1. We haven’t seen many significant changes to the Sunday NFL broadcast teams for CBS and Fox over the past few years.
That was set to change for the 2020 season when Charles Davis left Fox’s No. 2 team, with Kevin Burkhardt, to join CBS’s No. 2 team, with Ian Eagle.
The gig with Eagle opened up when CBS parted ways with Dan Fouts.
Fox announced its full roster of NFL broadcast teams for the 2020 season on Monday, and here’s what it looks like:
• Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Mike Pereira
• Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Pam Oliver
• Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth and Lindsay Czarniak
• Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma and Shannon Spake
• Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman and Laura Okmin
• Chris Myers, Greg Jennings, Brock Huard and Jennifer Hale
• Additional play-by-play announcers: Dick Stockton, Tim Brando, Joe Davis and Brandon Gaudin
• Additional analysts: Brady Quinn, Matt Millen and Robert Smith
Some things that immediately stand out:
1) Sadly, Fox passed on going outside the box for an analyst for its No. 2 team. With Davis now at CBS, the network had a chance to do something fun and creative, but instead paired Burkhardt with Daryl Johnston. Fox clearly wanted to play it safe here, but the choice is so uninspiring. Just a total blown opportunity here as Johnston keeps the seat warm for Greg Olsen, who will team up with Burkhardt once he retires from the NFL.
2) Dick Stockton, who has been at Fox forever, does not have a regular gig this season and will work only when Fox has extra games.
3) Newcomer Adam Amin gets a lofty spot as Fox’s No. 3 play-by-play man after coming over from ESPN. I don’t know if Amin would’ve been given this slot had Thom Brennaman not gotten himself benched a couple of weeks ago after his surreal gaffe. Either way, it’s clear Fox thinks highly of Amin.
UPDATE: According to FOX, Adam Amin was going to be on the network’s No. 3 team even before Thom Brennaman got the boot.
4) With college football in flux, the network will use veteran play-by-play man Tim Brando on weeks when it has extra games.
5) After seeing the roster of analysts Fox has other than Aikman, it’s clear the network is in major need of an upgrade. You have to think if things return to normal in a post-COVID-19 world next season, Jay Cutler, Pat McAfee or a retiring player, such as Philip Rivers, has to be on Fox’s radar.
2. We’ve seen wrestlers “break” the ring many times over the years, but when it happened at WWE’s Payback on Sunday night, it was great for one reason: referee Charles Robinson. Just look at that sell job.
3. Cam Newton is an excellent dancer.
4. S— was a big theme in the NBA over the weekend.
The Bucks’ guard explained that using the facilities was a big part of his pregame routine.
Meanwhile, LeBron offered a simple, yet highly accurate assessment of 2020.
5. A new SI Media Podcast came out Wednesday afternoon, and it features two guests. First up is Sports Business Journal NFL reporter Ben Fischer. Fischer talks about what the league is going through in terms of having fans in stadiums this season, what ABC/Disney will do when it possibly lands two television packages in the new TV deal, what it would take to shut down the NFL season, and more.
Following Fischer, ESPN NBA analyst Richard Jefferson joins the podcast. Jefferson discusses what bubble life is like for the players, shares insight into LeBron James’s personality, talks about transitioning from player to media, and more.
6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: The Chadwick Boseman news is still hard to process. This tribute from over the weekend was awesome.
7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: Since I mentioned WWE ref Charles Robinson earlier in this column, let’s remember the greatest ref storyline in WWF history.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.