SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Get the seven-second delay ready. Bruce Arians may soon be coming to a TV near you.
And he wouldn’t mind his foray into network TV being on the brightest football stage of the week.
The former Arizona Cardinals head coach told ESPN on Friday that he’s interested in replacing Jon Gruden as the color analyst in the booth on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, but he doesn’t think the feelings are mutual.
“Oh gosh, I’d be interested,” Arians said. “I don’t think they’re interested in me. But that would be like the dream job, especially working with someone as good as Sean [McDonough]. That’d be fun. That’s obviously a home run.”
Arians, who announced his retirement from coaching on Jan. 1 after five seasons as head coach of the Cardinals, said he’d be interested in a TV or radio job as a way to stay connected to football. Arians’ preference, however, would be TV, either in the studio or in the booth, but he’ll leave that decision up to the networks.
Arians, 65, has already met with Fox and the NFL Network. He has a second interview with Fox coming up next week and will meet with CBS in early February.
“I want to be part of the game,” Arians said. “When you’re doing games, you do a lot of traveling — good, bad, indifferent. You’re in the locker room, you’re doing production meetings with players and coaches. In a studio, you get a broader perspective, maybe you can tell more stories. I’m probably a better storyteller.”
Arians has been intrigued with working in television ever since a brief stint calling the first Pennsylvania high school football championships in 1988 with former Philadelphia sportscaster Al Meltzer after Arians was fired from Temple.
“I loved it,” Arians said. “I went down and moms are crying, and I’m interviewing the moms on the field. I said, ‘You guys get paid to do this s—? This is fun.’ It’s always been in the back of my mind.”
That work 30 years ago has helped Arians better understand the media’s role.
“The media has a job to do — good, bad or indifferent,” Arians said. “We have great media here in Phoenix … everywhere I’ve ever been. It’s just respect. I know you got a job, whether you like me or don’t like me, like what I did or don’t like it. You got to ask your questions. I’m going to give you the answer I want to give you, and let’s just have fun doing it.”