The great NFL broadcasting carousel of the 2022 offseason has almost come to a stop, with only Fox’s No. 1 analyst alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt still to be resolved.
ESPN officially announced its new Monday Night Football team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, a seismic move in sports media. Amazon soon followed by introducing the crew for its upcoming Thursday Night Football broadcast, Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit.
And while there wasn’t an official introduction directly from NBC, plenty of outlets — including Deadline, Variety, and the Hollywood Reporter — were given the announcement that Mike Tirico is taking over the Sunday Night Football play-by-play chair alongside incumbent analyst Cris Collinsworth.
The news was a formality, really. It was widely presumed that Tirico would step into that role. It’s essentially why NBC hired Tirico from ESPN, to eventually succeed Michaels on TV’s No. 1 primetime broadcast.
Nonetheless, Collinsworth took the opportunity last week to pay tribute and say goodbye to his longtime broadcast partner with a quick clip of something viewers have come to know and love to begin the SNF telecast: The “Collinsworth Slide.”
“Come slide in here one more time,” said Michaels to Collinsworth, who rolled his chair into frame for the customary two-shot to introduce the telecast and set up the Super Bowl LVI clash between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams.
That was their final broadcast together after 13 years calling NFL games for NBC, the last time Collinsworth would slide over to Michaels on camera.
“It started off as the dumbest thing ever,” Collinsworth explained to Pardon My Take in 2020. “They would put a mark down and say put one leg on either side of the mark… Well, Al opens the show by himself. He’s done it forever. It’s Al Michaels and America in a one-on-one, sort of bonding exercise that he does.
“So in order to do the one-on-one, they said ‘Cris, you gotta get out of the shot.’ I was like, OK, what do you want me to do? You want me to put my legs between the mark on the thing or do you want me in the shot? ‘Well, just lean out.’ Just lean out and give Al some room so he can do his thing… How it became a thing, I have no idea.”
Now, Collinsworth will be sliding over to join Tirico in the frame. Kirk Herbstreit wouldn’t dare try to emulate the slide on Thursday Night Football, would he? Even Michaels might have something to say about that.
Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.