First admission: Tony Kornheiser is a friend of many years. I want him to be wildly successful.
Second admission: I was overwhelmed by the pregame show after show before the "debut" of ESPN Monday Night Football. My fault for trying to watch too much. But it was way too much and I managed not to get to see a whole lot of the game. So specific criticism or praise will have to wait at least a week.
This we know: after watching a National Football League game on NBC on Sunday night and a National Football League game on Monday night on ESPN, we can conclude finally and definitely that Monday Night Football, as we knew and loved it, is dead.
Sunday is a prettified version of the edgy, almost outlaw-ish look and feel of ABC Monday Night Football. Through changes in the broadcast booth, to many more cameras, to a dropoff in ratings, there was always an air of something different when ABC did Monday. Sunday night ain't gonna have that. Too much going on early in the day. Oh, it will be great to watch a Sunday night game and not have to hear Joe Theismann, great that the game starts almost an hour before MNF game always did, and great that the schedule of games is outstanding with the certain exception of that Oakland-Denver stinker October 15. All great, just not MNF.
So that leaves ESPN's NFL game on Monday night with a chance to be Monday Night Football. Right day, wrong idea. The opener felt like some Bizarro-world Super Bowl, lots of things that seemed like they could be the same as a Super Bowl, but a look and a listen and you know it's not. It's only almost as long. And seeing Tony and Mike Wilbon doing PTI in their red, red, red jackets, it seemed like the show was lit by infra-red lamps. (Perhaps designed to grow hair. Sorry, cheap shot.)
After the pump applied to the pregame stuff, you would have thought the game would have a bigger feel to it. What I saw, didn't.
We'll watch some more games to give the ESPN coverage a chance to find its legs. But the Bizarro stuff, uh, uh.