Nessler and Mayock hired to save dreadful Thursday night NFL Network broadcasts

Finally, the NFL Network has wised up when it comes to its Thursday night broadcasts.

Assuming there’s even a season next year, Brad Nessler will do the play-by-play for the Thursday night broadcasts on the NFL Network, while Mike Mayock will be his color man. Nessler, who mostly does college football and basketball announcing, has an outstanding voice and brings some much-needed experience to the Thursday night booth. For those who follow the NFL draft coverage every year, you know Mayock knows his football (even though he can be a tad over-the-top at times).

This is a major improvement over the brutal trio of Bob Papa, Joe Theismann and Matt Millen. Of course, those three weren’t quite as bad as Bryant Gumbel, but that’s like saying Rebecca Black’s studio version of the song “Friday” is better than her acoustic rendition. Either way, it’s crap. (Who was the genius at the NFL Network that thought of the brilliant idea to have Gumbel announce Thursday night games despite the fact that he had zero play-by-play experience? His I’m-better-than-all-of-you style was a perfect fit for blue-collar NFL fans.)

The NFL Network is doing itself and fans a solid by going with Nessler and Mayock, although the revamping shouldn’t stop there. The network needs to take a long, hard look at its production quality as well, because for years the Thursday night broadcasts look like they’re being shot in a cave. It’s hard to explain, but the sound and lighting have never looked right to me, even on a HD screen. And they could play the games in a surround sound theatre and it would still sound muffled.

That said, Nessler and Mayock are a great fix. Nice job, NFL Network. It’s too bad only 34 get the network…

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