Troy Aikman was the first domino to fall in the whirlwind of broadcasting changes that hit the NFL this offseason. And after spending 21 years with Fox, Aikman is disappointed in how they handled his departure.
Aikman left Fox for ESPN, where he’ll help bring stability to their Monday Night Football booth for the first time in nearly a decade. Speaking to the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Aikman was still confused as to why Fox didn’t re-sign him.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” Aikman said after host Jimmy Traina asked why Fox allowed him to join ESPN. “I don’t know that I ever will get the answer to that one. I think through it all, it’s a business. Fox is welcome to do whatever it is they feel is in their best interest as I am, as everybody is, so there’s no hard feelings about anything. I had a great 21 years at Fox. I guess what’s perplexing to me is that I had no conversation with my boss [Fox Sports president Eric Shanks] until he called me to congratulate me on my contract with ESPN.”
Doesn’t get more honest than this.
YOUTUBE: https://t.co/q0rfNFqbQT pic.twitter.com/w1Kg3fmmVg
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) March 22, 2022
“I guess it’s disappointing,” “Aikman continued on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast. “I would’ve thought there would’ve been a conversation at least. And then when I did talk with him, I just asked for an explanation on some things that I didn’t quite understand, and he opted not to do that as well. I guess that’s where it’s left and that’s how I’ll leave Fox and that’s fine. I’m excited about ESPN and thrilled to continue to work with Joe.”
After Aikman joined ESPN, the Worldwide Leader convinced his longtime broadcast partner Joe Buck to also make the move, further bolstering their Monday Night Football booth.
Last week, Buck spoke about joining ESPN and admitted Fox wanted him to stay. But Aikman doesn’t appear to feel similarly regarding his own exit, previously admitting Fox never even made him an offer to stay. Despite his disappointment in how Fox handled his exit, Aikman insists there are no hard feelings about the business decision that ultimately led to him receiving a $90 million contract.
“I think it was a good move on Fox’s part,” Aikman said of the network letting their No. 1 broadcast team go to ESPN. “They’re able to not only hit the reset as far as costs go, but then also to just have a fresh start much like they had 20 years ago with an entirely new crew.”
[Sports Illustrated Media Podcast]