Trying desperately to recapture the magic that was once MNF, ESPN picked one of its own, PTI host and Washington Post sports columnist Tony Kornheiser, to warm the old Howard Cosell chair. Skeptics were quick to point out that Kornheiser might not be the ideal third guy in the booth since, (1) he knows next to nothing about football, and (2) he knows next to nothing about any other sports. What he has been his entire career is a wise guy from Long Island with a chip on his shoulder. His ESPN show, Pardon the Interruption, is watchable, if only because of the contrast with the Sports As Religion tone of the other shows. It's basically E! focused on sports. But MNF is different. People watch it because they can't get enough pigskin on Sunday. Although the show's ratings have sunk over the past few years, it's still the premier NFL property. Replacing the abrasive and annoying Al Michaels and the out of touch blow hard John Madden seemed like a great idea to juice ratings. ESPN's Sunday night crew of Joe Theisman and Mike Turicco are servicable if a bit stiff. But Kornheiser? It looked like the Dennis Miller fiasco all over again. The first two games are in the can and Kornheiser has been even worse than I thought possible. His "commentary" has been laughable. Theisman clearly despises him and Tony looks like a kid brother cowering in fear of a nuggie. What the suits at ABC don't seem to grasp is that Howard Cosell had an encyclopedic knowledge of every detail of the game, which he loved to flaunt to humiliate his ex-jock co-hosts. He was clearly the commanding figure in the booth, a street wise yet learned New York lawyer who was not afraid to ask the questions the fan at home wanted answered. Kornheiser has zero charisma, zero presence, zero credibility. In addition, he is a supremely unlikeable person, a guy who made his career taking shots at people yet goes out of his way to try to ruin less reknowned writers who criticize him. Many people in the Washington area still despise him for his personal attacks on a beloved local sports talk host, Ken Beatrice, who incidentally, would have been terrific in the MNF booth. Hang in there Regis, maybe you'll get a shot next year.