CBS Shakes Up NFL Pregame Show With Surprise Cuts
No matter how good a run you have going, eventually there will come a time when it all comes to an end. Nobody knows this better than professional athletes like gridiron great Tony “Gonzo” Gonzalez, who has finally called it quits after a 17 year NFL career that will eventually see the tight end in the Hall of Fame.
Gonzalez leaves the playing field as the most prolific tight end ever to play the game, holding the record for most touchdowns (111) and receiving yards (15,127) ever by that position. But don't think for a minute that Gonzo is going far from the game he loves as he has just reached an agreement with CBS Sports to become an analyst for The NFL Today pregame show, Showtime's Inside the NFL and the CBS Sports Network's Sunday pregame show (That Other Pregame Show).
Also don't think for a minute that Gonzalez will hold back on being critical to players he was just playing with.
“When you are playing, at least for me the way I approached it, I wasn’t going to be that player calling people out,” Gonzalez told SI.com on Tuesday. “Not really calling people out, but more telling the whole truth. Because I don’t believe in that while you are playing; it just doesn’t make sense because we are in that fraternity. But now that I am done, I am going to say exactly what is on my mind. I’m not there to go out and kill players, but if I believe something is true, I am going to say it and not hold back on it. It’s an opportunity to really speak up on issues and I’m going to be as fair as possible and hopefully make some good points people are interested in hearing.”
The announcement that Gonzalez is joining The NFL Today came alongside the dual surprise announcement that two of the shows regulars, Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe, weren't being retained.
With the changes, the popular pregame show will now consist of Gonzalez alongside regulars James Brown, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason. The network is in the process of adding another member (according to CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus in an interview with Sports Business Daily reporter John Ourand) but is withholding announcement until a deal is in place.
“While we welcome Tony, we want to acknowledge Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe who have contributed greatly to the success of The NFL Today for more than a decade,” McManus said in a statement. “Dan and Shannon are true Hall of Famers on the field and in front of the camera. As they pursue other professional opportunities, we thank them for their hard work and dedication and wish them nothing but the best.”
These changes stem from a desire to close the gap between CBS's pregame show and Fox NFL Sunday. Fox continues to increase its rating lead, which currently sits at 39 percent higher than CBS, but with these changes plus the recent hire of a new lead producer (Drew Kaliski), CBS hopes to at least stop the bleeding.
Photo Credit: Getty