Many Chicago Bears fans rejoiced on Thursday night when GM Ryan Pace pulled the trigger on a trade-up from pick No. 20 to No. 11 for quarterback Justin Fields. The south side heard a particular roar out of Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, following the Bears selection of the Ohio State signal-caller.
The White Sox were in a rain delay for part of the evening but that didn’t dampen the excitement for Chicago’s new franchise quarterback. It’s been a rough sports stretch in the city, especially for Bears and White Sox fans who haven’t tasted playoff advancement in over a decade.
“If you’re looking at your phone and you’re cheering it’s Justin Fields,” White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti said. “Love it. Just random high fives at the ballpark in April.”
The south siders toppled the Detroit Tigers 11-0 in the second half of their Thursday doubleheader, capitalizing on the excitement in the stadium. Although, Bears fan may need to temper expectations a little bit for Fields in the short term if Pace’s comments to the media ring true.
“Matt [Nagy] has spoken to Andy Dalton tonight,” Pace said when he met with the media on Thursday. “That communication and clarity for us is really important. Andy is our starter, and we’re gonna have a really good plan in place to develop Justin and do what’s best for our organization and win games.”
The Bears signed Andy Dalton this offseason as their starting quarterback, a move that ruffled feathers in Chicago. Yet time was on the front office’s side and the board fell their way Thursday. Pace had a glowing review for his new young quarterback.
“When you see a guy with that kind of arm talent, with that kind of quarterback makeup that he has, with that kind of work ethic, that’s played in really big games and really big moments and performed in big moments, that’s extremely tough. . . Oh, and by the way, he runs a 4.44. You throw that all in together, and it just feels good.”
Greg Olsen To Partner With Kevin Burkhardt For Super Bowl LVII
“Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.”
The deal isn’t done yet, but Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reports that Greg Olsen is on his way to joining Kevin Burkhardt in the top NFL booth at FOX. Although Tom Brady will take over that role after he retires and leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Olsen will spend at least this season on FOX’s A-Team.
Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.
Earlier this year, the former Panther told The Mac Attack on WFNZ in Charlotte that he was disappointed he didn’t get to call a postseason game. He will more than make up for that in 2023. As Burkhardt’s partner, Olsen is in line to be the analyst for Super Bowl LVII.
Marchand writes that we could get a taste of what is to come in February. He speculates that if the Buccaneers are not in the Super Bowl, it is possible Tom Brady could make his FOX debut, either in the booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen or as part of the network’s studio show.
Now, FOX has to make a decision about it’s number 2 NFL booth. According to Marchand, Drew Brees is a candidate to be the analyst. Adam Amin and Joe Davis have emerged as candidates for the play-by-play role.
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.