Lisa Salters will remain a sideline reporter, and John Parry joins as a new officiating analyst. Gone will be McFarland’s controversial 12-foot crane, from where he reported on games last season.
Jason Witten had been the lead analyst with Tessitore last season, and had well-documented struggles with the adjustment to the booth. Witten announced earlier this year he would return to the field, resuming his career as a Dallas Cowboys tight end.
McFarland is the only African-American to serve as a network’s No. 1 NFL game analyst. The only previous one was O.J. Simpson, who was on Monday Night Football from 1983-85.
Monday games will kick off September 9 with the New Orleans Saints hosting the Houston Texans
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“Booger’s insight, personality and passion for the game make him the right person for the job. He and Joe have been close friends since they helped ESPN launch the SEC Network five years ago. Their chemistry together in the booth – and with Lisa – will give us a team that fans want to spend Monday nights with this fall,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN EVP of Event and Studio Production in the official announcement.
Monday Night Football is the first major piece of NFL real estate coming up for renewal in 2021. Historically, it had been the standard-bearer in primetime, but has recently been eclipsed by NBC’s Sunday night NFL telecasts, prompting speculation about where it could be headed, though ESPN is expected to try to keep it in the fold.
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