Getting Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick together seems like such a good idea ... but is it? Finding two guys who are at the top of their game *and* seem to catch the zeitgeist in their hands doesn't happen too often. Dan Rather never really 'replaced' Walter Cronkite and replacing him has been even harder.
ESPN has grown to be a behemoth money-making machine willing to parody itself, expand to having cricket on it's front page in hopes of capturing the "next soccer" and a growing Indian presence on the web, and distanced itself from the must-watch nature of late-night SportsCenter replays. We would watch to hear their interplay, to see Olbermann occasionally crack up, Harvey Korman style, when Patrick hit his mark, and to have fun watching highlights.
That's not what they'll do for NBC. Highlights, yes, but football was never their forte. Quick name a highlight, a catchphrase from The Big Show era. If it's football, are you sure it wasn't Chris Berman, who's always handled the prime football package for the Worldwide Leader?
NBC has done a nice job making Sunday Night the prime night for viewing. Michaels and Madden continue to be the defining voice for the NFL, Bob Costas handles the studio like no one else, and the mix of analysis and news from Peter King has been solid. Jerome Bettis seemed a bit lost last year with the presence of Tiki Barber, especially when Barber added nothing. If an ex-player is a necessity, Bettis is better suited. I'd personally like to see more from Peter King, especially on site of the game as something of an even-more-inside Andrea Kramer.
Which leaves us with Patrick and Olbermann. Once all the Republicans change the channel at the site of the "biased" Olbermann, does having two of the best ever make any more sense than having two ex-players? I'd like to think it does, but both have moved on. ESPN isn't what it was and neither are these two. I think it will be good, but I can't see it being great.
I mean, when's the last time an old timer's game was compelling? This is the sportscaster's version of a reunion show or worse, a remake.