Fox Sports broke the bank for Tom Brady. On paper, it makes all the sense in the world to bring in one of the most famous professional athletes of all time to serve as the network's lead announcer. Even if he's not that good at it. Even if most of the data suggests who is calling a football game has a negligible impact on its viewership. Perhaps even if Brady doesn't work the full 10 years to earn a reported $375 million. But it would be foolish to think Fox isn't assuming some risk and that paying someone $37.5 million/year to do something they've never done before couldn't go wrong.
While most people are genuinely excited to have Brady in their lives for seasons to come on football Sundays, a few had the temerity to suggest the seven-time Super Bowl winner isn't worth of such a contract.
Shaquille O'Neal, speaking on his podcast today, responded to that critique by essentially saying don't bring that weak stuff in here.
“When it comes to greatness of this kind, if you lend any anger, you’re a hater!” he said. "Everybody can’t and ain’t gonna get this money. Seven Super Bowls. Clean cut. Good looking. Speaks well. He deserves all the money! Whoever says he don’t deserve this money, shut your face!"
In perhaps related news, Shaq offered his congratulations to Brady and asked for a loan, proving that even the world record-holder for most products endorsed could use another revenue stream.
It's Fox's money and they can spend it how they wish. Brady is a unicorn and was always going to set the bar in terms of financial compensation. My gut feeling is that no one in the future will come close to maximizing it. The more useful and nuanced conversation centers on the debate over whether Fox's huge investment will ultimately be worth it. Considering Brady's desire to play football into his fifties, it will be a long time until we have any idea about the answer.