One of the many reasons Fox Sports made Tom Rinaldi an offer he couldn't refuse is his unmatched storytelling style, where he finds the most tuggable heartstring and pulls it for all it's worth with the dulcet tones of a somber scale twinkling in the background. Through two weeks of the playoffs, this club had been left in his bag as he focused on sideline work. But if you can't highlight it before the NFC Championship Game, then when can you?
Rinaldi today told the tale of Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones and his custom cleats, designed by Ethan Haley, a 12-year-old from Western New York. In early December, Jones wore Haley's custom art while carving up the Philadelphia Eagles. Two weeks later, Haley succumbed to cancer. The heavy subject was in good hands, as it always in with Rinaldi.
These stories aren't easy. And the pigeonholing of Rinaldi as a person who can only tell them is unfair. But, in all seriousness, it is so important that networks have someone who can find the right tone in the heaviest of moments. It matters to everyone watching that they are told correctly. And they matter more than anything to those who know the subjects.
Fox and Rinaldi should be proud that they've found a way to use his particular talents responsibly and effectively. Looking forward to it continuing in the future.