Play-by-play broadcaster Ian Eagle has his hands full calling NBA, NFL, NBA, and college basketball games for CBS, TNT, TBS, and YES, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been paying attention to all of the drama surrounding Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, and Tom Brady over at Fox.
Eagle stopped by the latest SI Media With Jimmy Traina podcast and gave his thoughts on the saga that could see Olsen get booted from the A-team booth in spite of doing what many consider a great job.
Eagle agrees with the sentiment that Olsen is doing everything that’s been asked of him, saying that when he’s worked with him in the past that he was “blown away by how honest he was, how sharp he was, how much insight he provided.
“You could tell this guy had a chance to be really good at this. So it’s not that shocking that he’s done this at a very high level.”
Eagle had some advice for his play-by-play counterpart Burkhardt, regardless of where things go in the future.
“If you’re Kevin, go about your business,” said Eagle. “That’s the only thing you can do. The other part of the story is that these are arranged marriages. You don’t get to choose who you work with. Management makes the decision. You put your trust in that. I can just tell you from my perspective, you go out and you make it work. That’s your job. Your job is to make it work.”
As far as whether or not Brady will be successful as a broadcaster, Eagle shares the sentiment that many other media people have shared that he’ll certainly work hard to make it happen.
“Tom is extremely likable, extremely smart, extremely insightful. I think he has a chance to be great at this if he wants to do this and truly do it full-time,” said Eagle. “This guy hasn’t done anything poorly. Anything he puts his mind to, he’s gonna do well. If he puts the time and effort in, like I think he will, he’s gonna wanna be the best at it.”
Traina mentioned that if Brady were to replace Olsen in the booth, there’s likely to be a backlash or desire to see him fail for it.
“You’re right,” said Eagle. “There will be the natural backlash because A) it’s Tom Brady, so there are many fans who already have a general feeling on him and then the second part is there are fans who like the pairing [of Burkhardt and Olsen] and rightfully so. They’ve been excellent together. So is there an X on his back. Yeah. But he’s dealt with a lot worse. I don’t think that it’s something he would lose a whole lot of sleep over.
“I think the part he’s gonna have to determine is if he’s all in. If you’re all in, then, this, not to say it consumes every part of your being, but knowing him, he’ll wanna be great, and being great requires you to put the time and effort in.”