An industry source tells us that Bill Parcells has signed on with ESPN, and that Michael Irvin is out. "It's done," said the source. "Rock solid."Still no official word from The Network, but as I wrote yesterday, Irvin's dismissal couldn't happen soon enough. PFT writes that Irvin is "objectively likeable, but he is gratuitously controversial." I couldn't agree more.
Parcells, we're told, will be part of the 78-person Monday night crew, which is dispatched from Bristol on a weekly basis to bring grandeur to (and thus justify) the network's $1.1 billion per year investment in the MNF franchise
His biases as an analyst are at times obvious to the point of laughable. Also, he was suspended in November 2005 for failing to disclose a recent arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia. In 2006, his musings regarding the possible presence of African-American DNA in Gomer Pyle-white Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo prompted a torrent of criticism that both the network and Irvin initially did their best to ignore.Irvin also had a habit of yelling when making an inane point, which I could do without. And from the looks of it, so could Mike Ditka, one of his co-hosts on "NFL Countdown."
With Ron Jaworski, Tom Jackson and Ditka (and maybe Parcells?), the ESPN pregame show just got infinitely better. Chris Berman's shtick is tired at times, but he's Edward R. Murrow sitting next to Irvin. I still haven't changed my opinion on Sean Salisbury, however. (I know Salisbury isn't part of the "Countdown" crew, but as long as ESPN is allegedly cleaning house.)
The FanHouse's Michael David Smith discussed Parcells' potential hire earlier today.