The NFL Network announced Thursday that Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock would be the announcers for its sixth season of Thursday night games, a decision the network got only half right.
Replacing analysts Matt Millen and Joe Theismann, an overly chatty pair that turned off many viewers, with up-and-comer Mayock should generate few complaints.
But Nessler for Bob Papa, the long-time Giants radio man and NFL Network’s play-by-player for the past three seasons? No offense to Nessler, a respected pro, but ditching Papa was both unwise and unfair, given the lack of continuity he encountered during his term, and his rock-solid pro football bona fides.
The network even had Papa (pictured above, right) work a tryout game with Mayock, something Nessler was not asked to do. Why? Mark Quenzel, NFLN’s senior VP and a former ESPN colleague of Nessler’s, said, “I know what Brad does, what he brings to the table and where the strengths are.”
Hmm. Then why have Papa try out? (Gus Johnson did, too, by the way.)
Papa took the high road, saying, “While I’m disappointed I will not be continuing on Thursday Night Football, I’m appreciative of being able to continue as part of the NFL Network family and I wish Mike and Brad nothing but the best, and I know they’ll do a great job.’’