Big sports broadcasting news broke Wednesday night with the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand reporting that Troy Aikman is on the verge of signing with ESPN to be their Monday Night Football analyst.
Many may have signed off for the night or stopped checking email and social media when the Aikman news broke. So it was a good topic for Boomer & Gio to begin WFAN’s morning show with Thursday morning.
The NFL broadcasting shuffle and the exorbitant salaries being paid are pertinent topics for Boomer Esiason, who’s part of CBS’s The NFL Today studio show and was the analyst on Monday Night Football for two seasons (1998 through 1999) with Al Michaels.
Did Boomer miss out on the pools of cash Tony Romo and Aikman are now swimming in by doing MNF at the wrong time? Gregg Giannotti teased him about that to begin Thursday’s show.
“That’s gotta make you sick,” said Giannotti. “This is now happening twice. Your playing career and then your broadcasting career, where you just missed the beaucoup bucks.”
Esiason tried to avoid his co-host’s bait.
“It’s really not about me; it’s more about Troy Aikman,” said Esiason. “I stopped doing games.”
“I know; I just like to put myself in your shoes occasionally,” Giannotti responded. “I was doing that yesterday and I said, ‘Listen, Boomer’s done very well for himself. But oh, my goodness! Just missed it, twice now!”
“Well, good for him, man, and good for Tony Romo,” Esiason said graciously. “Like I told you when he got his deal, I’m always happy for guys who get paid. I have no animosity towards any of it. I don’t have any animosity towards the quarterbacks getting paid in today’s game.”
Boomer and Gio went on to question ESPN reportedly preparing to pay Aikman so much money when the alternate “ManningCast” is so popular and drawing viewers away from the traditional MNF telecast. (Although that may be an overblown aspect of paying attention to social media. The “ManningCast” averaged 1.58 million viewers, while the regular MNF broadcast drew 13.5 million. Not to mention that Peyton and Eli do 10 games per season.)
The NFL broadcasting carousel also gave Esiason the opportunity to repeat a rumor he heard about San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch being interested in returning to TV. Lynch denied Esiason’s speculation, saying he’s committed to the 49ers. (Though his use of “right now” left an opening that many will point to.)
But there’s still plenty more to come from Aikman’s reported jump to ESPN. Monday Night Football has the big-name analyst it’s lacked since Jon Gruden returned to NFL coaching. Fox needs to replace Aikman on its No. 1 NFL broadcast team with Joe Buck. And who will Amazon pursue for its Thursday Night Football broadcast now after losing Aikman? What if this means losing Al Michaels too?
Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football
“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”
The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call.
With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.
“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit.
Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about:
As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.
“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”
Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan
“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”
John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.
Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.
“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”
Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.
The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.
“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”
Gregg Giannotti: ‘Drew Brees Isn’t Used To Not Succeeding’
“He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”
What does the future hold for Drew Brees? Andrew Marchand reports that he is set to leave NBC. Brees himself says nothing is decided yet.
On Monday morning, Boomer & Gio discussed why the former quarterback is in this position just one year after making his broadcasting debut. Gregg Giannotti noted that if Brees was brought to NBC with the idea that he would eventually be the top game analyst, the criticism he faced last year and the network’s decision to stick with Cris Collinsworth in the Sunday Night Football booth were likely unexpected blows to his ego.
“That’s a tough spot, man, for him,” Gio said. “The guy’s been beloved his whole career. He did go through a little bit of it when people were all over his ass for saying the wrong thing one time, but here he goes. He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”
Boomer Esiason added that the criticism Drew Brees received for his work in the broadcast booth did not apply to his work on Football Night in America or the Sunday Night Football halftime show.
“He was good in the studio,” Boomer Esiason said. “I saw him in the studio and I liked him.”
Brees prefers calling games to work in the studio. According to Marchand’s report, that is what is at the heart of his potential exit from NBC.
The color commentator role may come with more prestige, but it isn’t easy. Esiason has experience with both positions. He calls games on the radio for Westwood One and has been a staple of CBS’s The NFL Today since 2002.
“Some guys are not meant to be game analysts, that’s all.”