Greg Olson called Sunday's NFC Championship Game, a historic comeback and two questionable practice decisions that drew nearly 57 million viewers — making it the fourth-most-watched non-Super Bowl telecast in Fox history.
This could be Olsen's last game as the network's lead analyst. Despite overwhelmingly positive reviews from fans and media critics since Tom Brady joined the network, Olson remains a different man.
“From everything we've been told it looks like it's popular. We have been planning for two years. We knew when we went to work that Brady was there whenever he decided to come,” Olson said during a phone interview Tuesday.
“But one thing I will say is, I'm proud of what we've done for two years. From (Kevin) Burkhart to Erin (Andrews) and Tom (Rinaldi) to our producer, to our whole truck, I don't know any crew – does anyone make a better football game than us. I don't know that.
With Troy Aikman (ESPN), Cris Collinsworth (NBC), Kirk Herbstreit (Amazon) and Tony Romo (CBS) featured as lead analysts elsewhere, Olson doesn't have a clear landing spot. Network no. 2 Some industry experts believe it is more likely that he will remain at Fox as an analyst.
Olson, a former Carolina Panthers tight end, said he plans to look at “the full range of opportunities” with Fox and other networks. But he credits Fox for giving him his start in broadcasting with a couple of cameo opportunities while he was still playing, then a full-time analyst in 2021.
“Nari (decision makers) believed in me from the beginning. When I was playing again in 2017, they gave me my first opportunities to do it in a week apart,” he said. “No one has been as adamant about my future in this business as Fox, and for that I will be forever grateful.”
Olsen, 38, who lives in Charlotte, said his goal remains the same as it was when he entered broadcasting — to call big games like Super Bowls and Sunday's NFC title game between the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions.
“It's hard to predict how it's going to play out,” Olson said. “But my ultimate goal is to call premiership games at the top of the ladder and that effort will not change whatever happens next year with my current role.”
Brady said he plans to begin his broadcast career with Fox in the fall of 2024. His deal is reportedly a 10-year, $375 million deal to join Fox as a broadcaster.
What's next for Greg Olsen? Taking Fox's No. 2 gig behind Tom Brady might be his best move
Olson thrived in the booth
It's remarkable to think that Sunday might have been Olsen's last game as the No. 1 analyst in the short term, but that's the case. He has put on a clinic the past two seasons while shadowing Brady as he waits for the No. 1 analyst chair on Fox's top NFL team. We've never seen a legitimate No. 1 sports broadcast analyst on the job, but his replacement has been hired at the appointed time.
In 2022, the year of NFL broadcasting's musical chairs, Troy Aikman left Fox to join ESPN, and longtime partner Joe Buck eventually followed. No. on Fox. 2 After the two found great chemistry on an NFL team, it has intensified the teaming of Olsen and Burkhart. They grew into an amazing listen, a great Super Bowl broadcast and each week Olsen gave viewers a unique look thanks to watching the game as a tight end and his in-depth preparation during the week (Fox NFL staff confirm this).
What happens next? Fox hasn't given any details on what they have planned for 2024, but has said multiple times that Brady will join the network for the 2024 season, and Fox Sports has worked on the premise that the job will be Brady's when he arrives. A Fox Sports spokeswoman declined comment Sunday on specific talent assignments for the 2024 NFL season. The spokesperson said: “The network will reveal its complete production/talent plans in the future, as it does before each season.” — Richard Deitch is a veteran sports media writer
(Photo: Kevin Sapitus/Getty Images)