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What I Learned – ESPN Monday Night Football: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit option

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1. Is there any chance ESPN would shift Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit from college football to Monday Night Football?I discussed that possibility with author, reporter and podcast host James Andrew Miller on the latest SI Media Podcast.I asked Miller, who literally wrote the book on ESPN, what’s next for ESPN when it comes to the Monday Night Football booth after the network was once again spurned by Peyton Manning.”First of all, I don’t know how many more times Peyton can say no,” said Miller. “The guy does not want to be in the booth. The guy thought about being in the booth and then, all of a sudden, we had the situation at CBS where Tony Romo is the boy wonder. Who the hell wants to be compared to that?”Miller continued, “There are a lot of issues for Peyton on something like that. To tell you the truth, the idea that he would go, ‘Well, it might be Tony Romo money.’ That’s like a Papa John’s commercial that Peyton would do. ‘I think I’ll work non-stop for 20 weeks and drive myself crazy with preparation and be compared to Tony Romo.’ “Peyton is just not in that part of his career. He doesn’t need it and there’s not a lot of upside, particularly when you realize you have to worry about the production issues ESPN may have, the schedule issues they have.”So then what for ESPN and Monday Night Football?”I think that they have to start understanding what they can do internally,” Miller said. “I think the big, big question that’s always been there is, do they want to rob Peter to pay Paul? Do they want to mess around with the Chris Fowler-Kirk Herbstreit dynamic on college football? ESPN spent more than $25 billion securing college football rights. They spent $15.3 billion on the last NFL contract. They’ve spent more on college football. The national championship, they’ve spent a ton on. That’s one of the biggest questions they face. Then there are all these other possibilities.”They’re past Plan A, which was Tony. They’re past Plan B, which was Peyton. So do they miraculously hold on for another year with the current team or do they patch something together for a while?”I don’t see how it makes sense for ESPN to hurt their extremely strong college football product by shifting Fowler and Hebstreit to MNF. But ESPN has to try to make the NFL happy with its MNF booth and Fowler and Herbsteit would accomplish that. Plus, ESPN’s roster of solid college football play-by-play people and analysts is extremely deep, so that could add to the temptation of moving Fowler and Herbstreit.You can listen to the full podcast with Miller below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.The first half of the show features the ESPN-Monday Night Football discussion. In the second half, we evaluated Season 10 of Curb Your Enthusiasm and discussed the season finale.2. If you read Traina Thoughts, you know that one of my favorite people in the world is Chris Long. If you read Traina Thoughts on Wednesday, you know that I’m currently obsessed with Tiger King on Netflix. So I virtually bow down to the alter of Chris Long after seeing this photo.3. If the NHL ever comes back, every single person in the world should root against the Boston Bruins as much as humanly possible. The team announced on Twitter that there would be massive layoffs and pay cuts for people who work in the organization. Via the press release: “Effective April 1, 2020, 68 of our full-time salaried associates will be placed on temporary leave, receiving one week of paid leave and eight weeks of full benefits.”But here’s the kicker: Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs is worth $3.1 BILLION.Disgusting.4. Today was supposed to be Opening Day in Major League Baseball. It seems everyone has a special Opening Day story or memory. Here is mine.I attended Yankees Opening Day in 1996. The game against the Royals was played in basically a blizzard and Andy Pettitte dominated.Back then, teams were actually nice to fans and not trying to suck every penny out of them, so the Yankees rewarded fans who sat in the stands and froze with free tickets to a future game. The team gave fans three choices of games to choose from. I picked a May game against the Mariners with the thinking that I wanted see Ken Griffey Jr.Between Opening Day and that May game, though, I planned a baseball stadium road trip with a few of my friends. I would have to miss the Mariners-Yankees game because I was going to be in Cincinnati to watch a Rockies-Reds game.It turns out, while I was at Riverfront Stadium, the game I should’ve been attending in the Bronx, was Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter.And for the icing on the cake, I had bet the over 8.5 runs in the Rockies-Reds game and the final score was 5-3.5. If you’re on Twitter today, you know that “Triscuit” has been trending because one user told the tale of how the delicious cracker got its name.6. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Tony was the mob boss, but Carmela could get the job done when she need to.7. SPORTS HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: This was another Yankees game I attended. This moonshot by Barry Bonds remains the longest home run I’ve ever seen in person.Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram

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