ESPN announced that NFL PrimeTime is back, back, back starting this Sunday, which is precisely what I would have done with the headline. Take that as a positive or a negative. The football staple will have a slightly different dynamic this year, its second season back after a nearly 15-year hiatus.
"For the first time in two decades, Berman will not be joined by Tom Jackson, his co-host and compadre for the first 20 years of the show. Jackson decided, with an abundance of caution due to the Covid-19 pandemic, not to return to NFL PrimeTime this season. Instead, Berman will be joined each Sunday by Booger McFarland, who will provide analysis and perspective along with Berman’s signature delivery of highlights, nicknames and commentary. The new role gives McFarland a trio of prominent studio responsibilities this season in addition to college football Saturdays on ABC and Monday Night Countdown on ESPN."
Berman, arguably ESPN's most famous voice, will continue doing his three-minute blitzes during halftime of Monday Night Football. Even those who find him a bit much have to admit there is something deeply soothing and comforting about Boomer doing highlights. The games just feel bigger, even if they've already been decided.
As for McFarland, a person could make the argument that his new suite of responsibilities is objectively better than being part of a three-man MNF booth. He's getting three consecutive days of high-profile reps and being put in better spots to succeed.
The new season of PrimeTime debuts Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. Woop! Woop!