Are NBC and Notre Dame Football like a tired, long-married couple who just stay together because neither has anywhere else to go?
That’s the guess put forward by a sports media pundit writing to BarrettSportsMedia asking “Does NBC even like Notre Dame?”
The take is from the open broadcast booth heading into the 2022 season. With Drew Brees leaving the Peacock seemingly replaced by former Dallas and New York coach Jason Garrett, it likely sends Garrett to South Bend for games. home of Notre Dame.
His partner? Not Mike Tirico. NBC is booking its top announcer for Sunday Night Football to replace Al Michaels. This will likely be an elevation of field reporter and pre/post game host Jac Collinsworth.
The Collinsworth/Garrett duo completed spring training with the USFL. While Collinsworth is a Notre Dame alumnus, Demetri Ravanos, the author of Barrett’s article, says the young Collinsworth is not particularly connected to his school:
He lacks the personal connection and passion for the team that this show would warrant.
Garrett has no connection to South Bend, except perhaps that he drove around town along the Indiana Toll Road during his life.
Also, over the years, NBC hasn’t seemed to show Notre Dame much deference, despite granting them the exclusive national platform that the school and their diehards believe they deserve.
NBC [has leaned] on Doug Flutie, who did not 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 it last year. The Radio Hall of Famer said it certainly seemed like an intentional move by NBC to keep former Notre Dame players out of the broadcast booth.
“We had Boston College guys 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 put a domer in there for a bit. But I can’t make those decisions because I would love to, of course.
Should it be the Collinsworth/Garrett combo this fall, imagine all the seasoned broadcast professionals with important ties to Notre Dame that have been overlooked:
Mike Golic, Mike Golic Jr, Jerome Bettis, Brady Quinn, Joe Theisman and Aaron Taylor all fit this bill. That’s half a dozen options I’ve come up with right now.
So if NBC really cared about the Notre Dame product, why would they treat this supposed golden hen the same as USFL shows?