Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Mike Tirico
Posted on: February 15, 2012 9:04 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 1:01 pm
 

Ron Jaworski calls leaving MNF 'bittersweet'

Ron Jaworksi gives up MNF but will  work on other projects at ESPN. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

On Wednesday, ESPN announced that Monday Night Football was switching to a two-man booth. The odd man out: Ron Jaworski, who had been an MNF staple for five years. Instead, Jaws, who just signed a five-year extension, will have a "new, expanded multiplatform analyst's role."

"With him doing one game each week, we don't necessarily believe we were getting the best Ron Jaworski had to offer to the network," executive vice president Norby Williamson said.

ESPN president John Skipper added: “I thank Ron for the great contributions he has made to Monday Night Football. With two strong analysts in Ron and Jon, these moves will better utilize their strengths and benefit our entire NFL presentation.”

The Jon mentioned above would be Jon Gruden, who remains in the booth with play-by-play man Mike Tirico.

It's a peculiar situation for a number of reasons, chief among them: Gruden could leave for a coaching job and Jaws just got a new deal. But three-man booths are notoriously tough to pull off (see Tony Kornheiser's stint on MNF) even if Tirico, Gruden and Jaworski made it look seamless and easy.

Jaws, speaking to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch, called the change "bittersweet" but said he was "excited and thrilled" about some other upcoming projects.

"I have an opportunity to do some things that can be creative, so in that regard I am excited about the future. The disappointment is I have worked with some incredible people, from Jay Rothman to [MNF director] Chip Dean to Mike Tirico to Jon Gruden and the entire crew that works on MNF. They are absolutely five star... Maybe it is a little bit of my makeup, but I have never been a guy to look back. I always thought it was a great thing for a quarterback to have amnesia. Forget the past and look to the future. It was an unbelievable experience to do five years of Monday Night Football."

Jaworski said that he was told of the decision Monday though he wasn't surprised. "Nothing comes as a surprise to you when you are in this business." 

One of those upcoming projects is a "QB Camp"-type show made popular by Gruden leading up to last year's draft. "I'm a football guy and I want to do more of that stuff," Jaworksi said.

Not sure why Jaws can't do both but this is a bottom-line business and sometimes the bottom line obscures what might be a good thing. Here's our theory on how things may have gone down. (And we can't stress this enough: this our a theory based on a hunch and not much else. We even talked about it on the latest Pick-6 Podcast.)

MNF isn't about appealing to football fans -- they're watching games no matter who's in the booth. MNF is entertainment -- it's about enticing non-football fans to tune in. That's why, several years ago, ESPN started bringing celebrities into the booth during the telecasts. The results ranged from boring to hilariously awkward.

Short of revisiting that debacle, maybe ESPN conducted focus groups and found that people with no interest in Xs and Os (or, more generally, football) liked Jaws the least. Again, this is just speculation ,but it certainly seems plausible given that ESPN is business of making money and the fastest way to do that is by increasing viewership. Or maybe the network really does plan to keep Jaws busy with all these new projects.

Whatever the reason the reality is this: Monday Night Football will be worse off without him.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed
Posted on: August 16, 2010 2:51 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2010 3:15 pm
 

Bulger denies 'defeated' talk from ESPN analysts

Posted by Will Brinson

When the Ravens and the Panthers met during a Thursday night preseason game on ESPN, the announcing crew of Jon Gruden, Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski intimated that Marc Bulger didn't really seem thrilled about his life as an NFL quarterback.

Okay, "intimated" might not be a strong enough word -- they referred to him as "defeated" (Tirico) and a guy who lacked "the passion, the enthusiasm you have to play at this level" (Jaworski). Pretty strong words, even for a guy who got the tar beat out of him his final years in St. Louis.

Over the weekend, Bulger refuted those comments , or at least what they portrayed about his attitude towards football now that he's with the Ravens.

"If that's the way (they interpreted it), that's really not the way I was intending," Bulger said. "They asked me a lot about my time with the Rams, and the last three years were difficult. So I was just being honest with them, and I just said that it's not a lot of fun winning five games in three years, and it's not fun going to work, and football wasn't fun.

"But it had nothing to do with passion. I asked for my release this year to go and win somewhere, and they asked me if this was a stepping stone to go somewhere else. I just said, 'I don't know what I'm going to do after this year.' I'm just being honest."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh came to Bulger's defense too:

"I see nothing but an energetic, competitive guy who loves football," Harbaugh said. "This guy has come out here every single day, and he's gotten after it. ... He's done a great job."

There's no debating that Bulger's last few years with the Rams were "difficult" -- the team went 5-30 while he was starting, which isn't even good to register a reading on the mediocre scale.

But as Gregg Rosenthal mentioned when originally posting the quotes at PFT, it's not like Bulger has done anything with his play on the field to absolutely warrant a refutation of those remarks.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com