Monday, August 18, 2008

Shut the Kornheiser Hole - My Plan to Improve Monday Night Football

Monday Night Football is a shell of its former self: the franchise hasn't reacted well to the increased viewer programming choices and there have been failed experiments in recent years (like Dennis Miller and Tony Kornheiser) which were supposed to attract new viewers.

Last year's Falcons/Giants match-up proves that the MNF series is destined to be aired on the Versus channel with the Tour de France in favor of more poker games from your uncle's basement on ESPN.

ESPN/MNF should stop trying to attract everyone and start trying to keep the die-hard football fans. Stop programming for the non football fans by adding comedians to the broadcast booth and start keeping the grid-iron fanatics.

The plan to improve MNF should involve the Tony Kornheiser role (sans Tony).I love the idea of having someone from the newspaper medium in the booth. I think it offers a different perspective, but lets take that role another step further.

Instead of having a national columnist who's more (in)famous for saying "Good Night Canada" on an ESPN show, MNF should fill the Kornheiser hole with a local newspaper sports writer from the home team's city.

Instead of listening to awful jokes that Ron Jaworski won't even laugh at and a review of the morning's "The View" program, a local newspaper reporter who covers team will bring football fans an in-depth team analysis and an expert understanding of the team and the their divisional race. Who would know more about the team? Of course a writer who has covered the team for years, lives in the city, attends all the games, interviews the players, and travels to the team's training camps.

By having the home town sports columnist, you'd also gain a better understanding of what the city's atmosphere is like, what the fans are screaming on the talk radio, and get a fan's perspective of the current state of affairs.

For example, last year's biggest story was Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons. Who could have a painted a more descriptive scene of the Falcons mess, someone from MNF, or someone from the Atlanta Journal Constitution like Tony Barnhart, Terence Moore, or Jeff Schultz? Either one of the AJC writers could have taken a more accurate pulse of the city and franchise than someone from the MNF crew who stays at the Marriott for a few days after their Delta flight
arrives in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airport.

When you look at the Monday Football Schedule this year, I think I'd take any columnist from these home cities before putting up with Tony Kornheiser or another stand-up comedian. It's time for Monday Football to start embracing the football fans and stop targeting the TV fans.


KIERAN said...

Ever notice how many flamboyantly feminine/flat out gay things kornhole says through out the program.
I like the your alternatives.

Not like anything is wrong with THAT.
but please not on MNF

LaLoosh said...

Kornheiser is great on PTI. BUT not on MNF. Bring back Fouts or go to two man booth. I also read that they will be doing away with the shameful plugging of all the ABC shows with guest apperances in the booth. I watch football to see football not the fall preview of ABC lineup. Actually I am usually asleep by 9:30 anyway with the qualty of games they have ben getting lately