Your Official MNF Review: Game One

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I hadn't planned on doing this (the MNF Season Preview was to come later this afternoon), but I think last night's broadcast warranted a quick review.

Everyone knows I absolutely hammered MNF last year. So much so, that at one point a good friend told me he couldn't read the site anymore because I hated Joe Theismann TOO much. How is that even possible? There are no boundaries of hatred that Joe cannot traverse. But I digress. Last year's team was so disjointed and awkward that it basically built the site on it's own.

Well I'm going to shock you with this one Are you ready for it? You can sense it can't you??? You've been reading the site for long enough that you can almost tell when it's about to happen. Ladies and Gentleman....Boys and it comes.....

A Posititve Review On AA!!!!!!

Last night was one of the best nights I've had in awhile. First (well second if we're talking about things chronologically), I got to spend 30 minutes in line with a bunch of 16 year olds waiting for a game that I'm probably too old for. A group of white kids that had presumably showed up at 10pm, and had already received their copy of the game, proceeded to "ghost ride" multiple times outside of EB Games to impress their African-American chums. The first time.....pretty funny. The seventh time.....kinda stale. Quote of the night came from the kid in front of me (I know him as #47), " white people is f'ing crazy." Damn straight we is! Mommy and Daddy's GMC Yukon will be Ghost Rode for all to see!

Anywho, I got the game and got back home at 1230. My plan was to leave work early today to play the game, but I think I'm going to have to pass on that idea because I stayed up until about 3am. Since this is a MNF review I'll keep it short....but the game is amazing. Like groundbreaking amazing. The tackling is sick, the running is smooth, and Sean Taylor got a 15-yard facemask penalty on the first play from scrimmage. Talk about realistic!

But even better than playing Madden until the wee hours of the morning was actually watching and totally enjoying a Monday Night Football Broadcast. You see, I've basically trained myself to look for the worst in every broadcast. It's almost to the point where I don't even pay attention unless something ridiculous is being said or someone is flashing the camera.

Monday Night Football is different though. I haven't had to try to find bad things in years.....they were just constantly there. The program has been so awful for so long that I don't even remember when it was good. Dennis Miller, Joe Theismann, Tony Kornheiser, James Denton, Christian Slater, etc. etc. The whole broadcast was terrible.

Well I think it might be entirely possible that one person alone could save the entire franchise.....

Ron Jaworski.

I cringed when he fumbled his opening statement, but he recovered quickly and I was hanging on his every word. Everyone of Tony's stupid questions (that Joe Theismann would butcher last year) were answered with spot on analysis that the rookie Football viewer could understand, and the veteran wouldn't feel like he was being talked down to. At one point I TIVO'd back four or five times to listen to him talk about how small a window was Alex Smith's had downfield. He easily explained that his arm-strength got the pass there when most would have thrown a pick. Sure enough it looked like Smith put a little extra on the pass when shown on the replay.

Tony Kornheiser's shtick was counteracted by Jaws' genius so much so that Tony could just be his PTI self. It was perfect. You could barely tell that Tirico was even there. Like a good referee....that's almost the way you want it.

I came into last night's game ready to hammer the program so you can imagine how good it would have to of been to impress me. And it was that good. Now I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet (Oprah is still being considered as a guest), but it was an amazing change of pace. So for the sake of the site Monday Night Football.....please don't be good again next week. I'm giving the broadcast an B+/A- for last night, and I'm hating typing every character of that grade.

(Sorry for the length of that one, but it had to be said)


Good to hear that the team sounded coherent. Bad to hear that you watched a preseason game intently.

GMoney said...
Aug 14, 2007, 10:54:00 AM  

I only watched the first quarter (why more?), but you're right: Jaws is bringing it.

Why is Kornheiser there? He knows he shouldn't be there, the audience knows he shouldn't be there, but somewhere in Bristol is an executive's ego which refuses to admit a mistake was made and will thus force it down people's throats at all expense.

Anonymous said...
Aug 14, 2007, 11:44:00 AM  

The amazing thing to me about Kornheiser on MNF is that he (seemingly intentionally) comes off as an incredible, flaky, doofus. On PTI, he's goofy, but he can also offer some decent, reasonable analysis of various sports stories. On MNF, it's as though he's just heard about this "football", and Jaws/Theismann is teaching him the game on the air.

That said, I agree. Last night was pretty solid.

Mr. Thursday said...
Aug 14, 2007, 2:38:00 PM  

I still thought they were brutal. I tune in for a football game, not for a circus. While Jaws has to be an improvement, the production, extended interviews, etc, seemed to once again stress how much ELSE there is to watch besides the football game... Ugh. MNF on ESPN sucks.

Anonymous said...
Aug 14, 2007, 3:56:00 PM  

I popped wood. Yes. Yes, I did.

Anonymous said...
Aug 14, 2007, 4:09:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zack said...
Aug 14, 2007, 4:15:00 PM  

AA, I love your site and your comments, but I have to put in an intervention.

