Greg Olsen is in the awkward position of having to keep Tom Brady’s analyst chair warm until the quarterback decides to retire from playing and transition to Fox.
The man in the middle of it all, Kevin Burkhardt joined Jimmy Traina’s latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast. There, the play-by-play voice discussed calling games with Olsen as Tom Brady’s presence looms.
While Olsen’s temporary status as the lead analyst with Fox is strange, more awkward is the fact that he has to sit in pregame production meetings with Brady every time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the network’s national window. According to Burkhardt, Olsen quickly broke the ice during their first meeting with Brady this season.
“I can tell you one thing, some of the other stuff I’ll leave with us,” Burkhardt told Traina. “We’re just shooting the shit at first, like you usually do before you actually start these meetings. Greg said, ‘Tom, I gotta tell ya, this TV thing sucks.’ It was great, we were dying laughing. It was fun, we had a good back and forth.”
Burkhardt and Olsen were named the successors to Joe Buck and Troy Aikman as the lead broadcast crew for Fox this NFL season. Brady is the lead analyst in waiting and there are 375 million reasons why Olsen can’t do anything to change that, even as he tries his best to prove he deserves to keep the gig. For Burkhardt, he’s kept a business as usual mentality throughout the season, despite knowing that if all goes to plan for Fox, he could be calling games alongside Brady as soon as next year.
“I haven’t thought about it for one single second since the news broke,” Burkhardt said of Brady’s deal with Fox. “You just can’t. Spirit [Olsen] can’t either.”
[Sports Illustrated Media Podcast]