When your favorite football team plays on television, you are pretty much stuck with the announcers that have been scheduled for the game. For nationally televised games, you know exactly who and what you’re going to get. Last evening was the first opportunity for Steeler Nation to “enjoy” Monday Night Football this season with Sean McDonough and Jon Gruden and it started poorly and only got worse.
First of all, for such a successful NFL Head Coach, Gruden can’t remember how to say or pronounce a name for his life. He’s already into ‘John Madden mode’ years before Madden himself reached this. “JoJo Shuster? Randall Gay? Antonio Bryant?” How many names were you going to butcher? Oddly enough, he nor McDonough had a problem saying the name “Vontaze Burfict” now did they? I have no clue as to why Gruden was making such a concerted effort to rehabilitate Burfict’s image but he couldn’t stop gushing about him. It was Tom Brady-level gushing and that’s saying something.
I seriously can't tell if Jon Gruden has any idea of the particulars of Vontaze Burfict's NFL career. Coach has had a really strange game.
— Dan Hanzus (@DanHanzus) December 5, 2017
Gruden calls that "bad for the game" after spending the entire game praising Vontaze Burfict. pic.twitter.com/buGZvuQLQK
— SteelCityBlitz (@SCBlitz) December 5, 2017
Come on Gruden "I'd get season tickets to watch Vontaze Burfict play." Quit glorifying this a–hole.
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) December 5, 2017
While I give great credit to both Gruden and especially McDonough for calling out very questionable officiating, their grandstanding about the violence and physicality of the game was over the top. Their job is to inform and to call the game. The occasional opinion is warranted and part of the job. But McDonough’s soapbox diatribe went on way too long. It got to the point where all I could think of was Bob Costas lecturing the nation about gun violence.
Game has been poorly officiated and poorly framed by McDonough. Football is a dangerous collision sport. McDonough needs to call baseball.
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) December 5, 2017
I can't listen to anymore of this whining from McDonough and Gruden.
— Jeff (@wstrojan) December 5, 2017
What was also disturbing about these two was their bias. Both waxed on and on about the egregious hit by JuJu Smith-Schuster but they hardly said a word about George Iloka’s spearing of Antonio Brown in the back of the end zone. There was also the issue of the holding call against T.J. Watt. Both thought the call was “really shaky” yet made no such comments when the shoe was on the other foot.
I don’t normally waste my time commenting on the commentators so you have a pretty good idea of just how poorly I think they were last night. Much like officials are not supposed to be a part of the game nor are the announcers. These two didn’t get the message though.
Photo courtesy: espn