Detroit Lions games carried by FOX have featured an awful lot of Thom Brennaman over the last couple of years. From my interactions with fans on twitter, this was never seen as a good thing despite the fact that Brennaman and Brian Billick ranked as the network’s number three broadcast team.
I’m not one to worry much about who is calling a game but I’ll admit to getting cheesed over so much Brennaman. His soap-box style comes across as if he his talking at, or worse yet, down, to the listener rather than simply calling the game as it is played. For whatever reason, the Lions seemed often sit in that spot in the pecking order that led to a Brennaman-called game.
But wait! Could a shakeup in the order of the FOX broadcast teams be in store for next season? Perhaps.
FOX’s top team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be in Charlotte for the game between the Carolina Panthers and the San Francisco 49ers but it isn’t the regular season number two team who will make the trip to Seattle for the other NFC game. That honor has been given to Kevin Burkhardt, a newcomer to the NFL on FOX team, John Lynch and Erin Andrews.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch offers some details:
The divisional game assignment is given by FOX Sports executives to the team they felt had the best season behind lead announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. “We’ve found Kevin, John and Erin to be a really enjoyable and comfortable broadcast team,” said FOX Sports executive producer John Entz. “They have fantastic chemistry both on and off the air and it shows during their broadcasts. Both (producer) Pete Macheska and (director) Artie Kempner deserve a huge amount of credit for bringing this crew as far along as they have in such a short amount of time.”
Burkhardt and Lynch spent the regular season as FOX’s number four team. Should they, or at least Burkhardt, make a move into the top three for the 2014 season, Brennaman may be the guy, as the current number three, bumped down. That could make a big difference considering Burkhadt was on the call for just one Lions game this past season – the snow game against the Philadelphia Eagles. That was a tough game to watch on television for a number of reasons, the play-by-play of Burkhardt not being one of them.