Well, it’s official. ESPN has now settled on Scott Van Pelt as the new host of their Monday Night Football pregame show, Monday Night Countdown. On Monday, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported that host Van Pelt would be joined on set by Marcus Spears, Ryan Clark and Robert Griffin III
Last month, Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reported “Scott Van Pelt will be getting the Monday Night Countdown job.” Hours later, Deitsch attempted to make that report “clearer” with a follow-up tweet that claimed ESPN wants Van Pelt for the job, but he had not accepted it at the time.
Well, he has officially accepted a new role with the Worldwide Leader, as Deitsch should be given his due for breaking the news nearly a month ago.
In advance of his new and expanded role, ESPN has signed Van Pelt to a new multi-year deal. It’s also notable to see Van Pelt, who recently said “No chance” on if he’d still be hosting SportsCenter in three years (despite ratings success), get a prominent non-SportsCenter gig. This particular gig won’t mark the end of his SportsCenter hosting overall (and it may not even end on Monday nights). But it’s certainly interesting to see him placed in a prominent role beyond SportsCenter. And we’ll see what he does with it.
After each Monday Night Football game, Van Pelt will host the postgame show and SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt from the site of Monday Night Countdown, with Ryan Clark joining him. Spears and Clark will each expand their roles at the network. Prior to Monday Night Countdown each week, Clark and Spears will also be on NFL Live.
The trio of newcomers will join Griffin, senior NFL insider Adam Schefter and features reporter Michelle Beisner-Buck, who will all be returning for another season of Monday Night Countdown. Additionally, Larry Fitzgerald Jr. and Alex Smith will join Monday Night Countdown periodically throughout the season, in continuation of their roles as substitute analysts.
Monday Night Countdown is going to look quite different this year. In addition to laying off Kolber last month, ESPN also parted ways with long-time panelist Steve Young. Griffin is the only returning analyst, as ESPN’s release made no mention of what will happen with Booger McFarland.
ESPN announced Monday that a one-hour preseason edition (7- 8 p.m. ET) of Monday Night Countdown will air in advance of tonight’s Baltimore Ravens-Washington Commanders preseason game.