Mike Tirico served as the voice of Monday Night Football for a decade, and when he announced his departure from ESPN to join NBC, it was widely reported that he’d be serving in the play-by-play role for that network’s new Thursday night NFL package. But that’s not going to happen, because the NFL said no.
That’s according to the Daily News, citing sources:
With that in mind, NBC Sports execs asked their NFL partners if they could use Tirico instead of Michaels on “TNF.” NBC made the case it was bringing in Tirico, a high caliber, high quality yakker, who was the voice of an NFL primetime package for 10 seasons. And it wasn’t like the NFL’s broadcast division wasn’t familiar with Tirico’s work.
Still, the NFL wasn’t impressed, sources said, and nixed the Tirico option.
Al Michaels is 71, and while he wasn’t named as the member of the NBC broadcast team who didn’t want to call Thursday night games, it’s a pretty strong assumption that he’s the one who didn’t want to double his workload. Here’s the NFL’s response, also from the Daily News:
“We like the idea of having the same booth announcers from Sunday night and Sunday afternoon to carry over to Thursday,” Brian McCarthy, the NFL’s VP/Communications, said. “We’re hoping for that same magic ‘Sunday Night Football’ has with Al and Cris to carry over to Thursday night.”
The NFL: never not up in your shit.
Update (4:40 p.m.): The NFL has spoken.