I’ve never been a big fan of Mike Tirico’s work, but I have to admit that a recent decision by the NFL regarding who broadcasts their games gave the Syracuse grad a lot of garden hose up his keister, without benefit of lubricant.
CBS and NBC are splitting the series of Thursday night games this season and next. CBS will simulcast the first five games with the NFL Network, then do three games on NFLN. The second half of the games goes to NBC, three strictly on NFLN, then the remaining five simulcast on NBC. If your local team has a game on NFLN only, it will be simulcast on a local station in your market. Got all of that?
Four months ago, Tirico, who had called Monday night games for ESPN going back to when they received the package from ABC, was hired by the Peacock to spell Al Michaels for the Thursday night games they had the rights to. Al turns 72 in November, and is actually older now than when Howard Cosell was terminated for ABC in 1985 at the age of 67.
It would make sense to lighten Al’s workload right? But no! (The author says in a Cosell impersonation.) The NFL reportedly vetoed Tirico doing the TNF games with Cris “Turkey Neck” Collinsworth (that’s my nickname for him anyways, been calling him that since he was a Florida Gator back in the early 1980’s), and thus wants Brother Al doing the whole kit and caboodle, citing that CBS uses their “A” team of Jim Nantz (57 years old) and Phil Simms for their package.
Just one of those “jerky” things the NFL does, I guess. No wonder why some fans think they’ve become the “evil empire” these days.