Kornheiser's Reason for Leaving Isn't Flying

Phil BrennanCorrespondent 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)

Whether they believed in a God or not, for the past three seasons the prayers offered up by thousands, maybe millions, of NFL football fans has now been answered.

Tony Kornheiser is leaving the set of Monday Night Football (MNF).

Can I get a hallelujah?

Officially, Kornheiser's stated reason for leaving is due to aviatophobia, a phobia more commonly known as the fear of flying. With heavy travel scheduled for the 2009 season, Kornheiser apparently felt it was too much to handle.

Let's be honest though, it was likely ESPN's decision, not Kornheiser's, that sent him packing. ESPN threw Kornheiser a bone. It's what is known in the business world as a professional courtesy. ESPN gained nothing by outright firing Kornheiser, the chemistry just wasn't there. Even a casual viewer of MNF knew that Kornheiser just didn't comport with his broadcasting mates, Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski.

Gone now are Kornheiser's pretencious and long-winded soliliques that were burdensome on viewers' ears. Why ESPN ever thought his pregame pontifications were some sort of television gold was beyond me.

On a side note, viewers will also be thanking ESPN for sparing their eyes from perhaps the worst comb-over job in existence. Seriously, Kornheiser's attempt to fool us with that thing is an insight into the psychosis of those suffering from male pattern baldness.

ESPN plans to inject a bit more football acumen by adding former Super Bowl winning head coach, Jon Gruden, to the mix. Gruden has a surly, yet friendly disposition that is sure to appeal to a more traditional football watching audience, and instantly raises the football IQ on the set.

As far as I'm concerned, it's two down (Bryant Gumbel, Tony Kornheiser) and three to go: Warren Sapp (NFLN), Derrick Deese (Fox Sports Radio) and Joe Buck (Fox Sports).