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MNF Mainstay Mike Tirico Could be Headed to NBC

One half of the fan favorite announcer team on ESPN’s Monday Night Football could be leaving for a different network, according to a several sources. Mike Tirico, the play-by-play voice of MNF since 2006, may be jumping ship to NBC. NBC has yet to comment on the rumor, stating it does not comment on individuals currently under contract with another broadcasting outlet.

For ten years, Tirico has served as the straight man to Jon Gruden’s zaniness in the booth, whose antics have grown more outlandish and enjoyable in the past couple of seasons. Tirico’s friendly demeanour, dry humour and occasionally blunt description of the quality – or lack thereof – of football he is witnessing will be sorely missed if he does in fact leave ESPN.

Tirico’s jump to NBC would not be as a member of its Sunday Night Football package. Lead announcer Al Michaels still has two years left on his contract, and has a similarly strong working relationship with color commentator Chris Collinsworth. Rumblings exist of Tirico possibly scoring play-by-play duties on NBC’s newest coup, Thursday Night Football, of which the network will broadcast five games late in the 2016 season.

But Tirico is a malleable announcer, having also headed ESPN’s second-team NBA coverage and the U.S. Tennis Open in 2009. NBC’s golf portfolio was reportedly attractive to Tirico, as the big fan was intrigued by the prospect of calling the PGA Tour and the British Open.

Sean McDonough is the leading candidate to replace Tirico on MNF. McDonough recently renewed his deal with the network, and is perhaps best known for being the man behind the mic during Michigan’s infamous fumbled punt returned for a last-second Michigan State touchdown in October 2015. He has also worked as a play-by-play announcer for MLB, college football and the NFL.

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