Posts Tagged ‘Mike Tirico’

ESPN’s World Cup coverage has been great. Now they need to do the same for MLS.

June 27, 2010

ESPN’s coverage of the World Cup has been excellent.  Chris Fowler, Mike Tirico, and Bob Ley have done a great job of hosting pre-match, halftime, and post-match shows. Color commentators Alexi Lalas, Steve McManaman, Ruud Gullit, Roberto Martinez, Jurgen Klinsmann and Shaun Bartlett have been spot on. The questions asked by Fowler, Tirico, and Ley shows they have done their homework, and ESPN is treating the World Cup with great respect – of course they have the broadcast rights to it along with ABC.

“Show it and they will come” – just like “Build it and they will come.”

Now ESPN needs to cover MLS more.  There are hour long SportsCenters in which ESPN not only doesn’t show any MLS highlights, but they don’t even mention any scores. Hockey has grown in the U.S. in large part because ESPN covers it so much. They should do the same for soccer, and MLS should try to get a contract with ESPN. If hockey can make it in the U.S., soccer can. A lot more Americans have played soccer than hockey.

Most people under 50 played soccer when they were young.  So there are more people who have played soccer than ever before in the U.S. The sport may never overtake football and basketball in America, but it may overtake hockey and baseball within 30 years.

ESPN should pay more attention to soccer and treat it with respect like Fowler, Tirico, and Ley have. Some of the anchors still joke about it when they show highlights because they think it’s a stupid sport or they don’t like the fact that some of the names of players are foreign-sounding.

ESPN: just cover MLS. You don’t have to do it a lot, just a few minutes each show, and do the occasional feature.  Whoever thinks that a ratio of 20 minutes of baseball highlights to 6 minutes of golf highlights to 0 minutes of soccer is best for the network is flat out wrong.  How about a ratio of 18 minutes of baseball to 6 minutes of golf to 2 minutes of MLS.  At least that’s better than nothing.

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TONY KORNHEISER FIRED AND REPLACED WITH JOHN GRUDEN AS MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ANALYST

May 17, 2009

(I was the first to publish this news, about 12 hours before ESPN formally made the announcement).

By Mike Frandsen

Monday Night Football color commentator Tony Kornheiser was fired yesterday and will be replaced by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach John Gruden for the upcoming 2009 season, an unnamed source told http://www.coachmike.net shortly after midnight this morning. Gruden joins Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski on ESPN’s team.

Kornheiser will reportedly receive a severance package of one million dollars.  Kornheiser, a former sportswriter for the Washington Post, co-hosts “Pardon the Interruption,” a popular nightly sports show on ESPN with Michael Wilbon.

John A. Walsh, Senior VP and Executive Editor of ESPN, reportedly agonized over letting his good friend go.

In my opinion, it’s a good move. While Kornheiser used humor and targeted the casual fan, the switch to Gruden should please most football fans because of his candor and knowledge of the game. Kornheiser too often stated the obvious, and talked to listeners as if they were in kindergarten.

After the 2006 season, color commentator Joe Theismann was replaced in the Monday Night booth by Ron Jaworski.  Rumors circulated that Kornheiser preferred Jaworski.  While Jaworski does an excellent job, Theismann was even better, and here’s hoping that ESPN considers bringing Theismann back to the booth.

Please see my websites: http://www.coachmike.net, http://www.myredskinsblog.com, and www.mikeneedsakidney.com.