The ratings for Monday Night Football on ESPN continue to rise this month, reaching historic levels in Week 15 as the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. It was a difficult game for fans of “Da Bears” to watch, as the team managed to put up just nine points despite a strong performance from quarterback Justin Fields.
Something else that fans watching the game may have noticed, sans the ManningCast, was the Monday Night Football broadcast booth of Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Reddick. The trio’s game behind the mic was a topic of discussion on ESPN 1000 Chicago Wednesday morning on Kap & J. Hood on their segment “Shot or No Shot.”
“Last night, the Monday Night [Football] crew had a little bit of a rough go at it on the ESPN broadcast,” said Tyler Aki, producer at ESPN 1000 Chicago. “I don’t know what you guys thought of it.”
“My friend Jim Beam and I had no problem with the Monday Night broadcast,” said Jonathan Hood, co-host of the morning drive program. “Jim said it was a fine broadcast… He came over with his wife Coke, and they were together… They were having a good time, and had no problem with the Monday Night [Football] booth.”
The trio of Levy, Griese and Riddick is in its second full season together, and with consistent turnover in NFL front offices, not everyone is so sure that the booth will return as currently constructed next season. The guys on ESPN 1000 Chicago predict Riddick is well-positioned to land a front office job in the near future – potentially with the Chicago Bears, whose current general manager, Ryan Pace, is reportedly on the hot seat.
“If you’re a Bears fan or someone that’s looking for a general manager,” said Hood, “you want two-thirds of that booth to be intact.”
Hood spoke about Riddick’s ability to break down the problems in a front office and put an organization on a path to effectively solve them, reminding him of baseball analyst Steve Stone.
“Steve Stone hypothetically can go to any place and get a GM job, and [the team says] ‘Steve, what’s wrong with the organization?,’ and then an hour-and-a-half [later], he’s still answering the question. For some in front offices, that’s intimidating,” Hood elucidated. “And I think the same thing for Louis… It’s not because he’s telegenic and great on television as an analyst. It’s about him understanding football, [and] understanding [it] in a granular detail that can help an organization.”
Connor McKnight, who hosts pregame and postgame shows for Chicago White Sox baseball on ESPN 1000 Chicago, was on the show Wednesday filling in for co-host David Kaplan, and agreed that Riddick could be an asset to a front office if he were to land a job within one because of his ability to evaluate talent, something apparent from his time in the booth.
“I’m talking about guys who write [about] this league; guys who follow this league, cover it,” explained McKnight. “Riddick has that kind of reputation. I would not be surprised at all [if he came] out of the booth and [went] into that sort of thing. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he’s in a front office come next season.”
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.”