According to McDonough, however, he is happy to be moving on from the position he once dreamed of having. On WEEI, McDonough nonchalantly made it clear he did not think MNF was all that fun:
“As much as it was a great honor to be the voice of ‘Monday Night Football’ — and you guys know me well enough, and certainly a lot of my friends and family do — it wasn’t a tremendous amount of fun the last two years.”
This obviously cannot be ideal for ESPN when the former voice of one of their most expensive projects claim it wasn’t “fun” on the same day their former president, John Skipper, resigned after a cocaine extortion plot.
The $1.9 billion annual project known as Monday Night Football is heading into its most important stage as its future with ESPN is all but certain. It will be interesting to keep tabs on how Joe Tessitore’s demeanor is within the next year, as it was clear at times McDonough was not thrilled with the product:
McDonough confirmed this today again ripping the games:
“If you go back and look at the schedule, generally we got one of the worst NFL games each week. You’re trying to make something sound interesting and exciting that isn’t.”
He also apparently took notice that it was never built around him, but instead Jon Gruden, claiming he was just a “bystander”:
For me, part of it was just the way the booth was set up the last two years. It was really geared around Jon Gruden. That’s not unusual, TV really is an analyst-driven medium. Jon had a particular set of skills that he did really well, and foremost among them was analyzing the play, breaking down the play, ‘here’s why they ran that play, here’s why it worked, here’s what this guy did or didn’t do.’ It was really football heavy, X and O heavy, and I think most play-by-play guys, all play-by-play guys, would’ve felt like a bit of a bystander.”
While it is still not clear who will join Tessitore’s in the booth next season – it won’t be Peyton Manning – they will have a tall task at hand if the NFL does not provide them with better games. The night that was once notorious for the best football game of the week has now been watered down to matchups that are irrelevant by midseason.