Fox Turns Eyes To Buck, Aikman For "TNF" After Manning Snub
Fox is "hoping to put its No. 1 team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in its 'Thursday Night Football' booth in the wake of Peyton Manning turning down the opportunity," according to sources cited by Andrew Marchand of the N.Y. POST. Sources said that Buck and Aikman "have no desire to split up." The two "seem to be in a very strong negotiating position with the advertising upfronts at the end of May" as Fox "wants to have its broadcast team in place by then." Fox was "willing to bid high for Manning, which means that Buck and Aikman will reasonably be able to ask for more money to do the extra games." Buck and Aikman "would remain Fox’s No. 1 team on Sundays, but their schedule could possibly be lightened by having some Sundays off" (NYPOST.com, 4/2). NBCSN's Mike Florio said, "I’m not sure how I feel about guys having to do Thursday night and Sunday. That is a huge work load, to try and get ready for two games a week. You’ll never be home from September to December.” NBCSN’s Chris Simms: “It’s hard to prepare for a football game and know every little detail, know all the number 52’s on the field. Suddenly you have to learn four 52’s every week. It’s going be a long haul, but if they can be financially compensated, I’m sure Troy Aikman will be up for the challenge.” Florio: “If (Fox is) going to pay for it, so be it. And they want to have that sizzle, they want to have that cache on 'Thursday Night Football.' They thought they’d have it with Peyton Manning, but without Peyton Manning, you almost have to go with your number one team” (“PFT,” NBCSN, 4/3).