In addition to announcing the start times for five of Notre Dame’s six home games in 2020, Notre Dame and NBC also announced a major shakeup to the broadcast crew that is sure to delight Notre Dame fans around the country. Doug Flutie is OUT as the primary commentator and NFL Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy is in. Mike Tirico, a fan favorite, returns as the play by play commentator.
Unlike Tirico, Doug Flutie was not a fan favorite among the Notre Dame faithful who tune in to NBC for every Notre Dame home game. From almost the start of Flutie’s tenure covering Notre Dame games, Irish fans were turned off by Flutie’s seemingly over abundance of praise for Irish opponents and at times, gleeful responses for poor Notre Dame plays.
Replacing Flutie with anyone would have been met with praise from Notre Dame fans, but the addition of Dungy, one of the most respected NFL head coaches of the last quarter-century is like upgrading from a Yugo to a Tesla.
Dungy has been part of NBC’s coverage of Football Night in America – the pregame show for their Sunday night game of the week since 2009 and has worked many games over the year including prime-time games on Thanksgiving night.
Some Notre Dame fans complain that their fellow Irish faithful placed too much negative attention on Flutie over the years, but count me as one of those fans who is delighted by today’s news.
Notre Dame fans won’t be entirely rid of Flutie all together though. Flutie will still be involved in telecasts from the studio on “select weeks” similarly to how he was involved with NBC;s coverage of Notre Dame’s previously before he moved into the booth.
NBC also announced that Notre Dame alum Jac Collinsworth will host NBC’s pre-game, half-time, and post-game shows each week.
Rounding out the NBC coverage this year is once again, Kathryn Tapper. She will be the sideline reporter for the seventh consecutive season. How that coverage will change this year given the current circumstances was not announced at the time of the release.