Play by Play: Al Michaels (Pick #2)
-The true heir to Pat Summerall as the league’s big-game announcer and a message to viewers that I’m serious about building my network as best in class.
Analyst: Mike Mayock (Pick #7)
-After a revolving door of oxygen-sucking analysts (Matt Millen and Joe Theismann), Mayock solidified the NFL Network’s game crew. Yes, he talks a lot during a broadcast but his information and attention to detail is fantastic. He’s also become the premier television NFL draft analyst, which means I can use him in the studio during the NFL offseason.
Play by Play: Mike Tirico (Pick #18)
-I want staffers who can do multiple things and Tirico’s strength is his versatility. Always professional and prepared no matter the assignment, he can be my No. 2 announcer behind Michaels as well as host my studio show if need be.
Analyst: John Madden (Pick #34)
-Wait, what? No, this isn’t a misprint. Madden has worked for Sirius NFL Radio this year so I’m taking the liberty to go way outside-the-box. Here’s why: First, I want some buzz for my network and this move does it. Second, I thought Madden was still a good analyst when he left the booth and I have no doubt he’s good enough to be a No. 2 at a network. So I’ll sign him to a year-by-year deal and if he wants to walk away after one season, I’ll bring in Dan Fouts or Brian Billick. My drafting colleagues aren’t going to like this (probably because they didn’t think of it) but it’s a business, fellas. Still, I’ll be happy to send each of them a free Madden NFL 13.
Host: Trey Wingo (Pick #26)
-I need a studio host and I can’t go wrong with either Wingo, Rich Eisen or Curt Menefee. But I opted for the ESPN-er here because he already has good chemistry with my top studio analyst and I’ve long been impressed with the professionalism he brings to his daily “NFL Live” show.
Analyst #1: Trent Dilfer (Pick #15)
-A thoughtful and well-prepared studio analyst who deserves a higher profile gig. And gets it with the DBC.
Analyst #2: Andrew Brandt (Pick #31)
-I’m done with the yuk fests that we see across the dial on pregame show. I already have Dilfer and I don’t need another ex-coach (loudly) delivering mundane insights or another ex-player (loudly) trying to out-Deion his colleagues on set. Brandt has the bona fides as a former NFL exec and he’ll take my viewers to interesting places with wisdom and insight.
Reporter: Adam Schefter (Pick #10)
-The thirst for NFL news is insatiable and I can use Schefter on my studio show or game broadcast. The pick may have been a little high for a reporter but you can never have enough great content.
Wild Card: Bob Costas (Pick #23)
-There are plenty of talented NFL-specific hosts still available but a great sports network should profile its most memorable subjects with memorable interviews. Thus, I can opt for an agent of the league such as Chris Berman or I can treat my viewers like adults. There is no better interviewer in television than Costas, and that includes news anchors.
We were asked to make an argument why our network is the best but I don’t support the premise. There’s too much professionalism and talent across these groups to make a compelling argument why one grouping is the best. Here’s the selling point for my network: We’ll treat you like an adult football fan. I chose the people I chose because I wanted content providers who broadcast like professionals, report like professionals, and have credibility in the space. It’s a group that works at their craft. It’s a group that cares about football. I know I’d watch them, and hope you will, too.
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