It was reported late Friday night that Joe Tessitore will replace Sean McDonough as ESPN’s voice of “Monday Night Football,” and while Tessitore’s move has yet to be confirmed, the other has.
ESPN has announced that McDonough has signed a multi-year deal to return to college football. He will call “high profile national” games each week, a College Football Playoff semifinal, the CFP title game on ESPN radio as well as college basketball and The Masters Par 3 contest. Tessitore has called the CFP semifinal that Chris Fowler has not ever since Brad Nessler left for two years ago, so the assignment all but confirms Tessitore will either be demoted (highly unlikely) or he will indeed take over “MNF.”
“Sean is so well-respected at ESPN and throughout our industry and we look forward to his return to college football where he will be a signature voice on many of our biggest games, including the College Football Playoff,” ESPN vice president Stephanie Druley said in a statement. “Sean is a highly-skilled broadcaster who brings great passion, energy and work ethic to every game he calls. In addition to his premier play-by-play skills, Sean excels at storytelling and setting the scene for the emotion and pageantry of college football, which are such integral parts of our presentation.”
The move will be marked elsewhere as a demotion for McDonough, and in the announcing world it probably is. “Monday Night Football” is ESPN’s most valuable property, bar none.
But in reality, this is a gift for McDonough. To be the “MNF” play-by-play man is to try to make a 23-10 snoozefest between the 6-3 Chiefs and the 3-6 Jets seem exciting. To be a college football announcer is to allow McDonough to do what he does best.
Welcome home, Sean.