Confusion and disorder rocked the NFL roster this offseason, especially when it comes to draft picks, defection of free agents, and the retirement of the current Super Bowl champion QB. While such events dominated the field, the NFL attracted extraordinary media attention thanks to various developments concerning individuals who discuss the games. The only big story that could have raised crazy media attention was about Peyton Manning uniting with the media. Even though many people predicted he would have joined CBS, Manning turned his blind eye on such developments and decided to cling to TV commercials to challenge many NFL betting predictions.
The most fascinating development, which is still under fire is Mike Tirico moving from ESPN and Monday Night Football to NBC with the aim of succeeding Al Michaels. At 71, Al Michaels remains one of the favorite TV sportscaster in America, and he reportedly was disinterested in moving the show to Thursday; hence, Tirico was pinpointed to take over Al Michaels’ role. However, the NFL assumed NBC had the contractual commitment to utilize the services of their broadcasting team on Thursday nights in comparison to CBS’s Phil Simms and Jim Nantz. Since the NFL has a big influence on his TV partners, Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will take up the role in NBC.
On Monday, NBC formally made the long-awaited announcement, including details that exposed more changes. A sideline reporter, Heather Cox, will join Michaels and Collinsworth on Thursdays with Bob Costas hosting the nine games on Thursday produced by NBC. Sundays will be handled by Michele Tafoya who will take over from Cox, while analysts Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy will join Costa on-site. In the meantime, Tirico will be hosting the Sunday pregame show on-site, while Dan Patrick, Harrison and Dungry will watch over NBC studios at Stamford and Connecticut.
It is worth noting that, on September 11, Tirico and Costas will host the opening match between the Arizona Cardinals and the New England Patriots on Sunday night. Furthermore, due to the a clash of NBC schedules for Collinsworth and Michaels, Doug Flutie and Tirico will only host two of the four games of Thursday Night Football, which will broadcast on NFL Network only. The resulting Thursday schedule distributes the series between NBC and CBS, with the latter focused on games in the early weeks of the regular season. However, NBC will cling to the game between the Broncos and the Panthers on Sept. 8, which reflects a rematch of Super Bowl 50.
Former NESN homie Sean McDonough, along with football analyst Jon Gruden, will take possession of the play-by-play responsibilities of Monday Night Football since Tirico has already left ESPN. You might perceive or feel that all these developments are somewhat complicated because the changeovers that surrounded the Sunday NFL Countdown studio show of ESPN seemed more direct –all members of last year’s main panel exited except for host Chris Berman. These include Cris Carter, Keyshawn Johnson, Mike Ditka, Ray Lewis, and Tom Jackson.
Their replacements include Charles Woodson, Matthew Hasselbeck, Randy Moss, and Trent Dilfer. Reports indicate that Berman might be the next sportscaster to exit the end of this season. Mike Carey might not return to CBS after experiencing two shaky seasons.