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Mayock on NFL Telecast Hiring: “I’m Frustrated and Agitated"

Who Will Be On Monday Night Football

The Triple Threat
April 12, 2018 - 9:49 am

There’s a reason that the NFL Network has had Mike Mayock on the road the last five weeks attending various Pro Days around the country — he is among the best, if not THE best, when it comes to analyzing NFL draft prospects. However, it’s fair to wonder if his association with the draft has somewhat typecast Mayock into a draft expert role and kept him out of the hiring mix for his true love — color analysis of actual games.

Mayock implied as much in a Wednesday interview with “The Triple Threat.”  Visiting with the guys to talk about the upcoming draft, Mayock was asked by Rich Lord if he had sought to have his name in the mix for the vacancies in the booth for Thursday Night Football on FOX and Monday Night Football on ESPN. Mayock did not mince words in his response.

“You guys just kind of hit my sweet spot, to be honest with you,” Mayock began. "I am highly frustrated and agitated. When you don’t have a big name coming out…. look, I played two years and I wasn’t any good and I couldn’t stay healthy, but if you don’t have a Hall of Fame jacket, it’s hard to get a high level job calling games in our industry.”

Mayock went on to remind the audience of his experience calling games on a national level, where his work was well received by many fans.  "I’ve done Notre Dame games nationally on Saturdays, I’ve done Thursday Night Football for the NFL Network. I feel like I’ve been there and shown what I can do, and I care about it,” contended Mayock.

FOX recently won the rights to Thursday Night Football, but swung and missed on trying to lure Peyton Manning into the booth. In the absence of Manning transitioning into broadcasting, FOX appears to be on the verge of having Joe Buck and Troy Aikman double dip, doing both Thursday AND Sunday broadcasts. Decisions like these baffle Mayock. 

"FOX has Thursday Night Football, and they feel like the only person that can do that game is Peyton Manning, and if he can’t, then Troy Aikman has to do two a week,” said Mayock. "Troy’s great, but there’s a stable of other guys that can do it really well. So yeah, I’m frustrated.”

In addition to FOX’s openings, ESPN is still strategizing on their revamped Monday Night Football in the wake of Jon Gruden’s return to coaching with the Raiders. Joe Tessitore will handle play by play duties, with Sean McDounough returning to calling college games this fall. Among the names that have come up to replace Gruden have been Joe Thomas and Jason Witten, both likely future Hall of Famers, neither of whom has ever called a game, which essentially backs Mayock’s original point that these networks are seeking big names, not proven workers. 

In the meantime, Mayock continues to grind away, dishing out some of the best and most accurate draft analysis around (Mayock had Deshaun Watson as his top quarterback in last year’s draft, by the way), awaiting the shot to get back to doing what he loves most — “That’s my favorite thing. My favorite things is [doing color] on games.”

Sean Pendergast can be heard from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. weekdays on “The Triple Threat.”