As a Reward for Calling a Good Game, Greg Olsen Will Take a 70% Pay Cut, Courtesy of Tom Brady
Whatever else you thought of the job Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen did calling one of the more entertaining Super Bowls in memory - and for my money, they were very good - the fact is they were a success by the only measurement that really matters in TV. The game drew 113 million viewers, which makes it the third most watched broadcast in American history, behind only Super Bowls XLIX and LII. Each of which, not coincidentally, were won in dramatic fashion by this guy, who didn't know what to do with himself Sunday night:
And therein lies the problem for Olsen. This was his first and, unless something dramatic happens in the next year and a half to screw up Fox's plans, Brady is going to take his job. And the vast majority of his income:
Source - Tom Brady’s addition to the Fox NFL broadcasting team could result in a demotion and a $7 million dollar per year pay cut for Greg Olsen, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.
Olsen is currently making $10 million per year, and the figure will be slashed to $3 million if he is moved off of the No. 1 broadcast team, the New York Post reported.
“If Brady showed up for Fox next fall,” the report reads. “Olsen not only would be knocked down to the No. 2 game analyst spot, but his salary would drop from $10 million to $3 million. …”
Brady, who reportedly signed a 10-year, $375 million deal with Fox, said last week that he will wait until 2024 to begin his broadcasting career.
Olsen’s contract is reportedly worth up to $50 million over five years if he stays with the No. 1 broadcast team. With Brady waiting until 2024, Olsen is expected to receive at least $29 million during that time.
There's a bit of irony to this since Brady was legendary for taking salary cuts, restructures and deferments throughout his playing career in order that the Patriots and Buccaneers could keep building competitive teams around him. Or to put it differently, so that they could sign Greg Olsen-level talents for him to throw to. But clearly that was Player Brady. And Fox Analyst Brady is more of a businessman. An independent contractor. One who's not there to worry about how much the guy struggling to make the 1:00 pm showdown of 3-10 Denver at 2-11 Houston sound interesting rich. Brady is the Alpha of the Fox herd. He's going to get first pick of the food and the mates, while the Betas like Olsen, Daryl Johnston, Jonathan Vilma and Mark Sanchez will have to fight for his scraps.
The shame of it is, Olsen didn't deserve this for any reason other than his appalling lack of Tom Bradyness. Nobody said calling football games was a meritocracy. When you're the best there's ever been in the game and an internationally recognized celebrity off the field, then you can be getting assigned Philly at Dallas at 4:15 pm. If not, take your $7 million salary shave and enjoy that game in early January that will decide who gets the top draft pick. And where both coaches are hours away from getting fired. This is the business you've chosen.
But if I really feel bad for Olsen about anything, it is this: One of the simple joys of the working life are those precious few weeks you get to spend as a short-timer. Usually because you're already given your two weeks notice or because layoffs have been announced. But whatever the reason, those days were you know you're not long for your job are rare. And they should be enjoyed. Because then and only then, do you get to draw a paycheck in a pressure-free environment with no consequences. Sarah in the clerk's office is stressing everyone out because she's upset at Deborah? Not my problem. Gary from IT hasn't gotten back to you about fixing your connectivity issues? Who gives a dusty fuck? Those times are to be cherished.
But here Olsen had to entertain the third largest audience in the history of television knowing he's getting demoted and facing a massive pay cut, and had to do the best job he knew how anyway. That truly sucks. But it did teach him a lesson that all of need to learn at some point in our existences on this planet.
There is no better way to live than to go through life as Tom Brady.