Two high-profile NFL analyst jobs remain available as networks target popular names to generate attention for their broadcast. As reported by the The Big Lead, Mike Mayock expressed disappointment in his inability to land one of those positions based on his playing career.
“I am highly frustrated and agitated,” Mayock told SportsRadio 610 in Houston. “When you don’t have a big name — I played two years, and I wasn’t any good, and I couldn’t stay healthy — if you don’t have a Hall of Fame jacket it’s hard to get a high-level job calling games in our industry”
Mayock’s sentiment was shared by Andrew Marchand of The New York Post who reported Fox must hire “A-list” talent for Thursday Night Football, as per their contract with the NFL. While not all broadcast booths require Hall-of-Fame talent, Cris Collinsworth and Charles Davis seem to be the minority as non-Hall-of-Fame players with high-profile analyst positions. A highly successful playing career, combined with fan popularity certainly helps an aspiring analyst land a television gig.
Mayock continued to SportsRadio 610, “And it bothers me that network executives think that the only — let’s put it this way: Fox has Thursday Night Football and they feel like the only person who can do that game, and if he can’t then Troy Aikman’s gotta do two a week. I don’t understand that thought process. I mean, Troy’s great, but there’s a stable of other guys who can do it really well.”
As a former analyst of Thursday Night Football on NFL Network and Notre Dame football on NBC, Mayock’s broadcast credentials are strong. Still, you’re more likely to hear Peyton Manning or Jason Witten, who have no experience, as candidates for national analyst positions.
Hiring a big name garners headlines when the analyst is first announced, but once the season starts, matchups are what generate ratings. If Fox hired Peyton Manning for TNF, viewers would tune in with curiosity for his first game, but by the middle of the season very few fans watch a game because of which announcer is in the booth.