1. It’s been just over a week since the shocking announcement that Tom Brady would become Fox’s lead NFL analyst once he retires from playing.
Many people (not yours truly, though) thought there was no chance Brady would turn to broadcasting once his playing days were over. However, the future Hall of Famer ended up signing a 10-year deal with Fox, so as of now, Brady seems to be all-in on being an analyst once he’s finished with quarterbacking.
Everyone has an opinion on how Brady will fare in the booth, including some of the top current NFL voices. Now, I wouldn’t expect any of these guys to come out and say they think Brady will be awful, but the praise was high for Brady’s potential as an analyst.
Al Michaels told me, “[Brady's] always had a lot of drive and passion in everything he’s done. He’ll want to be great and I’m certain he’ll put in the work to get to that point. I think there will be an upward evolvement once he gets going–he’s a quick learner. And I think people will be surprised at his sense of humor. You need evidence? He’s been an avid Howard Stern listener for years."
Here's what other top NFL broadcasters have had to say about Brady as a broadcaster.
Jim Nantz, CBS: “He’ll be very well prepared. That goes without saying. I think he’ll be very good. I don’t have any question about it. I’m thrilled that he’s going to have a voice in the sport. I think what’s happened here recently is that everybody has realized that that platform, being an elite analyst on one of the very few, handful of packages in the NFL, it’s a big deal. And you’re extremely relevant and people are listening to everything you say. And Tom will be up to the challenge.”
Joe Buck, ESPN: “Somebody said to me the other day, we as fans need a sports person to tell us where all these sports announcers are ending up. It’s been kind of crazy. It’s been exciting on this end of the business. As far as Brady, would anybody ever bet against the guy being great at anything? He’s kind of cornered the market in that. I think it’ll be a steep learning curve, and I’m sure he’ll be fantastic. I tend to root for everybody right on down the line. I genuinely feel happy for him.”
Troy Aikman, ESPN: “I have nothing but respect for Tom. Tom has won at everything he’s done in life, and there’s no reason to think that he won’t win at this, as well. The reason I believe that he’s going to be good is that he’s going to work. He’s a guy, as we know, he’s the reason why he’s been playing as long as he has. There’s a reason why he’s won seven Super Bowls and it’s because he doesn’t take any shortcuts and he’s not going to in broadcasting.”
Nantz’s comment about it being a big deal to be a voice on the platform of the No. 1 game each week is interesting because it seems to allude to Brady’s $375 million salary from Fox.
A lot of people don’t understand Fox handing out that kind of salary, but you have to remember, the network is paying $2.2 billion per year for the rights to the NFC package. So $37 million a year for a No. 1 analyst doesn’t seem that outrageous.
As I said on last week’s SI Media Podcast with Andrew Marchand, if you buy a mansion, you don’t fill it with furniture from discount stores. And that’s Fox’s thinking in bringing in Brady for that massive amount of money.
2. If you're an Office fan, you may or may not remember the episode when Jim goes to visit Pam at art school and he ends up watching a Phillies game while Pam deals with some problem her roommate was having.
This TikToker went on a mission to find out the specific game Jim was watching and I'm part impressed and part terrified with how he pulled it off.
View the original article to see embedded media.
3. Alan Shipnuck's upcoming book on Phil Mickelson goes into detail on Lefty's famous gambling habit. In a recent interview on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, CBS analyst Gary McCord explained how Mickelson would bet with McCord during tournaments and it's amazing.
“When I was in the TV tower, every time Phil got to my hole, Bones [his former caddie Jim Mackay] would look up at me and I would flash the odds.
“If Phil had a 15-footer, I’d flash three fingers, which meant the odds were 3–1. If he was 60 feet, I’d give him 2–1 on a two-putt. Bones would go down and whisper in his ear, and Phil would look up at me and shake his head, yes or no.”
“I can’t tell you how many wadded-up twenties I threw out of the tower, until the Tour found out about it and I got word through CBS I was no longer allowed to gamble with Phil while up in the tower.”
4. Cubs pitcher Wade Miley pulled off a great catch last night—during an in-game interview.
5. Orlando Magic fans can thank The Ringer’s Kevin Clark (and frequent SI Media Podcast guest) for getting the No. 1 pick in last night's Draft Lottery.
6. The most recent episode of the SI Media Podcast features an interview with New York Post sports media reporter Andrew Marchand.
Does Marchand stand by his report that the deal is for 10 years and $375 million? Did Fox end up with Tom Brady because the network was mad at Troy Aikman? Why Brady going into broadcasting shouldn’t have surprised people. Who will work with Kevin Burkhardt on Fox's No. 1 team until Brady retires?
In addition to the big Brady story, we also discussed who could replace Kay Adams on GMFB, the Drew Brees saga, Formula One’s strong ratings, the call of the Kentucky Derby shocker, how the USFL is doing and much more.
Following the conversation with Marchand, Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY in New York joins me for our weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week’s topics include the stupidity of baseball’s unwritten rules, the success of HBO’s Winning Time, the NFL’s Week 2 Monday-night doubleheader and more.