DAILY DIRT: Finally, ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcasts should start to get more watchable


Daily Dirt for Friday, May 20, 2022

The broadcasts will improve this year, thanks to the new voices, and should continue to improve in 2023, thanks to a new scheduling format … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 290 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Get ready for some major changes to Monday Night Football.

According to numerous media reports, including ESPN, starting in 2023, ESPN’s Monday Night Football (finally) will include flex scheduling for weeks 14 through 18 — and also will feature three Monday Night Football doubleheaders.

From my standpoint, they all look positive. These kind of schedule changes, plus the addition of announcer Joe Buck and analyst Troy Aikman, should provide a huge boost for the broadcast. Buck and Aikman take over the ESPN Monday night broadcasts this season. For years, the ESPN Monday night games have felt like the stepchild to NBC’s Sunday night broadcasts. NBC’s broadcasts have long come across as far more professional and polished. ESPN has long fought a losing battle with lackluster announcers (can we ever forget Booger McFarland?), gimmicks and (unfortunately) too many second-rate games.

The TV ratings showed, too. NBC has dominated the ESPN broadcasts for much of the 15 years it has owned the rights to Sunday night. Last year was by a weekly average of roughly 20 million viewers to 13 million viewers. ESPN games should be much better this fall, simply with the addition of Buck and Aikman. That improvement should continue in 2023 with the compliment of a better/flexible schedule and more games. 

For decades, Monday Night Football was the pride of all NFL telecasts. Maybe it is heading that way again.

2. Not all performers go by their actual given names, including:

  • Pink: Alecia Beth Moore. Pink took her stage name from Steve Buscemi’s character in “Reservoir Dogs” — Mr. Pink.
  • Jamie Foxx: Eric Marlon Bishop.
  • Helen Mirren: Ilyena Lydia Mironoff. She said she “simplified” her name for professional purposes.
  • Lada Gaga: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Her stage came from inspired by Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga”.
  • Lorde: Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor. Lorde says her pseudonym is for stage purposes only, that she prefers being called Ella.
  • Nicki Minaj: Onika Tanya Maraj. She claims an agent changed her name early in her career.
  • Bruno Mars: Peter Gene Hernandez. Allegedly, he looked like famous pro wrestler Bruno Sammartino when he was young.
  • Whoopi Goldberg: Caryn Johnson. She’s a Karen, all right…
  • Halsey: Ashley Frangipane. Some fans have speculated she created her stage name as an anagram for her first name.
  • Lana Del Rey: Elizabeth Woolridge Grant. 
  • Natalie Portman: Neta-Lee Hershlag.
  • Cardi B: Belcalis Almanzar.

3. This week’s disgusting international food item is Kopi Luwak Coffee.

This is made from brewing the undigested coffee beans found in the feces of the Asian Palm Civet (a mammal that looks like a weasel). “The civet’s stomach enzymes break down proteins in the beans giving the coffee a less bitter taste,” writes Sara Jio of glamour.com.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — Steve may also adopt the pseudonym Bruno.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. We have several pseudonyms for him and Bruno ain’t one of them.

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