I’ve already expressed my opinion on this. Here’s the official press release from NFL Network.
JOE THEISMANN JOINS NFL NETWORK’S THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BOOTHFormer Super Bowl Winning Quarterback Joins Bob Papa and Matt Millen for Primetime NFL GamesFormer Washington Redskins and Super Bowl winning quarterback Joe Theismann joins NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football announcing team, it was announced today. Theismann, who is also an analyst on NFL Network’s weekly Playbook shows, teams with Bob Papa and Matt Millen to call NFL Network’s eight-game Thursday Night Football package beginning on November 11 with the Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons.“Joe is one of the premier analysts in the business,” said Eric Weinberger, executive producer NFL Network. “With Joe joining Matt, we have two former Super Bowl-winning players who had long and distinguished playing careers before making successful transitions into broadcasting. Joe will add his strong opinions and analysis to a booth that already features two men who live and breathe NFL football. We are sure there will be great debates and entertaining analysis on our games this season.”“It’s great to be back in the booth and joining Matt and Bob on NFL Network’s primetime games,” said Theismann. “We have a great schedule of games and I can’t wait for them to begin.”As a veteran NFL broadcaster, Theismann brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise on what goes on inside the huddle. His first experience in the broadcast booth came in 1985, calling Super Bowl XIX alongside Frank Gifford and Don Meredith. In 1988, Theismann became a staple in the broadcast booth for ESPN’s Sunday Night Football for the next 16 years, followed by a stint on the network’s Monday Night Football telecast.Following a standout college career at Notre Dame that included finishing second to Jim Plunkett in 1970 Heisman voting, Theismann began his professional playing career with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts in 1971, where he played three seasons before making the move to the NFL with the Washington Redskins. Theismann led Washington to its first championship in Super Bowl XVII and an appearance in Super Bowl XVIII one year later. He earned league MVP honors in 1983 and still holds the Redskins franchise record for most career passing attempts (3,602), career passing completions (2,044) and career yards (25,206).NFL Network’s primetime Thursday Night Football schedule features eight games and includes teams that combined for eight playoff berths and five division titles in 2009. This is the fifth season of NFL games on NFL Network. In 2009, NFL Network games featured four of the five most viewed games in the network’s history. Game times for the contests — seven on Thursdays and one on Saturday – are 8:00 PM ET, with a special 7:30 PM ET start on Christmas.NFL Network 2010 Thursday Night Football ScheduleWeek 10: Thursday, November 11 at 8:00 PM ETBaltimore Ravens at Atlanta FalconsWeek 11: Thursday, November 18 at 8:00 PM ETChicago Bears at Miami DolphinsWeek 12: Thursday, November 25 at 8:00 PM ETCincinnati Bengals at New York Jets (Thanksgiving)Week 13: Thursday, December 2 at 8:00 PM ETHouston Texans at Philadelphia EaglesWeek 14: Thursday, December 9 at 8:00 PM ETIndianapolis Colts at Tennessee TitansWeek 15: Thursday, December 16 at 8:00 PM ETSan Francisco 49ers at San Diego ChargersWeek 16: Thursday, December 23 at 8:00 PM ETCarolina Panthers at Pittsburgh SteelersWeek 16: Saturday, December 25 at 7:30 PM ETDallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals (Christmas)
Theismann can also be seen with Brian Baldinger and Sterling Sharpe on NFL Network’s Thursday’s NFC and Friday’s AFC editions of Playbook, dissecting the same “all-22” game film to prepare fans for the week’s upcoming matchups. Starting on November 11, he will not be on Playbook as he will be preparing for the Thursday Night Football telecasts.
Since this was confirmed by Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated this afternoon, I have yet to see any positive reaction to this move. Every single tweet or blog post that I’ve read about this has been extremely negative. Joe Theisman is not polarizing, he’s universally disliked. Maybe he’s not disliked by Dick Vitale, but by most everyone else.
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