1. I laid out the dilemma Fox faces now that Tom Brady has retired from the NFL in yesterday’s Traina Thoughts. Brady signed a contract last year with Fox to become its lead NFL analyst when he retires, but Greg Olsen, who he would replace in Fox’s No. 1 booth, has emerged as a fan favorite who has excellent chemistry with play-by-play man Kevin Burkhardt.
The plan was for Olsen to go back to the No. 2 crew once Brady was ready for the booth, but that will put a target on Brady’s back, since Olsen has become popular and paid his dues.
The other twist in all this is that while he signed a contract, there has been speculation that Brady might have changed his mind about becoming an NFL broadcaster.
Fox didn’t even know Brady was going to announce his retirement Wednesday. And nothing about Brady’s future role has been announced in the hours since.
I received a great response to Wednesday’s Traina Thoughts, so I will attempt to answer the questions and address the feedback I got and can hopefully offer you guys some clarity on the Brady-Olsen-Fox situation.
Fox isn’t paying Tom Brady $375 million to do a pregame show watched by 4 million people per week instead of a game watched by 20 million people per week. Also, all of these pregame shows already have way too many people on them. We don’t need even more.
First off, great screen name. This isn’t a terrible idea in as much as a Brady–Rob Gronkowski ManningCast could be fun here and there, but not as a regular thing. But that is irrelevant. The NFL isn’t ready to have alternate telecasts for Sunday-afternoon games and may never allow alternate telecasts on Sunday afternoons when they have to protect local markets. And as I said above, Brady’s salary is a factor here. Fox wouldn’t pay him $375 million to host a ManningCast.
Brady has stated many times over the past year that he won’t hold back and will criticize players when he has to. We won’t know if that’s true until he actually calls games. I have high hopes that Brady will follow through on this, because he has shown that isn’t afraid to say controversial things.
He called out the NFL product for being subpar earlier this year. There was the famous, “One of the teams, they weren’t interested at the very end. I was thinking, ‘You’re sticking with that motherf---er?” comment. And ripped the players and players association for being “ignorant” during contract negotiations.
I don’t buy this at all. If there’s a big play, Olsen and Brady would both analyze it. The person who would end up talking less is Burkhardt.
His delivery is monotone during press conferences. That doesn’t mean his delivery would be monotone while calling a game. Tom Brady is not going to want to embarrass himself as a broadcaster. He is not gonna get in the booth next year to call a game and pull a Tony Dungy from a few weeks ago.
Bill Walsh was terrible in the booth. Bill Walsh has nothing to do with Tom Brady. Bill Walsh’s being bad doesn’t mean Tom Brady will be bad.
Brady is approximately a billion times more likable than A-Rod. I’ve had several MLB players tell me they dislike A-Rod. I’ve never heard an NFL player ever say a bad word about Brady. And Brady can be a “phony celebrity” and a good broadcaster. One doesn’t preclude the other.
The guy who took less money every year in New England so the Patriots had salary cap room to sign other players is “selfish” and “greedy”? Got it. And if you think Tom Brady was MAGA because Donald Trump sent him a stupid hat seven years ago that was put in his locker by someone else, you’re just not paying attention. If you think Tom Brady is a MAGA Trump supporter, get out of your bubble and read this.
I’ve said this many times, and it’s 100% true.
I know people don’t like to hear this, but here’s the reality: He’s earned his way to the A crew by being Tom Brady.
CBS signed Tony Romo to a 10-year, $180 million contract in 2020. There’s a better chance that Snoop Dogg gives up weed than that CBS fires Tony Romo.
Zero chance Brady is in the booth even for a minute. I would assume Brady isn’t even going to attend the Super Bowl. The guy just retired. I would expect him to go on vacation or spend time with his kids and enjoy his life for a little bit. I wouldn’t be shocked, though, if we saw him interviewed remotely during Fox’s 381-hour pregame show.
2. A brand-new SI Media with Jimmy Traina podcast dropped this morning, and this week’s guest is legendary ESPN personality Chris Berman.
Berman talks about anchoring ESPN’s Super Bowl postgame coverage each year, why NFL Primetime is still so beloved, offers he had to leave ESPN over the years and whether any athletes ever complained about the nickname he gave them.
We also discuss the best sports studio shows of all time, the NFL getting so deep into the betting world, why the NFL even thinking about playing the AFC and NFC title games at neutral sites is a terrible idea and more.
Following Berman, Sal Licata from WFAN radio and SNY TV in New York joins Jimmy for their weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week, Jimmy and Sal discuss why NFL rules analysts on TV are annoying, the Chiefs-Eagles Super Bowl, Sal getting recognized at an NHL game, Jimmy’s mom getting into a Facebook tiff and much more.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Google.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
3. The Kelce brothers would like you to stop saying Super Bowl LVII is the “Kelce Bowl.”
4. It’s been a rough few weeks for Joey Bosa. First, he lost his temper during the Chargers’ collapse against the Jaguars and got called for two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
Then he let Eagles fans get under his skin Sunday at the NFC title game and looked completely foolish during the verbal altercation.
And now we have Raiders defensive lineman Maxx Crosby calling Bosa a “crybaby.”
5. This is a tremendous performance by JJ Redick that anyone who uses Twitter can appreciate.
6. With Tony Romo becoming Twitter’s No. 1 NFL punching bag lately, the New York Post asked him about all the criticism he's been taking. “I think you’re always evolving,” Romo said. “I mean, some changes are good, some you’re like, ‘Ah, I shouldn’t do that. But I always trial-and-error a bunch, and sometimes it works.”
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: If you’re a WWE fan, you will appreciate the creativity of this food setup from a Royal Rumble party last Saturday.
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Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.