There is a lot of speculation as to who will meet Monday Night Football cabin this year. After ESPN decided to move in with Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland, but names like Peyton Manning came on the scene, it narrowed things down a bit (especially with ESPN deciding to keep things inside).
Now, we have an answer, one of a kind, thanks to Jim Miller, who announced that Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick will be the new crew for ESPN:
Hearing: New stands @NFL_MNF: @espnSteveLevy @briangriese @LRiddickESPN 2nd match @steelers vs @Giants @cbfowler @KirkHerbstreit (If college football season is canceled, this may change)
̵1; james andrew miller (@JimMiller) July 31, 2020
Miller clarified his tweet a bit with a follow-up:
*. @Giants vs @steelers is the first match with @cbfowler &. @KirkHerbstreit
– james andrew miller (@JimMiller) July 31, 2020
Thus, based on this, Fowler and Herbstreit will be calling at least one MNF game, and it will actually be the season debut, Giants vs Steelers at 7:15 PM ET. Then the back half of the Titans-Broncos at 10 PM will be Levy, Griese and Riddick, who is in retrospect of a notable group. Together with Laura Rutledge, the three were caught working as director last year, and Levy and Griese have years of experience together calling college games for ESPN.
Richard Deitsch confirms Miller’s report:
Can confirm @ JimMiller’s excellent spoon:
Louis Riddick will be a football analyst Monday night this fall. Great news for those of us who have appreciated for years his preparation and honesty in the air.
– Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) July 31, 2020
However, the only variable is Miller’s note that college football season that remains at stake could have an impact on the final decision. That would seem to mean that Fowler and Herbstreit could still end up on the MNF stand if they do not have college games to work on this fall. Assigning them to a game makes sense, then, as ESPN can essentially continue to grab a switch and simply keep Fowler and Herbstreit moving forward. And even if they only end one week this year, it could also serve as a useful audition if ESPN decides to change things up again after this season.
Hopefully Louis Riddick will end up on the stand anyway. When the gruesome announcement made a roundtable on who should be on the stand, our Matt Clapp summarized Riddick’s strengths and appeal:
I’ll keep saying it (just like at last year’s roundtable to replace Jason Witten) – just put Louis Riddick on the stand already.
Riddick has a great football mind (and has interviewed for NFL GM positions), and spoils the game extremely well for any level of football fans to appreciate. He is well spoken, and brings enough personality where he will not upset the viewer. He is the safest choice, which should mean a lot to ESPN as how many times they have done this hire job. And it is likely to end up as the best choice, especially if ESPN is only going with in-house options.
So after months of debate, discussion and reporting, we now have our answer: ESPN Monday night’s football team is Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick.