ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick is not a man of moderate opinions and goals. He wants to be part of Monday Night Football and has no problem letting the world know of his interest, including his bosses at ESPN.
“This is something that has been a goal of mind and ESPN is very well aware that I am very interested in it,” said Riddick, this week’s guest on the SI Media Podcast. “It is the pinnacle of broadcasting as far as I am concerned, the most iconic position in broadcasting. To be involved with Monday Night Football either as a play-by-play person or analyst is something I am hoping I can achieve.”
Asked what ESPN management’s response has been to Riddick’s interest, Riddick said, “It has been very favorable. They are well aware of it. I think you saw my interest in being a part of a live broadcast, a live game, with my involvement with the Pro Bowl this year and that only scratched the surface of what I think I am capable of doing with that kind of platform. I am fired up about the possibility of being involved with the brand of Monday Night Football in any way shape or form and I think the next couple of weeks and months as ESPN figures out where they want to go with that are going to be awfully exciting for me personally.”
Riddick is arguably ESPN’s best NFL hire in the last 10 years and would be a tremendous addition to the MNF production in any form. He does not have any television booth reps as an NFL game analyst but believes that he could step into the booth today.
“I have no reservations about my ability to call a game live, to do it quickly and concisely, to not step on the toes of the person who is handling the play-by-play, to working a telestrator, to working an All-22 film video that you would have at your disposal in the booth, to giving quick anecdotes that would keep people informed, to understanding the rules of the game, to understanding the flow of the game,” Riddick said. “That is me. That is who I am. You just have not seen that because I have not had that platform yet. I do not say this as someone who is trying to be a salesman of myself. .. This business is not about what you did as a player. This business is about what you can do as far as analyzing the game of football and communicating it to other people so that they can understand it.”
As the guest on Episode 168 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Riddick addressed many topics including what separates a good NFL broadcaster versus an average one; how he has attempted to improve as a broadcaster; his candidness on issues and why too often former players pull punches on the air; how he navigates being a candidate for NFL general manager jobs versus working at ESPN; his thoughts when someone does not report on him accurately; how he approaches discussing social issues or politics on social media; playing under Nick Saban and Bill Belichick in Cleveland; Saban’s attention to detail and what makes him different than other coaches; how the Browns should approach holding the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the NFL Draft, and much more. To listen to the podcast in full, check it out on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.
• 1:oo: What separates a good NFL broadcaster from an average one.
• 2:50: How has Riddick improved as a broadcaster and how much film he watches on his own work.
• 6:40: The aesthetics of sports broadcasting.
• 9:30: Being candid about NFL personnel people and trying to take people behind the curtain of the NFL
• 14:15: Playing for Bill Bellichick and Nick Saban and what separates Saban from other coaches.
• 20:20: Interviewing for general manager jobs while working for ESPN.
• 24:30: Other media writing about him, and his reaction to what he says is incorrect reporting.
• 33:00: What would happen if a mid-season GM job came up.
35:20: His approach to social media when it comes to social issues and politics.
• 36:40 His interest in being on Monday Night Football.
• 41:00: Tony Romo’s work this year on CBS and Riddick's preparation for the NFL Draft.
• 47:20: How he believes the Browns will approach the No. 1 and No. 4 overall pick.
• 51:00: How he would approach the end of Tom Brady’s career if he were Patriots management.