Of NBC’s plans to reunite Dan Patrick with Keith Olbermann on “Football Night In America”, Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock warns, “The Big Show era is dead. ESPN killed it,” slagging FNIA as “already hamstrung by an overcrowded set featuring talking heads with limited insight about, connection to and passion for the NFL.”

Olbermann, a brilliant broadcaster, is a left-wing political pundit. You don’t think football when you see Olbermann. You think Bill O’Reilly. Olbermann’s work on Football Night comes off like he spends an hour each week thinking about the NFL. His disjointed and confusing commentary last season about Michael Vick exposed how out of place he is talking football on a big stage.

Dan Patrick, a brilliant broadcaster, won’t help. He’s a clever radio host, but he’s not a football guy. Patrick will be one more person on the show who has little real interest in the game

I’m sure all these guys are football fans. Hell, they probably operate great fantasy teams. But they’ll all contribute to one big, sloppy mess on Sunday nights. In terms of relevance and chemistry, the NBC show will lose more ground to Terry, Howie, Jimmy and Curt Menefee.

I’m not pimping Fox’s studio show because I work for FOXSports.com. I don’t roll like that. Just about everyone in the industry agrees that Fox’s studio show is the best in football. The reason it’s the best is because the main guys are all still football men first. They still love the game and follow it with tremendous passion. Or at least that’s how they appear on Sunday afternoons. They act like they’d rather watch football on Sundays than grill George W. Bush about his Iraq policy.

I’m not quite sure how NBC’s prime time studio show — conducted after all of Sunday afternoon’s games have finished, can possibly “lose ground” to Fox’s program, particularly as the latter’s real strength (and this is a massive stretch) is in their pre-1pm prognostications rather than postgame review. But full credit to Whitlock for playing the part of the company man to the hilt. Regardless of what “everyone in the industry” might think, and Non-Metallic K.O.’s political allegiances aside, the only thing tougher than listening to Terry Bradshaw narrate the day’s highlights (and I’m including Chris Berman’s Sunday evening summations in this claim) would be “The Diary Of Anne Frank” on cassette, as read aloud by Fran Healy.