Mike Mayock joined Sean Pendergast, Ted Johnson and Rich Lord on SportsRadio 610 in Houston on Wednesday; they asked him if there’s any chance he would call Thursday or Monday Night Football, and he gave a candid answer that reflected resignation about his chances:
I am highly frustrated and agitated. When you don’t have a big name — I played two years, and I wasn’t any good, and I couldn’t stay healthy — if you don’t have a Hall of Fame jacket it’s hard to get a high-level job calling games in our industry.
I’ve done Notre Dame games nationally on Saturdays. I’ve done Thursday Night Football for the NFL Network. I feel like I’ve been there and I’ve shown what I can do, and that I care about it. By the way, that’s my favorite thing. People associate me with the Draft, but my favorite thing is to do games.
And it bothers me that network executives think that the only — let’s put it this way: Fox has Thursday Night Football and they feel like the only person who can do that game, and if he can’t then Troy Aikman’s gotta do two a week. I don’t understand that thought process. I mean, Troy’s great, but there’s a stable of other guys who can do it really well.
There are some exceptions to his rule — Cris Collinsworth was a three-time Pro Bowler, but not a Hall of Famer — but by and large the networks are indeed looking to fill these spots with stars. As Andrew Marchand reported last week, one condition on Fox’s picking up Thursday Night Football rights was a condition from the NFL that they use “A-List talent” in the booth. While it’s unclear where the bar is there, it definitely refers to people who the public are very familiar with from their playing or coaching days.
If you were running this search, would Mayock be an example of a broadcaster who wasn’t a big-name player that you’d make an exception for?