Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, New ‘Monday Night Football’ announcer on ESPN After working together at Fox Sports for more than two decades, they are acutely aware of the free agency frenzy they’ve been involved in lately, and they’re wielding influence over their successors at Fox.
The Post isn’t a passive observer of the journey, asking the pair on Monday’s ESPN conference call how much they’re paying attention to all the media chatter.
Buck interrupted him, laughing, “You got this stuff?”
“I really can’t keep up with it. I don’t want to disappoint anyone over there at The Post – Joe usually lets me know what’s going on,” Aikman said.
Buck chimed in to say he sent Aikman “cliff notes” about the stories.
“But I guess my response to this is that it’s interesting to see what’s going on,” Aikman said. “There’s been a lot of movement and discussion over the last few years. It’s turned into a pretty good business [Post columnist] Andrew Marchand. “
After Tom Brady retired, the idea of replacing Aikman at Fox didn’t cross his mind.
“As far as Tom is concerned, it’s not something I think he’s going to do, but I think he’s going to be great,” Aikman said. “I have a great relationship with Tom and we love his game. Since he went to Tampa in the NFC, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know him more. I think he’ll be great, it’s been a great hire,” Ike said Mann said.
“I’m as surprised as everyone else that I’m in this game against the announcer movement,” Barker said.
He marveled at how quickly the sports media had changed in a relatively short period of time: “Someone said to me the other day, ‘As fans, we need someone to tell us where all these sports announcers end up.’
“Everybody moved and moved places. Amazon was involved. They had a great team. My dad died 20 years ago, and I think he’d be stunned if he came out of his grave now, and he’d say, ‘ Wow! This is what is happening in this industry?
“It goes back to supply and demand and known quantities. As much as I would love to work with Troy and continue the relationship, I think that’s what attracts ESPN. If I could speak on their behalf, they’d get a booth, they know What they’ll get when opening day in Seattle arrives.”
He didn’t believe Brady would do well in the booth after having the greatest career of all time on the grill.
“In the case of Brady, would anyone bet that this guy is good at anything? He kind of corners the market on that. But, this is a new thing, and with new opportunities comes new responsibilities. I Think it’s going to be a steep learning curve and I think he’s going to be great. I tend to support everyone. I’m really happy for him.”
Later on the conference call, Aikman was asked about the biggest obstacle to being a great broadcaster. He said understanding football was important, but understanding factors such as television and timing was even more important for the role.
Working with talented behind-the-scenes producers and directors is also important, Eckman said, and some ex-athletes have failed on-air and might have succeeded if they had partnered with better outcast workers.
“As for Tom, I just respect him,” Aikman said. “Everything he’s done in life has won, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t. The reason I think he’ll be good is because he’ll work. The reason he’s played so long and won seven Super Bowls is because He doesn’t take shortcuts. And he doesn’t go radio.”
Regarding leaving Fox, Aikman said that throughout last season, he did not believe this would be his last year there.
He explained that most of his conversations “revolve around” splitting time Between Thursday Night Football on Amazon and Fox on Sunday afternoon, but ultimately there are questions about how many games he can play. Ultimately, ESPN got involved in the negotiations.
“It was an opportunity that ended up being the best fit for me,” Aikman said of joining ESPN, noting that he will still have the playoffs and the Super Bowl. “But I don’t think that’s going to happen until after the Super Bowl.”
Buck mentioned that he and Fox split amicably after the network pulled him out of the final year of his contract to join ESPN’s Aikman.
Buck is excited for his successors, Kevin Burckhardt and Joe Davis, who will take his place on Fox eventually hosting the Super Bowl and the World Series.
He said discussions about the breakup “could take a month” — and Fox understands how much he wants to join ESPN, not just for professional reasons, but for personal reasons.
“It fits my life very well, being selfish and personal,” Barker said. “But, having a wife [Michelle Beisner-Buck] Who’s been here for 7-8 years with little boys at home, and it just makes sense to simplify and cut things down in my life. Coming to ‘Monday Night Football’ and doing it in known quantities in Troy makes sense in the world. “