No Rookie Break Awaits Tom Brady

May 24th, 2022

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Many of the greats have tried — and many of ’em have failed.

The transition from the athletic field to the broadcast booth can be a treacherous one. Just ask Joe Montana, who called his wife while working his ninth game for NBC and spilled his guts over the phone.

“I quit,” Joe Cool told her from the booth during Super Bowl XXX. “‘I’m out of here. I can’t do this.”

Tom Brady thinks he can.

FOX Sports has announced that Brady intends to be an NFL analyst for the network when his playing days are over. That could be 2023, or it could be 2026, but at some point, Brady is expected to exchange his uniform for a FOX blazer.

During a conference call with ESPN’s new Monday Night Football crew, I asked Joe Buck and Troy Aikman how Brady will eventually fare as a color commentator.

“Would anybody ever bet against the guy being great at anything?,” Buck said. “He’s kind of cornered the market in that. But it’s a new thing, and with new opportunities come new responsibilities. I think it’ll be a steep learning curve, and I’m sure he’ll be fantastic.”

Montana isn’t the only star quarterback who fumbled the ball in the booth.

Joe Namath struck out with both NBC and ABC as an analyst. Johnny Unitas, the master of the 2-minute offense, couldn’t complete a sentence for CBS. Drew Brees has apparently been sacked after only one year offering commentary for NBC.

“We’re all drooling to get Brett Favre in the booth,” says CBS analyst Charles Davis. “Peyton Manning, they’d probably break the bank for. If you have aspirations for that, the better player you are, the better shot you have. The one thing you have to be careful of is you’re starting at a super-high level, so your mistakes are really glaring. If you’re at the highest level, you get dinged right from the start.”

A month after legendary pitcher Sandy Koufax retired from the Dodgers in 1966 at the age of 30, NBC offered him a 10-year deal worth $1 million, which was big money in those days.

Koufax worked the Game of the Week but never sounded comfortable. He was shy and introverted as a player and he offered little insight to viewers.

“When you look back at it, it seems a little nuts that a guy who didn’t talk much became an analyst,” wrote Philadelphia columnist Larry Merchant, who would later emerge as an astute boxing voice for HBO Sports.

No Shortcuts

Koufax held back some of his opinions because he didn’t want to criticize former teammates or players he had just competed against.

Brady will be entering a tough business that pays very well but offers little job security. Two years ago, FOX declined to re-sign Rondé Barber. Booger McFarland was dropped from the Monday night crew.

“Knowing football is important, but it’s not at the top of the list as to why someone is good at broadcasting or not good at broadcasting,” Aikman said. “Having an understanding of television helps. Having an understanding of timing and what’s happening in the game and what the game requires, it helps. It also helps if you’re working alongside a Hall of Famer.

“Like my career in football, if you’re surrounded by good people, you have a chance to have success. I think there have been people who have come into this profession and haven’t been surrounded by the best people and have struggled.”

Aikman’s still going strong after two decades in the booth, working primarily with Buck. If Brady is involved in a new venture, Aikman’s not betting against No. 12.

“I have nothing but respect for Tom,” he said. “Tom has won at everything he’s done in life, and there’s no reason to think that he won’t win at this, as well. The reason I believe that he’s going to be good is because he’s going to work.

“There’s a reason why he’s won seven Super Bowls, and it’s because he doesn’t take any shortcuts — and he’s not going to in broadcasting. I think that blueprint is one that not everyone follows, but I think he’ll be great.”

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18 Responses to “No Rookie Break Awaits Tom Brady”

  1. Cobraboy Says:

    I’m probably in the minority, but I like the hyper-analysis of Tony Romo.

    He takes X’s & O’s to a different level casuals can’t appreciate.

  2. MadMax Says:

    Yeah i like Romo, his voice is always scratchy but i can listen to him and enjoy it….about the only one i cant stand is collingsworth…mute goes on when hes in the booth, which is often.

  3. Eddie Marz Says:

    Never bet against Brady. Probably kill it in the booth. GOBUCS! Let’s hope that a little down the line.

  4. AKicknTheBucNuts Says:

    Hopefully, after one year, he gets sick of it in the booth and returns to the Bucs.

  5. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I really like Booger McFarland as an analyst, more than I liked him as a player.
    I like Tony Romo too, like Cobraboy does.
    I too am sick of Chris Collingsworth.
    I wonder how well Brady will do in the booth ?
    I guess time will tell

  6. Biff Barker Says:

    Tommy wont fail for lack of preparatinon. Like Montana, it may not interest him.

    Romo is a great announcer. He sees things we dont.

    Booger? Never have been a fan. On the field or in the booth.

    I did like Chucky too.

    Collingsworth, long in the tooth now, is just OK.

    A longtime favorite of mine was Dan Fouts. Both as a player and then calling games. Anybody know Fouts’ Father called 49’s games for over 20 years?

  7. GOB Says:

    Romo started off great, but some of the stuff he says now doesn’t make sense. I don’t need a football lesson on every damn play. I think Brady will be very restrained to start. Like his playing career, he’ll find out what works and expand it. He’ll find the weakness, and minimize it. For me Aikman is the gold standard. Everything he says is done with purpose, not much fluff. I’m glad he and Buck will be together at ESPN. His father, the late great Jack Buck is my favorite of all time.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    IMO Greg Olsen is also pretty good at it……..

  9. Biff Barker Says:

    TBF agree. I always liked Olsen except for 2 weeks a year. He killed us. Always wished he was a Buc.

  10. PSL Bob Says:

    Agree with most. Romo all day long. The Collinsworth thing is a little funky. I think his analysis is ok. The problem is he comes across too smug and cocky. Like he knows everything and is always right. Romo can be a bit self-deprecating which I think makes him real and likable.

    As far as Brady goes, his personality seems a little weak for broadcasting. He is smart and knows football inside and out, but will he be able to deliver that knowledge clearly and concisely to the audience. I guess we’ll see soon enough.

  11. Crickett Baker Says:

    I couldn’t stand Aikman. He got a LITTLE better towards the end of this season, but he drove me nuts. He strung all his comments together with the word “and” constantly, and sometimes filled two paragraphs with ONE sentence. I was griping about him constantly to anyone who would listen. I thought he was horrible and still do unless he quit that.

  12. PassingThru Says:

    Romo is the best by far, communicates a great understanding of the game and frames it for the situation on the field. Collinsworth? Not near Romo’s level, but he does understand the game. You just have to try filtering out Collinsworth’s smug, patronizing, self-satisfied tone, it can be grating.

  13. Lt. Dan Says:

    Although not a QB who can forget Emmitt Smith “Debacling” and “Carousing” his attempt at game day stuff.

  14. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Don Meredith was the best. Howard Cossell was the worst. Together, they were monumental.

  15. sasquatch Says:

    Don’t care.

  16. steele Says:

    Brady is going to be great. Because he is insanely obsessive and works hard. He’ll be fine. The question is how the “Horse-Faced Kommandant” (what a great nickname from this board!) will approve of hubby taking on yet another travel-intensive schedule every fall and winter, and still researching teams,watching film, and preparing for games. Who’s going to do the vacuuming and grocery shopping, while she’s supermodeling?

  17. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Never liked romo prob because of the hotties but the guy is great in the booth. Like cobroboy said the way he breaks down X’s n O’s is next level

  18. German Buc Says:

    Tony Romo is the reason you pay for NFL gamepass here in Germany.