Former NFL tight end Greg Olsen knew when he ascended to the No. 1 booth at Fox this year that the assignment would last until Tom Brady retires from playing and begins earning $37.5 million per year. Olsen gets it. But that doesn’t make him happy about it.
“We all know the reality,” Olsen recently said on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, via the New York Post. “I know what I signed up for this year. My goal — and I said this before the season even started — my goal was to try to do the best job that I could. Give people a fun listen. Give people maybe a little bit of a different perspective and insight into the game. Do the best job that I can.
“Listen, if Brady ends up retiring and coming, and decides, and that’s how everything unfolds, it sucks. But at the end of the day, I’m a big boy. I know what I signed up for. I took a chance on myself. I rolled the dice. Let’s see how it plays out.”
Olsen presumably would be relegated to the No. 2 team at Fox. Or maybe he could end up becoming the top option elsewhere.
Much of it depends on how much longer Brady plays, and whether he instantly goes to work at Fox after retiring.
There’s also a chance Brady eventually decides not to do it. Players travel nine or ten weekends per season. Game analysts travel 19 weeks, and the No. 1 crew handle three weekends of playoff games. Once every four years, they work the Super Bowl.
It’s not the same physical grind as playing, but it’s grueling in its own way.
For Brady, there’s also the question of whether he truly believes he’ll be good in that capacity. Can he balance his generally salty attitude about “bad football” with his obsession to be liked or, more importantly, not disliked?
Those who speak with authenticity regarding pro football end up being disliked by fan bases of specific teams and players. Brady will be constantly trying to straddle the line of kicking ass and kissing it. He simply may decide it’s not for him.
He possibly will come to that conclusion before he even shows up for his first day.
Until then, Olsen has a plum assignment. With each game he works, he’s likely one game closer to having a lesser gig.