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Kevin Burkhardt Reveals How He Stays Grounded Before Calling NFL Games

Burkhardt revealed his ritual during an appearance with Jay Glazer on his Unbreakable podcast.

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Kevin Burkhardt
Courtesy: FOX Sports

FOX NFL play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt knows games like the Super Bowl are not just another game. Whether it’s the NFC Championship game or the World Series, Burkhardt recognizes the magnitude of the event, but his approach to working those broadcasts doesn’t change.

Burkhardt was the guest on Jay Glazer’s podcast Unbreakable, and Glazer asked what the announcer’s attack for a game like the NFC title game on Sunday.

Kevin fell back on his decades of experience in the business, especially the last 10 or so working as the number two NFL play-by-play voice at the network behind Joe Buck before he and Troy Aikman left for ESPN. He’s become the new number-one NFL voice for FOX with Greg Olsen since then.

“I had done a decade of football at FOX so the games weren’t new to me,” Burkhardt said. “I’ve done the World Series and hosted that and handed away the trophy in the World Series, which is about as nerve-wracking as it gets.”

When talking about calling the Super Bowl last year for the first time, Kevin said the stretch of time leading to his arrival in Phoenix drove up his nerves.

“I gotta tell you, doing that for the first time, it was the week leading up that had me anxious,” he said. “It wasn’t the game. As crazy as that sounds, I know 115 million people watched it. But it was just getting to the game. It was the anxiety of like staying healthy, not getting sick, making sure you’re taking care of all your prep. Doing X, Y, and Z and all the other stuff that comes along with Super Bowl week as you’ve done a million times.”

“It was all of that, and I felt like, of course, there’s pressure,” Burkhardt continued. “You go into that, you know if you handle it, you feel great about yourself, you’re in a good spot. And if you don’t, it could kill your career. It’s a lot of pressure. So I will say the Sunday when I woke up the day of the game, I felt so good. My mind was clear, and it just felt like, ‘OK, I’ve done a million of these games. There’s just more people watching this one.’ At that point, it did feel like another game to me.”

Kevin said it’s a balancing act you have to do. You know it’s a huge game or a huge moment, but at the same time the stage doesn’t change how you handle your business.

“I would say everything else leading up to it, if you say it’s another game, I agree it’s horseshit. It’s not,” he said. “But if you approach it different, like if your prep is different, and if you think about it differently and you psych yourself up in a different way, I think you fail. I take the same approach – and this I mean – I take the same approach and the same excitement level for our preseason game as I did for the big playoff games. Cause I don’t know any other way. I can’t cheat on the test. I can’t skimp on prep. I’m just not wired that way. So that’s what helps me.”

Glazer asked what Burkhardt does to combat nervousness prior to a big broadcast, and Kevin said he just tries to live in the moment and trust all the prep and work he’s put in prior to getting behind the microphone.

“If you can’t enjoy this, then what are we even doing?” he asked. “And that doesn’t mean that you’re not stressed, that you’re not nervous, that you don’t get exhausted. Like that’s normal stuff. Just because we love what we do and we have an amazing job doesn’t mean all of that doesn’t come into play, cause it does.”

“But I mean reality, like going back to the Super Bowl stuff, I said to myself, if I’m not going to enjoy this, why have I done this for the last 30 years of my life?” Burkhardt added. “This is everything you dream of as a kid. Have fun with it and let the chips fall where they may. I’m a firm believer in that. Here’s the deal. Go out swinging, be yourself, and then where things go, they go. That’s the only thing you can control. I can’t control if certain things happen and if people like it or they don’t. But I feel good about myself if I’m gonna enter it and be me and do it my way.”

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Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit Featured As Commentary Team for ‘NCAA Football 25’

“I’m so excited to FINALLY announce that I’m part of @EASPORTSCollege
. I’m proud to be a partner and one of the voices of the game once again.”

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An image of Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler
Courtesy: Sports Illustrated

NCAA Football fans rejoice — NCAA Football 25 will feature ESPN’s Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit. Fowler will be making his first appearance in the game while Herbstreit will be doing it for the 14th time. The pair confirmed the news today via their X accounts:

The pair were finally able to reveal their involvement as more news came out about the game starting today. Multiple news items about the game were reported, including the participation of all 134 Division I football programs, and that college football players could opt into the game for NIL purposes. According to The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, players will receive $600 and a free copy of the game for opting in. Those who fail to opt in will be replaced by a generic avatar.

Following the initial news, Front Office Sports revealed more names attached to NCAA Football 25 — Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, Kevin Connors, and David Pollack. All but Pollack, who was laid off from the company in June, are ESPN employees.

The last NCAA Football game was released in 2013 and started the conversation of whether players should be paid for their participation. EA Sports then stopped putting out versions of the game, despite critical and commercial success. Fan projects like College Football Revamped strived to bring the game into modern times — but now it’s no longer needed. College Football 25 will be revealed in earnest this May, with a release date slated for the summer.

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Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks to Launch New Podcast

“This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world.”

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Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks podcast logo
Courtesy: Two Personal Podcast

Fox Sports 1’s Joy Taylor and Thursday Night Football’s Taylor Rooks are teaming up for a new podcast, Two Personal, which will debut on March 6. The description of the new content says it will take on subjects beyond the world of sports such as mental health, discrmination and other social issues. The two friends plan to share things they would normally talk about only in private.

“Joy [Taylor] and I have navigated our careers together as sisters in sport, but Two Personal allows us to expand and share our private thoughts and conversations with our listeners,” said Rooks. “This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world. There is infinitely more to us than what we have allowed the public to see, and I’m thrilled to be in a place where I feel ready to bare my full self and give an honest look into who I am completely.”

“I am so excited to launch Two Personal with Taylor [Rooks]” Joy Taylor said. “We have spent our careers in sports and now have created an opportunity to show a different side of ourselves. The authentic, raw and exposing side of our experiences and personalities outside of sports. We can’t wait to bring our girl talk to the world!”

The podcast is scheduled to drop a new episode each Wednesday on YouTube and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Report: Amazon Prime Video Paying $120M to Stream NFL Playoff Game

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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Amazon Prime Video Logo

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Amazon and the NFL have reached agreement on a $120 million deal for Prime Video to have exclusive rights to stream an NFL playoff game at the end of the 2024 season.

Amazon had passed on the opportunity to air the game this past season. It subsequently aired on Peacock in a deal which was valued at $110 million. The AFC Wild Card round matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs made sports media history, garnering an average minute audience (AMA) of 23.0 million viewers, making the contest the most-streamed live event in the history of the United States.

NBCUniversal also revealed that the contest reached 27.6 million total viewers and peaked at an average of 24.6 million viewers during the second quarter. Engagement with the playoff game accounted for the largest internet event in history with 30% of internet traffic prioritizing the game at this time.

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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