With the departure of the sentient Chucky doll known as Jon Gruden, ESPN decided to give Monday Night Football a complete makeover. The MNF team now consists of play-by-play by Joe Tessitore, analysts by Jason Witten and Booger McFarland, and sideline reporter Lisa Salters. So far the biggest letdown has been Jason Witten. He's very stiff on camera and just doesn't bring the interesting insight to the game that many were hoping he would. Sometimes the guy just yells out old, pop culture phrases like, "How do you like them apples" that have zero connection to what's actually happening on the field. Just watch at how Joe Tessitore becomes less and less interested in what Wooden Witten is rambling about.
I also don't know who had the genius idea of strapping Booger McFarland to a moving sideline camera, but thank you for this. Watching a grown man strapped to a sideline camera get jostled around while trying to give serious football analysis is pure comedy.
But the worst thing about watching MNF on the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network is the MNF Halftime Show presented "commercial free" by Genesis. I put commercial free in quotations because the entire show is actually a really bad Genesis commercial. We get one minute of actual football talk with zero highlights, a bunch of shots of a Genesis car driving around, and then a 4 minute music video. You can watch the music video below, but fair warning, it might give you cancer.
Black and white footage of 30 people in an empty parking lot with plastic cups listening to an overproduced pop song isn't a halftime show. Of course the people over at Genesis think this was a great idea, but they also thought trying to sell people a luxury version of a Hyundai with a logo that looks like it was designed by the guy who makes all the AutoZone car accessories was a good idea.
To turn the knife even more, in week 2 ESPN decided not to air ANY of the Brian Urlacher Hall of Fame Ring Ceremony. Instead they elected to show shots of a Genesis driving around Chicago. I've embedded the ring ceremony below because I know a lot of football fans missed it.
That Urlacher video was made by the Chicago Bears with a fraction of the budget that ESPN has. ESPN would never do that if it were an offensive player or head coach. I know this because last night they showed all of Tony Dungy's ring of honor ceremony and apologized for not showing Urlacher's.
Apology not accepted ESPN. You took MNF and made is as disappointing and sad as it could ever be. Genesis, if someone drove up outside my apartment and just gave me one of your 4th string luxury cars, I would get in and drive it straight into Lake Michigan.