Forget Jason Witten. ESPN's Joe Tessitore will be the breakout star of 'Monday Night Football.'

By Jimmy Traina
May 10, 2018

1. Although the pieces have been known now for a while, ESPN made it official Thursday by announcing Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland and Lisa Salters as its new Monday Night Football broadcast team. The group will make its regular-season debut Monday, September 10, calling the Raiders-Rams game that will air at 10:15 p.m. ET. ESPN has not announced the broadcast crew yet for the first game of its doubleheader that evening, Jets-Lions.

While ESPN hopes Witten can repeat the magic CBS had with Tony Romo last season, it's going to be Tessitore who ends up being the breakout star of MNF. The play-by-play man quickly became one of the most enjoyable listens while calling college football for the network and had some magic himself. Tessitore became known for often calling a game with a wild finish. It became such a regular thing, fans named this the "Tessitore Effect." And the "Tessitore Effect" became such a real thing it even has its own Urban Dictionary page.

There's even a 15-minute YouTube video to show the "Tessitore Effect" in all its glory.

If you don't have 15 minutes to waste, just check out Tessitore's call of Alabama's game-winning touchdown against Georgia in last season's national title game.

Let me be clear about one thing here: In order for Monday Night Football to get a ratings bump, ESPN needs good games. Nothing will help more than that. But Tessitore has a personality that will win over the NFL audience. He gets excited, he yells, he calls a good game. There is a passion there that is genuine. Now he gets to show it off on a big stage, which will be a good thing for him and the viewers.

2. The newest episode of the SI Media Podcast features two interviews with people NBA fans on social media are very familiar with. J.E. Skeets and Tas Melas, two of the four hosts of the The Starters on NBA TV join the podcast to discuss how they went from old-school bloggers and podcasters to hosting a daily show on the league's television network. They also offer advice to podcasters, talk about what it's like to work for the league, reveal whether they get sick of each other and more.

Following Skeets and Melas, NBA Twitter personality Rob Perez, aka @World_Wide_Wob, comes on the podcast to talk about how he's become a social media influencer in the NBA world, whether he's ever heard from the NBA or a network about ripping video highlights, how he goes about posting all those clips, whether he's addcited to Twitter and more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes.

3. Incredible gambling story from last night's Sixers-Celtics game. Most places had the line at Boston -1.5. With the Celtics up 113-112, Marcus Smart went to the line where he tried to intentionally miss a free throw, but he failed.

The free-throw dropped in, the Celtics win 114-112 and those who had Philly +1.5 went to be in tears.

4. Patriots quarterbacks can't high five. Here was Drew Bledsoe at last night's Sixers-Celtics game.

And here's Tommy.

5. The Mets batting out of order against the Reds on Wednesday was front-page news in the Big Apple on Thursday.

6. Tristan Thompson appeared on the "Road Trippin'" podcast, hosted by Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, this week. He did not talk about getting busted cheating on Khloe Kardashian, but he did talk about fatherhood, dropping this quote: “Baby True is eating, sleeping and, uh, shitting. That’s all they do.”

7. One correction on Tuesday's column about ratings for NFL Network's Good Morning Football and ESPN's Get Up. I had written that GMFB was up 20 percent since Get Up's debut. That was inaccurate. GMFB was up 20 percent in the four week windown since Get Up debuted over GMFB's rating from the same period a year ago (51,000 viewers in 2017 to 61,000 viewers in 2018). And Get Up is down 17 percent over last year's three-hour block of SportsCenter in the equivalent days of 2017. Lastly, ratings for the entire offseason for Good Morning Football are up 40 percent in the 18-49 category over last offseason. 

8. RANDOM SEINFELD VIDEO OF THE DAY: Feels like winning 17 of 18 games makes this a good time to trot this out.

Traina Thoughts is the best of the Internet, plus musings by writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts right here.And make sure to listen to and subscribe to the SI Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina.

IN CLOSING: It's going to be fascinating to see how this Matt Patricia story plays out.

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