Sean McDonough on MNF: ‘Wasn’t a tremendous amount of fun’ of late
Sean McDonough almost appears happy to be leaving “Monday Night Football.” But that did not stop the play-by-play man from bemoaning how things played out on his way out the door, saying it “wasn’t a tremendous amount of fun the last two years.”
Word came down recently that McDonough was out of the “MNF” booth as part of ESPN’s total reboot in the wake of Jon Gruden leaving the network to take the head coaching job with the Oakland Raiders.
McDonough recently mentioned how Gruden’s oversized personality — not to mention ESPN’s focus on maximizing it — became a source of frustration, saying it made him feel like a “bystander.” McDonough also pointed out how the games on the “MNF” schedule weren’t great.
“If you go back and look at the schedule, generally we got one of the worst NFL games each week. You’re trying to make something sound interesting and exciting that isn’t,” McDonough told WEEI in a recent interview, via the New York Post. “For me, part of it was just the way the booth was set up the last two years. It was really geared around Jon Gruden.”
McDonough came under fire for being overly critical of officials during his tenure. The broadcaster believes ESPN should not have paid attention to such criticisms.
“I know there are people within the NFL who probably wish I talked less about the officiating, or whatever it was that rankled them,” McDonough said. “I was assured by people at ESPN as they were considering a reboot that that wasn’t really an issue.
“I’d like to think ESPN would ignore that. When you pay the league $2 billion per year, you ought to be able to pick who your own announcers are.”
All told, it would appear that McDonough is relieved to be headed out the door.
“As much as it was a great honor to be the voice of ‘Monday Night Football’ — and you guys know me well enough, and certainly a lot of my friends and family do — it wasn’t a tremendous amount of fun the last two years,” McDonough said.