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Dungy in, Bettis Out at NBC's Football Night in America

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 3rd 2009 12:04PM
Tony DungyNBC continues to play musical chairs on Football Night in America, the network's Sunday night blanket coverage of the NFL including a prime time game. (I'm surprised NBC hasn't added Jay Leno to the broadcast!) The latest change is an interesting one: Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy is joining the panel and former running back Jerome Bettis is out. What's interesting is that they are two completely different types.

Bettis, whose nickname is "The Bus," is well-known as the smiling winner from the 2006 Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl team. He's loud, boisterous and a larger-than-life personality. Dungy, on the other hand, was the architect and head man for the 2007 Indianapolis Colts' Super Bowl championship. He is cerebral and thoughtful and the author of a bestselling memoir, Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life. You could say that the two men are the anti-thesis of each other, which is likely why NBC has made the switch.

Presumably Coach Dungy will be doing a lot more football analysis from a strategic point of view. That would contrast with Bettis' shoot from the hip style. In two years on the show, he never said anything particularly memorable, although with so many talking heads, he was probably hard pressed to get a word in edgewise.

This continues the constant tinkering that NBC has been doing with FNIA. Last season they added Dan Patrick to the broadcast, reteaming him with Keith Olbermann. Also, earlier this year NBC bumped Cris Collinsworth up to lead color commentator -- or whatever they're calling it -- to replace John Madden who announced his retirement from the booth.

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The Bus...thrown under the bus!

Sorry---couldn't resist.

June 04 2009 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bettis was great. They definitely needed to get rid of Olbermann and Patrick and their very lame joke attempts during highlights.

June 03 2009 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Isn't Rodney Harrison also joining the team?

June 03 2009 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They got rid of the wrong guy. Dan Patrick needs to go

June 03 2009 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a terrible choice.

During the many hours of the NFL Draft, Dungy didn't say a thing. None of the words that came out of his mouth in any way added to the broadcast or were significant of their own merit.

He's an empty suit, hypocritically selling a message of "be their for your sons and daughters" when he wasn't there for his own son who killed himself in part because Dungy wasn't there for him.

June 03 2009 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to David's comment


June 03 2009 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yack, what a horrible choice. Dungy's a pedantic tool.

June 03 2009 at 9:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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