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Mr. Tony's fans will have to limit themselves to just 2.5 hours of him a week. Mr. Tony's haters -- of which there are many -- can finally turn their TVs back on on Monday night.
Here's the list of broadcasters in next year's Monday Night Football booth: Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden. That's it. That's the list.
Tony Kornheiser is leaving the booth, "step[ping] aside", in the parlance of Chris Mortensen. Everyone's favorite old man sportswriter cites the burden of travel, specifically his Madden-sized fear of airplanes as the reason.
"I am totally grateful for the MNF opportunity that I truly enjoyed the last three seasons," he said. "I feel we got better each year. My fear of planes is legendary and sadly true. When I looked at the upcoming schedule it was the perfect storm that would've frequently moved me from the bus to the air. I kept looking at the schedule the past month and wanted to find a way to quietly extricate myself."
Korny, who started at the Washington Post in 1979, took a buyout from the paper in 2008. He has since stopped contributing to the paper and Web site. His loyal legion of fans will have only PTI to get their fill -- unless he finds his way back to radio eventually.
On MNF, Kornheiser had lots of fans and lots of detractors. Some loved his sarcastic style. But others thought he tried to do too much, especially in terms of pure analysis. Said one blowhard (which sums up most of the criticisms), "the thing that really bothers me is that Kornheiser doesn't seem to know his place. If you're there for comic relief, that's one thing. But for God's sake, leave the football analysis to guys who actually played the game."
Jon Gruden might not have had much of a playing career, but he can coach, and he's won more Super Bowls than Tony did.
As to whether the booth will be better or more entertaining? Time will definitely tell. There will certainly be less yodeling.