Skip to main content

ESPN ‘Countdown’ Returns With New, Familiar Features

ESPN’s weekly NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown pregame shows return this weekend with a blend of new and old segments designed to get football fans ready for the day’s—and evening’s—NFL matchups.

Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM kicks off the action at 11 a.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 7 with host Chris Boomer and analysts Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and newest member of the team Cris Carter. Veteran NFL reporter Chris Mortensen will provide the day’s headline and news and Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young will contribute his weekly segment “Young is Restless,” giving viewers his opinion on the week’s hottest topics.

In addition, reporters Rachel Nichols, Bob Holtzman and Ed Werder will provide periodic live reports from the sites of three NFL games.

This week’s feature stories include a look at how recently unretired quarterback Brett Favre is fitting in with his new team, the New York Jets, and how his new receivers are adjusting to his rocket arm by doing extra hand-strengthening exercises and putting in extra time on the high-speed JUGS machine.

Other stories include a profile of the New England Patriots will hope to avoid a Super Bowl hangover this season after completing an 18-1 season—losing only to the New York Giants in the last minute of Super Bowl XLII—and how Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo spent the offseason dealing with another disappointing playoff loss and media interest in his relationship with singer/actress Jessica Simpson.

Kenny Mayne’s “Mayne Event” will take a humorous look at how New York media is reacting to Favre’s arrival from the perspective of three “fringe” reporters. Matthew Berry and Merril Hoge will breakdown which players to start and which to sit for fantasy football fans.

Monday Night Countdown Delivered by UPS starts at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 8 and this week will preview the two Monday Night Football games the network will telecast that evening.

The pregame show will include a piece on Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson giving his first-person account of what “drives him on and off the field” and a new segment called “For Love of the Game,” which will pair a player appearing in that night’s game with his significant other and a teammate to find out which of them knows more about the NFL star. This week’s player will be D’Angelo Hall of the Oakland Raiders.

Steve Young and new ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer will sound off in “Quarterback Conundrum,” a new bit where the two former NFL quarterbacks debate topical issues each week in the NFL.

Following the two-hour Monday Night Countdown show, ESPN will air the Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers game at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders matchup at 10:15 p.m. ET. Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser will call the Vikings-Packers game from Lambeau Field while Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic and Mike Ditka will work the Raiders-Broncos game from Oakland.