On September 13, Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick will begin their second year of calling Monday Night Football games for ESPN. Their first year of working as a trio has brought many challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, calling games without fans and being a three-man booth calling games.
Griese and Levy were guests on the last episode of Dave Pasch’s podcast (Riddick will be in a separate episode). Pasch used to call college football games with Griese on ESPN. While there were plenty of challenges calling games last season, Levy mentioned that working with Griese previously in college football has helped overcome many of those hurdles.
“I was very lucky not to start from scratch with Brian. Maybe it was too much. New producer, new director, three in the booth, which can be tricky, has its own issues. In a year when you don’t prepare for the noise of the crowds, this was the season to have three voices… loudspeakers. We were comfortable being judged by this.
Levy led the listener inside the booth. Last year required a real adaptation on the part of the three broadcasters. Levy said there were fewer people next to him than ever before.
“We replaced the people in the cabin with monitors. In an effort to keep your six foot distance, no observer was standing next to us, there was a monitor, the observer was in another stand. No statistician. Instead of the statistician, we had another monitor in front of us. You could see the manicure of the one showing a seat in the booth with his own camera. We didn’t know what to get out of.
One of the highlights of last season for Levy was Week 3 when ESPN played the Chiefs-Ravens game. Levy says a tweet from Patrick Mahomes’ mom helped the trio relax. It also helped break the ice between them.
After Riddick called Patrick Mahomes “Pat Mahomes” for most of the night, Mahomes’ mother tweeted “his name is Patrick”.
“We’re in the break and it’s revealed to us on social media that Patrick’s mom is saying all this and I’m like the guys, we have to throw it on the screen… Louis has gone hysterical. It relaxed everyone. It’s times like that. I thought it was a great starting point for the three of us in the pit.
Year 2 for Levy, Griese and Riddick begins on Monday, September 13, when the Baltimore Ravens travel to Las Vegas to face the Raiders (8:15 p.m. ET).