If you're like me, you probably tuned into NFL network at 1am on Saturday morning to watch a replay of an arena league football game...
I'm not 100 percent sure what constitutes a totally successful broadcasting debut, but it's safe to say that Warner did very well. Not only did he get his old Iowa Barnstormers jersey number retired at halftime, he proved to be an engaging presence in the booth - he talked intelligently about coverages, what the quarterbacks were seeing, and specific AFL rules and terms.
It got me thinking about the state of commentary and punditry in the NFL and I can't understand why Warner isn't already at least working ESPN as analyst. This is a network that has employed quarterbacks such as Sean Salisbury, Jesse Palmer, & Trent Dilfer as NFL analysts. Here's a sure fire hall of famer out there looking to get into broadcasting... why has ESPN not beat down his door to get his name on a contract?
To be fair, what Warner did on Saturday night was not punditry it was color commentary. Maybe that's what he really wants to get into. If so, FOX or CBS should be beating down his door tomorrow. Is there even one color commentator on either network that you'd consider "good" or has ever taught you anything? I don't need another season of Brian Baldinger essentially repeating what the play by play guy just said. Don't even get me started on Tim Ryan who thinks that any player who does something good on a given play is among "the best in the national football league" at doing whatever that was. Speaking of thinking everything and everyone is just great... John Gruden. I actually think Troy Aikman does a good job, but otherwise is there any color guy on any network that is likely to provide more insight than Warner? Warner, who was one of the most cerebral and successful players of his era?
I suppose it's somewhat fitting that Warner went back to his Arena league roots to start his second career. After all, he started there to make himself into of the best ever at his profession. He just might do it again.