Getting ready for Sunday; For Fox there are lots, Burkhardt and Olsen have never done a Super Bowl

david halberstam round profile

A little nervous? I’d imagine, just a bit.

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen will do the play-by-play and color of their first Super Bowl ever. It will be anchored by reporters Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi. Fox Super Bowl LVII pregame show also features Hall of Famers, on-air personalities and 29 seasons worth of experience. The Foxies aired its first NFL game telecast on August 12, 1994, a preseason game between the Denver and San Francisco at Candlestick Park.

The Los Angeles  based Fox Sports was headed up by the creative David Hill, a creative producer and excellent negotiator. The very fact that Hill and his colleagues usurped the NFL from CBS tells the story.

As we approach the final and often most dramatic NFL event, the Super Bowl, hundreds of Fox Sports production people head to Glendale, Ariz., to contribute to its weighty 10th Super Bowl ever.

The meat of the programing will be the game itself at 6:30 PM ET). Fox says it will be “a powerhouse cast of all-star voices in place for Super Bowl LVII.” True, the audience is perennially enormous.

In a press release, Fox exulted: “Following a regular season that saw Fox NFL score the top NFL package on television and deliver an historic postseason schedule, featuring the most playoff games by one network in 40 years, Fox Sports proudly presents the NFL’s grand finale at State Farm Stadium as the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs.”

Play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt and three-time Pro Bowl tight-ender, Greg Olsen call the game itself. Erin Andrews, the first woman singularly honored with the Pat Summerall Award, and Tom Rinaldi, former ESPNer, a 17-time Sports Emmy Award winner, will be live from the field.

Mike Pereira, former head of officiating will work his fifth Super Bowl with Fox and 17th overall, offers analysis throughout the game live from Glendale, Arizona, outside Phoenix.

If you’re wondering about Phoenix’ pro-sports history, the first major league team was the NBA’s Phoenix Suns in 1968, the Arizona Cardinals in 1988, NHL’s Coyotes in 1996 and baseball’s Diamondbacks in 1998.

Brad Zager, President and Executive Producer, Fox Sports had these remarks heading into another Super Bowl “Following a highly successful and thrilling NFL regular season, and now with Super Bowl LVII upon us, it has never been more apparent that Fox IS football, said.“ So be it. Fox, under Hill and Zager have added elements such as score-bugs which add enormous instant info with reliable immediacy.

Fox claims that its NFL SUNDAY has been America’s most-watched NFL pregame show since its inception in 1994. The show and its entire cast were inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2019.

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.

Tom Brady and when he starts:

On Monday, Brady said, “For me, I know in my heart how I feel. I put it out on the field for 23 years and I’m super proud of what’s been accomplished. I just wanted to keep last week really short and sweet. I felt like I’ve given a lot, I’ve gained a lot, I’ve learned a lot, and life is about exciting things ahead, too.

“I’ve loved my time in football. It’s absolutely an incredible love in my life. It’s hard to make decisions like that, but it’s certainly the right time.”

A random note or two

Two network sportscasters share birthdays tomorrow, February 8th, ESPN’s and Blue Jays’ Dan Shuman (56) and CBS’ Ian Eagle (54). Each has a son embarked and engaged in the business, Noah Eagle, 25 and advanced. Ben Shulman is getting a profitable indoctrination from dad, Dan. Both Noah and Ben chose Syracuse University.

Men with fight in them when needed: Ten off the top of my head: Stephen A. Smith,  Dick Vitale, Barry Melrose, Dizzy Dean, Hawk Harrelson, Harry Caray, Joe Garagiola, Milo Hamilton, Jack Buck and yes, Curt Gowdy.

Name, image and likeness (NIL) deals have changed NCAA sports. But you might have seen that Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe of the Congo is receiving $2 million has ESPN’s Dick Vitale upset. Good to hear a spirited Dickie V tell it as he sees it.

ESPN’s Tom Hart and Jimmy Dykes were on the Kentucky home victory over a weak Florida team in the SEC. The two were exchanging all sorts of stories including one when the late Mike Pratt, longtime Cats’ analyst on radio and former player, stole Coach Adolph Rupp’s beer. Good job guys.

David J. Halberstam

David is a 40-year + industry veteran who served as play-by-play announcer for St. John's University basketball in New York and as radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat in South Florida. He is the author of Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History and The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

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