Now that Tom Brady is retired, everybody is thinking about his looming presence at Fox. Everybody except for his supposed future broadcast partner Kevin Burkhardt.
As Burkhardt and Greg Olsen prepare to call Super Bowl LVII for Fox this weekend, they’re having to do so while answering countless questions about Brady. The latest question for Burkhardt came during an interview with John Ourand for the Sports Business Journal.
“The reality is other than being asked in every media interview that I have done, and I mean this on or off the record, I have not thought about Tom Brady as a broadcaster for 10 f*cking seconds,” Burkhardt told SBJ. “I just felt like it was out of bounds for me to be doing this right now and living in the moment and then texting Tom on the side, like, ‘Can’t wait for you to come, buddy.’”
Last week, Brady announced his retirement from the NFL, for a second time. But unlike his first retirement, this year’s announcement comes after Brady already signed a $375 million deal to join Fox Sports as an analyst once his playing career was finished. Brady is slated to join Burkhardt in the No. 1 broadcast booth for Fox, taking over for Olsen, who kept the lead analyst chair warm this season. And Brady’s retirement from the NFL has only increased speculation as to when he’ll formally join Fox, putting Burkhardt and Olsen in the unfair spot of having to repeatedly discuss his pending arrival.
“We know the situation,” Fox Sports’ NFL director Rich Russo told SBJ. “But it’s not something that we’re even thinking about. It’s all about what we’re doing now. You just have no idea what’s going to happen.”
Brady’s retirement appeared untimely for Burkhardt and Olsen. They were used to answering questions about Brady throughout the season, but were previously able to plead ignorance citing the fact that he hadn’t retired yet. Brady retiring less than two weeks before the Super Bowl meant the narrative surrounding his future changed just as Burkhardt and Olsen were getting ready to fulfill a week of media obligations.
For Burkhardt, however, he didn’t think about Brady as a broadcaster before the quarterback retired, and he’s not thinking about him after his retirement announcement. But no matter how many times or ways Burkhardt and Olsen answer the exhausted questions, they’re still going to be asked about Brady in every which way possible.