In its 10th Super Bowl broadcast and a second Kansas City Chiefs win in successive appearances on the network, Fox had the high-profile Big Game debut of announcers Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen. In its 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Burkhardt and Olsen demonstrated a very good chemistry that they had shown since their pairing began in the 2021-22 season. Olsen’s performance during the most recent postseason gave fans and Fox Sports executives confidence that he would rise to the occasion for Super Bowl LVII.ย Olsen certainly did that as well as Burkhardt.

In the Fox Super Bowl pregame show, Burkhardt noted to Olsen that it was a long way from Wayne Hills, NJ. That was where Burkhardt was calling high school games which involved Olsen over twenty years ago.

From the opening drive to the winning field goal that gave Kansas City its third Super Bowl Championship and second in four years, Burkhardt and Olsen were on top of the action, calling out trends and staying on top of major stories like the condition of the State Farm Stadium field where players had trouble keeping their footing.

They got off to a good start on the first drives of the game by concisely explaining plays. When officials ruled that Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell scored what appeared to be the Eagles first touchdown, Olsen noted replays which showed him down before the goal line. The score was overturned and quarterback Jalen Hurts promptly scored on the next play.

On the ensuing drive, the Chiefs went down the field and scored on a pass from MVP Patrick Mahomes to tight end Travis Kelce. Olsen was able to use Fox’s technological tracking tools to break down the route that led to the Kelce touchdown:

In the first half, Olsen wondered if the lack of aggression by Chiefs coach Andy Reid on fourth down deep in Eagles territory which led to a Harrison Butker field goal would cost the team down the road. That eventually gave the Eagles an opportunity to score a touchdown and Olsen said coach Nick Sirianni had a history of being aggressive on fourth down and it gave the Eagles opportunities to extend their drives thus keeping Mahomes off the field.

But Kansas City stayed in the game early from a Hurts fumble, scoop and score. Burkhardt’s call was perfect:

Burkhardt cited a stat which said Mahomes hadn’t been on the field for 23 minutes in real time and had not warmed up. During the Chiefs’ subsequent drive, Mahomes hurt his ankle and Olsen said, “This drive is nightmare material for Kansas City.”

With an Eagles halftime lead of 24-14, Olsen said the Super Bowl halftime was extended to 29 minutes from the normal 13 minutes unlike the regular season. Olsen said he wondered how that would affect Mahomes’ ankle. After the Rihanna halftime show, Kansas City scored three touchdowns and the winning field goal. However, Philadelphia was matching KC’s scores and with the Eagles continuing to be aggressive on fourth down, Olsen said the they were “unbelievable how good they are at this.”

A storyline which reared its ugly head in the second half was the condition of the field. Players on both teams were slipping without being tackled. From the field, Tom Rinaldi reported that players were changing their cleats and Fox aired video of the stadium grounds crew trying to smooth the grass that had been cut up from the Rihanna performance. When Eagles kicker Jake Elliott fell on a kickoff almost twisting his ankle, Burkhardt said during a replay, “That’s a problem.”

The game had been clean for the most part until the end when a controversial holding call was flagged which extended a drive which gave the Chiefs an opportunity for a winning field goal. Olsen was unhappy with the call and disagreed with rules analyst Mike Pereira about the flag:

Burkhardt and Olsen were also on top of the winning moments:

As far as Fox was concerned, it did continue the tradition of debuting a new graphics package and scorebug. It was a cleaner look than the previous incarnation:

The usage of sideline reporters Erin Andrews and Rinaldi was kept to a minimum, but Fox suffered a dreaded glitch just after halftime:

Right before halftime, Fox’s Spider Cam was in the broadcast booth and barely cleared over Burkhardt’s head:

Fox’s replays during reviews could have been better especially when they were required to determine what was a catch and what was not a catch. Not all of them were clear and angles could not necessarily determine whether there was actually a football move or if the ball moved when the receiver hit the ground. These reviews led to some strange decisions and never gave a clear definition of what was a catch.

As far as the studio was concerned, Fox had a mixed bag as the pregame predictions went awry with the entire crew choosing Philadelphia:

During halftime, both Michael Strahan and Howie Long pointed out that Kansas City was a second half team and how the Chiefs came back against San Francisco down ten points in the 4th quarter in Super Bowl LIV.

But postgame had a strange exchange between Fox’s Terry Bradshaw and Chiefs coach Andy Reid where the former Pittsburgh quarterback asked Reid to waddle over to him and made a remark about having a cheeseburger:

Overall, Burkhardt and Olsen displayed that they could be Fox’s announcing team of the future which could call big games well into the 2030’s provided Tom Brady doesn’t enter the broadcast booth. Their grade for Super Bowl LVII is an A.

Fox’s production could have been better. Due to some unclear replays and the Rinaldi glitch, the broadcast could have been cleaner. The production gets a C.

The studio also gets a C.

The average grade for Super Bowl LVII on Fox was a B minus. The announcing certainly elevated the grade, but other weaknesses on the Fox broadcast were apparent throughout the event.

Super Bowl LVIII will be on CBS and it will be Jim Nantz and Tony Romo stepping up to the plate in 2024.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.