The San Francisco 49ers will play the Buffalo Bills on Monday night football in Week 13 later this season. Even though the Niners are only on ESPN once this year, that doesn’t mean we still won’t watch Monday Night football. According to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic, ESPN has decided to change it’s play-by-play announcer and color commentator. Deitsch said, “Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland will not return. The successors will be internal. No decision has been made yet Both Tessitore and McFarland will remain in prominent roles at ESPN.”
Tessitore and McFarland originally joined Monday Night Football in 2018, after Sean McDonough and Jon Gruden left the booth — the latter of the two to take over the head coaching position with the now-Las Vegas Raiders. Their replacements did not last long, however, and will now be replaced once again.
As Deitsch noted, no decision about replacements has been made even though two popular candidates are apparently out of the running: Peyton Manning turned down an offer earlier this year, shortly after Tony Romo signed a new deal with CBS. This shakeup has been in the works since the regular season ended. Tessitore wasn’t bad, but I understand wanting completely new voices. Kurt Warner or Louis Riddick seems to be popular choices. As long as it’s not Dan Orlovsky, it’s a win. It doesn’t take long to realize Orlovsky is the type that will keep digging his heels deeper and deeper, even if wrong, on certain takes he has.
The Monday night football schedule, after Week 1, has a lot of fun games on the schedule, so ESPN is probably feeling a lot of pressure to nail the new commentators. With COVID-19, those might be the only two voices we hear, considering fans might not be allowed to go to games early in the year. I have no issue putting the TV on mute, but some people rely on the commentary. Don’t mess this up, ESPN.