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This is the archive for March 2007

Breaking down the tape on Ron Jaworski

Everyone was quick to blame the lack of chemistry on ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcasts last year on Tony Kornheiser. After all, he’s the one who carried the burden of being entertaining, while Mike Tirico did the play-by-play and Glass Joe Theismann did the analysis. Ideally, that’s how a three man announce team should work: funny color, serious analysis, and play-by-play.

Of course, when your analyst has absolutely no sense of humor and no grasp of sarcasm, then it makes your color guy’s job that much harder. The blame here doesn’t rest with Kornheiser. After all, he’s great on Pardon the Interruption and he hosts one of the best radio shows on the planet, so obviously he has it in him to be entertaining and informative at the same time. After all, as he’d be the first to admit, he’s not on TV for his gorgeous face and not on the radio for his incredible singing voice.

So that means the problem is Theismann (or Tirico, but since Tirico doesn’t suck and Theismann kind of does, well…). Despite having been on ESPN since 1988, I’ve never once found him to be particularly insightful or amusing. Hell, he’s not even really annoying! Theismann is unflavored Quaker oatmeal: bland and pasty, but with a known name.

Jaws is a tremendous upgrade in the announcing booth. He’s more informative, has an actual sense of comic timing, and has chemistry with Tirico and Kornheiser. Theismann is the anti-Ron Jaworski (who I’d like even if he didn’t have a great first name). Jaws is great on PTI and on NFL Countdown, and he was good when pressed into service earlier in the year on Monday Night Football’s B-team. I’d imagine he’ll continue to be good on the A-team, too.

As for Theismann, I imagine he’ll be stuck in Jaworski’s old spot on the kick-off show. Not that he’d be great at it, but at least we’d see him a lot less. Of course, the ideal replacement for Ron Jaworski would be Michael Smith doing the Jaws impersonation he’s known for on Around the Horn. If you can’t keep real Jaws, at least you could get fake Jaws.

Come to think of it, Richard Kiel is not doing anything these days… neither is Frank Welker.

prowd gradiate of the jemele hill skool of jernalism

(By the way, 15 minutes have passed … has a NFL player been arrested or questioned in connection with a crime?)

The above is from Jemele Hill’s latest turd on the formerly great ESPN Page 2. Read it slowly. Read it carefully. Do you see what’s wrong with it?

I do, and it was so glaring that I stopped reading the column and started working on this post. So as not to spoil your fun, I’ll supply the answer below the cut.