A couple of weeks ago, the world of TV sports got rocked by the unexpected announcement that Mike Tirico would be leaving ESPN for NBC, which meant Monday Night Football would be losing one of its two announcers. With months to go until the first game of the 2016-2017 season, the network has found Tirico’s replacement in longtime employee and seasoned vet Sean McDonough. A football-shaped cake is in order, I’d say.
When Monday Night Football returns to ESPN in September, Sean McDonough will be the guy delivering the play-by-play analysis next to the now-senior announcer Jon Gruden, who provides the color commentary for each telecast. McDonough will be the fifth person to hold that position on the ratings monster, following Keith Jackson, Frank Gifford, Al Michaels and the departing Mike Tirico. But I wouldn’t expect this huge new gig to make McDonough nervous in the slightest, given the qualifications he’d acquired that got him the job in the first place.
The voice behind a plethora of sports broadcasts over the past 34 years, Sean McDonough first joined ESPN from 1989-1995 and returned in 2000. His past work with the NFL isn’t extremely extensive, but still absolutely speaks to his talents; he was the play-by-play announcer for CBS’ NFL broadcasts from 1991-1993 and has been doing the same for ESPN Radio’s NFL games since 2013. He’s got the skills to fill Mike Tirico’s shoes with no problems.
Not that those were the only times he talked football to audiences. McDonough also provided college football analysis for CBS’ telecasts from 1996-1999, ABC’s games from 2000-2003 and from 2009 until now, as well as ESPN’s NCAA games. He’s also done play-by-play for Major League Baseball games for both CBS and ESPN, as well as Boston Red Sox TV. And if all that wasn’t enough, McDonough has also been an announcer for college basketball, college baseball, golf, hockey and lacrosse. And now he’ll be seen by some of the biggest audiences of his career.
Good to see some positive news coming out of ESPN’s corner, as the network has seen several on-air analysts leaving for other jobs recently, as well as some who left because they were fired. Not to mention a recent lawsuit. Here’s hoping things continue on an upward swing in the future.
Monday Night Football will return to ESPN on Monday (dur), September 12, for a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Washington Redskins, followed immediately by the back-to-Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers. Head here to see the entire MNF schedule for the season, and if you’re looking to see what’s coming up in the months prior to football taking over your life, check out our TV premiere schedule.
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