ESPN has announced that Chris Berman will be joined throughout the 2016 NFL season on Monday Night Countdown by a star studded cast of NFL legends. The company shared the news earlier on ESPN Media Zone.
Starting this week, the Monday Night Football pregame (6pm ET) will feature a special guest who will join Berman for the entire two-hour show at ESPN’s Bristol, CT, studios to discuss interesting developments and storylines around the NFL, and to preview the MNF game.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, who led the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl XX victory, and who worked with Berman on ESPN’s Countdown shows from 2004-2015, will be the first guest to participate. He’ll join Berman Monday, September 19th prior to kickoff between the Bears and Eagles.
“Having these football greats in the studio sharing their stories, as well as insights on today’s games will be a dream-come-true for me, more importantly for our viewers,” said Berman. “They forgot more football than the rest of us remember. This will be nothing short of Christmas every Monday night.”
Added Seth Markman, ESPN senior coordinating producer, NFL studio shows: “We have some of the biggest names in the history of pro football coming to Bristol this season to talk football and share stories with Chris Berman. It’s going to be a lot of fun and a great addition to our weekly Monday Night Countdown pregame.”
Upcoming Monday Night Countdown guests include (subject to change):
|Date||Special NFL Legend Guest||MNF Game|
|Sept. 19||Mike DitkaHall of Fame player/coach and Super Bowl champion||Eagles vs. Bears|
|Sept. 26||Michael IrvinDallas Cowboys Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl champion||Falcons vs. Saints|
|Oct. 3||Joe TheismannWashington Redskins Super Bowl champion||Giants vs. Vikings|
|Oct. 10||Dick VermeilSt. Louis Rams Super Bowl champion head coach||Buccaneers vs. Panthers|
|Oct. 17||Joe NamathN.Y. Jets Hall of Famer and Super Bowl champion||Jets vs. Cardinals|
It’s interesting to see Irvin’s name on the list, given his involvement with the NFL Network. Other guests planned for the remainder of the season include Buffalo Bills Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith and Washington Redskins Super Bowl-winning quarterback Doug Williams.
If there’s one move ESPN needs to make to end this series on the right note, it’s to make sure the final broadcast includes Tom Jackson. The two men teamed together for 29 years, and nobody had a stronger on-air bond with Berman than Jackson.