one. Fox announced this morning that Tom Brady will become its top NFL analyst once he retires from the game. The beauty of this column being called Traina’s Thoughts is that I get to dump all my thoughts, and I have a lot, on this big sports media story. I will be pro and save my victory lap for last.
– My first thought when I heard the news was: Clearly, the theory that Fox let Troy Aikman go to ESPN so he could save money on salary is totally false. Brady’s salary at Fox hasn’t leaked out yet (I’m sure Andrew Marchand will get it sooner rather than later), but you can be sure it’s huge.
– So Fox let Aikman go to ESPN so he could go after Brady? According Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, that’s how it developed. Was Fox angry that Aikman’s reps were in negotiations with Amazon? No one would ever admit it, but it sure sounds like it.
– The biggest winner here, obviously, is Fox. He’s going to have the greatest quarterback of all time running his games. What may be even more important for Fox is that they will have someone who is as much a celebrity as they are a football player on the air. Tom Brady has a lot of appeal to fringe fans and even people who don’t care about football. Fox said in his statement today that Brady will not only call games for the network, but that he will be “an ambassador for Fox.”
– For months, I have said over and over again in the SI Media Podcast that it didn’t make any sense for Fox to let Buck and Aikman go after they were with Fox for so long and many people considered them to be the best stand in the game. something seemed off about fox letting both men go Monday night football. Even Aikman said that he didn’t know why it happened. Now it makes sense.
– The other big winner is Kevin Burkhardt. Just a few months ago, Burkhardt was Fox’s No. 2 caller, play-by-play. But Fox let Joe Buck terminate his contract a year early so he could join Aikman at ESPN, and Burkhardt was promoted to the number one spot. And now he will eventually call those games with Tom Brady.
– Getting an athlete to go directly from the field of play to booth number 1 of a net has been a mixed bag. It worked in a big way for Tony Romo and CBS. It was a disaster for ESPN and Jason Witten. It was tough on Drew Brees and NBC. But personally, I don’t see how Brady is anything but wildly successful in this role. I’ve written this a million times and I’ll say it again: Since Brady left New England and Bill Belichick, he’s shown us that he has a lot of character. He is funny, charming and obviously he knows football better than anyone. His appearance last season on the ManningCast was excellent. I just don’t see Brady failing on paper.
– Last but not least: if you have heard the SI Media Podcast or read Traina Thoughts regularly, you know I’ve pushed the Brady theory into the booth ever since you pretended to retire.
I predicted it in January with Joe Buck, who made fun of me:
I wrote about it on February 3.
My point in taking the victory lap? I hope it makes you subscribe and listen to the Podcast YES Media.
two. As I mentioned earlier, Joe Buck is now on ESPN. He will work on his first assignment for the network next weekend when he submits a version of the ManningCast for the PGA Championship. Buck will join Michael Collins for the event and they will be joined by the following people: Aikman, Josh Allen, Charles Barkley, Doris Burke, Fred Couples, Jon Hamm, Peyton and Eli Manning.
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The telecast will air for four hours each day on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+.
3. I have no real proof, but I’d bet a lot of money that Jerry West’s lawsuit against HBO winning time it gave the show some much-needed publicity and brought a lot of people to see it.
Via Variety: winning timeThe season finale drew 1.6 million viewers on Sunday. That was 73% more than the premiere episode and 31% more than the show’s season average.
Four. The 2022 NFL schedule continues to leak. CBS announced today that it will air Broncos at Rams at 4:30 pm ET on Christmas Day.
5. Inside the NBA‘s (and recent SI Media Podcast guest) Kenny Smith spoke with Chris Paul’s mom yesterday, and she shared the ugly details about what happened between her and the Mavericks fan during Sunday’s game.
6. This week Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features a conversation with Katie Nolan, who is part of the MLB coverage on Apple TV+.
Nolan talks about how he landed the job with Apple, what Apple is trying to accomplish with his broadcasts, understanding that traditional MLB fans may not get the broadcast, how he prepares for each game, and the time he was silent for several posts after reading the backlash on social media.
Nolan also talks about his time at ESPN, what he liked about working there, whether he thought ESPN knew how to use it, and what he learned about navigating the sports media business.
The podcast closes with our weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment with Sal Licata from WFAN radio and SNY TV in New York. This week, Jimmy and Sal read recent SI Media Podcast Apple Reviews, Talks Kevin Harlan Getting the Best Gig on Turner Sports, the NFL Giving a Game Exclusively to ESPN+, and More
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, and Google.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 67th birthday to the legendary Chris Berman.
Be sure to catch up with previous editions of Traina Thoughts and take a look at the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast presented by Jimmy Traina at Apple, Spotify either Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram Y tik tok.