Last August, ESPN officially announced that Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick would be their new Monday Night Football booth, replacing the 2019 booth of Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland. Most reviews of that booth were fair to solid even from the start, making it seem like that grouping would get at least another year together unless something unexpected happened in the offseason. And nothing unexpected has yet happened, and Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reported Friday that ESPN is going to continue with the Levy/Griese/Riddick booth in 2021:
NEWS: The team of Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick will return to Monday Night Football this fall for ESPN. They will be the broadcast booth again for the 2021 NFL season.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) April 23, 2021
The Levy/Griese/Riddick booth finished with a 2.51/4 in our fan-voted rankings at the end of last season, placing them eighth out of 15 national NFL TV booths. Their most common grade was a B, with that grade receiving 42.75 percent of the votes. While that’s middle of the pack, it’s a big jump forward from where ESPN was; their 2019 MNF booth of Tessitore and McFarland drew a 1.29/4 with a most common grade of F (33.35 percent of votes) and placed 14 out of 14 ranked booths, and their 2018 booth of Tessitore, McFarland. and Jason Witten did even more poorly in those standings, averaging a 1.08 with 37.49 percent F votes and placing 15 out of 15 booths.
Meanwhile, the 2.51 isn’t up to where voters put ESPN’s old booth of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden (2.77 in 2014, fifth of 15), but it’s not far off. And while those rankings are just from our fan-voted poll and aren’t the definitive line on what networks will do with booths, the 2.51 for Levy/Griese/Riddick last year and common B grade seems to be pretty close to the general tenor of discussion around them. So it absolutely makes sense for ESPN to keep them together, especially as chemistry’s often key to good booth pairings. With a year under their belt together, and with hopefully a more normal season coming this year, there would seem to be room for this team to grow.
[Richard Deitsch on Twitter]