When the Broncos take the field for their highly anticipated season opener in Seattle, the broadcast crew will be a familiar one — though not one typically heard on "Monday Night Football."
After two decades of calling NFL games together for FOX, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman have made the leap to ESPN to call the slate of "Monday Night Football" games. Denver's game vs. the Seahawks will also serve as Buck and Aikman's "Monday Night Football" debut.
The significance of that moment itself is enough, but the added anticipation of Russell Wilson's return to Seattle for his first game there as an opponent makes it an even bigger deal, as they discussed on Monday during a conference call with reporters.
"I was thrilled with the schedule, to see that as the opener," Aikman said. "When you start looking at what potential games there are going to be, that was one that I certainly circled and thought, 'Man, that would be a great game if we were able to get it on Monday night.' And to have it right out of the box, I think, is awesome. And to be playing there in Seattle with Russell going back, obviously it'll be very emotional for him."
Considering that scene, Buck noted that while this will be the first time their voices will be heard on "Monday Night Football," the opening moments of the game may not include them talking much at all.
"I think it's going to be a wonderful way to start 'Monday Night Football,'" Buck said. "And you know what's funny is if they ended getting the opening kickoff, our first moments on 'Monday Night Football' probably won't involve us talking very much, because I think you need to hear that natural reaction, and I think you need to lay out, let the crowd carry it. There's no crowd like in Seattle, and I would imagine we won't be talking very often at least that first series, because it's going to be deafening inside that stadium, good or bad."
As for Wilson, the man who will be in the middle of it all, Buck and Aikman have a lot of respect for what he's done so far in his career and what is still ahead of him in Denver.
"He'll be fantastic," Aikman said. "I mean, he's obviously had a great career. He's won a lot of football games, won a lot of playoff games, been in the postseason. He's just one. And that's something that Denver hasn't done much of here over the last five, six years since Peyton retired. And so he's much needed there in Denver. I expect the Broncos to be much improved as a result of that. I think they start building pieces around him. But I think the scene in Seattle's going to be awesome. You always do kind of wonder exactly what the reception is going to be like. I can't imagine it being anything other than just a great celebration for a great athlete and all that he meant to the 12s there in Seattle. I think it'll be awesome."
Below the Fold
In case you missed it, the Broncos’ 2022 schedule was unveiled last week. Every team's slate has good and bad things, of course, and for a quick overview, CBS Sports’ John Breech identified one for each side for each team. For the Broncos, let's just take a peek at the good thing:
"They have three very winnable games to start the season," Breech wrote. "In Week 1, Russell Wilson will be looking to beat his old team. After that, the Broncos will get consecutive games against the Texans and 49ers."