After all the praise in the morning papers (and here) about Tony Kornheiser's debut on "Monday Night Football" last night, it was inevitable that dissenting views would come out too ... and that Kornheiser would react to criticism in his typically cranky manner.
The most vocal critic before last night was Mike Golic, who complained that Kornheiser wasn't a former player, because that has done wonders for, say, Joe Morgan. But more noteworthy today is the soon-to-be-infamous Paul Farhi review in Kornheiser's Washington Post, which said Kornheiser "mostly spluttered" and advised him to get a tan. Kornheiser, on Dan Patrick's radio show today, fired back by mentioning that Golic should be "hung on a meat hook" and absolutely hammeringFarhi.
But they're not the only ones wary of Kornheiser: The Big Lead quotes an industry insider who thinks this could end in disaster and says TV professionals think he tanked badly:
Tony has spent the last 10 years on radio and TV railing about how he doesn't pay attention to sports, and how he's in bed at 9 pm. But as a sports personality who is going to be calling a 3-hour game, you better be passionate as hell, because people need to feel it on TV. It doesn't seem like Tony has a passion for football. It sure wasn't there last night. Dennis Miller didn't have it either. This might be worse than Dennis Miller.
To be fair, we think it would be physically impossible to be less "passionate" than Mike Tirico last night and, after all, it was a preseason game. But the professional-TV-people-hating-Kornheiser angle is a fascinating one, and one well worth keeping an eye on.
The TV Folks Aren't Impressed With Kornheiser's MNF Debut [The Big Lead]
(Almost) Everybody Loves Kornheiser [Deadspin]
(UPDATE: On "Pardon The Interruption" just now, after the intro (in which Wilbon gave Kornheiser a C+), Kornheiser said "You try broadcasting a football game with Theismann's hand on your thigh!"
Ha. Yeah, we think he's gonna be JUST fine.)