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Zulgad: Why Randy Moss would be perfect fit for “Monday Night Football” booth

By Judd Zulgad

With Jon Gruden leaving “Monday Night Football” for a 10-year, $100 million contract to coach the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders, ESPN officials soon will begin the process of finding his successor.

They shouldn’t have to look too far.

Randy Moss already draws a paycheck from the network and only would need to move from the studio to the booth.

Yes, I’m shocked to be saying this. Moss was a recalcitrant during both of his tenures with the Vikings, and he was about the last guy I expected to end up doing media work. It seemed much more likely that once his playing career was done he would disappear, never to be heard from again.

Only Moss is now in his second season as part of ESPN’s “Sunday Countdown” show after beginning his broadcasting career at Fox. Moss being in the booth, perhaps paired with another analyst, makes a lot of sense.

Moss’ strength on the studio show is reacting off the cuff, but there are only so many chances to do that given the amount of people on the set. This would be different if he was working a game.

Moss also doesn’t seem like the type who would hold back with his opinions and he certainly doesn’t seem like he cares about trying to get a job with any team in the NFL. This is often a drawback – see Gruden’s entire broadcasting career – because anyone who has an eye on someday working in the league again is never going to be as critical or brutally honest as you want.

My guess is Moss wouldn’t be able to help himself and it would be a wonderful thing.

Although it would involve a shakeup to a studio show that ESPN already has remade in recent years, the best move would be to take Moss and Charles Woodson and pair them in the booth with play-by-play man Sean McDonough.

Moss and Woodson already have great chemistry and Woodson would bring smart perspective from his days playing defensive back with Oakland and Green Bay. Moss might have been a jerk to the media during his playing days, but he was a talented and brilliant player and there is little doubt that Moss and Woodson could provide both entertainment and a graduate-level course on the game.

Both things are important and given the MNF schedule ESPN is given these days hearing Moss and Woodson tell stories from their playing days would be far more entertaining than focusing on why one bad team is losing to another. The duo actually would be reason to tune in, even if the matchup was bad.

“Monday Night Football” long has served as a place for experimenting in the booth – from Howard Cosell to Dennis Miller – and this would be a good time to do it again. One thing that a Moss-Woodson pairing could do is limit the play-by-play position to almost a new job.

There were plenty of fans who wondered what CBS was doing when it moved Tony Romo onto its top broadcast team (with Jim Nantz) after the Cowboys quarterback retired following the 2016 season. We were convinced Romo wasn’t ready and was going to struggle.

Only he didn’t. Romo was brilliant, often telling viewers exactly what was happening. The beauty early in the season was he often didn’t let Nantz get a word in. This proved Romo wasn’t polished and it was glorious. Here’s the dirty little secret in 2018.

The play-by-play guy doesn’t need to talk much.

Graphics never have been better or more plentiful. Every game is shown in high-definition, a massive game-changer when it comes to sports. But what this means is you don’t need the play-by-play guy to describe everything going on.

What is needed is for the play-by-play announcer to serve as a traffic cop. Get in and out of breaks, do any of the necessary reads, give us any information that can’t be shown on the screen and then get information out of the analyst before getting out of the way.

And if the telecast doesn’t sound completely polished? Who cares.

Moss’ arrival in Minnesota in 1998 made the NFL more fun to watch. I have feeling if ESPN puts him in the booth 20 years later, he would have a similar impact on their telecasts.

The post Zulgad: Why Randy Moss would be perfect fit for “Monday Night Football” booth appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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