You, my friend, are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Poor guy can't remember what a good broadcast is on that show anymore. I barely can either but, if I can believe there is a heaven, then I must believe that one day there will be a good MNF broadcast team again.

Stop torturing us, ESPN! Can't you see what you're doing to us?

Anonymous said...
Aug 14, 2007, 4:48:00 PM  

You, having hindsight and editorial control at your fingertips write, "I cringed when he fumbled his opening statement," yet in the same paragraph you write "At one point I TIVO'd back four or five times to listen to him talk about how small a window was Alex Smith's had downfield."

what's your excuse?

something about glass houses comes to mind.

nelson said...
Aug 15, 2007, 1:40:00 AM  

I'm sorry, but listening to Jaws is akin to having my fingernails pulled out by the root, but less painful. I've never liked the guy, and I never will. Plus, Tirico gives me the creeps, for some reason. It doesn't really matter, though; I haven't watched a MNF game(other than a peek at TK's debut last year) since Dennis Miller's famous "genitalia" comment in his first game.

Bruce said...
Aug 15, 2007, 1:46:00 AM  

"Would have to of been"---should be "would have to have been;" otherwise, a very solid review about a surprisingly enjoyable broadcast.

Anonymous said...
Aug 15, 2007, 9:11:00 AM  

I'm surprised to see a favorable review given about a group of announcers that in my opinion behaved as though the actual *game in progress* was just a backdrop to have a conversation about everything *but* the game. The announcers repeatedly started or continued conversations while plays were in progress. There were multiple sideline interviews with the actual game play being shown in a soundless mini-window. I felt like I was watching a segment of SportsCenter with "some game or other" being played in the background for effect. I don't mind sports shows - I just don't think they should be run concurrently with a friggin' football game.

Contrast this with a game where professional announcers, who have put in the time an homework to be fully up on the individual players, the offensive and defensive strategies employed by the team, and then actually pay attention to the game and cover it. These guys show very little signs of game preparationg and appear to just be making reactionary comments all night. Heck - I can get that from my buddies. From now on it's Sunday Night Football. I'll spend my Monday nights doing something more fun than having to endure this programming debacle.

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Aug 15, 2007, 12:41:00 PM  

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megha said...
Aug 16, 2007, 4:54:00 AM  

OK, OK. I am a fan of Mr. Tony. So I didn't even hate it last year. Yes he does ham it up a little too much and try too hard to act "dumb", but the guy has talent.

That being said, if he would get fired he could go back to radio sooner. So even though I too like this booth much better, Don't advertise that they are good. We need 2 hours of daily Tony on radio. That is where his talent absolutely lies and I would love to trade his MNF presence for 10 hours/week on radio.

So, Tony = Good, Madden '08 = amazing. Spot on review of the game as well.

Anonymous said...
Aug 17, 2007, 9:42:00 PM  

I tuned in to watch a football game not hear a screaming match between a bunch of monkeys. Give me Madden over this noise.

Anonymous said...
Aug 20, 2007, 9:35:00 PM  

Please remove Kornheiser from MNF... Thank ESPN for bringing in Jaws, he along with Tirico should make a solid team. All Kornhole is good for is BSing about his fantasy football teams.

Anonymous said...
Aug 20, 2007, 9:42:00 PM  

As an avid fan of MNF since its very first broadcast, I think I can be qualified to say that the present threesome is the worst in its history. And the format is terrible, too. It looks like MNF is trying to be a TBDSSP at the same time it is broadcasting a game. TBDSSP is bad, but I don't have to watch it. Stop. Stop. Stop. I want to watch football, not interviews, off-the-mark analysis, and stupid answers to stupider questions. Happily I can still get my football evening fixes on Sunday and Thursday.

lairddurham said...
Aug 27, 2007, 6:50:00 PM  

What a joke. Try watching the game in a smaller picture in picture frame while listening to the idiot Tony ramble about Vick's problems. Was there anything new said at all? By the way how long was that field goal, it was never mentioned as the incessant ranting of Tony overlooked the football game on the field. And on field interviews were terrible.
If this is the state of what is to come then count me out. I'll watch the highlights!! Should free up my Monday nights. My wife will be proud.

Anonymous said...
Aug 28, 2007, 1:37:00 PM  

FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME ! Please keep the split screens during the ball game and keep the interviews coming. I can't wait for the interview with the guy in section 332 row 9 seat 11. He's the only one who hasn't given his thoughts on Micheal Vick yet. I mean what would "Monday Night Interview" be without more mundane pointless banter from anybody who wants to get face time in front of the camera. I can't believe I used to tune into watch a football game on Monday night. ABC had it all wrong, those guys had commentators that actually knew something about the game and the viewers were forced to watch the game. I really enjoy the new approach of having no real color commentators coupled with a side line reporter that scours the sidelines waiting for someone to stand still long enough to ask ridiculous questions. The game is now secondary and somewhere in the background.

Anonymous said...
Aug 28, 2007, 9:05:00 PM  

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