ESPN Commentator Cites Erica Jong Novel as Reason for Leaving MNF

Carrie DaklinCorrespondent IMay 18, 2009

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 11:  TV commentator Tony Kornheiser looks on before a game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Washington Redskins before the first Monday Night Football game of the season on at FedEx Field September 11, 2006 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Disassociated Press (DP): ESPN commentator Tony Kornheiser cites Erica Jong's 1973 novel "Fear of Flying" as his reason for exiting his post on Monday Night Football.

The novel, a salacious story about compulsive day-dreamer Isadora Wing, is, apparently, one of Kornheiser's favorites, and he carries it with him wherever he goes.

Problems started however, when flight attendants repeatedly told him he could not have the book aboard flights.

"It's a public safety issue," one flight attendant commented. "Do you know how many people have to well, medicate, themselves before getting on a flight? They don't need to look across the aisle and have their phobia staring them right back in the face."

Kornheiser apparently has protested, pointing out that the protagonist Wing, also has a fear of flying but doesn't let that fear keep her from her mile-high adventures. "She's an inspiration to me," he stated.

When told about Kornheiser's decision to depart, fellow commentator Mike Tirico stated only, "Okay."

Ron Jaworski's remark, however, was more revealing: "I didn't know Tony had a sassy side."