You know how people say “too much of a good thing is a bad thing?” That doesn’t work the other way around, and too much of a bad thing is doesn’t make it suddenly palatable. Even though the Monday Night Football crew of Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, and Booger McFarland has been panned by fans and media alike, ESPN is making them a part of their College Football Playoff National Championship MegaCast, replacing one of the more popular broadcast feeds this year.

ESPN hasn’t revealed their full CFP National Championship MegaCast lineup yet, but according to Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand, the MNF Film Room will consist of Tessitore, Witten, and McFarland, along with Todd McShay, and will be shown on ESPNEWS. That doesn’t sound all that awful, given the litany of different broadcast options in the MegaCast each year.

But the problem comes with the second half of Ourand’s report. The MNF Film Room won’t be another MegaCast broadcast feed…it will be a replacement for the incredibly popular Coaches Film Room broadcast feed, which features college coaches breaking down the game as it occurs. This year, ESPN had a total of eight coaches (four for each game) in the Film Room for the CFP semifinals, including former ESPN NFL analyst Herm Edwards.

The replies to Ourand’s tweet with the news were overwhelmingly negative, as one would probably expect given the vicious

This is speculation, but I imagine ESPN made this decision in order to put the MNF crew in a situation with far less pressure, allowing them to relax, show off their personalities, and become more likeable. Given that ESPN can put MegaCast feeds on ESPN+, there’s a chance the Coaches Film Room may be put online, but taking it off linear TV makes that seem far less likely, given the hype that surrounded the broadcast since its debut.

By taking something that was popular and either completely axing it or putting it behind a paywall, and replacing it with a telecast consisting of widely-disliked broadcasters, ESPN is setting itself up for failure. If this was an attempt to make the MNF crew more likable, it may backfire and viewers could blame the lack of a Coaches Film Room on the MNF on-air talent, which isn’t going to do any favors for their popularity going into the 2019 NFL season.

[Sports Business Daily]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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