Charles Barkley continues to show why he’s the most entertaining person in sports broadcasting. Barkley joined the crew of Monday Night Football in the booth in the 3rd quarter and brought some life to a game that had just 2 touchdowns. The best moment was when Mike Tirico mentioned the Eagles could easily have won last week had they not muffed a couple punts, to which Charles quipped, “If I didn’t eat so much I wouldn’t be fat.”
Barkley just tells the truth. He doesn’t fall into typical announcer rhetoric and speaks his mind on anything. Barkley told of his troubling times in Philadelphia and how sports fans there are unforgiving. He said he did take the criticism personally and anyone who says they don’t is a liar. Athletes read the paper, they hear what the media says and it does get to them. It’s always refreshing to hear an honest answer from an athlete or politician and Barkley expressed his interest to also become the ladder. He plans to run for governor of Alabama in 2014 once he becomes an official resident.
Barkley being in the booth also made me realize why Tony Kornheiser should not be on the Monday Night Football crew. Kornheiser did a great job interviewing Barkley. Kornheiser has a way of posing questions to get insightful responses. But, he has no one to pose these types of questions to on the MNF Crew. Mike Tirico is the color commentator and does a wonderful giving the play by play. But, he needs to remain impartial on major issues. Ron Jaworski provides immense football knowledge in breaking down the game. But, Jaws is a technical guy; not a columnists. He’ll break down the Redskins running game, but he’s not going to give unique insight into whether Joe Gibbs should be revered in Washington.
Bottom line: Kornheiser’s skills don’t lend themselves to the current MNF format. ESPN either needs to find a better way to use him or, better yet, find a way to keep Barkley in the booth permanently.