There has been a lot of speculation about who will fill in Monday night football this year. Once ESPN decided to switch from Joe Tessitor and Booger McFarland, but came across names like Peyton Manning, it narrowed it down a bit (especially when ESPN decided to leave things in its own workshop).
Now we have the answer, thanks in part to Jim Miller, who announced that Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick will be the new ESPN crew:
Hearing: New stand @NFL_MNF: @espnSteveLevy @briangriese @LRiddickESPN Game 2 @steelers vs. @Giants @cbfowler @KirkHerbstreit (If the school football season is canceled, this could change)
̵1; james andrew miller (@ JimMiller) July 31, 2020
Miller clarified his tweet, followed by:
*. @ Giants Vs. @steelers is the first game with @cbfowler &. @KirkHerbstreit
– james andrew miller (@ JimMiller) July 31, 2020
Based on that, Fowler and Herbstreit will call at least one MNF game and it will be a truly seasonal debut, Giants vs. Steelers at 7:15 PM ET. Then at 20:00 there will be half of the Titans-Broncos Levy, Griese and Riddick, which is an obvious group. Together with Laura Rutledge, the three were listened to to work last year with double heads, and Levy and Griese have many years of experience calling together college games for ESPN.
Richard Deitsch confirmed Miller’s report:
Can confirm excellent scoop @JimMiller:
Louis Riddick will be a football analyst Monday night this fall. Great news for those of us who have appreciated its preparation and honesty on the air for years.
– Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) on 31 July 2020
The only variable that remains is Miller’s remark that the remaining threat to the school football season could influence the final decision. It seems that this would mean that Fowler and Herbstreit could still end up at the MNF booth if they didn’t have a game in the fall. Setting them up for one game makes sense, because ESPN can basically still toggle the switch and just keep Fowler and Herbstreit forward. And even if it only ends one week this week, it could also serve as a useful audition if ESPN decides to change things again after this season.
Let’s hope Louis Riddick ends up in the cabin in both directions. As Awful Announcing held a roundtable discussion about who should be at the booth, our Matt Clapp summarized Riddick’s strengths and appeal:
I’ll keep talking (just like last year at the round table about replacing Jason Witten) – just put Louis Riddick in the booth already.
Riddick has an excellent football mind (and talks about NFL GM positions) and distributes the game exceptionally well to be appreciated by any football fan. He speaks well and brings enough personality where the viewer will not be bored. It is the safest choice, which should mean a lot to ESPN after how many times they have participated in this lease. And it would probably be the best choice, especially if ESPN is just an internal option.
After months of debate, discussion and reporting, we now have the answer: On Monday night, ESPN’s football team is Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick.