The meteoric rise of Fox Sports play-by-play man Kevin Burkhardt was one of the best stories in the industry in 2013. He started the season as a rookie amongst the exclusive fraternity of NFL TV announcers and was best known for his work on the sidelines with the New York Mets. He ended the season calling a Divisional Round playoff game with John Lynch after earning the assignment through the pair’s work during the season.
If there’s one thing you can give credit to Fox for in their NFL announcing assignments, it’s that they are less prone to the announcing hierarchy than other networks and announcers can move up based on merit. That was the case with Burkhardt and Lynch and after an excellent 2013, they begin 2014 as the #2 team and will call an NFC South rivalry game in Week 1 with Saints-Falcons.
While that was the major change Fox made last year, the biggest move heading into this season is Erin Andrews replacing Pam Oliver as the sideline reporter on the A Team alongside Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. It’s hard to believe, but it’s Buck and Aikman’s 13th year together in the booth with Fox and their first with EA. Buck, Aikman, and Andrews will call Cowboys-49ers at 4:25 ET in the opening week.
The decision by Fox has been the subject of some controversy as Oliver spoke out publicly over how it all played out. Andrews has moved past her college football hosting role at Fox Sports and is now back on the sidelines full-time for the foreseeable future while Oliver will work with Burkhardt and Lynch.
Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa, formerly the #2 team at the network, return in tact for the 2014 season (and will call Bears-Bills in Week 1), but after that the NFL on Fox lineup sees a significant amount of change.
After Brian Billick’s contract was not renewed by the network, Thom Brennaman is joined by recently retired New York Giants lineman David Diehl. The new pairing gets Redskins-Texans in Week 1.
Analyst Tim Ryan left Fox to join the San Francisco 49ers radio team, so Chris Myers is joined by former Buccaneers CB Ronde Barber. They have the call of Bucs-Panthers in the opening week.
And in what may be the most interesting development, veteran play by play man Dick Stockton will work with a rotating group of analysts this season including new Fox Sports hire Brady Quinn, Fox Sports Live panelist Donovan McNabb, and former Raiders LB Kirk Morrison, who will work St. Louis-Minnesota alongside Stockton in Week 1.
Here’s the full roster of NFL on Fox broadcast teams for 2014…
1) Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews
2) Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch and Pam Oliver
3) Chris Myers, Ronde Barber and Jennifer Hale
4) Thom Brennaman, David Diehl and Laura Okmin
5) Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa
6) Dick Stockton, Donovan McNabb/Brady Quinn/Kirk Morrison and Kristina Pink
The most interesting news in the NFL on Fox broadcast lineup may be who’s slated to join the weekly commentary teams from time to time in spot duty. Yes, there are plans for Gus Johnson (and Charles Davis) to return to the NFL on Fox broadcast booth to announce a couple games amidst the busy college football schedule. But Gus is not the only Fox Sports announcer crossing over from another sport to call NFL games this fall. There are also plans for UFC announcer Mike Goldberg to make the transition for a limited number of games as well. On the play by play side, Sam Rosen and FS1’s Justin Kutcher will also feature along with FS1 analyst Brendon Ayanbadejo.
The lineup for the perennial leader in the clubhouse for Sunday morning pregame shows, Fox NFL Sunday, remains the same for 2014. Curt Menefee will host alongside Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Strahan, and Jimmy Johnson. Jay Glazer, Mike Pereira, and Rob Riggle all return in their roles. That’s not all the pregame action though as Fox Sports 1 will air Fox NFL Kickoff at 11 AM ET, hosted by rising star Joel Klatt along with Donovan McNabb, Randy Moss, and Brian Urlacher.