The Fox NFL Sunday pregame show will look a little different this year. As of now, Fox is planning to go ahead with filming the show at its usual location at their studios in Los Angeles, but analyst Jimmy Johnson (who’s been part of the show since its 1994 beginnings) won’t be on set. Johnson, who’s 77 and lives in Miami, Florida, is opting to stay there “for the time being.” He tweeted about that Thursday:
After much consideration , and with the full support of FOX Sports, I’ve decided not to travel to L.A. studio for FOX NFL SUNDAY for the time being due to the pandemic. I will still contribute to the broadcast and I can’t wait to talk football with my guys remotely!
— Jimmy Johnson (@JimmyJohnson) August 13, 2020
Andrew Marchand of The New York Post added a statement from Fox:
Fox added that they will use him in unique ways. There is a chance he could eventually travel at some point, but, as of now, he is not.
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) August 13, 2020
We’ll see what those unique ways wind up being. But Johnson is far from the only older sports announcer or commentator who’s chosen to stay at home this year due to COVID-19 concerns, with others there including Turner NBA announcer Marv Albert (who’s 79), ESPN NBA commentator Hubie Brown (who’s 86), and NBC NHL announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick (who’s 74, and calling games from home for the moment). And given the virus’ impacts on older people, and its devastating impacts on even some younger people, there’s certainly some logic to some older analysts choosing to avoid regular travel at the moment.
For now, Johnson appears to be the only member of the NFL on Fox team who won’t be in the L.A. studios each week. But that could certainly change, especially perhaps with Terry Bradshaw (he’s turning 72 in September) and Howie Long (he turned 60 in January). We’ll see how the NFL on Fox broadcasts wind up.
[Andrew Marchand on Twitter]