Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pardon the split screen

So Tony Kornheiser is going to be the third man in ESPN's "Monday Night Football" booth, huh? Not a bad idea. This is the hiring ABC should've made instead of Dennis Miller; Tony's funny, but he also knows sports and doesn't feel a need to prove he's hipper than the room.

But here's my concern: Tony is deathly afraid to fly, so, like John Madden, he's going to travel to and from the games by bus. That works fine for Madden, who has a once-a-week gig, but Tony has a little five-day-a-week show I like to call "Pardon the Interruption." ESPN has already said that Wilbon will fly to the site of that week's game so the Monday show can feature the two of them in person. But if the game's in San Francisco, or Seattle, or Arizona, no way Tony's going to be back in D.C. in time for the Tuesday show, or maybe the Wednesday one. (Depends on whether the Korn-Crusier has more than one driver so it can travel all day and night.)

An ESPN publicist told me that they're still ironing out the details, and if Tony's not back to the studio in time for a show, they'll try to stop at some TV station along the road and do a split-screened show. Makes logistical sense, but anyone who watches "PTI" every day (it and "The Daily Show" are my only daily fixes) knows that the show is never as good when Tony and Wilbon aren't in the studio together. (Though that's still better than a guest appearance by Dan LeBatard.) If they're going to be regularly separated during football season because Tony's on a bus passing through Eau Claire or Tulsa, "PTI" is going to suffer. And because I can't stand the sound of Joe Theisman's voice, I care a hell of a lot more about what's going to happen to "PTI" than I do about the new Monday night team.


Anonymous said...

I only got Tivo in October, and one of the first things I did was put PTI in the season pass. One of the best sports shows on tv-- no more "Sport Reporters" for me. When I heard about this news with Tony K, thought the same thing-- what will happen to PTI? As a west-coast fan, it's hard to find others who see it, especially since it comes on at 230!

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