MNF's new team does not want to make this list
"Monday Night Football" (MNF) will return this fall with a new broadcasting team season of Steve Levy doing play-by-play and Brian Griese and Louis Riddick handling color commentary. On paper, this seems like a good move, but we won't know until the first broadcast. Regardless, the one thing this trio don't want to do is join this list, the five worst broadcasting teams in MNF history.
5. Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, and Alex Karras (1974-76)
When Don Meredith left in 1974 for a broadcasting gig at NBC, former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Fred Williamson was brought in to replace him. In the preseason, Williamson showed that he didn't have the chops to do the biggest game of the week, and ABC hired Karas, the former Detroit Lions defensive tackle, for the regular season. Karras was focused on his acting career and never really found his groove as a broadcaster. And he wasn't Meredith, who came back in 1977.
4. Booger McFarland and Joe Tessitore (2019)
Last season's pared-down team of the former NFL defensive tackle and Tessitore was widely considered quite milquetoast and was scrapped after one season.
3. Jason Witten, Booger McFarland, and Joe Tessitore (2018)
Jon Gruden left the MNF booth to return to coach the Oakland Raiders, and the recently retired Witten was brought in to replace him on a new team of McFarland and Tessitore. Witten was so uncomfortable broadcasting that he quit after one season and returned to play for the Dallas Cowboys.
2. Al Michaels, Dan Fouts, and Dennis Miller (2000-01)
ABC shook up its broadcasting team by bringing in Fouts, the former San Diego Chargers quarterback, and comedian Miller for color commentary. It simply did not work. Fouts was polarizing and Miller's "Weekend Update"-style rants and observations didn't jibe with the game or went over viewers' heads to the point where the network had to create a page dedicated to explaining his pop culture and historical references. ABC dropped Fouts and Miller after two seasons and brought in John Madden.
1. Frank Gifford, O.J. Simpson, and Joe Namath (1985)
After Don Meredith retired in 1984, ABC brought in "Broadway Joe" to deliver the brash commentary that made him pro football's first rock star. The only problem was that Namath was a 42-year-old family man who wasn't interested in regressing back to his 20s. While admirable, it did not make for great television. As for Simpson, check out this clip of Namath discussing him with Howard Stern. ABC replaced both of them after one season.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.