Sports Outside the Beltway

Kornheiser’s First Season on MNF Could Be His Last

One and done for Mr. Tony?

ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser said he has “no plans at the moment” to return to Monday Night Football next season. “At the moment, in my mind, I always thought I signed up for one year,” Kornheiser, in his rookie year on MNF, told NYP TV Sports.

So you don’t think you will be back? “This is the one year,” Kornheiser said. “I have no plans at the moment, but I don’t think anyone should be stunned or shocked or surprised or blow their brains out if I just say, ‘That was fun. Thanks a lot. See ya.”’

When asked if he has had “serious thoughts” about this possible decision, Kornheiser leaned on his self-effacing style that has made him a multi-media success. “No, I haven’t had serious thoughts, I have had random, old-guy musings,” Kornheiser, 58, said.

Kornheiser said he hates the traveling, but he knew he would. What he didn’t anticipate was the amount of preparation it takes each week. “It is a job for me,” said Kornheiser, who will work Monday’s Giants-Cowboys game. “It is work for me.”

While Kornheiser, Mike Tirico and Joe Theismann haven’t been scintillating, MNF has been a huge ratings success for ESPN. This week it beat NBC’s Sunday Night Football – marking the first time a cable network had more households watching in prime time than did a broadcast network on the same NFL weekend.

Via Calvin Watkins. Like his commentators, I’d much rather see Theismann leave than TK, who hasn’t been half bad.

Unfortunately, every MNF trio will be compared to Howard Cossell, Frank Gifford, and Don Meredith. None has stacked up well. Al Michaels and John Madden were, by far, the best post-Cosell combination but the show never regained that sense of watching something unique.

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