When I woke up this morning, I turned on Sunday NFL Countdown on ESPN to get my football fix for the day since I knew I would miss out on watching the Colts game due to rehearsal. For the most part, I like the Sunday NFL Countdown broadcast. Chris Berman can be a little much, but Tom Jackson is good, Mike Ditka is entertaining and adds good points, and Ron Jaworski is the best football analyst on TV. I watch mostly to see Jaworski break down tape. I learn something every time. However, Michael Irvin is slowly destroying this program and it's becoming obvious that the rest of his colleagues on the set agree with me. I've noticed it before, but never quite as much as I did today.
Michael Irvin interviewed Terrell Owens on today's broadcast and basically coddled him through the entire thing. He sat there and let Owens trash Cowboy's coach Bill Parcells and basically call out his teammates on leaking his mistakes to the media. Irvin even let Owens wonder aloud why the media blows every little thing he does wrong completely out of proportion. Irvin merely nods and then asks quietly, "Is it because you're T.O.?" To which Owens responds, "Yeah, it must be."
What?! Are you telling me that neither of these guys know why the media puts Owens under a microscope? Have they both conveniently forgotten that he bitched and moaned and trashed his QB in San Francisco and demanded to be traded. Once the 49ers worked out a trade, he then refused to play for the team he was traded to (Baltimore) and went to Philadelphia instead. He then had a one good season and began trashing his QB in Philly and got himself suspended for the season by the Eagles. Then he went to Dallas, caused trouble for not practicing and, more famously, for an accidental overdose that put him in the hospital. This guy has a track record of being a HUGE ASSHOLE. Of course, T.O. doesn't realize this because he's the only person on the planet he cares about and Michael Irvin is one of his best friends, and he's certainly not going to call him out.
After the interview ran, the mood had obviously changed on the set of Sunday NFL Countdown. Berman pointed out some inconsistencies in Owens statements and Irvin tried to defend Owens. The rest of the broadcast team was obviously annoyed by Irvin's lame defenses. Tom Jackson then proceeds to rightly rip Owens for being a terrible teammate and for admitting that he's not "into it" on the field because of the way he is treated. Irvin defends him again. Ditka then takes Owens to task. Irvin defends him. Jaworski takes Owens to task. Irvin defends him and begins to look a little sheepish about it. You know, like the look you get on your face when you are defending a friend who is in the wrong. Normally, that is honorable, but Irvin is a broadcaster who can't let his personal friendships get in the way of his reporting. This was obviously the case today.
The high point (or low point) came while Irvin was defending something Owens said and they camera cut to Tom Jackson looking annoyed and disgusted. When they pulled back, you could see that Ditka, Berman and Jaworski were all visibly annoyed with Irvin. The mood in the studio was awkward.
It's time to can Irvin. He's not doing his job and his fellow broadcasters know it and are starting to show it.