ESPN tweaks ‘Monday Night Football’ after fans complain
The change will give Eagles fans one less thing to complain about ahead of the team's "Monday Night Football" matchup against the Washington Redskins in December.
ESPN is making a tweak to its Monday Night Football broadcast in response to complaints from fans whose view of the field at stadiums has been blocked by what had become known as the "Booger Mobile."
Instead of putting new analyst Booger McFarland in the booth alongside fellow analyst Jason Witten and play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore, ESPN opted to place him on the sideline in an elevated seat on a bulky cart that moves up and down the field during the game.
This has led to widespread complaints from fans in the stands, who have taken to social media all season to show how the "Booger Mobile" and the large monitor attached to back have obstructed their view of the game.
"The cart literally followed the line of scrimmage so it blocked everyone's frontal view of the game," Green Bay fan Jonathan Sell told Busted Coverage after the Packers-49ers game on Oct. 15. "The crowd was not happy. Every time that cart came by everyone was screaming at it."
As a result, ESPN's production team has removed the large television attached to the rear of McFarland's cart and replaced it with a sheet of clear plexiglass, which was noticeable during Monday's matchup between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills.
"Our production team listened to fan feedback and made the adjustment to Booger's cart this week," an ESPN spokesman said.
The Eagles will face the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football at Lincoln Financial Field on Dec. 3.
Katie Nolan: I left Fox Sports in part because of Cris Carter’s appearance
Back in October 2017, Katie Nolan left FS1 for ESPN (and a reported seven-figure salary), where she has launched a new show on the network's streaming service ESPN+ and contributed to the network's SportsCenter show on Snapchat.
While there are certainly many reasons Nolan negotiated an early exit out of her contract with Fox to head to Bristol, she told GQ an incident involving FS1 host and former Eagles wide receiver Cris Carter clarified her decision to leave the network.
Nolan told Clay Skipper (the son of former ESPN president and current Perform Group executive chairman John Skipper) that while she was doing her Garbage Time show from the 2017 Super Bowl, Fox dumped Carter and his co-host, Nick Wright, on to her show after other guests missed their flights. Nolan, an outspoken Patriots fan, said Carter didn't understand her show, and when the topic of Deflategate came up, things got ugly.
"I'm like, okay so now I either have to, out of respect for him, let him talk about this on my show or be like, 'It's my show. Shut up Cris.' " Nolan told CQ. "So I chose the second option. We got into it. It was a mess. It wasn't good TV."
Here's the February 2017 segment Nolan was referring to in the interview:
Nolan said she wasn't mad at Carter, whom she called "incredible." But she knew Carter wouldn't work for her show, and despite telling her bosses that, Nolan said, they still forced her to use him.
"I wasn't mad at him, I was mad at the network," Nolan said. "They didn't listen. So that was the moment that I was like, I'm not coming back to Fox."
Eagles-Jaguars London ratings were low, but up over last year
The NFL Network broadcast (complete with a unique four-man booth) earned a 2.2 rating and drew 3.59 million viewers, a small increase over the 2.35 million viewers who tuned in last year to watch Minnesota Vikings face the Cleveland Browns in the same early morning broadcast window, according to Nielsen numbers.
In Philadelphia, the game drew about 887,000 total viewers to 6ABC, which simulcast the game due to NFL broadcast rules that require games appearing exclusively on cable also appear on a broadcast television station within the local market of the teams that are playing. 6ABC's ratings were about 60-70 percent higher for the Eagles game than the normal viewership the station draws for its Sunday morning Action News broadcast. Another 414,000 viewers tuned into the game locally on the NFL Network.
>> READ MORE: Five reasons the Eagles beat the Jacksonville Jaguars
Despite that, the Eagles victory was the lowest-rated and least-watched NFL broadcast of the season, according to Sports Media Watch. But that's hardly surprising, given that the game aired at 9:30 a.m. exclusively on the NFL Network everywhere outside of Philadelphia and Jacksonville.
Because the final episode of Dancing with the Stars airs the Monday before Thanksgiving, 6ABC will be free to simulcast the Eagles-Redskins game on Dec. 3, which airs on ESPN's Monday Night Football.