Wednesday, February 08, 2006

AL MICHAELS LEAVES ABC

Well, it's official. Al Michaels is out at Monday Night Football. It's going to be Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser and Joe Theismann doing the games over at ESPN next year, with Suzy Kolber and Michele Tafoya on the sidelines. And Michaels is now free and clear to join NBC and his good buddy John Madden on the Sunday Night football telecasts.

I thought it was interesting that Michaels and Madden didn't make a big production out of the Super Bowl being their last game together or any of that, even though Michaels had said before he was going to do the games for ESPN. That was as big an indication as any that something was brewing. The reason Michaels is leaving is said to be that he didn't like the direction Monday Night Football was going, or something to that effect. It looked like ESPN was going to turn the former ABC production into something second-rate--- like what the Sunday games used to be for years on ESPN. You were guaranteed to see every crappy team in the NFL play football on Sunday nights for years on ESPN and it looked like the NFL was going to turn Mondays into a similar wasteland.

And I was wrong when I said Super Bowl XL was the last game of the current TV deal. The actual last game is next week: the Pro Bowl in Honolulu on ESPN. But who cares about the Pro Bowl.

Incidentally, those of you who missed the big Super Bowl commercials that were shown in the United States--- those ads which, unfortunately, were edited out in Canada by Global TV to make room for Cheryl Hickey ET Canada promos--- can see them here.

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