For the third time this offseason – recall that clunky retirement and return to the Bucs after less than seven weeks of family time!!!??? – Tom Brady surprised the football world when it was announced this week that whenever his playing career actually concludes he’ll be joining the FOX NFL broadcast crew as the network’s lead color commentator.
It had previously been generally presumed that Brady’s post-playing days would revolve around his many business endeavors or taking a role in a team’s front office/ownership. But instead he’s apparently going to take the traditional route and jump right into the media fray.
A big reason? The pay.
Brady reportedly inked a 10-year, $375 million contract with FOX, more than he’s earned in the entirety of his NFL career that’s spanned more than two decades of his dominance on the way to seven Super Bowl rings.
While Brady’s accomplishments on the field are beyond questioning at this point, his GOATness’ future as a valuable, relatable and entraining broadcaster are very much up for debate.
In fact, that debate is how things got rolling on this week’s edition of the 6 Rings and Football Things podcast.
Brady, after all, is a guy who’s emphasized many times that he lies 90 percent of the time and generally only says things that are positive. If that’s the mindset he brings to the broadcast booth, then FOX will get little return on its investment beyond an early bump of TB12 star power.
Now if Brady is the competitive, emotional personality he is on the football field, a guy with more Super Bowl and dynasty stories to tell than anyone not named Bill Belichick, well that could make for must-see Sunday afternoon TV.
Beyond Brady’s approach to his retirement side-gig, there’s the question of just how much value an analyst with even his global star power can bring to a broadcast. Fans tune in – or out -- for the game, the players and the football action, not because of the voice or words coming through their TV speakers.
Still, the fact that Brady is going into the booth rather than the owners’ box or politics or the boardroom is fascinating on some level.
His well-documented preparation and attention to detail might just make him a TV natural.
Or, he might be just another pretty face ex-player and empty suit of all-too-positive clichés.
Either way, Brady’s TV future made for a fun discussion to kick things off on this week’s latest edition of WEEI/Audacy’s 6 Rings and Football Things podcast!