Sports Pundit: NBC Doesn’t Even Like Notre Dame – Saucy Saturdays in South Bend
Are NBC and Notre Dame Football like a tired, long-married couple, only sticking together because neither has any other place to go?
That's the supposition put forth by a sports media pundit writing at BarrettSportsMedia asking "Does NBC Even Like Notre Dame?"
The take comes from the open broadcast booth heading into the 2022 season. With Drew Brees leaving the Peacock apparently being replaced by former Dallas and New York coach Jason Garrett, that likely sends Garrett to South Bend for Notre Dame home games.
His partner? Not Mike Tirico. NBC is saving its top announcer for Sunday Night Football replacing Al Michaels. Likely it will be an elevation of field reporter and pre/post game host Jac Collinsworth.
The Collinsworth/Garrett pairing has been getting spring training with the USFL. While Collinsworth is a Notre Dame alumni, Demetri Ravanos, the author of the Barrett piece says the younger Collinsworth isn't particularly tied to his school:
He doesn’t have the personal connection and passion for the team that this broadcast would warrant.
Garrett has no connection at all to South Bend, except, perhaps driving by town along the Indiana Toll Road sometime during his life.
Further, over the years, NBC hasn't appeared to show much deference to Notre Dame despite granting them the exclusive national platform the school and their diehards believe they deserve.
NBC [has leaned] on Doug Flutie, who didn’t play at Notre Dame. In the past, it was Pat Haden, who played for Notre Dame’s most hated rival, USC.
Brian Noe asked Mike Golic about this last year. The Radio Hall of Famer said that it certainly seems like an intentional decision by NBC to keep former Notre Dame players out of the broadcast booth.
“We’ve had Boston College guys in there in Flutie, and Tony Dungy in there, and now a Purdue guy in Drew Brees,” Golic said. “I’m like wait a minute, man, I’m a Domer. Let’s get a Domer in there a little bit. But I don’t get to make those decisions because I would love to do that, sure.”
Should it be the Collinsworth/Garrett combo this fall, imagine all the seasoned broadcast pros who do have significant connections to Notre Dame that have been overlooked:
Mike Golic, Mike Golic Jr, Jerome Bettis, Brady Quinn, Joe Theisman, and Aaron Taylor all fit that bill. That is half a dozen options I came up with right now off the top of my head.
So if NBC really cared about the Notre Dame product, why would they treat this supposed golden goose on par with USFL telecasts?