Since last May’s announcement that Tom Brady will join Fox Sports as their lead NFL analyst (on a contract reportedly worth $375 million over 10 years) when he does opt to retire, there’s been a lot of talk about how Fox might work him in even before that. That’s particularly true with them broadcasting Super Bowl LVII (their 10th Super Bowl) on Feb. 12. Back in October, Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports relayed a source’s thoughts on expected involvement for Brady:
“If he’s not playing in the game, I would expect Brady to be part of Fox’s Super Bowl coverage,” the source told FOS. “Definitely. I would be very surprised if he isn’t.””
Well, that source has now officially been surprised, with Fox laying out their game and pre-game broadcast plans Monday with no mention of Brady. Of course, that’s not necessarily surprising to those who have been tracking this recently, as last month saw Richard Deitsch of The Athletic relay comments from multiple industry sources that Fox had no plans to put Brady in their Super Bowl booth this year (which will remain Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen, with both trying to shrug off the looming spectre of Brady). Deitsch’s report specified that pregame content with Brady wasn’t ruled out at that point, though, so it’s certainly new and notable to get a listing of pregame content with no Brady. Here’s the list of people Fox has spelled out for the pregame:
FOX NFL SUNDAY has broadcast live on-location from each of FOX Sports’ previous nine Super Bowls and returns again for Super Bowl LVII. This year, the popular FOX NFL SUNDAY and FOX NFL KICKOFF talent combine to present five-and-a-half hours of live, comprehensive Super Bowl Sunday coverage on FOX SUPER BOWL LVII PREGAME live from Glendale, beginning at 1:00 PM ET on FOX. Curt Menefee hosts FOX SUPER BOWL LVII PREGAME alongside Pro Football Hall of Famer and four-time Super Bowl champion Terry Bradshaw. The duo is joined by Pro Football Hall of Famer and Super Bowl champion Howie Long; Hall of Famer and Super Bowl champ Michael Strahan; Pro Football Hall of Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion coach Jimmy Johnson; four-time Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski; and FOX NFL insider, author and speaker Jay Glazer.
…Also joining FOX SUPER BOWL LVII PREGAME coverage throughout the day are host Charissa Thompson; Super Bowl champion coach Sean Payton; Pro Football Hall of Famer and Super Bowl champ Charles Woodson; four-time Pro Bowler Michael Vick; NFL insider/reporter Peter Schrager; FOX NFL reporter Kristina Pink; “The Manning Hour” host Cooper Manning; and the FOX Super Bowl LVII announce team of Burkhardt, Olsen, Andrews and Rinaldi.
It’s notable that there has also been stated industry doubt on if Brady will ever actually take up game broadcasting. Of course, the 45-year-old quarterback hasn’t yet even announced a retirement yet. And he may not, and there’s also a history of retirement not sticking for him. So this may all be a discussion that gets punted until next offseason or beyond. But it is significant that Brady was not listed in these Fox Super Bowl plans.
[Fox Sports Press Pass; Jan. 1 photo of Brady from Kim Klement/USA Today Sports]