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Monday Night Football Booth: Tony Kornheiser Out, Jon Gruden In

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I wouldn’t have believed it IN A MILLION YEARS, but Jon Gruden will replace Tony Kornheiser in the Monday Night Football booth this fall. From a statement by Gruden issued by ESPN:

“This is a tremendous opportunity and I am very excited to be associated with ESPN and Monday Night Football. I grew up a fan of Monday Night Football, and whether I’ve coached on Monday night or watched, I’ve hardly missed a game all these years.”

Well, if he hasn’t missed a game all these years, he must be at least as qualified as me or anyone else who watches Monday Night Football every week,  right? Not too shabby.

As far as Kornheiser is concerned, no tears should be shed for the Brett Favre-loving, Ron Jaworski-enraging pontificator.

“I am totally grateful for the MNF opportunity that I truly enjoyed the last three seasons,” he said. “I feel we got better each year. My fear of planes is legendary and sadly true. When I looked at the upcoming schedule it was the perfect storm that would’ve frequently moved me from the bus to the air. I kept looking at the schedule the past month and wanted to find a way to quietly extricate myself.”

“If I could handpick a replacement of a football guy, I would cast a net and drag in Jon Gruden. He is the two things you most want — smart and funny — and has the two things I don’t — good hair and a tan. I love PTI and am looking forward to continuing to yammer and yodel with Wilbon until the end of time.”

Personally, I never had a real huge problem with Kornheiser on MNF – at least as much as most people did – but I’m not terribly sad to see him go. I’ve had many a nightmare after seeing Kornheiser in profile during the beginning of broadcasts when he would turn to Tirico and Jaworski. The guy was the embodiment of a perpetual bad-hair day.

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Vaya con Dios, Kornheiser. I’ll still watch you on Pardon the Interruption, right where you have always belonged.

Gruden joins ‘Monday Night Football’ [ESPN]