According to sources, with Tom Brady officially announcing his retirement, Fox Sports is weighing the ultimate Hail Mary for Super Bowl LVII.
Namely, putting Brady into a three-person booth with Greg Olsen and Kevin Burkhardt for its broadcast of the Big Game on Feb. 12.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion signed a monster $375 million, 10-year deal to join Fox as its No. 1 NFL analyst.
It would be a risky move by Fox to put a TV rookie in the booth with its current No. 1 broadcast team during the most-watched TV show of the year.
On the other hand, this is Tom Terrific. What better way to announce to the world that Brady is now a Fox broadcaster than to have him help call the Big Game?
Brady would be surrounded by TV veterans who can make him look good, including Olsen, Burkhardt, sideline reporters Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi, and rules analyst Mike Pereira.
“Who can tell TV viewers more about playing quarterback in the Super Bowl than Tom Brady?” noted one source. “He’s under contract to join Fox when he retires. So f— it! Let’s put him in the booth.”
On the other hand, Brady would have less than two weeks to prepare for such a high-profile appearance.
Even Brady wouldn’t want to flop out of the gate in his new career as a sportscaster. So it’s more likely he will pop on Fox’s five-plus hours of pregame programming on Super Sunday or make a cameo appearance in the booth.
The network will offer star-studded versions of its two pregame shows: Charissa Thompson’s “Fox NFL Kickoff” and Curt Menefee’s “Fox NFL Sunday.”
Among the big names slated to appear on studio shows that day are: incoming Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton, Brady’s former teammate Rob Gronkowski, Michael Vick, and reporters Peter Schrager and Kristina Pink.
“Following a highly successful and thrilling NFL regular season, and now with Super Bowl LVII upon us, it has never been more apparent that FOX is football,” said executive producer Brad Zager in a statement before Brady’s retirement announcement. “We take tremendous pride in the honor of broadcasting our 10th Super Bowl with a continued commitment to telling the stories of the game through a star-studded lineup of dynamic voices across FOX Sports’ pregame and game coverage.”
Ultimately, it’s up to Brady to decide what he wants to do, if anything, said sources. Or even if he will ultimately join Fox in the booth at all.
Fox respected the football legend’s desire to play another NFL season this year. They’re not going to rush their prized hire, especially with the network poised to call two of the next three Super Bowls.
Brady will have plenty of opportunities to appear on Fox’s airwaves during Super Bowl week in Phoenix if he wants.
The network will offer over 50 hours of pregame programming across Fox, FS1, and Fox Deportes.
Either way, Fox can’t lose.
The network is “thrilled” with the performance of Olsen-Burkhardt as their No. 1 announce team this season, sources said.
Even if Brady were to skip the Super Bowl or change his mind about joining Fox, the network is completely confident the young duo has what it takes to call Super Bowl LVII.
Fox could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning on Brady.