Jaworski in, Theissman out on MNF

ESPN made a change in their Monday Night Football broadcast team today by announcing that Ron Jaworski will replace Joe Theismann in the booth for next season.

Norby Williamson, who serves as executive vice president, studio and remote production for ESPN made the announcement today and said that the network is attempting to retain Theismann in another prominent football role, though he would not comment on what that role might be, if it might be as an analyst on college games or doing studio work similar to what Jaworski was doing previous to this. Williamson was clear, however, that ESPN wishes to retain Theismann in some capacity.

As for questions as to why Theismann is being replaced, there were no answers forthcoming. Williamson insists that they are not unhappy in any way with the performance of the former Redskins quarterback. Several times mention was made of bringing the broadcasts “to the next level.” He said that Jaworski “helps take the broadcasts where they want to go.” Their goal is to have the viewer learn something in the broadcast and that it about the games, the league, the trends and Jaworski helps in those areas. He confirmed that Jaworksi was the only guy he had in mind to replace Theismann.

Jaworski said that he was told of the offer at halftime of a Philadelphia Soul game, the AFL team in which he has a minority ownership stake and serves as team President. He said that he and Theismann have been friends for three decades and that while he hasn’t spoken to him yet, he plans to do so very soon. He also talked about looking forward to working with the Monday Night Football crew, many of whom he has worked extensively before. He noted that he has considered Tony Kornheiser a friend for over a decade now, as he was a frequent guest on Kornheiser’s radio program and also on Pardon The Interuption.

The point was made several times about the focus of the broadcasts being on the games, and that prompted the question about whether the 2nd quarter interviews in the booth with various celebrities would continue. Williamson stated that the interviews will continue, but that the network will perhaps be a little more selection about who gets into the booth.

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FireJoeMorgan takes apart Dan Shaughnessy’s column from this morning, specifically his belief that blogs are for nerds who live in their mom’s basements.

Curt Schilling of course, does have a response to Shaughnessy on 38Pitches.

On the FSN Nothing But Net blog there’s a look at Oden, Durant or…neither.

Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback looks at issues on the table at the NFL annual meetings this week.

The Globe and the Herald are both at the NFL meetings, and Mike Reiss has Bob Kraft’s Q&A session with the media and John Tomase had things seen and heard thus far.

Sports Media Journal offers their thoughts on the WEEI lineup.

The blog Shea Faithful has an interview with Bill James.

Bill Simmons looks at the rebirth of the NCAA tournament this year.

Jeff Gordon on FoxSports.com debuts a weekly sports planner, with storylines to watch in the world of sports for this week.

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Tonight

7:00pm, ESPN – NCAA Women’s Regional Final
7:00pm, Versus – Ducks @ Red Wings
7:00pm, ESPN2 – AFL – Dallas Desperados @ Orlando Predators
7:30pm, FSN – Raptors @ Celtics
9:00pm, ESPN – NCAA Women’s Regional Final