As Troy Aikman’s contract with Fox is set to expire at the conclusion of the NFL Playoffs, the color analyst and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback is undoubtedly a highly sought-after free agent in sports media.
While Aikman has not ruled out a return to Fox, he recently suggested there is a chance Sunday’s NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams could be his final matchup in the Fox booth. There’s a possibility that Aikman could leave Fox to call games exclusively on Amazon’s new Thursday Night Football package with Al Michaels, the current play-by-play announcer on NBC Sunday Night Football. If Aikman were to leave Fox, the question then becomes who would be his replacement as Joe Buck’s new broadcast partner.
On Friday morning, The Mac Attack‘s Chris McClain and Travis Hancock spoke on the NFL playoffs and Carolina Panthers’ offseason with former NFL tight end Greg Olsen on WFNZ 610 AM in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Olsen started working as a Fox NFL color analyst full-time this season after occasionally calling games while an active player for the Panthers. Since going into broadcasting following his retirement from football in 2020, Olsen has received positive reviews. According to McClain and Hancock, he could be an ideal choice to join Buck in the booth.
“Olsen could end up somewhere in a front office down the line, but he’s doing a phenomenal job in TV,” said Hancock. “With the way he explains stuff [and] the way he talks [about] the game, if Troy Aikman does leave for Amazon and doesn’t do the Amazon-Fox double, Greg Olsen’s a natural number one with Joe Buck as well. I know that [Sean] Payton’s been named, but come on – Greg Olsen could very easily be their number one.”
Olsen has respect for Payton, who stepped down as head coach of the New Orleans Saints earlier this week and is reportedly contemplating an entry into sports media, whether in radio or television, in studio or in the booth. At the moment, Payton is not sure what is next for his football career, but Olsen knows from his experience playing against him that he was a savant of the game.
“I obviously had a lot of respect for his football mind and what he was able to do with those guys there,” said Olsen. “I understand from a fan standpoint, you always hate whoever you feel like is your enemy, but from the field I always liked competing against guys like that because they brought a good energy to the game.”
Olsen also talked about not being able to call any playoff games this year for Fox due to the way the schedule of broadcasting rights fell. Despite this, he looks forward to being on the mic for the big games down the road as his career in sports media continues.
“I’ve been sitting there watching every other network call multiple games,” explained Olsen. “Those are the games everybody wants. You want the marquee primetime night games during the regular season. You want playoff games. You want games that matter. That’s what every broadcaster really wants.”
Derek Futterman is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. In addition, he serves as the production manager for the New York Islanders Radio Network and lead sports producer at NY2C. He has also worked on live game broadcasts for the Long Island Nets and New York Riptide. He previously interned for Paramount within Showtime Networks and wrote for The Long Island Herald. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @derekfutterman.
Bobby Belt: ‘Pat McAfee Butchered The Name Shan and RJ’
“I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”
Shan and RJ is a show that routinely finds itself in the media spotlight. They may be a Dallas show, but when Jerry and Stephen Jones routinely appear on your airwaves, you are going to draw attention from outside of the market.
On Tuesday, Pat McAfee played a clip of the hosts talking to Jerry Jones. McAfee threw to the clip introducing the show as “Shan, RJ, and Chop.” On Wednesday morning, the 105.3 The Fan’s morning show had some fun with the former Colts punter’s struggles.
“There’s a lot to unpack here,” newly added co-host Bobby Belt said after listening to McAfee and his crew take three unsuccessful cracks at naming the show.
“Reggie made a good point yesterday when I was talking to him about this,” Belt said. “Reggie was like ‘I think McAfee was going to the clip, saw three faces and didn’t know a third name, and so he’s like ‘well, that must be RJ and Chop.’”
Belt delighted in the idea that in McAfee’s mind, RJ Choppy goes by “Chop” on air and even pointed out that one of the producers said that RJ “looks like a Chop.”
Pat McAfee called the show “Shan, RJ, and Chop,” “Shana, RJ and Chop,” and “Shannon and RJ” on different occasions according to Belt. He didn’t think it was disrespectful. He just didn’t understand how McAfee got it so wrong so often.
“They butchered this three ways to the weekend. I have no idea. I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”
Cubs Radio Voice Pat Hughes Named 2023 Frick Award Winner
Chicago Cubs radio voice Pat Hughes has been honored as the 2023 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award.
The award is given annually for “excellence in broadcasting” by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
“Known throughout the Midwest for his easy delivery and unparalleled knowledge, Pat Hughes has called some of the biggest moments in Cubs history and has provided the narrative for one of the most successful eras in the history of the franchise,” said National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Josh Rawitch. “Since arriving at Wrigley Field in 1996, Pat has served as the radio voice for nine postseason teams – matching an ardent fan base with his own passion in every broadcast. His reverence for baseball history and gift for storytelling have made him one of the game’s broadcast treasures.”
Hughes has spent more than 25 years as the voice of the Cubs, and is a nine-time winner of the Illinois Sportscaster of the Year Award. Earlier this year, Hughes found out on-air that he would be inducted into the Cubs Hall of Fame.
Hughes was previously a finalist for the award in 2016 and 2020.
Craig Carton: Jon Heyman ‘No Longer An Insider’ After Aaron Judge Gaffe
“That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”
MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman erroneously reported that New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was signing with the San Francisco Giants in free agency yesterday. That news was not well received by WFAN afternoon hosts Craig Carton and Evan Roberts.
After Heyman rescinded his original tweet saying “Arson Judge” appeared headed to the Giants, he resent a new one with the correct spelling. During the confusion, Roberts told producers to get Heyman — who is an Audacy contributor — on the phone, which Carton immediately shot down.
“No, we’re not putting him on the air,” Carton said. “I’m not putting him on the air. He doesn’t get a platform on this show. Listen, he made a deal with the devil when he took a job with The (New York) Post. That’s his business.”
While Carton and Roberts processed the news, producer Chris McMonigle said he was certain that Judge would be signing with the Giants, but that was not Heyman’s report, and would hold off until it was official.
Roberts mocked McMonigle by saying he was in denial. “He still hasn’t accepted that Jon Heyman knows what he’s talking about,” Roberts said. Moments later, McMonigle read Heyman’s follow up tweet apologizing for “jumping the gun”.
“That is a horrendous job by Jon Heyman,” Carton replied.
“Heyman’s done,” Roberts shouted. “Jon, what are we doing?”
“Heyman is no longer an insider,” Carton added. “That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”
Carton later took umbrage with Heyman deleting his tweets.
“To play fans like that is absolutely unacceptable. It’s not right. Sorry. That’s because everyone’s gotta be first. God forbid someone else has it first. You’re a clown. Your entire career’s work has just been flushed down the toilet.”