involved. He never seemed as comfortable on Monday nights as he was Saturday afternoons. His run of excellence on college football was a major reason he got the MNF job in the first place.
Tessitore’s rise to the college booth and now to arguably the No. 1 gig in all of football has been swift but warranted. He has the gravitas to carry a broadcast and his experience with boxing should suit him well. MNF has always been chasing the ghost of Howard Cosell and the bygone era of smoking in the press box and horse racing agate. Tessitore is a nice bridge connecting that flair with the modern day.
ESPN’s flexibility allowed them to pull the ol’ switcheroo without completely upending the apple cart. They get to keep both McDonough and Tessitore and potentially improve on both Saturdays and Mondays.