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Charles Barkley: I Was Offered Monday Night Football Gig

“We have no idea when Barkley was offered a Monday Night Football opportunity, or how serious the idea was.”

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Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tony Romo, these are names we’ve heard as potential analysts for Monday Night Football in recent years. And they make sense, because they played in the NFL, they’re experts in the sport. Charles Barkley on Monday Night Football? That doesn’t make sense.

Barkley is synonymous with the NBA. He was a hall-of-fame player and now he’s a hall-of-fame analyst. His analysis is a stretch for the NCAA Tournament, but at least it’s basketball, a sport he knows. 

Joining Hank Azaria’s The Jim Brockmire Podcast as part of Meadowlark Media, Barkley casually mentioned he was once offered the Monday Night Football gig. It came up during an attempt to disparage people’s incessant need to use Twitter as a way of commenting on everything. Recognizing his lane, the hall-of-fame power forward said he knew he wasn’t a fit for the job and didn’t want to pretend to be an expert the way people on Twitter do. 

“These guys…they feel the need to comment on everything that’s happening in the world,” Barkley said of the Twittersphere. “I only comment on basketball. Like, they offered me Monday Night Football, I said, I like football, but I ain’t going to be one of these jackasses to get on TV and act like he knows about football.” 

We have no idea when Barkley was offered a Monday Night Football opportunity, or how serious the idea was. But if the offer was indeed made, it likely came before Monday Night Football’s failed experiment with an analyst who was put on TV to act like he knows about football in Dennis Miller. Miller was hired for Monday Night Football in June 2000, around the same time Barkley joined TNT. 

Are we sure the basketball analyst didn’t just overhear someone from ESPN say they’re looking for football’s version of Charles Barkley?  Magnetizing, brash, polarizing, funny, Barkley has plenty of characteristics ESPN would look for in an NFL analyst, except for his lack of football expertise. But it’s fair to assume ESPN could have been in search of the football version of Charles Barkley.

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Joe Buck: ESPN Is Letting Us Set Tone For Monday Night Football

“It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”

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While Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling football games on Monday nights for ESPN instead of Sunday afternoons for FOX this year, fans shouldn’t expect the broadcasts to be that much different, if at all, than what they’ve been used to over the last 20 years. 

Buck was recently a guest on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast and said that ESPN knows that he and Aikman have to be comfortable in order for Monday Night Football to be a success.

“I know we are in the honeymoon phase. I’m not dumb. That stuff wears off after a while. They are like ‘however you guys have always done a game, that’s the way we want you to do a game whether it’s with regard to meetings vs. conference calls or when you guys show up, how you like the booth set up. However you want it, we are going to do it your way’ and that’s to their credit. It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”

Buck and Aikman are obviously already very familiar with each other. Buck said that it will be important not to take that for granted or second guess what they already know.

“I think the one thing Troy and I have to avoid is trying to be different than we’ve been. They hired us based on what we’ve done and who we are and how we relate to each other and the way we see a game,” said Buck. 

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Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys

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The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.

Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.

But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.

Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:

Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.

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Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”

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USA Today

Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.

The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.

Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.

“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”

Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”

He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.

Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.

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