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NY Daily News’ Bob Raissman: Phil Simms Should Be Amazon’s ‘TNF’ Analyst

Former New York Giants linebacker Carl Banks is campaigning for Fox to hire his old teammate for the broadcast booth.

Jordan Bondurant

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Phil Simms

News dropped last week that Troy Aikman is reportedly set to join the Monday Night Football booth on ESPN. Now, not only does Fox need a new color commentator alongside Joe Buck, but Amazon is still on the lookout for an analyst for its Thursday Night Football broadcast on Prime Video this fall.

New York Daily News columnist Bob Raissman believes the man Amazon should be looking at for the position is Phil Simms.

“He may not be fresh off the field, but Simms sounds like he never left it,” Raissman wrote. “Most importantly, Simms has a distinct personality. His country wit, and comforting presence, makes him one of the most likeable NFL analysts on TV. Yet he also has the unique ability to deliver hard truths and caustic opinions (even on the NFL media) when necessary.”

Simms, who has been with CBS for nearly 20 years, has the experience working games with some of the best in the business (Greg Gumbel, Jim Nantz, Dick Enberg). The chance to add another veteran voice to the presentation, Raissman writes, is something that Amazon brass should realize is staring them in the face.

Raissman isn’t the only one sharing that opinion, by the way. Former New York Giants linebacker Carl Banks is campaigning for Fox to hire his old teammate for the broadcast booth.

Responding to Banks’s tweet, WFAN’s Evan Roberts and Craig Carton also advocated Simms as a good hire for Fox.

“(T)hey should realize there is a marquee voice in the ozone who would bring instant credibility to their product, a voice who is as good or better than any of the candidates who have surfaced,” Raissman wrote.

No telling if Simms has anything in his current CBS contract that would allow him to make the jump to Amazon if they came calling. But Raissman and others are clearly advocating for the former Giants quarterback to get a shot.

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Jay Williams Tells Stephen A. Smith His Criticism Of Kyrie Irving ‘Seems Personal’

“You say I’m being sensitive and I don’t know why, but you’re the one that’s very emotional right now.”

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Kyrie Irving is a lot of things. Boring is rarely one of them. Discussions of Kyrie Irving can get heated, particularly when those discussions involve Jay Williams and Stephen A. Smith of ESPN.

Williams was a guest on First Take Monday morning. He was part of a panel discussing Irving’s trade request, which ultimately ended with him as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. He and Smith butted heads

“First off, I’m not the one yelling,” he said to Smith. “You say I’m being sensitive and I don’t know why, but you’re the one that’s very emotional right now.”

That comment was met with an “Oh my God!” from Smith, who laid back while Williams told him that it seemed like Smith is considerably harder on Irving and more triggered by stories about him than about any other athlete.

Smith answered that he is always triggered. Williams, as a regular viewer of First Take, said that did not feel true. He said that it seemed like Stephen A. Smith has a personal problem with Kyrie Irving.

“You — of all people, with all the interest you have — have the nerve to sit here on national television and tell me I’m getting personal with a player?” Smith responded. “I don’t lose no sleep. I don’t lose any sleep over Kyrie Irving.”

Smith then claimed he’d to have too much to say. Jay Williams said he did too, to which Smith started saying “Just say it, Jay.”

Williams met those demands with “I’m not here for that” and “I am on your show,” as host Molly Qerim tried to bring the temperature down.

When it comes to daytime sports television, there will always be questions about how authentic the arguments really are. Last year, Jay Williams was a guest on The Jason Barrett Podcast. He admitted on that show that Smith’s discussions of Kyrie Irving are something he has seized on to create conflict when they are together.

“The way he went at Kyrie all of last year ‘Well, you know some people don’t like to come to work. Some people don’t like to be here’ and then all the sudden for him to flip and be like ‘I’m choosing Kyrie Irving for my MVP’ I’m like ‘No! No, you can’t do that!’

Whether this was co-workers genuinely butting heads, a disagreement played up for the cameras, or some combination of the two, will likely only be known by Stephen A. Smith and Jay Williams. Plenty of their sports media colleagues took notice though.

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FOX Sells Out Super Bowl Ad Time

Some advertisements were sold for more than $7 million, while the average price slotted between $6 and $7 million.

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FOX Sports has reportedly sold out its allotment of Super Bowl ads, with some fetching $7 million for a 30-second spot.

According to a report from Deadline, the average price per ad was between $6 and $7 million, per FOX Sports Executive Vice President of Ad Sales Mark Evans.

Evans also told Deadline the ad slots for the event sold out two weeks ago. Volatility with some advertisers — like cryptocurrency brand FTX — and economic conditions were listed as reasons for why it took until three weeks before the event to sell out.

“As things have now settled down a bit and people feel better about the economic trajectory, a few of those units that were available picked up in earnest,” Evans said.

FOX claimed in September it had sold 95% of its available ad space for television’s largest event.

The $7 million price-tag for a 30-second commercial is in line with what first-time Super Bowl ad buyers paid for in 2022 when the event aired on NBC. That network’s reported asking price for commercials was between $5.8 and $6.2 million, with 40 advertisers joining the fray for Super Bowl LVI.

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Kevin Harvick Joining NASCAR on FOX Booth in 2024

“Getting the chance to step into the booth with Mike and Clint in 2024 is an honor.”

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NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick is retiring from the sport after the 2023 season, but he won’t be leaving completely. Sunday, Harvick announced he’ll join the NASCAR on FOX booth next season.

Harvick will join Mike Joy and former teammate Clint Bowyer for FOX’s portion of the NASCAR schedule.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the FOX NASCAR team full-time,” Harvick said. “I’ve enjoyed the experience in the booth the last several years because it has given me valuable insight into what being in the booth is all about. Getting the chance to step into the booth with Mike and Clint in 2024 is an honor and a great way to stay connected to the sport and NASCAR fans.”

Harvick has been a regular contributor to the network’s coverage of NASCAR’s lower series’ — the Craftsman Truck Series and the Xfinity Series — since 2015. He’ll make appearances in the FOX booth for select races in both of those series’ telecasts during the 2023 season in preparation for his full-time role in 2024.

“I can’t overstate how thrilled we are for Kevin to be an official member of the FOX Sports family,” FOX Sports President of Productions and Executive Producer Brad Zager said. “This is a marriage eight years in the making — since he first stepped into our NASCAR Xfinity Series booth with more presence and poise than most newcomers dream of. It has been fun to watch Kevin learn the TV ropes, and we cannot wait to hear him, Mike (Joy) and Clint (Bowyer) call their first race together.”

Harvick has raced in NASCAR’s top series since 2001, having the unenviable task of replacing legend Dale Earnhardt after his death during the 2001 Daytona 500.

The 47-year-old Harvick has won 60 races during his career. He won all four of what would be considered NASCAR’s “crown jewel events”, the Daytona 500 (once), the Coca-Cola 600 (twice), the Southern 500 (twice), and the Brickyard 400 (three times). He also took home the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series Championship, in addition to two Xfinity Series Championships.

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