With or without Tom Brady, Greg Olsen is ready for the biggest stage of his budding sports television career.
Olsen and play-by-play partner Kevin Burkhardt are poised to call Fox Sports’ broadcast of Super Bowl LVII from Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12, 2023.
Looking toward Super Sunday, Olsen tells Front Office Sports he will follow the same routine he did as a three-time Pro Bowler for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, and Seattle Seahawks. Prepare for every game – and game telecast – like it’s the Big One.
“We’re going to keep being us. We’re going to keep doing our brand of broadcasting. We think people have responded really well to it. We think people like it,” said the 14-year NFL veteran.
“We will just keep being true to that. Regardless of 40 million, 20 million, or 100 million (viewers), we’re going to keep approaching each broadcast and each game and do the best that we can.”
It’s been a meteoric rise for the 37-year Olsen. In 2017, he was still an active NFL player calling games for Fox on his off weeks.
Last year, he rose to Fox’s No. 2 game analyst behind Troy Aikman. Then, when Fox’s No. 1 team of Aikman and Joe Buck jumped to rival ESPN, Olsen and longtime friend and fellow New Jersey native Burkhardt were anointed the network’s No. 1 NFL team over more experienced colleagues.
On Super Sunday, they’ll be joined by sideline reporters Tom Rinaldi, Erin Andrews, and rules analyst Mike Pereira for Fox’s 10th overall Super Bowl broadcast.
Separately, Olsen has become a media entrepreneur, co-founding the new podcast/production company Audiorama with Hollywood actor Vince Vaughn and former Panthers teammate Ryan Kalil.
As the father of three young children, Olsen has focused his own “Youth Inc.” podcast on the changing world of youth sports.
When it comes to Fox’s NFL coverage, Brady looms large. The seven-time Super Bowl champion signed a monster 10-year, $375 million deal to become Fox’s No. 1 analyst when he retires. If Brady’s not playing in Super Bowl LVII, Fox “definitely” wants him to be part of its coverage, sources said.
Olsen said that whether or not Brady plays a role in Fox’s coverage is strictly up to the bosses. So far, the subject has not been brought up.
Whatever they decide, Olsen believes he and Burkhardt have proven their ability to deliver on the big stage.
The duo recently called the Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day. With 42 million viewers, it was the most-watched regular season game in NFL history, beating the Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers in 1990.
“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” he said. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”
Meanwhile, Olsen confirmed he’s negotiated a new, more lucrative contract reflecting his “A-Team” status. But he declined to specify contract terms or numbers.
Olsen knows he’s a placeholder for Brady. But who’s to say when the 45-year-old quarterback will hang them up? Or if Brady will change his mind about TV the way he changed his mind about retirement?
Remember, it only took Brady 40 days to “unretire” – and rejoin the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season.
During his first Fox production meeting with Brady, Olsen decided to tackle the “elephant in the room” with some humor.
Olsen admitted the story was true.
“We all got a good laugh out of stating the obvious. We’ll see how everything works out and plays out. But for the meantime, I will enjoy doing what I’m doing. How will next year work itself out? We’ll see when we get there.”