Tony Kornheiser has officially quit ESPN Monday Night Football. Good riddance. Listening to Kornheiser call a game was like being stuck next to your friend’s annoying grandmother for four hours during a football game. Those same nonsensical points were what Tony Kornheiser did best during Monday Night Football.
Prior to his stint on MNF, I was a big Kornheiser fan. I regularly listened to his radio show and was an avid PTI viewer. I was excited when news broke that Tony Kornheiser was doing MNF. The excitement shifted to pure annoyance by Kornheiser’s second season in the booth.
Let’s face it, the guy was just absolutely dreadful. It almost seemed as if Kornheiser was on a personal mission to discuss anything but the game. Kornheiser would open up telecasts with a ridiculously long monologue promoting some kind of weird agenda of the night. Once Kornheiser announced his “story of the game,” you were guaranteed to hear all about it for the next 3 ½ hours.
Kornheiser’s man-crushes on Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Andy Reid bordered on pure absurdity at times. Aaron Rodgers could have a three touchdown game, yet Kornheiser would reference Brett Favre like a jealous schoolgirl. “We put the focus on Favre because people like me are in love with him.” The Colts could be down 30 with 60 seconds and no times outs, yet Kornheiser would continue to have faith in a Manning Comeback. The guy was just completely unbearable at times.
I have great respect for anyone that gets into a live booth. As a wrestling announcer for over ten years, I can tell you that calling any kind of action on a live broadcast isn’t easy. However, there comes a time when you have to know when you are out of your league. I called high school football a few times and knew I was out of my league. Tony the K and his oblivious buddies at ESPN were the only ones unaware of the fraud on Monday Night Football.
The thing that drove me craziest about Kornheiser was his refusal to get off of his lead story. Whether his opening monologue was relevant or not by halftime, Kornheiser continued promoting his agenda. The Philadelphia Eagles could be up by a healthy lead, Donovan McNabb could be playing lights-out, yet Kornheiser would continue to pound a ridiculous story about Philadelphia fans being anti-McNabb. Get over it! The booing on draft day was over 10 years ago!
The irony here is that Kornheiser was a sports columnist for years. Kornheiser’s job was analyzing sports and offering opinions. Kornheiser would have never achieved his massive success with quotes like “He looks like Jack Black, only bigger.” If anyone should have been aware of how obnoxious Tony Kornheiser was on Monday Night Football, it was Tony Kornheiser.
I don’t understand why something as easy as Monday Night Football continues to be a difficult production. Jon Gruden will be replacing Kornheiser. Gruden may be great, but why take the risk? What about guys that you know can handle the job like Brian Baldinger, Troy Aikman, or Phil Simms? Why play around with experiments like Kornheiser and Dennis Miller with something so scared to football fans? At the end of the day, Gruden can’t be any worse than Kornheiser.
“I took high school Spanish, either he said he’s not going to be caught, or please pick up my dry cleaning tomorrow.”
Thanks for the memories Tony.
Check out one of my favorite books, Monday Night Mayhem: The Inside Story of ABC’s Monday Night Football by clicking here.
Check out the Monday Night Mayhem movie on DVD by clicking here.