Dr. Z rips MNF crew

TStecker

Personal Assistant
Messages
63,161
Likes
3,462
#1
From SI.com-Dr.Z

? STAR
Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser, ESPN

I thought that bringing in Jaws for Joe Theismann would change the whole landscape, even one that included the depressing figure of Tony K., but I was wrong. The seeds of hype, of sloppiness and shallow promotion are too deeply sown.

I love Jaworski's Sunday morning blackboard show with Merrill Hoge. Always have. And I know that Jaws spends a lot of time at NFL Films, getting this baby of his absolutely tip top. But is it possible that someone, with days to prepare, can get things right, but miss out when he's under the gun? It certainly seems that way, because for a guy who knows as much football as Jaworski does, he lets too much get by him in the most crucial game situations.

The two biggest contests he worked in the regular season were both near-upsets that ended dramatically, Dallas-Buffalo and New England-Baltimore. Both had the same climax -- the favored team pulling it out at the end against a defense that had gone passive and allowed itself to get worked over. Surprisingly, none of this registered with Jaworski.

It was especially apparent at the end of the Dallas game, when the Cowboys recovered an onside kick and had only seconds left, and the only place they could work the ball was the short sideline, and yet the Bills didn't defend it. They pulled back and gave the Cowboys the game. Friends of mine were calling, wanting to know what the hell was Buffalo thinking. But all this escaped Jaworski.

And so did the situation at the end of the Patriots-Ravens game, when Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan went passive on his rush, dropping to three on occasion, showed the white feather, in other words. How could a guy doing the game miss this? OK, Tony K. hasn't a clue as to what he's watching anyway, but Jaws should have been on top of it.

Plus so many other dramatic elements, such as the way Baltimore's left guard, Jason Brown, was burying Richard Seymour, or the magnificent game the Ravens' Haloti Ngata was having against the Patriots' best lineman, Logan Mankins. These are the grace notes of a football game, but they're outside the realm of a blackboard guy, such as Jaworski. I have a whole roster of disappointments from an analyst I thought would be knock-em-dead in the booth. These are only examples.

The guests that are brought in are absolute abominations, with poor Tirico valiantly pleading to be allowed to squeeze in a brief mention of what's going on down on the field in between Russell Crowe's yacking about his rugby team, or Drew Carey telling us about his love of Cleveland -- that's the city, not the team. How about Vince Vaughn giving us his whole spiel as the Broncos, down by three, are fighting to send the Packers game into OT? Or Deanna Favre, presenting us with Brett Favre clutter, his "impish qualities," that went, nonstop, from 7:15 left in the first half 'til the two-minute warning?

And in Bristol, the ESPN guys smile at the incredible naivet? of one small voice in New Jersey that doesn't have a clue about how money is made via network TV.

I did, however, see moments when a dim flame seemed to animate Jaworski and lead him to lash out briefly at his broadcast partner. Such as the time when Kornheiser said, in all seriousness, that Jacksonville's QB, Quinn Gray, was so inept that the Jags should run on every down. Or when he insisted that LaDainian Tomlinson was unknown because he played in a small market city. Or when, after the 49ers went for a TD against Seattle and Kornheiser said, "I found that very satisfying," Jaws replied, "That's wonderful, Tony. You got all involved in the game." Maybe someday, as Peter Finch did in the movie, Network, Jaws will open the window, stick his head out and holler, "I can't take it anymore!" One can only hope.

Oops, I've forgotten a team, the one-shot threesome of Mikes, Greenberg, Golic and Ditka, lashed to the mast for an evening of Arizona-San Francisco for ESPN's second game in Week 1. Yes, an honest job. Real football. The booth clear of debris. Call it 3 ? stars.
 

Bill Lehecka

General Zod
Staff member
Messages
34,901
Likes
314
#3
TStecker said:
From SI.com-Dr.Z

? STAR
Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser, ESPN

...

Oops, I've forgotten a team, the one-shot threesome of Mikes, Greenberg, Golic and Ditka, lashed to the mast for an evening of Arizona-San Francisco for ESPN's second game in Week 1. Yes, an honest job. Real football. The booth clear of debris. Call it 3 ? stars.
Obviously Dr. Z and this message board live on two different planes of existence...
 

Harpua

Kornmissioner
Staff member
Messages
43,081
Likes
1,137
#6
Bill Lehecka said:
Obviously Dr. Z and this message board live on two different planes of existence...
Really?  other than the 3.5 stars to Golic and Greenberg (no), I really don't disagree with anything he had to say about the  :icon_mrtony: :icon_jaws: :icon_tirico: team.  His main complaints are with Jaws, who seemed to abdicate his job of breaking down the schemes. 
 

johnfarris

Personal Assistant
Messages
7,777
Likes
63
#7
Anyone who gives the Mikes 3.5 stars, and Baldinger any stars at all really needs to re-evaluate their tastes.
 

sjasper1

Umbrella Person
Messages
658
Likes
0
#10
1/4 Star = Dr. Z's ability to write.

1/8 Star = Dr. Z's ability to pick football games straight up.

1/32 Star = Dr. Z's ability to pick football with the spread.
 
Top