In somewhat shocking news from the world of NFL broadcasting, Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe are out at CBS and Tony Gonzalez is in. The recently retired tight end will join the cast of The NFL Today, which will still include James Brown, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason.
Here’s the official statement from CBS on the changes:
“Having just stepped off the playing field, Tony brings a fresh and insightful perspective. As a future Hall of Famer, we are excited for him to share his knowledge, experiences and opinions with our viewers… While we welcome Tony, we want to acknowledge Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe who have contributed greatly to the success of The NFL Today for more than a decade. Dan and Shannon are true Hall of Famers on the field and in front of the camera. As they pursue other professional opportunities, we thank them for their hard work and dedication and wish them nothing but the best.”
For those like myself who view The NFL Today as the ‘B-Show’, these changes will provide a much-needed change of pace. Marino and Sharpe were pretty good as studio analysts, but they weren’t great. Sharpe is loud and over the top and Marino isn’t exactly the most charismatic guy in the world.
CBS is right, Gonzalez will freshen the show up. He brings with him knowledge of the NFL in its current state, while Marino and Sharpe haven’t played since 1999 and 2003 respectively. The game has evolved a lot in the last 10-15 years. It’s not that the departing analysts were bad, it was just time for a change.
So much for those Gonzalez coming out of retirement rumors. For now.