Big NFL announcing news, with Tony Kornheiser stepping down from Monday Night Football and ex-Bucs and Raiders head coach Jon Gruden stepping in. Gruden has the energy and the knowledge to be good in the role, although his growl of a voice might sound a little funny. It’ll also be interesting to hear how he and Ron Jaworski interact, because Jaws has drifted a little too far into blowhard territory for my tastes. (I detailed full thoughts on the MNF trio and other announcing teams in this post.)
Gruden has a sense of humor and even a sarcasm that should play well on TV, as long as he doesn’t come across as condescending. But he should bring a youth and an energy to the booth right away. Plus, he’s relevant and knows the league really well, which is something that precious few announcers have now. The NFL game changes so quickly now that we need to have younger players/coaches calling games. That’s a big part of why Brian Billick was so good behind the mic in his first season. He knew the players, the personalities the strategies so much better than most other announcers, and it showed.
So Gruden as Mr. Monday Night is a great experiment for ESPN to undertake, and it has a great shot of working out.
And another thing… If you like following announcing stuff, Awful Announcing is a great clearinghouse for what’s happening.