Last night Big Kev floated some info my way about my favorite radio/TV host, Tony Kornheiser, going to Monday Night Football next season when ESPN takes it over. I had not heard anything about it, but I knew that Mr. Tony was second behind Dennis Miller the last time MNF went through a similar process. Well, I arrive at work and per usual I begin my day with the Tony Kornheiser Show on Sportstalk 980. He begins the show talking about this possible move to MNF.
He said that he would love to just “blog and go to sleep at the half,” but he sounds like he would definitely be interested in the job if offered. He said this even though he “hasn’t seen a MNF game in 20 years,” because he goes to sleep at 9 PM Eastern time. He basically “doesn’t want to fly and wants to sleep.” He talked about how he had done some cool things in his life, like the Listen Up show and said he would be happy to do the MNF gig for “big parka that says Tony on the back,” but his agent would have something to say about that. He said he “has no confidence he would be good, but he would not be horrible and somewhere in between.”
Here is the main problem for Mr. Tony if he says yes to MNF. He does not fly. He would have to pull a John Madden and travel the country in a bus. He said he would travel in a bus and that on a trip cross country to Seattle, he would “put a gun to the driver’s head and say get me on a plane,” because he would go crazy on the road that long. He said he would travel with “extensive amounts of drugs,” to help him battle his fear of flying.
He said he was “incredibly lucky” and had an “embarrassment of riches” in his life. He can’t believe he gets these offers because he does not have a “TV face.” He was asked if he was afraid of overexposure and he said no because he “has already done everything he wanted to do,” and if he had to give up anything be it radio, newspaper, or TV time he knows “it would not be forever.”
I have linked in the title an article in the Washington Post about this same subject and it is very interesting. Here are some highlights.
Al Michaels is under contract to ESPN/ABC to do the MNF games but he wants to be let out of his contract to go to NBC to do the new Sunday night games with his buddy John Madden. Here is how it is going down. If Michaels is let go, Mike Tirico takes his place and Joe Theismann and Mr. Tony will be the color guys. If Michaels stays, then only Theismann will be a color guy.
ESPN is not the only entity after Mr. Tony; apparently both XM and Sirius satellite radio are after him to do a daily sports talk show specifically for them.
Here is another little tidbit gleaned from the article in the Post. Mr. Tony makes $900,000 a year for PTI alone. The MNF gig would reportedly double that.
Here is my take. I am more worried about Mr. Tony going to Sirius than anything because I do not believe this will affect PTI and I feel I will be able to hear him on radio no matter where he ends up, except for Sirius. I think he would make MNF fun and interesting and I would definitely watch the games, even the bad ones. I picture him being a Charles Barkley type that will tell you the game is terrible if the game is terrible and may not be one to tow the company line or be a yes man. Those of us who were fans of Mr. Tony on ESPN Radio will remember he was sent on "vacation" a few times for criticizing ESPN and management. I am rooting for him because I cannot get enough of that “fat, orange, and bald” dope.