There might have been a time in his life where Al Michaels would feel covetous over Tom Brady’s astronomical eventual salary at Fox Sports, but not at this juncture.
The Post’s Andrew Marchand reported that Brady and Fox agreed to a deal for 10 years worth a total of $375 million when the quarterback ultimately retires from the NFL to be their lead color commentator. Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch, in an interview with Axios, said those numbers are “directionally right.”
Peter King of NBC Sports asked Michaels, who will call Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video alongside Kirk Herbstreit this upcoming season, about his thoughts on the deal.
“Well, inflation controls everything. You go back to when I did my first Reds-Dodgers game in Dodger Stadium. I still have the ticket from it in L.A. A box seat was $3.50. Three fifty. You sat in the bleachers or in the top deck at Chavez Ravine for a buck fifty. Now, tickets are like a thousand bucks for the same seats,” Michaels said.
“When you see these numbers, and I don’t wanna sound like a dinosaur here, but I go back to when I was with the Reds. The first year I’m there, Pete Rose is holding out. He misses half of spring training because he wants $110,000. And he was one of the first guys to go into six figures. When you see this, this is just the evolvement of the business. The Brady deal, I don’t know whether the number is right. I don’t know whether he’s a brand ambassador, whatever that’s supposed to mean. It can’t just be for doing games. It has to be other stuff. In a way, this is just the way it’s gone.”
Regarding the brand ambassador part, Brady’s deal with Fox includes not just broadcasting, but also unspecified marketing responsibilities. Presumably, the role will include at least a little hobnobbing with high-paying corporate sponsors — an intangible asset that would be hard to put a price on before the fact that Fox and Brady basically just did.
Michaels, who himself will be making a pretty penny from Amazon, said that at 77 years old it would be a fool’s errand to get upset about being compensated less than Brady.
“I’ve always felt that the ruination of somebody especially if you’re on a team and the guy at the next locker is making $500,000 more than you and you’re all pissed off about that. Why? We’re all doing pretty well,” Michaels said. “Enjoy it. Especially at this point of my life, I mean, great. More power to anybody who can get whatever they get. That’s what the market will bear.”