Tom Brady won’t be joining the Fox broadcast booth this season (barring an extreme shift in his thinking), and might not even be joining next season. But when he does retire from his playing career, Brady will be heading to the broadcast booth working alongside Kevin Burkhardt, and everyone’s got a take on how Brady will be as an analyst.
Sam Farmer of the LA Times caught up with three quarterbacks turned analysts: Rich Gannon, Kurt Warner, and Steve Young. All had thoughts on Brady’s road to the broadcast booth and advice for him, but what Warner said truly stuck out to me. Warner told Farmer that Brady must “figure out how to truly analyze and be critical of what’s going on but not be critical of people,” which seems like good advice.
Here’s the full context from Farmer’s column.
“That’s one of the challenges as you get into television: What am I going to be as an analyst?” Warner said. “One of the hardest things is, when you’re a guy like Tom Brady that everybody likes and you want to be liked by people, and you have to figure out how to truly analyze and be critical of what’s going on but not be critical of people.
“Everybody’s afraid of, I don’t want to offend anybody, but I also want to do my job and I want to do it really well. It’s something that I’ve struggled with, because I don’t feel as if I ever attack anybody and say, ‘This person’s terrible.’ But there are times when you go, ‘This isn’t very good. They should do this or that.’
“I’ve seen people take it personally. You can’t just be a nice guy and really be good in this business. Now, calling games can be different than being an analyst in a studio. But at the same time, you’ve got to be able to be critical. … For me, I never attack a person, but I always attack a problem.”
Yeah, this checks out to me. A game analyst can’t just be a Twitter troll, trashing players because of the level of their play without doing a deeper dive into what’s going on. It’s easy to see a corner get cooked on three straight drives, and it’s not the job of a top level analyst to point that out. It’s their job to explain how it happened, and Brady is going to have to work on that once he gets into the booth.