Looking for some hard-hitting analysis on FOX when it comes to the NFL? Have no fear, Gronk is here.
In the past few years, NFL fans have seen Tony Romo and Jason Witten make the switch from the field to the commentary booth, and they’ve watched players transition to studio roles, like Nate Burleson, Randy Moss, Tedy Bruschi, and countless others.
But, things just got very exciting for football aficionados, as former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski officially signed on to become an NFL analyst for FOX Sports, starting with his former team’s Thursday Night game against the Giants on October 10.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining FOX Sports,” Gronkowski said in a statement as the news dropped before the start of Week 6 in the NFL season. “For the past 25 years, they’ve offered viewers top-notch NFL programming from the field to the booth to the studio. Their deep talent roster is unmatched, which was important for me as a I embark on this new chapter in my life because I’ll be able to learn from the best in the business.”
The move makes sense, given Gronkowski’s business ventures that he’ll likely be able to promote on a national scale, and the growth that FOX’s NFL coverage has shown in 2019, when it comes to the action both on the field and in the studio.
The move has already gotten some praise from all sorts of people across the football world, including Gronkowski’s former quarterback in New England, Tom Brady.
“He’ll be good,” Brady said during a press conference the day Gronkowski’s new gig was announced. “He’s been pretty good at everything he’s done. Good for him. That’s a great opportunity.”
There’s plenty of potential when it comes to Gronkowski as an NFL analyst, and a lot of options for the network to explore as he comes into his own in his new role.
With all sorts of programming to work with across all of FOX’s platforms, sports fans could start to see a lot of Gronkowski as 2019 nears its end. With plenty of sports to cross over with, and a wide range of programming across both FOX and FS1 to be featured on, this venture could turn into a fruitful new career for the future NFL Hall of Famer.
What can fans potentially look forward to on their televisions as far as Gronkowski is concerned? Let’s take a look at the endless opportunities for the former NFL star to take advantage of at his new network.
1. Football analysis
Obviously, Gronkowski has a great mind for the game. He wouldn’t be considered one of the greatest tight ends the league has ever seen if he didn’t. So, it would make a ton of sense for him to dissect what he sees on the field and showcase an untapped side of his football knowledge in his new role.
Fans have really begun to appreciate the X’s and O’s when it comes to the game of football in the last few years. It’s the reason Tony Romo had such a meteoric rise when he first stepped into the booth for CBS and started predicting plays like he was the greatest meteorologist known to man.
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It’s also why Deshaun Watson has earned some praise in the last few weeks as he explains the defenses he’s facing to curious reporters.
The easy plan for FOX Sports to have for Gronkowski would be to bring him in and let him look at film and evaluate what he sees. It’s simple, effective and still allows you to use a major star in a highly-visible way. But, where’s the fun in that? That’s where our second option comes in.
2. Football entertainment
We’ve seen guys like Kenny Mayne and Frank Caliendo make a name for themselves with football comedy skits to provide some humor and break up the monotony of a two or three-hour pregame show on Sunday mornings. Why not let Gronkowski utilize his personality in a similar way and have some fun in his new role?
Fans fell in love with guys like Jared Allen and Wes Welker for their roles in Mayne’s Sunday NFL Countdown segments, and Peyton Manning has found a nice niche for his features in commercials for Tide and Nationwide.
At the same time, Manning still has the credibility to offer his opinions when they’re needed on more serious programming, and he’s been able to transition seamlessly between the two gigs.
Gronkowski could thrive in a role where he’s asked to analyze certain plays or situations, and still crack some jokes and entertain fans in different segments throughout FOX’s pregame shows on Thursday’s and Sunday’s.
Add in the potential to throw Red Sox legend David Ortiz, a member of FOX’s MLB coverage during the postseason, and Gronkowski together for a reunion of epic proportions to cross-promote, and you have some real gold on your hands if you’re the FOX Sports team.
This one may be a little less plausible, and doesn’t seem like it would best fit Gronkowski’s skill set, but you never know.
CBS has Tony Romo, and both FOX and ESPN tried their hardest to get Peyton Manning as a part of their respective broadcast teams for their NFL coverage to try and top the rival network’s massive signing.
Now, we’ve seen ESPN try their hand with an entertaining option in the booth with former Colts punter Pat McAfee for their college football coverage, and it’s provided for some great moments already. Could FOX try their hand with a similar experiment?
Gronkowski won’t be thrown into the fire with a guy like Joe Buck, and may not even be able to carry a broadcast as a member of a two-man commentary team. But, the former Patriots tight end could easily come in as a third man on FOX’s main team of Buck and Joe Aikman, especially when the network has the Cowboys-Patriots game on November 24.
In that scenario, he can get carried through the big moments by guys who have been there for years, and still provide useful analysis and commentary for his former team to help fill in any down moments during the game.
It may seem like a long shot, but nobody thought Romo would be the success he now is when he first began in the booth for CBS. Could FOX take advantage of their new star in a unique way and strike gold?
4. WWE promotion
In the long run, this is likely one of the biggest reasons that FOX pulled the trigger and brought in Gronkowski for their NFL coverage.
It’s no secret that Gronkowski is a massive WWE fan, and has appeared in the ring at WrestleMania to help out his buddy, Mojo Rawley, in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
As of last week, FOX is home to WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown, with big names like Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez and Tyson Fury already making appearances as the network looks to establish the show as a “real sport.” What better way to do that then to utilize Gronkowski to promote it during FOX’s NFL coverage?
WWE ad-reads aren’t going to sound the same in the studio coming from guys like Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Curt Menefee or Terry Bradshaw. You know who would be able to deliver those in such an over-the-top way that it would fit perfectly? You guessed it: Gronk.
It takes away from people viewing the brand as a forced piece of FOX’s programming, and allows them to utilize an evergreen sports star to promote it creatively and effectively. What more can you ask for?
5. Crossovers between the NFL, MLB and WWE
On that same note, if you’re looking for an entertaining way to mesh your programming when it comes to the NFL, MLB and WWE, look no further than Rob Gronkowski.
The network will be looking at all of the options as the NFL season hits its stride, the World Series begins for the MLB and business starts to pick up for SmackDown in its new home. In the end, Gronkowski may be their best hope to bring it all together nicely.
FOX could throw Gronkowski on MLB’s pregame and postgame coverage to joke with Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez, who he’s already worked with, and he could appear on SmackDown to increase ratings and reach new audiences for both the NFL and WWE.
Network stars like Joe Buck and Troy Aikman have already been asked by media members about potential participation in WWE programming, but it wouldn’t seem as genuine as an appearance from Gronkowski would. What more could you ask for when you’re looking for a new face to promote your product across everything you own?